As women enter into menopause, many women will experience some symptoms, such as depression, sleepiness, sore breasts, hot flashes and severe mood swings, due to the hormonal shifts of progesterone and estrogen. The good news is, that there are some natural treatments that women have had much success, in minimizing negative and annoying symptoms associated with menopause.
Before taking any herbal supplements, it is advised that you speak with your health care professional.
Black cohosh is an herbal supplement that has been extensively studied, and it has been proven to provide menopausal women with relief, without the use of prescription drugs and/or antidepressants, as a menopausal treatment. Black cohosh has been used by thousands of women, and it is available in tablet and capsule form, as well as powder form that can be combined with water. Black cohosh acts the same as serotonin (a naturally produced hormone of the brain), and reduces negative feelings associated with depression. In addition, it will regulate body temperature – so hot flashes are not as frequent or intense.
Whole flaxseed is not easy to digest, so consuming ground flaxseed or using flax seed oil is recommended. Flaxseed contains healthy Omega -3 fatty acids, as well as lignans (which can duplicate the benefits of estrogen). There have been mixed results from the studies conducted on flaxseed, and the ability to reduce menopausal symptoms. However, many women, who have added flaxseed to their daily diet, are very happy with the results.
Cool drinks will help you feel overall colder, and naturally reduce episodes of hot flashes. It is advised to avoid alcoholic beverages, as well as caffeine drinks. A refreshing glass of cold water is highly recommended. Fruit juices, which contain antioxidant vitamins, are also a recommended cool beverage to enjoy.
Restores hormonal balance, which is very important for women who are suffering from symptoms associated with the change of life, like menopause weight gain. In addition, Vitamin D promotes healthy and strong bones. As women get older, their ability to absorb Vitamin D efficiently declines, which raises their risk of bone density loss. The recommended daily dose of Vitamin D is 600 IU (if you are taking a supplement), or a 20-minute walk outside on a sunny day. Food rich in Vitamin D include, but are not limited to: eggs, tuna, salmon, and sardines.
Ginseng has been used to treat all types of ailments (including mental symptoms relating to stress, anxiety and fatigue) for thousands of years. Ginseng is considered to be an energizing herb that is known to restore mental balance and stability. Ginseng is available in many different forms. Ginseng, as a tea, is one of the most enjoyable ways to consume this healing herb.
St. John’s Wort
St. John’s Wort is a popular herb, and has been used in the United States for years, as an alternative treatment for menopausal symptoms, such as sleepiness and severe mood swings. It is also said to reduce feelings of depression and anxious feelings. This herb is readily available in a pill form for your convenience. This herb, as with many others, may interfere with other types of medications, so it is important that you discuss taking this supplement with your health care professional.
Exercise (Aerobic, Breathing and Yoga)
Regular meditation and exercise are said to reduce irritability and mood swings, often associated with menopause. In addition, many women report sleeping better after exercising.
Yoga, in particular, helps to stabilize mood swings, while improving overall physical health. Women taking a yoga class, a couple of times a week, will reap the most benefits. Remember, after taking a few classes and learning the basics, yoga can be performed in the comfort of your own home.
Mindful breathing has a calming effect on the mind and body. For instance, when you feel a hot flash starting, begin some deep breathing exercises. Slowly, breathe deeply through your nose (for a count of four), hold for a count of seven, and then slowly exhale for a count of eight. Repeat several times.
Acupuncture is an effective alternative to hormonal replacement therapy, for women who suffer with menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, sleepiness, depression, vaginal dryness and weight gain. Many health insurance policies recognize acupuncture as a valid medical treatment. This, plus other types of natural treatments, may be picked up, at least in part, by your insurance policy. Check the details of your health insurance policy, prior to making an appointment with your local acupuncturist.
The above mentioned alternative therapies, to manage menopausal symptoms, have been known to effectively have women feeling better. As with any type of treatment, it is advised to speak with your health care associate, as some supplements may interfere with previously prescribed medications.