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Okay, No Hormones, But What Instead?

Okay, No Hormones, But What Instead?

Now that we know that routinely giving hormone therapy (HT) to women in order to prevent diseases that increase in the post-menopausal years is not a good idea, many women and their doctors are wondering what we can do to reduce the risk of these diseases.

In the post-HT world, we find ourselves back to basics. You guessed it. Exercise and diet (especially exercise) are proving amazingly beneficial in reducing the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis in menopausal women, as well as in controlling the most bothersome symptoms of menopause: Hot flashes, mood swings and insomnia.

It is far easier and quicker to pop a pill than to go for a walk. And far easier and quicker for a doctor to write a prescription than to counsel patients about diet and exercise. But the simple approaches are by far the safest, and are proving to be the most beneficial ways to take care of ourselves throughout our lives, but especially as we age.

Getting the word out about the enormous benefits of a good diet and regular exercise is complicated by the fact that there is not much new to say about it. There are only so many creative ways to write newspaper and magazine articles about eating whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and taking a brisk walk every day. So editors want something else, something new. That tends to give us the impression that there is something new to say.

Of course, there are plenty of new ideas about good things to eat and fun ways to get more movement in your life. But the basic message hasnít changed, and isnít likely to. The single best thing you can do to protect your health as you age–well, you already know, donít you? Iíll spare you the repetition (for now!).

Readers: What creative things are you doing to stay healthy and avoid using hormone therapy? Use the comment field below to share your tips.

Read more: Health, Fitness, Menopause, Simply Healthy, Women's Health, , ,

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Avery Hurt

Avery Hurt is a health and science journalist. Her work appears regularly in national publications such as Better Homes and Gardens, Newsweek, and The New Physician. She is author of Bullet With Your Name On It: What You Will Probably Die From And What You Can Do About It (Clerisy Press, 2007) and Donít Worry, Iím Not Contagious: Your Guide to Staying Healthy in an Infectious World, due out from Clerisy, fall 2008. She is at work on her third book, on alternative medicine.


+ add your own
2:35PM PDT on May 20, 2012


7:16PM PDT on Jul 16, 2011

TY Avery :)

12:16AM PDT on Apr 1, 2011

Thanks for the advice.

3:36PM PDT on Jul 23, 2010

What is DHEA please?

11:09AM PDT on Jul 23, 2010

I started taking DHEA when I was 39. Prior to that I was always irregular and never got pregnant. Two years after DHEA therapy I became cyclical. 5 year later I managed to get pregnant. Today at 52 I am slowly and mildly menopausal. The DHEA of course gave me a great sex drive as I go wet on a moments notice even just thinking about my lover. My OBGYN is looking at me like a case study. I do exercise, both weight and cardio and I also eat well with lots of fresh organic vegetables. I am not a big meat and processed food eater. I hope to avoid HRT.

8:45AM PDT on Jul 6, 2010

Thank you

11:33PM PDT on Jul 5, 2010

I wouldn't take HRT. I don't like adding things to my body.

11:31PM PDT on Jul 5, 2010


7:41PM PDT on Jul 5, 2010

thank you for the article

10:31AM PDT on Jun 8, 2010

At 53 I still do yoga, deep breathing, lift weights, do cardio, walk my dogs every day and eat fairly well. When I don't get the right amount of sleep, I feel tired so when I can I take a nap. I sing in a band, and do deep tissue massage. My life is so full and varied. My hot flashes are so mild I just feel a tingling like I got embarrassed over something. I feel like I'm blessed because I am a strong, vibrant woman with irregular to no periods. I would like to feel like I did when I was in my 20's, but I feel so good in my 50's that I'm not sure if I would want to feel like I did in my 20's. I take a multi vitamin/mineral most days but not always. I agree that nutrition and exercise play a big part in all of this keeping me strong with no broken bones. But I also listen to myself and do what I feel is right for me most of the time. So that's what I do.

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Very informative .. thanks..


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