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Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is a much-debated topic as more and more women look for natural alternatives . The varying estrogen and progesterone cycles during the reproductive years may cause mood swings, painful cramps, bloating and other symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). During the perimenopausal phase, hormonal fluctuations may lead to hot flashes, night sweats, mood changes and weight gain. This may go on for a prolonged period. The conventional methods prescribe a large number of medicines separately for each symptom with just temporary relief and many side effects.
Resorting to certain changes in lifestyle and simple techniques help balancing the hormones and restore health. Some of these are:
- Intake Of Vegetables : Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower , sprouts, cabbage contain a substance- Indole -3-Carbinol (13C), which metabolizes in the body and produces Diindolylmethane DIM. These substances help in the modulation of estrogens which have been found to have cancer fighting properties, particularly in case of breast cancer.
- Weight Maintenance : Excess fat in the body produces higher levels of estrogen in the body. Maintaining the weight prevents the body from overproducing certain hormones.
- Including Phytoestrogens In The Diet : These are plant-based substances that maybe found in foods such as soy foods, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, bean sprouts and legumes , which help in naturally balancing your hormones. As seen in soy foods, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, bean sprouts, and legumes such as garbanzo beans and peas, Phytoestrogens are plant-based substances that can help balance your hormones naturally. Though there has been some controversy in soy consumption , small amounts of it would do no harm. A word of caution against processed soy stuff maybe however noted. It is better to use the traditional ones like tofu, tempeh, miso and soy sauce. One must ensure that they are organic. Those suffering from any thyroid disease, should avoid eating raw foods that contain Phytoestrogens since Goitrogens in such foods may interrupt the thyroid function. Although cooking neutralizes this effect , consumption should be avoided within two hours of consumption of any thyroid medication.
- Using Herbal Remedies : Shatavari- the Ayurvedic herb has been useful in case of menopausal hot flashes and PMS linked to mood swings and irritability. Other herbal remedies also work effectively for both the physical as well as psychological symptoms. However , it is important to consult a trained practitioner before using the herbal remedies.
- Breathing Deeply : Perform fifteen minutes of deep belly breathing twice daily. This has proved to reduce hot flashes and night sweating in many clinical experiments and also brought about an improvement in women health. Regular meditation aids in decreasing the stress hormones , allowing the body to work more efficiently.
Thus changing your lifestyle, physical activities and managing stress in addition to seeking help from practitioners and your near and dear ones is a good initiative. Apart from aiding in hormonal balance , these techniques balance and give rise to greater well being and an ideal health.