5 Natural Remedies for Treating Menopause
Five natural remedies for treating menopausal symptoms.
Menopause. It comes with it’s perks.
No more period! No more buying tampons! No more buying pads! No more menstrual cramps!
But, to get there we have to put up with:
Hot flashes and night sweats
Thinning hair and dry skin
Now, this doesn’t mean all of us will get the above symptoms, and for those of that do it also doesn’t mean we have take this lying down.
There are natural ways we can manage our menopause symptoms.
(NOTE: If your symptoms are severe, though, you may need HRT. Talk to your doctor or menopause specialist.)
5 Natural Remedies for Menopause
Go figure I would list this as the first natural remedy to menopause. But, it’s also what all the experts recommend as well.
First, exercise releases endorphins, thereby improving our moods.
Second, exercise has a positive effect on cognitive functioning. Helping us through that brain fog that plague so many women in menopause.
Third, exercise lowers blood pressure, improves lipoprotein profile, C-reactive protein and other heart disease biomakers.
Fourth, exercise helps to enhance insulin sensitivity that gets impaired as we age.
And finally, exercise can help prevent weight gain.
This is particularly important for menopausal women as our weight tends to stick to unusual places (hello meno-pod), and our scales refuse to budge.
Which is super frustrating! Isn’t it??
However, one of the reasons that this is so common in menopause is because of our fluctuating estrogen levels.
You see estrogen tends to cause our body to hold onto fat. And then on top of this fat actually produces more estrogen, which then creates even more fat.
Therefore, the vicious cycle continues.
Start adding fitness slowly into your routine.
Add a HIIT, or higher intensity, cardio workout once a week into your routine.
Strength train 2-4 times a week.
If you’re a beginner, get a workout program designed with you (and weight loss) in mind.
2/ Eat well.
What we put in our bodies has a huge impact on our menopause symptoms.
Foods to keep an eye that could trigger your menopause symptoms:
Fatty cuts of meat: for heart health and your waistline
Sugar: for fatigue and weight gain (eliminate completely!)
Refined carbs: mood swings, fatigue and weight gain (eliminate completely!)
Caffeine: hot flashes, increased cortisol levels and sleep problems
Alcohol: hot flashes, fatigue, mood swings, weight gain (eliminate completely! Haha, just joking. Scared ya though, didn’t I?)
Spicy foods: hot flashes
Hot foods: hot flashes
What to eat instead?
Clean sources of protein (such as free-range beef, bison, chicken, turkey, fish, beans and legumes)
Soy: the isoflavones in soy foods are thought to balance the hormones levels. There is research about soy both working and not working (very confusing Mr and Mrs Researchers), as well there are questions about the safety of soy too (in some studies the participants have seen an increase in breast cancer). Experts recommend avoiding supplements, and instead, choose from food sources such as tofu, soy milk, roasted soy nuts or tempeh.
Vegetables: aim for at least a pound a day and make half of that raw. Also please choose green whenever you can – green is the new black.
Fruit: get sugar out of your life and add fruit instead. For weight loss, I would recommend 2 pieces of fruit a day (no more), and earlier in the day when the body processes carbs better.
Complex carbs: oats, brown rice, veggies and fruit, beans, legumes, quinoa, grains and ancient grains
Healthy fats: avocados & avocado oil, coconut oil, organic butter & ghee, extra virgin olive oil, eggs with the yolk, nuts and seeds, and omega-3s
Flax seed: the lignans found in flax seeds are thought to balance our hormones, however according to the Mayo Clinic flax does not provide any benefit from hot flashes. It’s worth a try though. Now, it needs to be pointed out that the study that the Mayo Clinic is referring to used breast cancer patients and all were postmenopausal.
My question: would a woman without cancer, and in peri or menopause see benefits?
I say try it. You have nothing to lose and if flax doesn’t help your menopause symptoms at least you will be giving yourself a good boost of fibre and healthy fats.
3/ Decrease your stress.
Stress can be the culprit behind additional imbalances in hormones and neurotransmitters that affect mood, as well as mental function, thyroid function, digestive function, and especially blood sugar imbalances.
Stress has also been linked to symptoms such as hot flashes and low libido.
In addition, stress can make the body hold onto fat, and create more fat. Since the brain thinks the body is under attack.
Learn to decrease your stress with meditation, yoga or by performing a few deep belly breathes next time you are feeling anxious.
Lie on your back with a book resting on your belly. Inhale deeply and feel the book rise under your belly. Exhale fully and feel the book lower toward the spine.
Repeat for 2-10 minutes daily to improve your vagus nerve function – which can calm an overactive central nervous system.
Many women find relief from menopause symptoms with acupuncture.
Even the experts say that acupuncture (as well as hypnosis, meditation and yoga) can help and have good safety records.
This means that acupuncture has worked in women to help relieve the symptoms of menopause and have done so with no risk to our health.
So even if it doesn’t work for you, you won’t put yourself at risk for trying.
On a different note, I personally have used acupuncture in the past for low back pain, and with complete success.
5/ Herbs, supplements and essential oils.
The following natural products are what some women take to help with their symptoms.
However, none have clearly been shown to be 100% helpful. There is also little information on the long-term safety of natural products, and some can have harmful side effects or interact with drugs.
With all that said, I know of a lot of woman who use natural products and with great success.
My suggestion is to discuss using any of these treatments with a menopause specialist, or a naturopath who specializes in women’s health.
Black cohosh – one of the best studied traditional herbs for menopause. Black cohosh seems to work by supporting and maintaining our hormone levels.
Vitamin E – a daily dose of 400 IU could help alleviate hot flashes.
B vitamins – these water-soluble vitamins may help deal with the stress of menopausal symptoms.
Evening primrose or black currant oil – these are sources of essential fatty acids that can help moderate menopausal symptoms.
Dong quai – a herb that could help support and maintain the natural balance of our hormones.
Begin the process of managing your menopause symptoms with tips 1 through 4 first.
None of these have side effects, and each has been researched and shown to help support our bodies – at any time in our lives.
If your symptoms still persist see a menopause specialist, or a naturopath who specializes in women’s health to discuss the use of herbs and supplements, or even HRT.