Menopause is the process that puts an end to a woman’s reproductive stage, whose normal age of onset naturally ranges from 45 to 55 years. However, it can occur early after surgeries such as hysterectomy or oophorectomy.
It is accompanied by physiological, hormonal and emotional changes related to the declining secretion of estrogen and progesterone that causes symptoms such as dizziness (hot flashes), sweating, palpitations, vertigo, hot flashes, insomnia, pain during intercourse and vaginal dryness, emotional changes such as depression, increased body fat, osteoporosis.
Hormone replacement therapy was long the standard treatment for menopause; numerous studies have shown that it increases the risk of breast cancer and heart disease.
Menopause is a natural process, because it does not use natural remedies that help to improve all those “new symptoms” characteristic of the new stage in female life.
The natural remedies that are recommended for the control of menopausal symptoms range from leading a healthy lifestyle based on diet and exercise to the consumption of certain medicinal herbs.
Natural Remedies for Menopause
Below is a list of good practices as well as home remedies for menopause:
Diet plays an essential role in the management of menopause in women. Experts recommend avoiding some foods, as well as consuming foods that will provide items that tend to be lost in the menopausal period.
What foods should be avoided?
Foods to avoid include carbonated beverages that contain phosphorus and may increase bone loss.
The intake of fatty meats should be decreased as they contain a high amount of saturated fats and decrease the body’s ability to metabolize estrogen. Avoid alcohol, coffee, and spicy foods for hot flashes, as they will increase hot flashes.
Sugars should be consumed in moderation as excess sugars also decrease the liver’s ability to metabolize estrogen.
What foods should I eat?
Consumption of certain foods is recommended to naturally increase estrogen levels, such as: Alfalfa, Flax Seeds, Garlic, Sesame Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Cucumber, Apple, Aniseed Seeds, Cabbage, Beet, Olive Oil, Olives, Papaya, Sunflower Seeds, Peas, Legumes, Chia Seeds, Brewer’s Yeast.
Studies show that soy and isoflavones can temporarily (2 years or less) relieve menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes and night sweats. It should be noted that overconsumption may be harmful to women with a history of estrogen-dependent cancers.
Consumption of Salmon, Tuna, or Trout type fish helps stabilize mood swings due to the large amount of Omega 3 fatty acids.
Exercise is extremely important for a woman to improve her overall health and well-being throughout her life. Regular exercise (at least 3 or 4 days a week) helps prevent and reduce bone loss (osteoporosis) and has an effect on reducing the risk of many types of cancer and heart disease.
Physical activity has been shown to alleviate many of the symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, mood swings, and lack of sleep. These exercises may be aerobic (walking at least 20 minutes daily), as well as strength training and relaxation techniques, such as yoga or taichi.
It is important to see a doctor and check your overall health before beginning physical activity.
For years, skin creams containing Mexican sweet potato extracts have been used for relief during menopause. However, its effects have not been demonstrated in scientific studies and it has not been recommended by the North American Menopause Society.
- Black cohosh contains phytoestrogens that can relieve hot flashes and night sweats in the short term (6 months or less). It is marketed in a number of black cohosh products on the menopause market.
- There are those who recommend the Chinese herb Dong Quai (500 mg. to 1000 mg. 2 or 3 times daily). However, it can be toxic and there are indications that it may increase the risk of skin cancers from exposure to the sun’s rays.
- Red clover is commonly used to reduce vaginal dryness and reduce hot flashes, and has been shown to have a significant positive effect on improving the rate of bone loss, improving cardiovascular health, and protecting against breast and endometrial cancer. It contains isoflavones, which have an effect similar to that which estrogen produces in the body.
- In some cultures Bach flowers are used, they are flower essences that treat physical and emotional disorders. Among them are walnut and honeysuckle, wild rose, and gentian.
Ginseng (100 mg to 500 mg 3 times a day for 10 days) is often used to treat the states of depression and sadness usual in this phase of change.
It is recommended to help reduce hot flashes and night sweats; it also has other benefits such as lowering blood pressure and slowing the aging of cells and tissues. It should be accompanied by vitamin C, which helps the absorption of vitamin E and decreases capillary fragility.
Use of selenium (50 mg daily), beta-carotene (10 mg daily), calcium, and magnesium supplements to aid calcium absorption is important.
ACUPUNCTURE, AROMATHERAPY AND HOMEOPATHY
Some studies have shown some effectiveness in some women with respect to hot flashes, when these therapies are combined with other treatments.
WARM WATER BATH
Taking a warm morning bath helps relieve hot flashes during the day.