Natural Remedies for Menopause
Menopause is a is a natural phase of the life process for women and in itself does not require treatment, however the symptoms can become severe and debilitating. Fortunately, there are a variety of natural remedies for menopause that can ease those symptoms. These involve making holistic lifestyle and nutritional changes and possibly herbal supplementation, which are a much preferred option to drug therapies that can have problematic side effects.
As everyone knows, a healthy well rounded diet is vital for good health that continues throughout life, and that includes the menopause stage.
Natural remedies for menopause start in the kitchen. You must ensure you continue to get the appropriate levels of nutrients to maintain health.
At pre-menopause, a healthy woman will need about 1,000 mgs of calcium per day if she does not take hormone replacements. After menopause if she is taking hormone therapy, she will require 1,500 mg of calcium per day. Foods that are especially good sources of calcium include almonds, yogurt, cottage cheese, certain sea foods and fresh green leafy vegetables such as broccoli and spinach. Women with milk intolerance can take acidophilus milk or calcium supplement in pill or powder form.
To aid in the absorption of calcium and to help maintain strong bones, Vitamin D is required. Studies indicate that post-menopausal women will experience lower risk of spine fractures and joint and pain if they take Vitamin D regularly. While taking appropriate levels of Vitamin D may have great benefits, an excess can contribute to the development of constipation, kidney stones and abdominal and bone pain.
Dieticians and physicians tend to agree that a healthy diet should be low in saturated fat, but should include healthy fats. Natural remedies for menopause must include a nutrient-rich diet that consists of fresh fruits, vegetables and quality whole grain products, especially those that are high in Vitamin C and carotene which are essential to bone health.
Foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals as well as dietary fiber include broccoli, oranges, grapefruit, cauliflower, winter squash, tomatoes, prunes, carrots and fresh green leafy vegetables. During menopause a woman needs 20 to 30 grams of fiber per day to ward off constipation and the potential for colon cancer.
It's important to avoid junk foods and fried foods. Meat should be broiled or baked. Any fried foods should be cooked in natural oils like safflower or extra virgin oil to minimize fat intake.
Avoid sugar, white bread, flour, caffeine, simple carbohydrates and refined foods. Better choices include whole grain breads, oats, and rye. Replace white potatoes with sweet potatoes, and add beans to your diet.
Researchers are mystified as to why Vitamin E provides immediate relief for the menopausal symptoms of some women, but not all women. Some health care providers recommend increasing the dosage of Vitamin E for women who don't get results with lower levels of this vitamin. The FDA, on the other hand, insists that doses higher than 400 IU of Vitamin E can lead to serious toxicity. However, it's important to keep in mind that the FDA is not very effective in providing us with accurate information.
There are natural remedies for menopause that can alleviate mood swings and depression, and resolve potential problems when women neglect their diet. It's imperative that menopausal women get sufficient levels of Vitamins D, C and E to feed the bones and help control their menopause symptoms, although these supplements should be added with advice of a professional to protect against dangerous overdosing.
Lifestyle Changes as Natural Remedies for Menopause
For most women, menopause symptoms subside naturally over 1-3 years, but during this period, they can be agonizing and debilitating. Fortunately, there are natural remedies to alleviate menopause symptoms quickly and effectively.
Hot and cold flashes can be relieved with regular exercise, by avoiding hot surroundings and certain foods that can trigger these flashes such as hot beverages, caffeinated drinks, alcohol, and spicy foods. Wearing appropriate dress can ease any feelings of congestion that can occur during these flashes.
Another common symptom that can be relieved with natural remedies for menopause is vaginal dryness that is triggered by the reduction in estrogen levels. Increase your water intake and switch to natural personal care products that don't contain chemicals and fragrances, Products you can use to replace the moisture and improve sexual intercourse may include a personal lubricant, a vitamin E suppository or a bioidentical estrogen or progesterone cream.
Sleep patterns are almost always disrupted for menopausal women and can be improved by avoiding, hot beverages, caffeine and alcohol, especially right before bedtime. The practice of deep breathing exercises, relaxation techniques, meditation and progressive muscle relaxation can help induce sleep as well as relieve anxiety that often accompanies menopause as well. You can find tips on how to apply these methods from a variety of books that are available on the topic.
For some women in menopause, their pelvic floor loses strength and tone, triggering a sensation that the bottom part of their body is sagging. An excellent natural remedy for this menopause symptom is the use of Kegel exercises which are designed specifically to strengthen the pelvic muscles. The positive side effects are an improved sex life and reduced risk of urinary incontinence. If incontinence is already present, these exercises can help resolve it.
Treating menopause with natural remedies that include nutritional and lifestyle changes is one of the best approaches you can take as they not only resolve symptoms but they make you overall more fit. Aerobic exercise, for instance, promotes a healthy heart and lungs. It can also help maintain bone density.
While exercise is as a natural remedy for menopause, it does not cure the symptoms. It merely alleviates their frequency and severity. For instance, a regular exercise program can reduce the number of hot flashes and night sweats, and the intensity of fatigue, depression, anxiety and irritability.
The hormonal changes that occur during menopause can cause decreased energy and loss of lean body mass. The best remedy is to begin your physical activity program as soon as possible. Begin with exercises that are easy and natural for you such as swimming, walking or light jogging. This will help you maintain a healthy weight without drugs and their potent side effects.
Other great natural remedies for menopause include yoga, tai chi, acupuncture and meditation. For some women, gardening provides a mild form of pleasurable exercise that not only works the body, it eases the mind and spirit. Gardening provides the ideal opportunity to contemplate and meditate as well
Herbs that may be helpful during menopause include black cohosh, evening primrose oil, flax seed, don quoi, chasteberry and wild yam.
If you experience problematic symptoms, a professional herbalist or holistic health doctor is the ideal natural remedy as he or she can recommend specific herbs and supplements you can take.
Keep in mind, however, that although they are natural remedies for menopause, herbs can interfere with certain medications, and vitamins and minerals can be dangerous in the wrong dosages, so it's important to consult with your health care provider before adding any dietary supplement, including herbs.
It's also important to note that what works for one woman, may not work for another. Each woman's body is different with unique hormone levels and lifestyle issues. All factors must be taken into account. For example, one woman may do especially well with herbal supplementation, while for another it could make her situation worse. It may take a little trial and error to design a natural remedy protocol that works best for you.
Always be sure to research your holistic remedy choices thoroughly and have a complete understanding of benefits and risks. Education is always your key to finding the most effective relief.