Managing Menopause

Menopause is the point in which a woman stops ovulating and menstruation ceases. This is a natural progression that every women faces as they go through their life. Years before menstruation stops your ovaries slow down and slow their production of hormones, estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.

Estrogen is needed to keep the skin smooth and hydrated, and regulate the body’s internal thermostat to ensure it is operating properly. Progesterone works as a counterpart to estrogen. During the second half of the menstrual cycle, it stimulates changes in the uterus lining which helps to store a fertalised egg. But progesterone has other effects on our body too. It acts but having a calming effect on the brain. Testosterone is the most important hormone for sex drive. Women produce 80% less testosterone than men, for women as they age it continues to reduce.

Symptoms of menopause

  • Anxiety
  • Dry skin
  • Mood changes
  • Weight gain
  • Hot sweats
  • Insomnia
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Joint pain
  • Hair loss

There are many natural supplements and lifestyles changes that can really help to reduce menopause symptoms and help ladies age gracefully.

Herbal Advice

  • Black cohosh
    • Black Cohosh has been used for years to reduce menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, sleep problems, vaginal dryness, anxiety, and night sweating. There is still limited research on this herb but for many patients that I treat this as seemed to be one of the most effective in reducing menopausal symptoms.
    • Studies are unsure how Black Cohosh exactly but it is thought to contain a very similar structure to estrogen that attaches itself to particular receptors in the body, which cause its effects for menopausal symptoms relief. More research is being conducted to find out more information.
    • **Black cohosh should not be used by anyone with liver problems
  • Sage
    • Sage can be extremely beneficial in reducing hot flushes and night sweats. It is suggested a cup of cool sage tea can reduce these symptoms.
  • Withania
    • Withania is an adaptogen herb that helps your body to adapt to difficult situations. It can rebalance your emotions, to allow you to become calmer and in control of your emotions. It supports the health of your adrenals and helps your body cope with stress and fatigue. When your adrenals are out of balance it can affect your cortisol levels and sleep. Including withania into a menopause treatment protocol can help over all the calm your nervous system and manage many symptoms associated with menopause.
  • Vitex
    • Vitex is used as a hormone modulator in many hormonal conditions. However, it has become increasingly popular in managing menopause. In scientific studies to have a measurable effect on women’s progesterone hormone levels. Vitex contains compounds that cause the Pituitary glands to increase their secretion of progesterone hormones. This then helps many women with their menopausal signs and symptoms.

Vitamin & mineral advice

  • Vitamin D
    • Vitamin D can help increase calcium levels which can helps prevent osteoporosis. Getting a blood test done first is generally recommended to see what your levels are but vitamin D can also help boost your immune system and energy levels.
  • Evening primrose oil
  • Magnesium

Dietary advice

  • Increase your intake of foods that contain phytoestrogens
    • A high intake of phytoestrogen foods can help reduce hot flushes and other menopausal symptoms. Please note if you have an increased risk of breast or ovarian cancer its best to talk to your health care practitioner before consuming soy products.
    • Foods rich in phytoestrogens, soybeans, flaxseeds, nuts, apples, fennel, celery, parsley and alfalfa.
  • Low carb diet
  • Avoid dairy products
  • Ensure you are getting enough vitamin D
  • Regular exercise
  • Drink 2 L of water per day

Meal ideas

Breakfast

Oats, with soy milk. Topped with flaxseed, cinnamon and honey

Smoothie with soy milk, fruit, yogurt and oats

Eggs and sautéed spinach

Lunch

Vegetable and lentil soup

Salad with brown rice

Dinner

Grilled Salmon with stir fried green veggies

Quinoa vegetable risotto

Chicken curry with brown rice

Its best to seek advice of a health care practitioner to help best manage your menopause symptoms. Your health care practitioner can tailor a personal plan that suits you and your body. 

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