Natural Ways to Manage Menopause


Natural Ways to Manage Menopause

Natural Ways to Manage Menopause

Jill Healy-Quintard, Creator and Principle Coach of Body and Balance Fitness and Wellness 

 

Menopause is a natural process of ageing and can be described as one of the best times of your life. If one follows a balanced health, fitness and wellness way of life, it may be a joyous and liberating experience.

 

However, for some women the menopause years can bring with them a host of unpleasant symptoms, including hot flushes, night sweats, weight changes, sleeplessness, and mood swings.[i] While hormone replacement therapy (now called menopausal hormone therapy) is still considered a leading approach for tackling for menopause symptoms,[ii]  many women prefer to adopt a more natural approach.

 

A recent survey by Flordis showed that 95% of premenopausal and menopausal women surveyed preferred natural options to manage their symptoms.[iii] If that's you, here are some suggested remedies which may help.

 

  1. 1.       Consider herbal therapies

If diet and behavioral changes aren't supporting you enough, it may be worth trying a herbal medicine. You may wish to consider Ze450, a clinically proven extract of Actaea racemose, that has been shown to significantly relieve a range of menopause symptoms.[1] [2] [3] Clinical trials and studies of over 1,000 women have shown menopause symptom improvement as early as 1 month with increasing relief shown over 3 to 9 months. [4] [5] [6]

  1. Include phytoestrogen-rich foods in your diet

Soy and phytoestrogen-rich foods may be beneficial for women looking to rebalance their hormones as they approach menopause.[iv] Phytoestrogens (plant oestrogens) can mimic oestrogen in a third of women, helping them to cope with symptoms of menopause, such as hot flushes – mainly caused by a drop in oestrogen levels.[v]

 

Phytoestrogens are found in many plant-based foods. Soy-based foods, such as tempeh, miso and tofu are good sources of phytoestrogens.[vi] Legumes such as chickpeas and lentils, as well as flaxseeds, almonds, oats, rice, quinoa and barley, also contain a good number of phytoestrogens.[vii]

 

  1. 3.       Reduce triggers like alcohol and caffeine

Several habits can affect the severity and frequency of menopause symptoms, including alcohol and caffeine. Studies show that drinking during menopause can not only increase the severity of your hot flushes,[viii] it can also increase your risk of heart problems and osteoporosis if consumed in excess (more than five drinks per day).[ix]

 

Research has also shown that caffeine consumption may cause more bothersome hot flushes, particularly in post-menopausal women. So, if you're a regular caffeine drinker, consider cutting back or removing it from your diet.[x] 

 

  1. 4.       Be physically active on a daily basis

Leading a healthy, active lifestyle is not only important for supporting optimal health later in life, but it may be beneficial for managing symptoms of menopause too – especially weight control, mood fluctuations and hot flushes.[xi] In fact, research indicates that women who are overweight have more hot flushes than women of a healthy weight.[xii]

 

Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week and at least two strength training sessions per week. Strength training exercises, such as lifting weights or Pilates, can help increase your bone strength, which can help prevent the loss of bone density that often comes with menopause.[xiii]

 

  1. 5.       Practice positive mindset strategies

Hormonal changes during the menopause years can cause mood swings, or make you feel anxious, sad or depressed.[xiv] Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) – usually practiced with a psychologist or counsellor – has been shown to help reduce a range of menopausal symptoms including mild anxiety and stress, low mood, hot flushes and sleep problems.[xv] Mindfulness therapy such as meditation has also been shown to help with hot flushes.[xvi]

 

But if you've got the luxury of time on your hands and you're yet to reach your menopausal years, it pays to educate yourself about it early and let family members know that it is a natural process and not something to be feared. The attitude with which you move into the menopause years can impact how you experience it, for example, having catastrophic thoughts about hot flushes will actually make them more intense.[xvii]

 

 

Try incorporating these good health measures into your daily routine to help you make your menopausal transition easier. It's also a good idea to discuss your individual needs and health options with a qualified healthcare professional, especially if you are struggling with any of the symptoms of menopause or otherwise. Remember, menopause is a natural process and these small measures can help make a difference.

 

Black cohosh can harm the liver in some people.  Contains lactose. Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your healthcare professional. 



[1] Lopatka Et Al., 2007

[2] Schellenberg et al. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (2012)

[3] Drewe et al. Phytomedicine 2013; 20:659-666

[4] Lopatka Et Al., 2007

[5] Schellenberg et al. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (2012)

[6] Drewe et al. Phytomedicine 2013; 20:659-666



[i] https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/news/managing-menopause-dont-let-symptoms-of-menopause-reduce-your-quality-of-life

[ii] https://ajp.com.au/features/breaking-the-taboo-the-real-story-of-menopause/

[iii] Flordis consumer research: Menopause, 2020

[iv] https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/healthy-living/nutrients/phytoestrogens

[v] ibid

[vi] ibid

[vii] ibid

[viii] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/menopause-diet

[ix] https://www.healthline.com/health/menopause/alcohol

[x] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menopause/expert-answers/menopause-symptoms-caffeine/faq-20119077

[xi] https://www.healthline.com/health/menopause/prevention

[xii] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170531084443.htm

[xiii] https://www.healthline.com/health/menopause/prevention

[xiv] https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/news/managing-menopause-dont-let-symptoms-of-menopause-reduce-your-quality-of-life

[xv] https://www.womens-health-concern.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/WHC-FACTSHEET-CBT-WOMEN-APR2020.pdf

[xvi] https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/news/managing-menopause-dont-let-symptoms-of-menopause-reduce-your-quality-of-life

[xvii] http://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopauseflashes/menopause-symptoms-and-treatments/make-your-menopause-a-positive-experience


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