Easy Ways to Manage Your Menopause Naturally
Menopause, a natural process experienced by half of the world's population, often lacks the attention it deserves in mainstream discussions. However, it holds tremendous significance in the lives of women navigating this phase. That's why it's so important for everyone to be better informed about this topic.
What Is Menopause?
Menopause is a phase that's characterised by hormonal changes. During adolescence, when girls reach puberty, there is a significant increase in the production of sex hormones, namely oestrogen and progesterone. These hormones play a crucial role in various aspects of female development, including regulating the menstrual cycle.
Between the ages of approximately 40 and 50, women undergo a significant decrease in oestrogen and progesterone levels. This substantial hormonal shift marks the onset of menopause, and the initial phase is known as perimenopause. One of the early signs of perimenopause is the irregularity of menstrual periods.
Once a woman in the perimenopausal stage has completed an entire year without a menstrual period, she is then considered to have entered menopause.
What Are Some Of The Symptoms Associated With Menopause?
During this phase, it's common for women to encounter various symptoms. One of the most well-known are hot flashes and night sweats, affecting around 75% of menopausal women and possibly lingering for an extended period.
You may also come across other changes during menopause. These include heart palpitations, fragile bones, disruptions in sleep patterns, mood irregularities like feelings of anxiety or depression, difficulty concentrating (known as brain fog), a decrease in libido, and a range of other symptoms.
It's also common for some women to notice shifts in their bodies, such as weight gain and a loss of muscle mass. This is because the way the body stores fat begins to change. The lack of restful sleep can also contribute to weight gain, as tiredness may lead to cravings for high-calorie, high-fat foods and impact activity levels.
Every woman's experience with menopause is unique, and it's worth noting that not everyone will necessarily encounter all of these symptoms. In fact, some women may sail through this phase without experiencing a single hot flush. However, for many women, any symptoms experienced can have a significant impact on their daily lives and well-being.
So, How Can We Manage These Symptoms?
Dealing with the symptoms of menopause can sometimes feel overwhelming, but it's important to remember that there are ways to effectively manage them.
If you find that your symptoms are significantly impacting your daily life, seeking guidance from your GP can be beneficial. They may recommend various approaches, including:
- Incorporating regular exercise into your routine to promote overall well-being and alleviate symptoms.
- Using vaginal oestrogen creams or lubricants to address vaginal dryness, providing relief and enhancing comfort.
- Exploring cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), a form of talking therapy, which can help address anxiety or low moods. Yoga or meditation practices may also contribute to emotional well-being.
- Considering hormone replacement therapy (HRT) as a treatment option. This can involve the use of implants, skin patches, tablets, or gels that provide the body with the necessary oestrogen to alleviate symptoms.
- Some natural remedies and lifestyle changes may also reduce these symptoms and help you feel more comfortable.
Natural Remedies For Menopause & Symptoms
Embrace The Power Of Plant-Based Foods
Research indicates that incorporating a plant-based diet may contribute to a reduction in hot flashes and night sweats, while also promoting physical and sexual health during menopause.
One reason for this could be the presence of phytoestrogens in many plant-based foods. These compounds have the ability to mimic certain functions of oestrogen in the body.
Additionally, plants are rich in fibre, and some studies suggest that a high-fibre diet may be associated with a lower risk of depression among women going through perimenopause.
By incorporating a diverse range of plant-based foods into your meals, you can also reap the overall health benefits that come with this dietary approach, especially for women who have reached menopause.
Incorporate Nourishing Protein Sources
Ensuring an adequate protein intake is crucial throughout every stage of life, including menopause. Studies involving postmenopausal women have revealed that those who consume higher levels of protein tend to have lower body fat and demonstrate better physical performance compared to individuals following low-protein diets.
To boost your protein intake, include a variety of nutrient-rich sources, such as nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, dairy products, tofu, fish, and lean meats. These options provide essential amino acids and contribute to your overall well-being during the menopausal journey.
