Menopause and perimenopause is associated with fluctuating levels of estrogen and progesterone which cause health issues like insomnia, hot flashes, mood swings, frequent perspiration, irritability, breast soreness and depression. There are hormone replacement therapies, medications as well as alternative and natural treatments to seek relief or cope with the symptoms of menopause.
Before undergoing any therapy or treatment, it is important to keep in mind that menopause is temporary and can be effectively managed with a little patience. The natural alternative remedies are very effective. However, they should be started only after talking to an expert or physician. The natural treatments work in a natural and completely different way from allopathic medicines that are available over the counter and has no side effects.
1. Optimal Nutrition
The food we eat has the remedy for all the health issues that are experienced during menopause. A balanced diet consisting of the vital nutrients carbohydrates complex, protein, vitamin, minerals and good fats is very important at this stage. Whatever you eat as meals or snacks should be healthy and nutritious. Apart from regular diet, some natural supplements can also be added long with B vitamin folate.
2. Black Cohosh
There are some medicinal herbs that act as plant hormones and are similar to our own hormones. Black cohosh is one such effective natural remedy. It is extracted from a plant in the buttercup famiy. It is quite effective in dealing with the symptoms of menopause. It is a popular remedy for hot flashes and night sweats and is preferred by women who do not want hormone replacement or antidepressants as a remedy. It also helps in regulating blood pressure. Black cohosh is available in the form of tablets as well as capsules.
Soy is also known as a plant hormone or plant estrogen as it contains isoflavones. It is considered to be effective in reducing the symptoms of menopause like hot flashes and night sweats. Soy has isoflavones, which are phytoestrogens (plant estrogens). You may include it in your diet in the form of tofu, soy milk, etc. Taking soy in the form of tablets is however, not recommended.
Flaxseed is enriched with omega-3 fatty acids which is a form of phytoestrogens. The symptoms of cure or relief has been mixed, although, the results have been remarkable for some women. It also helps in lowering cholesterol and managing weight, which are often experienced by women during menopause. Grounded flax seeds or its oil, both are beneficial. However, it is advisable to avoid whole flaxseed as they may be difficult to digesting.
5. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is very essential for maintaining good body health. Cell growth, bone maintenance and renewal and most importantly maintaining hormonal balance during menopause are the functions which make the adequacy of Vitamin D indispensable. Our body is able to produce Vitamin D when it is exposed to sufficient quantity of sunlight. Therefore, it is also known as the sunshine vitamin. With growing age, the ability to absorb vitamin D diminishes, which increase the risk of bone density loss. It is also important to include vitamin D in your diet. The food that are rich in vitamin D are mostly animal based , like tuna, salmon, fish oil, egg yolks and beef liver. The vegan sources of vitamin D are cheese, cereal, milk, orange, etc.
Ginseng is an ancient herb that has been used since ages in China, Korea and Native America. Menopause and perimenopause symptoms like anxiety, depression and stress can be effectively managed by Ginseng intake. It has therapeutic health benefits and can be used to treat various health conditions like cancer and heart diseases. Therefore, it is also known as a “normalizer”. It can be consumed in various ways like extract, powder or as tea.
7. Evening Primrose Oil
Evening primrose oil or black currant oil is rich in gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which is an omega-6 essential fatty acid. It helps in providing relief from the symptoms of menopause. Although there is no major scientific evidence to substantiate it, it is widely being used by women to ease breast soreness and hot flashes. However, before you start taking primrose oil as an ailment, it is important to consult your physician, as it way interfere with the functioning of other medical drugs or herbal ailments you are taking. Moreover, it may have some side effects like nausea and diarrhea.
Vegetables from the cabbage family like broccoli, bok choy and cauliflower including cabbage is enriched with indole-3-carbinol (I3C). I3C stimulates the production of another substance called diindolylmethane (DIM). These substances help in regulating the estrogen levels in the body. Regulating estrogen levels help in reducing the symptoms of menopause.