By: Beth Walsh for Uterus1
A small, inexpensive magnet is effective in treating menopause symptoms, according to a study conducted in the United Kingdom.
Decrease vaginal discomfort by using vaginal lubricants.
Strengthen your pelvic floor. Kegel exercises can improve some forms of urinary incontinence.
Regular exercise fits the effects that come with aging and can reduce stress. Research also has shown that exercise can increase estrogen levels, which can in turn reduce menopause symptoms.
Tests on hundreds of women found that a magnet device can relieve symptoms ranging from anxiety and mood swings to hot flashes and memory problems. All of the women reported at least some improvement in their symptoms. The study found relief of up to 70 percent of symptoms such as anxiety, mood swings, fatigue, sleeping problems, incontinence and breast tenderness. Hot flashes, night sweats, irritability, loss of libido and lapses in concentration improved by one-third, and 20 percent of the women lost weight – some dropping more than 20 pounds after wearing the magnet under their clothes around the clock for three months.
The magnet is a simple alternative to hormone replacement therapy, a treatment that has been associated with breast cancer, heart disease and stroke. Researchers aren’t sure why the magnet worked but speculated that it raises levels of estrogen, the female hormone that naturally decreases as women go through menopause. Those lower levels are responsible for most menopause symptoms. About 40 percent of menopausal women seek medical treatment for their symptoms.
Previous studies have shown that magnetic therapy can ease period pain and speed up wound healing. It is thought that the magnets affect the body in several ways, speeding up wound healing by improving circulation and easing pain by interfering with the nerve signals that pass information about discomfort to the brain.
Skeptics say that any healing effects of magnetic therapy are due to the placebo effect, that patients believe strongly enough in treatment to bring about relief. Studies have been conducted on alternative therapies, such as soy, fish oils and black cohosh, for menopause symptoms with varying results.
Fortunately, many of the signs and symptoms associated with menopause are temporary. Menopause is a natural phase of life and most women do not need medical treatment to manage their symptoms. If you have trouble sleeping, avoid caffeinated beverages and exercise right before bedtime. Try relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, guided imagery and progressive muscle relaxation. For hot flashes, get regular exercise, dress in layers and try to pinpoint triggers. Triggers may include hot beverages, spicy foods, alcohol, hot weather and even a warm room.
Eat a balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains and that limits saturated fats, oils and sugars. Aim for 1,500 milligrams of calcium and 400 to 800 international units of vitamin D a day. Ask your doctor about supplements to help you meet these requirements, if necessary.