Menopause: How to naturally treat those uncomfortable symptoms?

From the onset of menstruation at puberty, a common phrase among women is, ‘How I wish I didn’t have to deal with this month to month!’

Until, of course, menopause hits – which is even worst!

Once a woman has stopped menstruating for a year, it is considered menopause, but the process begins around 45-50 years of age with perimenopause. This is the time when a woman’s body produces less estrogen and progesterone which leads to symptoms such as:

  • The infamous hot flashes, most common at night and caused by an imbalance of hormones that alters the body’s temperature regulator, located in the hypothalamus (brain).

  • Hot flashes impede and disrupt the sleep cycle, which is already negatively affected by all the hormonal changes.

  • It becomes easy to gain weight but difficult to lose it.

  • Decreased production of collagen and other substances needed to make collagen dry out the skin, hair, and eyes.

  • This drop in collagen, as well as calcium, increases pain, discomfort and risk of injuries in joints and bones.

  • Many women experience breast pain and increased risk of breast calcifications, nodules, cysts and cancer.

  • The urge to urinate increases until, eventually, it becomes difficult to retain urine.

  • Urinary tract infections are also recurrent, as well as vaginal dryness and irritation, which promote a lack of sexual desire because the act becomes too uncomfortable and even painful.

  • There is hypersensitivity and mood changes, making depression, anxiety and irritability more common.

It is not easy dealing with this phase of life, but there are ways to make menopause less uncomfortable.

What can we do to naturally combat the symptoms?

Eat with your hormones in mind. If you want to tackle these inevitable hormonal changes head on, you need to have laser focus on what you’re eating:

  • -Eliminate alcohol, processed foods, sugar and excess animal fat, as they not only contribute to weight gain, accumulating fat especially in the abdominal area (very dangerous), but also raise blood pressure, increase the chance of developing diabetes and increase inflammation of the body.

  • Increase the consumption of vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, which are rich in vitamins such as E, B and K, because studies show that women who include them in their daily diet have less severe symptoms of menopause (and PMS).

  • Add healthy fats such as avocado, and foods rich in Omega 3, that help decrease inflammation.

  • Increase fiber intake to at least 30 grams a day. In addition to improving digestion and fighting weight, fiber helps eliminate excess estrogen.

  • Be sure to increase calcium consumption. One thousand milligrams a day can make a big difference in decalcifying bones during menopause.

  • Check your vitamin D levels. Sunbathe and add supplements if needed.

Keep stress as far away is possible. Look into self-soothing therapies, hobbies and activities that you can incorporate daily to promote relaxation and help avoid episodes of chronic stress.

Make exercise a daily ritual. Not only to help you stay at your ideal weight, but also to help combat bone and muscle mass loss (two more conditions of menopause).

If the symptoms are too intense, before looking into hormone replacement therapies and other medications, you can always try natural products and supplements. Here are some great alternatives supported by scientific studies:

  • Evening primrose oil has anti-inflammatory properties that have been shown to be effective in combating the symptoms of PMS, perimenopause and menopause, especially pain and inflammation of the abdomen, breast hypersensitivity and mood swings.
  • Saffron reduces aches and pains associated with menopause, as well as curbs anxiety while promoting energy and libido. It also has antidepressant qualities.
  • Fennel has phytoestrogenic properties like estrogen, that help regulate hormonal imbalances. This makes it an ideal treatment for symptoms of depression, inflammation, pain, cramps, and sleeplessness, among others, which occur during the hormonal imbalances of perimenopause and menopause.

In the book Santo Remedio Para Mujeres by Dr. Juan, available here, you can find a complete chapter dedicated to this topic.

Menopause is not the end of life, just the beginning of a new stage. It's all about learning to manage and overcome it with grace.

Let's be healthier, together.

Your friends, Santo Remedio

References
Santo Remedio para Mujeres, Doctor Juan Rivera, Aguilar Editorial, 2020.
Treating Menstrual Pain With Diet (1)
A systematic review of the role of vitamin D and calcium in premenstrual syndrome (2)
Santo Remedio para Mujeres, Doctor Juan Rivera, Aguilar Editorial, 2020.
Treating Menstrual Pain With Diet (1)
A systematic review of the role of vitamin D and calcium in premenstrual syndrome (2)

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