Natural Alternatives To Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
Ageing with grace is sometimes easier said than done, especially when it comes to the side effects of the menopause. The menopause occurs when a woman reaches the end of her childbearing years. For many women, it can be a relief because they won’t have to worry about periods or pregnancies. For other women, it’s a seriously unpleasant experience. Menopause symptoms can vary, but some of the most common are hot flushes, mood swings, night sweats, insomnia, and vaginal dryness. The symptoms can sometimes become so intense that women are unable to go about their daily lives without treatment.
Menopausal symptoms are caused by hormonal shifts. Once the menopause begins, women stop producing as much of a female sex hormone called oestrogen. Menopause medications like hormone replacement therapy seek to stop the uncomfortable symptoms by replacing some of the oestrogen that’s lost.
Hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, comes in several different forms:
Each of these HRT treatments can be bought online in the UK through us. We also have other forms of HRT available for our prescribers to dispense.
Natural HRT Alternatives
More women are turning toward natural alternatives to manage their symptoms. It may be due to adverse reactions to hormone replacement therapy medications or because they want to wean off them. Speak with your GP or pharmacist before replacing any medications with natural alternatives. You should also discuss whether these alternatives are able to be used alongside any medications you’re taking, including if you decide to keep using HRT.
- Eat Foods High in Calcium and Vitamin D
- Eat Foods with Phytoestrogens
- Keep Fit
- Avoid Food That Triggers Symptoms
- Stay Hydrated
- Try Natural Supplements
Eat Foods High in Calcium and Vitamin D
The risk of developing osteoporosis raises significantly once menopause begins. With osteoporosis, even minor trips and falls can lead to serious bone fractures. Eating foods high in calcium and vitamin D can help strengthen your bones against osteoporosis.
Calcium is an essential mineral for bones and vitamin D helps you absorb it. Foods high in calcium include:
Vitamin D can be obtained naturally through exposure to sunlight, but as you get older it can be more difficult for your body to create vitamin D. This can be exacerbated by spending time indoors and lack of sunlight during winter and bad weather. You can make up for this deficiency by eating foods that contain vitamin D.
Foods rich in vitamin D:
- Cod liver oil
Fortified foods often contain extra sources of vitamin D and calcium. Look for cereals, juices, and milk that have been fortified if you need more vitamin D and calcium in your diet.
Eat Foods with Phytoestrogens
Certain plants have compounds called phytoestrogens that can mimic the effects of oestrogen in the body. It’s thought that boosting your diet with phytoestrogens can help replenish a small amount of the oestrogen you lose during the menopause.
Foods high in Phytoestrogens:
- Sesame seeds
These foods are commonly eaten in many east Asian countries, and it’s believed they are part of the reason why women in these regions report fewer menopausal symptoms.
Weight fluctuates throughout a person’s life, including during the menopause. Studies have shown that excess weight can heighten the symptoms of the menopause. While you don’t have to become a fitness expert, maintaining a healthy weight can improve your menopausal symptoms. An added benefit is that a healthy weight will reduce the likelihood of you developing serious conditions like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Since bone strength is a concern, you may want to avoid high impact exercises. Low impact workouts that can help you lose weight while also promoting bone health include yoga, Pilates, walking, and swimming.
Avoid Food That Triggers Symptoms
Some foods and drinks may be triggers for menopausal symptoms like night sweats, hot flushes, and mood swings. These triggers may be more pronounced at night.
Common triggers include:
- Spicy foods
- Sugary foods
- Carbonated drinks
What triggers one person may not trigger another. If you’re unsure if your diet is making your symptoms worse, keep a food diary. Write down what you eat and when, making a note of any symptoms if they occur. Soon you’ll be able to notice a pattern and will know what food and drink to avoid.
Moisture loss is a common side effect of the menopause. This can result in dry hair, dry skin, and vaginal dryness. Drinking plenty of water can help your body replenish the moisture it’s lost. Being hydrated can also help offset weight gain and bloating that’s frequently associated with the menopause. If you struggle to drink enough water, there are apps you can use to track your consumption. Buying a reusable water bottle is another way to monitor how much water you’re drinking.
Try Natural Supplements
Taking supplements can help your body get the vitamins and nutrients it needs to stay strong. If you can’t get enough vitamin D and calcium from your diet, supplements can help. While more research is needed, other types of supplements may help with menopausal symptoms.
- Red clover: Red clover isoflavone supplements may help reduce the frequency and severity of hot flushes.
- Black Cohosh: Made from the root of black cohosh plants, this supplement can potentially reduce hot flashes and night sweats. However, it shouldn’t be taken by those with liver problems.
- Ginseng: Ginseng has been used for centuries and there’s some research to show that it can help women going through the menopause. It’s considered a natural mood booster and can help people get more restful sleep.
If these natural HRT alternatives aren’t cutting it, you can get effective HRT treatment online in the UK from us. Our prescribers will review your request then have your HRT medications safely and swiftly despatched. To get back to feeling like yourself again, get in touch with us.