Menopause marks one year after a woman has had her last menstrual period and the end of her fertile years. Menopause is NOT A DISEASE, it is a natural change in a women’s body to mark the end of her fertile years just as menarche was a natural process at the start of her fertile years. Each woman is born with x amount of eggs at birth, menopause marks the end of the growth, development and release of these eggs by the ovaries which is also associated with a sharp decline in the secretion of the female hormone oestrogen.
Perimenopause refers to the period before a woman enters menopause and usually starts in your 40’s. This can happen several years before menopause (usually lasting about 4 years) and is characterised by the gradual decline in the production of oestrogen and progesterone by the ovaries as well as irregular periods.
Symptoms associated with perimenopause and menopause include:
- mood swings
- hot flushes
- night sweats
- loss of libido
- irregular periods
- vaginal dryness
- weight gain
- depression and anxiety
- poor concentration
- dry skin, mouth, and eyes
- increased urination
- recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- frequent headaches
- reduced muscle mass
- painful or stiff joints
- less full breasts
- hair thinning or hair loss
Natural treatment to help alleviate the severity of the symptoms associated with menopause:
1. Meditation and breathing exercises
According to the North American Menopause Society, paced breathing exercises and meditation has been shown to decrease the severity and frequency of hot flushes. These techniques can be practiced daily as part of your regular daily routine. There is an abundance of websites available online dedicated to the practice of meditation and paced breathing exercises.
Eat foods that help promote healthy hormone levels. These include:
- Cruciferous vegetables: contain indole-3-carbinol that promote healthy oestrogen levels.
- Organic fruits and vegetables: grown without the use of pesticides. Eating a pound of vegetables per day helps us maintain a healthy weight and can resets our biochemical pathways.
- High fibre foods: can assist in maintaining a healthy weight, alleviate constipation and may assist in balancing oestrogen levels
- Foods rich in vitamin D and calcium: to assist in the healthy absorption of calcium into the bones and to assist in the prevention of bone mass loss associated with menopause.
- Foods rich in pre and probiotics: assists in maintaining a healthy gut which plays a role in the healthy functioning of our hormones and maintaining a healthy weight
- Omega 3: rich foods or supplementation has anti-inflammatory properties which assist in the healthy production of hormones.
- Avoid processed and commercially raised foods: Cured, smoked, dried and otherwise processed meat or fish
- Avoid animal products raised using growth hormones. Organic free-range animal products are best
- Sugar and sugar containing foods
- Additives and preservatives
3. Weight loss
Maintaining a healthy weight plays a very important role in the healthy production of our hormones and several studies suggest that woman who are over weight or obese can alleviate the severity of hot flushes and night sweats by losing weight. A healthy weight also assists in protecting woman from the heart disease associated with menopause.
There are several well indicated homeopathic remedies that can assist in the alleviation of the unwanted symptoms of menopause. Choosing a carefully selected remedy that fits your menopause picture is key to successfully treating symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats, insomnia, anxiety, mood swings and depression.
Homeopathy is a safe and effective treatment for menopause symptoms that does not carry the cancer risks associated with hormone replacement therapy, synthetic or otherwise.