Opt For Calcium and Vitamin D-Rich Foods
The hormonal changes that occur during menopause can lead to weakened bones, increasing the risk of osteoporosis. To promote optimal bone health, it's essential to incorporate foods rich in calcium and vitamin D into your diet.
Calcium and vitamin D play vital roles in supporting bone health, and ensuring an adequate intake of these nutrients is crucial. Consuming sufficient vitamin D has been associated with a reduced risk of hip fractures caused by weakened bones in postmenopausal women.
There are various food sources abundant in calcium. Dairy products like yoghurt, milk, and cheese are excellent options. Green leafy vegetables, such as kale, collard greens, and spinach, also contain substantial amounts of calcium. Additionally, tofu, beans, sardines, and fortified foods like certain cereals, fruit juices, or milk alternatives are good sources.
While sunlight is the primary source of vitamin D, your skin's ability to produce it diminishes with age. If you have limited sun exposure or tend to cover up, I would recommend supplementing with a vitamin D supplement.
Vitamin D3 4000iu Essentials
Our Vitamin D3 4000iu. Each pouch offers 400 tablets which is just over a one year’s supply. It is vegetarian friendly and contains no synthetic fillers or binders and is free from allergens such as wheat, gluten, lactose, and nuts. Vitamin D is a very important nutrient. It is needed in our bodies to help regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate for the maintenance of normal bones and teeth, as well as being important for the normal function of the immune system. This product contains high quality Vitamin D in Cholecalciferol form to offer our customers the best absorbable Vitamin D supplement.
The hormonal changes experienced during menopause can lead to dryness, which may be attributed to declining oestrogen levels. A simple yet effective solution to combat this symptom is to ensure you're adequately hydrated.
Drinking 8 to 12 glasses of water daily can contribute to relieving dryness and its associated discomfort. Additionally, staying hydrated can help reduce bloating, which can sometimes accompany hormonal fluctuations.
Not only does water help alleviate symptoms, but it also plays a role in weight management. By drinking an ample amount of water, you can feel fuller and support your metabolism, potentially aiding in weight loss or prevention of weight gain.
Remember, staying hydrated is essential for your overall well-being, particularly during the menopausal stage. Make it a habit to prioritise water intake to help alleviate dryness, reduce bloating, and support a healthy weight.
Include Menopause Essentials Bundle
The Menopause Essentials Bundle is a collection of menopause focused supplements designed to provide nutritional support during your journey through menopause. The bundle provides Vitamin D3, Vitamin B6 and Magnesium – three key nutrients!
Vitamin D plays a crucial role in promoting bone health. It aids in the prevention of osteoporosis, a condition characterised by decreased bone density and increased vulnerability to fractures.
During menopause, hormonal changes can further contribute to the development of osteoporosis, particularly in individuals who are already susceptible. In fact, some women may experience a reduction of up to one-fifth of their bone density in the 5 to 7 years following menopause. Ensuring adequate intake of vitamin D and calcium during this period can help mitigate the risk of osteoporosis.
Vitamin B-6, also known as pyridoxine, plays a vital role in the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that facilitates communication between brain cells. During menopause, serotonin levels naturally decline, which can contribute to mood swings and feelings of depression. By supplementing with Vitamin B-6, women may help support healthy serotonin levels, which in turn can have a positive impact on mood regulation. The replenishment of this essential vitamin may help alleviate the mood swings and feelings of sadness commonly experienced during menopause.
If you're experiencing difficulties with sleep in menopause, magnesium can be a beneficial supplement to consider. It possesses muscle-relaxing properties that can contribute to a deeper and more restorative sleep. Magnesium also looks out for your heart health, keeps your blood pressure in check, and helps in the fight against osteoporosis.
Riya Lakhani ANutr is a registered nutritionist and health writer with a special interest in plant-based nutrition. She has completed a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Human Nutrition, and has developed a passion for writing about all things plant-based.