Menopause is a natural occurrence in a woman’s reproductive life. So why not treat it in a natural way? Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is the standard treatment for menopause among healthcare providers; however there remains considerable controversy about the benefits and risks associated with standard HRT drugs.
If natural menopause sounds like a better option for you, here are 7 natural ways you can treat your menopausal symptoms:
- Your diet is an important tool that you can use to help control your menopausal symptoms. Foods to avoid include high amounts of caffeine in any foods, and carbonated beverages, which contain phosphorous and can increase bone loss. You should also limit your consumption of commercially raised meats including beef, pork, and chicken because these meats contain high saturated fats and decrease the body’s ability to metabolize estrogen. Excessive sugar intake also limits your liver’s ability to metabolize estrogen and impairs the immune system.
Increase your intake of foods that contain phytoestrogens including soy. Other foods that you should include in your diet include grains (oats, wheat, brown rice, tofu, almonds, cashews, and fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Natural progesterone is an important component in menopausal symptom management for many women. It’s available over-the-counter in products such as Nature’s Sunshine’s Pro-G Yam 500 Cream. The benefit of using a cream product over an oral form is that you need a much lower dose because it does not have to be metabolized by the liver. Progestins such as Provera are not natural progesterone but a synthetic version which is not chemically equivalent to the progesterone produced by the body. Natural progesterone causes virtually no side effects–progestins cause side effects that include irregular bleeding and fluid retention. Black Cohosh is a phyto-estrogen that helps many women manage menopause symptoms, however it’s important to note that women with surgical menopause may not find phytoestrogens as helpful as those with natural menopause. Other herbs that may be beneficial include Chast Tree Berries, Dong Quai, Evening Primrose Oil, Red Clover, Licorice, Alfalfa and Ginseng.
What are phyto-estrogen herbs or phytoestrogens?
- Phytoestrogens have a balancing action on estrogenic effects. If estrogen levels are low, phytoestrogens will cause an increase in estrogenic effect. If estrogen levels are high, since phytoestrogens bind to estrogen receptor binding sites, thereby competing with estrogen, there will be a decrease in estrogenic effects. Because of the balancing action of phytoestrogens on estrogenic effects, it is common to find the same plant recommended for conditions of estrogen excess (ie. PMS), as well as estrogen deficiency (menopause, menstrual abnormalities). Phytoestrogens have been used successfully to decrease symptoms of estrogen excess.
- Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidus (the “good” bacteria in our intestines) cultures are important for women during menopause to help with metabolism and utilization of estrogen, and these “good” bacteria help reduce the occurrence of yeast infections. These can be found in Acidophilus, Bifidophilus Flora Force®, and Probiotic Eleven™.
- Certain vitamins and minerals can provide particular benefits to menopausal women. These include Vitamin E (400 to 800 IU daily) to help reduce hot flashes and night sweats; Calcium (1500 mg daily)–the best type of calcium is not calcium carbonate which may not be fully absorbed, but microcrystalline calcium hydroxyapatite calcium (MCHC) or calcium citrate; Magnesium (500 mg to 750 mg daily) is essential to help with the absorption of calcium; Vitamin C (1,000 mg to 2,000 mg daily) helps absorption of Vitamin E and decreases capillary fragility. Natural Changes – Around the age of 50, many women experience troublesome symptoms due to a gradual decrease in estrogen production by the ovaries.
- Natural Changes combines NSP’s most popular nutritional supplements for mature women into easy-to-use packets. The finest herbs, essential fatty acids and antioxidant nutrients nourish the body naturally to help balance hormone levels and help cope with changes. Each packet contains two capsules of C-X (black cohosh root, squaw vine herb, licorice root, blessed thistle herb, Siberian ginseng root, false unicorn root, sarsaparilla root), one Skeletal Strength (for structural support), one Wild Yam with Chaste Tree, one Flax Seed Oil (provides essential fatty acids) and one Nutri-Calm (excellent source of vitamins B and C). Take the contents of 1 packet in the morning and in the evening, for three weeks.Stock No. 4055-2
- Of course, don’t forget to get plenty of regular exercise. Exercise is probably the single most important thing a woman can do 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, and plays a key role in reducing your risk of many types of cancer, as well as heart disease.
Although these suggestions work for many women, remember every woman is different and it may take some time for you to find which treatments, or combination of treatments, work best for you.