Menopause is a transitional time for women. This gives practitioners an opportunity to focus on recommending healthy lifestyle changes. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has been the mainstay of therapy for menopausal symptoms. With recent research findings, women and their physicians are seeking alternatives that do not carry the risks associated with HRT. Exercise has been shown to help some women with symptoms of hot flashes, as have relaxation techniques and deep breathing. Dietary changes to incorporate whole foods and soy are thought by some to help with menopausal symptoms, and are recommended because of a positive impact on heart disease and obesity; soy isoflavones may also help with menopausal symptoms. Botanicals such as black cohosh and red clover have been shown in some studies to decrease severity and frequency of hot flashes. We recommend that HRT be prescribed when other measures have failed to adequately control symptoms. Bioidentical hormones are preferred in our practice.
* This report is a topical review of several therapeutic approaches to menopausal symptoms.
* The focus is on holistic and integrative medicine therapies, including mind-body skills, exercise, dietary changes, nutritional supplements, botanicals, and bioidentical hormones.