Natural Menopause Therapy
How to manage the menopause naturally
The menopause is not a medical condition even though at times it feels like it, it's a natural part of life. The menopause literally means ‘change of life’. It relates to the time in a women’s life when her ovaries stop ripening eggs and the menstrual cycle ends. It is a natural stage of life that every woman will experience.
Change is part of being human but it can be unnerving and fearful. The journey through this life stage may not be easy for some, but getting support so that you can flourish and increase your happiness is key.
The perimenopause is when oestrogen and progesterone levels fluctuate and gradually reduce. Essentially, it's the symptoms that arrive before your periods stop and you begin the menopause.
The menopause is the permanent cessation of menstrual cycles caused by loss of ovarian activity. ‘The average age of the menopause in the UK is approximately 51 years (source: NHS).
The decline of oestrogen that comes with menopause can present challenges in areas such as metabolism decline, bone and heart health and fat distribution in the body.
Most of the symptoms that occur during the menopause are connected to the falling levels of female hormones as progesterone is the happy hormone. In balance it makes us feel confident and positive.
Out of balance, women can get weepy and anxious. If this wasn’t enough to contend with, additional symptoms such as hot flushes, mood swings and night sweats can also arise. These symptoms have come to be accepted as the norm, and in the UK, 80% of women experience menopausal symptoms and 45% find the symptoms distressing.
Signs and Symptoms that you are Perimenopausal are:
Changes in your periods
Mood changes including depression and anxiety
Low energy, poor sleep
Vaginal dryness, low libido
What menopause therapy is out there and how can I move through the menopause smoothly?
Nutrition - A healthy diet not only keeps your body and mind healthy it can reduce the presence and severity of menopausal symptoms as insufficiencies of nutrients can impair hormonal balance and exacerbate symptoms.
- Balancing oestrogens by eating phytoestrogen rich foods such as as fermented soya, lentils, chickpeas, flaxseeds as they mimic the action of natural oestrogen
- Balance your blood sugars - blood sugar imbalances have been linked with worsening of menopausal symptoms sugar as a dependent sugar causes the stress response
- Essential fats - help balance blood sugar levels and help maintain hormonal balance and Omega 3 help alleviate vaginal dryness
Lifestyle changes - such as managing stress, as stress can have a significant influence on your experience of the menopause as stress can disrupt oestrogen levels even further due to the link between oestrogen and cortisol production. If you have a stressful lifestyle this could be negatively impacting your menopausal symptoms.
Smoking, obesity, alcohol may exacerbate symptoms.
Exercise - increases bone mass and minimises midlife weight gain. Exercise may reduce hot flushes and cortisol levels and improves mood by releasing feel good chemicals called endorphins, so you will feel happier. Weight bearing exercises, such as press-ups, lifting weights and pilates can help reduce body fat, increase muscle mass, strengthen bones and improve balance.
In the years following menopause, the NHS indicates that women can lose up to 20 per cent of their bone density, which can lead to an increased risk of osteoporosis and fracture. The risk is increased if women are inactive, if they smoke or consume too much alcohol.
Supplements and Herbs can help to relieve symptoms of stress, boost mood, as well as helping you feel calm, clearer in the mind, sleep better and also feel more energised. You may also find they help relieve hot flushes, night sweats and other unwanted hormonal symptoms, and help form a vital part of your Menopause Therapy toolkit.
Getting advice from a qualified Nutritionist who will look you as an individual and thoroughly assess your requirement is vital. Supplement protocols need to be carefully considered on a case-by-case basis.