For many women, menopause is a dreaded process, especially because we hear so many bad things about it. Menopause is a natural part of the ageing process and shouldn’t give us as many symptoms and problems as we are lead to believe. Apart from taking hormone replacement therapy, there are a lot of natural ways to help you transition through menopause with ease and help you find relief from symptoms.
There are 3 stages of menopause: peri-menopause (before menopause), menopause and post-menopause (after menopause). How long these stages last and when they happen in life depends on each individual woman and her state of overall health. Menopause usually takes place between the ages of 45–55, with the average age being 51 years old. Menopause is considered to start one year after the woman’s last menstrual period. This signifies the end of a woman’s reproductive functioning, the ovaries get smaller and stop producing the hormones oestrogen and progesterone.
What causes menopause symptoms?
Around the time of the woman’s mid-30s, her ovaries start to produce less oestrogen and progesterone, and therefore fertility starts to decline. There is isn’t one sole cause of menopause since it’s a very complex process. However, the most significant changes taking place in a woman’s body during this transition are that there’s increasing loss of ovarian follicles and therefore a decreasing amount of oestrogen being produced. Oestrogen has an effect on a lot of cells within tissues, including those in the uterus and the breasts, and also the kidneys, heart, blood vessels and other tissues to a lesser degree.
The decrease of oestrogen particularly seems to impact the hypothalamus, a part of the brain that’s often referred to as “the thermostat of the body,” as it regulates body temperature, sleep patterns, sex hormones, moods and appetite.
What are the main symptoms of
Hormones tend not to drop in a fast, linear fashion — rather they can spike back up at times, which helps explain why a woman’s period might still come and go during the transition through menopause and menopausal symptoms can also come and go. The most common menopausal symptoms are:
- hot flashes and night sweats
- mood changes
- weight gain
- low energy
- low sex drive and vaginal dryness
- thinning hair and dry skin
How long does menopause last?
Most women transition through these changes for 5 to 10 years. For most, it’s closer to about 5 years, but symptoms might come and go for other women for longer.
What are some natural remedies for menopause symptoms?
Make exercise regular part of your daily routine. It boosts serotonin levels which improves your mood, your appetite and your sleep.
At Natural Solutions we prescribe customised herbal formulas which is the best way to go, but you can also use some over the counter herbs that have hormone balancing properties. Examples of these are ginseng, evening primrose oil, liquorice root, black cohosh and chaste tree. It’s best to consult with a natural practitioner before taking any of these, especially if you have other medical conditions and take medications. A natural practitioner has extensive knowledge of which herb to use to treat your exact symptoms, which dosages are safest and advice about which herbs can be safely used simultaneously.
Have a healthy and balanced diet: Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and limit processed foods, added sugar, refined carbohydrates, alcohol and refined oils. Fill up on high-fibre foods and drink plenty of water.
Reduce and manage stress
Many women experience increased anxiety, moodiness and even episodes of depression during the menopause years. Managing stress in your life is one important way to reduce symptoms. Effective ways of reducing stress are exercise, yoga, meditation, acupuncture, aromatherapy, spending time in nature, and dedicating time to spiritual practices.
Use Essential Oils
Clary sage oil is the most effective essential oil for balancing hormones. It can help offer relief from menopause symptoms including increased anxiety and hot flashes. In addition, roman chamomile oil reduces stress, peppermint oil can help cool the body from hot flashes, and thyme oil can help naturally balance hormones. At Natural Solutions we use the high quality DoTerra oils, you can buy them here.
Do you want to know more?
What if you have difficulty managing your symptoms on your own?
If you have tried self-help strategies but they don’t seem to be working, make sure you find help. Don’t struggle on your own.
At Natural Solutions we use acupuncture and herbal medicine to balance your hormones and make you feel better.