6 Surprising Ways to Treat Menopause Symptoms

Medically Reviewed By William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Written By Ashley Festa on November 8, 2020
  • Doctor and patient talking in office
    Complementary Remedies for Menopause Relief
    When people think about managing menopause symptoms, for many the first thing that comes to mind is menopause hormone therapy (MHT). While hormone therapy can be an effective course of treatment, it’s not the only tactic women can use to battle hot flashes, night sweats, sexual problems, and bone loss. Especially for women who can’t take MHT, there are some alternative remedies that can ease your discomfort. Talk with your doctor about adding these six therapies to your menopause treatment.
  • Therapist Using Hypnosis
    Some early research has shown clinical hypnosis to be effective at reducing hot flashes. In one study, women who underwent hypnosis intervention reported an average of 55 fewer hot flashes over the course of 12 weeks, whereas those who didn’t receive hypnosis reported only 12 fewer hot flashes over the same time period. The women who received hypnosis also reported improved sleep quality and overall satisfaction with the treatment.
  • Acupuncture on back
    Even if you have an aversion to needles, you might try this ancient Chinese medicine as a way to reduce your hot flashes. Some experts believe acupuncture, which involves inserting tiny needles in therapeutic locations on your body, stimulates your endorphins. Endorphins are natural painkillers and may help restore your body’s normal energy balance. Acupuncture may not address other menopause symptoms, but some research indicates it can reduce both frequency and severity of hot flashes.
  • Flax seed
    Plants and Herbs
    Many herbs and phytoestrogens—or plant estrogens—have been studied for the treatment of menopause symptoms. While research varies, some studies have shown the herb black cohosh is effective for treating hot flashes, anxiety, and vaginal dryness, though it isn’t recommended for long-term use. Soy acts like an estrogen, and Asian women, who tend to consume more soy products, report fewer hot flashes than North American women. Flaxseed, also a phytoestrogen, may also help reduce your menopause symptoms. Experts recommend including flaxseed in your diet, rather than taking it as a supplement.
  • Doctor Writing Medical Prescription
    Prescriptions Used for Other Conditions
    While you might not suffer from seizures or high blood pressure, your doctor might prescribe medications that are used primarily to treat these conditions in order to alleviate your hot flashes. Low doses of certain antidepressants could also give you some relief. None of these medications is as effective as hormone replacement therapy, but if you can’t or don’t want to take MHT, one of these types of medications may reduce your experience of hot flashes.
  • Hands holding glasses of red wine
    Snacks and Wine
    Keep your blood sugar stable by eating regular meals (no skipping breakfast!) and a couple of snacks throughout the day. Make sure you’re eating a balanced diet that includes good fats and complex carbs, like avocados and brown rice. And don’t skimp on calcium and vitamin D, because the older you get, the more you need to prevent bone loss. Besides milk and yogurt, try broccoli, which also offers extra calcium. For main meals, include lean meats or oily fish to combat mood swings. And a daily glass of red wine may stave off hot flashes.
  • GettyImages_76538326
    Stress and depressive feelings can exacerbate menopause symptoms. While antidepressants can be used to chemically improve your mood, you can also try monitoring your emotional wellbeing. Keep a journal to record your feelings throughout the day. If you find that stress and pessimism are weighing you down, find natural ways to improve your mood. Exercise, yoga and meditation are excellent ways to give yourself a physical and emotional boost.
6 Surprising Ways to Treat Menopause Symptoms

About The Author

Ashley Festa is a Greenville, S.C.-based freelance writer and editor who has been writing professionally for nearly two decades. In addition to Healthgrades, she also has written for Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, the University of Texas at Arlington School of Nursing and Health Innovation, and Fit Pregnancy magazine.
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Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Last Review Date: 2020 Nov 8
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