Menopause is a natural biological process. Menopause marks the end of menstruation and a reproductive years. On average it tends to happen around the age of 50. Lifestyle factors have an impact on when menopause begins. Skipping periods during perimenopause is common and expected. Often, menstrual periods will occur every two to four months during perimenopause, especially one to two years before menopause. Menopause can go for many years but if you haven’t had a period for 12 consecutive months it means you have reached menopause. Although it’s associated with hormonal, physical and psycho-social changes, it doesn’t mean the end of your youth or sexuality. Menopause requires no treatment. Instead, treatments focus on alleviating signs and symptoms and preventing or managing conditions that may occur. Symptoms vary from woman to woman. Many only notice irregular periods, others, however suffer from heavy bleeding, hot flashes, sleep disturbance and emotional instability.
Symptoms of Menopause
- Irregular periods
- Hot flashes
- Vaginal dryness
- Night sweats
- Disturbed sleep
- Mood changes
- Weight gain
- Dry skin and thinning hair
- Low libido
Home Remedies for Menopause
- Beet: Drink 1/4 cup to 1 cup of beetroot juice a day. It is best to start with the low dose and watch how your body reacts to it. It has been found very beneficial in menopausal disorders. People who had kidney stones problems should avoid drinking beetroot juice.
- Soy Foods: Eat 30-40 gm of soy foods daily. Soy foods such as tofu, tempeh and soybeans contain phytoestrogens. These compounds which are like natural estrogens, help to balance hormones. Eating and drinking soy on a daily basis has no known risks. Talk to doctor if taking any hormonal treatment.
- Licorice: Take one teaspoon of licorice powder daily. Licorice is a known phytoestrogen which exert weaker estrogenic effects on cells. So up to some degree, compensate for the diminished hormone. It is one of the most effective remedies for menopausal disorders. Don’t take, if you have high blood pressure.
- Black cohosh: Take half a teaspoon of liquid black cohosh extract twice a day for at least three months. Black cohosh helps balance estrogen levels and is excellent for relieving hot flashes, vaginal thinning, and mood swings. Black cohosh acts as an anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, and mild sedative. Talk to your doctor before taking black cohosh. Do not take black cohosh if you have any medical condition.
- Ginseng: Take 1 gm of ginseng with food, as it may cause nausea if taken on an empty stomach. Ginseng produce an oestrogen-like effect in the body. Research shows that ginseng may help with some menopausal symptoms, such as mood and sleep disturbances. Do not take ginseng if having any medical condition. Consult doctor before taking it.
For Hot Flashes:
- Sage: Pour 1 cup boiling water over 2 teaspoons of dried sage. Steep for 10 minutes and strain. Sweeten if desired and drink a cup before bed time or as needed throughout the day. A tea made from sage has an strong astringent properties which reduces perspiration by up to 50 %.
- Flaxseed: Consume 30 to 40 grams of flaxseed daily. Flaxseed is rich source of lignan phytoestrogens as well as omega-3 fatty acids and alpha-linolenic acid. It helps to improve the symptoms like hot flashes.
- Primrose oil: Take one teaspoon of primrose oil three times a day. It helps to relieve hot flashes and is also excellent for the production of estrogen.
- Facial mist: Combine 125ml rose water and 10 drops lavender essential oil in a spray bottle. Shake well and store in the refrigerator for extra cooling benefits. Spray your face to cool hot flashes whenever needed.
For Vaginal dryness:
- Make sure you are getting enough essential fatty acids. Flaxseeds, walnuts and fish such as salmon, sardines are excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Do’s for Menopause
- Eat a nutritious diet of whole grains, legumes, and fresh vegetables and fruits to maintain good health.
- Eat foods that contain phytosterols, which have hormone balancing effects such as flaxseed, tofu, soy products. Diet rich in vitamin E and omega 3 fatty acid are known for cooling hot flashes.
- If eating non-vegetarian food always choose organic, hormone-free kind to avoid hormonal imbalance.
- Drink plenty of water everyday. Drink a glass of cold water or juice at the onset of a flash.
- Do exercise regularly like brisk walk, cycling to help with the weight gain that tends to occur with menopause.
- Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, and meditation.
- Do yoga. Yoga is found to be beneficial to alleviate hot flashes. It’s better to take a class to learn postures and proper breathing techniques.
- Use cotton sheets, lingerie and clothing that allow air to circulate when the body needs to cool down.
- Do Kegel exercises if having urinary incontinence to strengthen pelvic floor.
- Get enough sleep.
Dont’s for Menopause
- Avoid hot beverages, caffeine, alcohol, spicy foods to alleviate hot flashes.
- Avoid ginger, chilies, mustard green, and mutton, as they increase body heat and are irritating, which may make hot flashes worse.
- Limit saturated fats, oils and sugars.
- Reduce intake of dairy and processed foods.
- Avoid wearing anything tight or restrictive around the neck to ease hot flashes.
- Stop smoking. Smoking can aggravate hot flashes and lead to premature menopause.
- If you have concerns about irregular periods or hot flashes, talk with your doctor. In some cases, you may need further evaluation.