Managing Menopause: Options beyond HRT

In May 2002, the National Institutes of Health announced that it was halting the arm of it’s Women’s Health Initiative study that measured the effects of combined estrogen-progestin therapy (Prempro). Early results indicated that this type of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) increased the risk of many serious health conditions, including heart disease, breast cancer and stroke.

Concerned about these risks, many menopausal women have since opted against HRT – and have simply lived with the discomfort of their symptoms and concerns about the diseases that HRT was once thought to prevent.

Effective options for managing menopause do exist, assures Dr. Cynthia Ferrier, Providence women’s health expert, and Dr. Miles Hassell, director of Integrative Medicine at Providence Cancer Center. “Your mother’s experience of menopause doesn’t have to be yours,” says Dr. Ferrier. “It can be much better today, even without HRT.”

Lifestyle changes like exercise and eating right can help every menopausal woman, Dr. Ferrier and Dr. Hassell say. Botanical therapies can effectively relieve symptoms for many women. And for some women, traditional medications – including HRT – continue to offer safe, effective options.

Read on for Dr. Ferrier and Dr. Hassell’s recommendations.

Managing menopause with:

Recommended reading:

Eat Drink and Be Healthy
Walter C. Willett, M.D.
Simon & Schuster ©2001

The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook
Nancy Harmon-Jenkins with Antonia Trichopoulou, M.D., & Dimitrios Trichopoelou, M.D.
Bantam Book ©1994

The Omega Diet
Artemis Simopoulos, M.D. & Jo Robinson
Harper Perennial ©1999

The Omega Rx Zone
Barry Sears
Regan Books © 2002