Natural Treatments for Perimenopause and Menopause

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Dr. Shruti Kainth (Obstetrician and Gynaecologist)
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Natural Treatments for Perimenopause and Menopause

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Fertility in women ends during menopause. But before your body enters this stage, it will go through a preparatory phase known as perimenopause. This occurs in order to ensure that your body can handle the absence of secreted oestrogen which it has been used to for the past few decades. During perimenopause, your ovaries will begin to make less and less oestrogen. This will cause irregular or skipped periods for a while, finally stopping altogether when menopause is reached. Most women reach this stage in their early fifties. This article will help you understand and employ completely natural treatments for perimenopause as well as menopause so you can obtain some relief from their symptoms.

Natural Remedies for Perimenopause

There are several home remedies available for perimenopause. In addition to maintaining sanitary practices to keep your hygiene levels high and exercising regularly to improve cardiovascular health, perimenopausal symptoms can be remedied by the following practices.

1. Eat a Balanced Diet

Drink at least two litres of water every day. Don’t skip on the fresh fruits, nuts, legumes, fish and green veggies either. All these foods are rich in all the vital nutrients to keep you fit and functioning overall. Dietary fibre in most fruits can reduce constipation, a common premenopausal problem. Simultaneously, reduce your intake of salt, red meat and trans fats as these could worsen the symptoms.

2. Do Some Yoga

Going to the gym is great, but yoga is known to impact mental well-being as much as physical. Symptoms like sleeplessness, mood problems and hot flashes can be reduced by regular yoga sessions. You could join a nearby class or even pick up some techniques from online tutorials.

3. Get That Sunshine Vitamin

When oestrogen levels drop, the likelihood of developing osteoporosis increases. Getting around thirty minutes of sunlight a day, or even taking a vitamin D supplement can circumvent that problem. It is known to instil a sense of jubilation and reduce emotional imbalance.

4. Eat Flaxseed

This naturally oily plant is rich in healthy fats linked to controlling cholesterol levels and preventing heart disease. Further, flaxseed oils can regulate certain hormones, reducing the risks of irregular menstrual bleeding. You can simply add a tablespoon of flaxseed to your morning cereal or breakfast shake.

5. Ginkgo Biloba

The star herb of Chinese medicine, Ginkgo has been used for thousands of years to improve blood flow, mental function and cardiac health. Gingko also helps with depressive symptoms, a common experience during perimenopause. You can find Ginkgo online in the form of supplements and powders.

6. Consume Soy

Soy is rich in estrogen-like compounds known as isoflavones. It has been reported that consuming soy can help balance the lack of oestrogen, reducing the impact of hot flashes, vaginal dryness and night sweating. Soy can be consumed as tofu, soybeans, and soy milk. The wealth of protein and other nutrients in soy make it quite a healthy alternative to meat and animal milk.

Consume Soy

7. Pine Bark Extract

Obtained from the bark of the French Maritime Pine tree, this blend of plant flavonoids is collectively known as Pycnogenol. Easily available online or at pharmacies, this extract has been shown to significantly reduce the instances of hot flashes and night sweats during perimenopause.

8. Black Cohosh

This herb is trending right now as a natural treatment for perimenopausal symptoms. The powdered root of this plant is consumed in the form of pills or teas and is believed to be effective at fighting symptoms like insomnia and hot flashes. You can easily buy the herb online in the form of capsules. Care must be taken when using this remedy as it can cause slight headaches and nausea.

Home Remedies for Menopause

Menopause comes with its own set of bothersome symptoms, but this doesn’t mean you have to resort to chemical medication or hormone treatments for relief. Natural remedies for menopause include consuming a balanced diet, exercising often and partaking in natural herbal supplements can keep the menopausal pains at bay.

1. Supplement Yourself

There are various supplements available in the market that deal with this specific issue. Herbs like red clover, St. John’s Wort, Maca Root and Indian herbs like Ashwagandha reduce the risk of osteoporosis, endometriosis and premenstrual stress. They also improve cardiovascular health and emotional well-being, while lowering the likelihood of hot flashes and fatigue. Nevertheless, please confirm with your doctor before you consume any of these supplements.

2. Reduce Stress

Menopause comes with a drastic change in a mental and emotional mood, leading to depression, anxiety and fatigue. This can lead to unnecessary stress, which subsequently takes a toll on your diet, sleep schedule and libido. To counter stress, you can try a host of techniques to reduce your stress levels. For example, yoga and ayurvedic massages are among the most effective Indian home remedies for menopause.

3. Diaphragmatic Breathing

Learning breathing techniques like paced or diaphragmatic breathing calms the nervous system and promotes better circulation. The key is to breathe through the nose continuously for five seconds, hold for a couple of seconds in the abdomen, and breathe out for another five. Menopausal women who have consistently practised this technique have reported half as many menopausal symptoms as those who do not. You can practice for twenty to forty minutes a day.

4. Try Out Aromatherapy

Essential oils have shown some improvement in menopausal symptoms like anxiety, hot flashes, hormone imbalances, stress and so on. Clary sage oil, chamomile oil and peppermint oil are best suited for this purpose. They can be found online or at the supermarket. Apply a couple of drops of the oil on your nape or your forehead and let them do their work. If you have skin that is sensitive, you may need to dilute the essential oil in coconut oil before applying.

5. Change Your Lifestyle

Holistic approaches are actually as, if not more, beneficial in terms of overall health than a symptom or disease-specific treatments. Changing your habits by adding exercise, proper sleep, and a healthy diet are known to improve menopausal symptoms as well as ageing-related issues. Improving your personal relationships with your friends and families will improve your mood as well.

Change Your Lifestyle

6. Exercise

Keeping your body fit is more important now than ever. Managing your weight is quite essential during menopause, as weight gain is linked to bone loss, muscle degeneration and extreme stress. Around thirty to forty minutes, a day of consistent cardio exercise should strengthen your bones and muscles in addition to elevating your mood.

7. Progressive Muscle Relaxation

This is a non-medical technique involving muscle tension-relaxation cycles. Studies have shown that a regular application of this method improves mood, and reduces symptoms like insomnia, hot flashes and so on. You can find a practised trainer or simply look up tutorials online. Works best when you combine it with Diaphragmatic Breathing described in the list above.

8. Eat the Good Stuff

Similar to perimenopause; diet plays a crucial role in managing menopausal symptoms like nausea, hot flashes and osteoporosis. Foods like cruciferous vegetables and other greens rich in phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals balance oestrogen levels in the body. If necessary, you could use a mineral supplement as well. Veggies and fruits that provide roughage like nuts, beans, seeds, and so on are important to control cholesterol as well as reduce constipation. Finally, don’t forget your healthy fats, such as those in fish, flaxseed and so on.

9. Skip the Bad Stuff

Foods that worsen menopausal symptoms are processed items which contain dangerous preservatives and additives as well as large amounts of sodium and sugar. These substances can affect the hormone balance in your body. Supermarket meat should be avoided entirely, as they tend to be chock full of synthetic hormones and antibiotics that can mess up your delicate system. Also skip refined oils, trans fats, carbonated drinks and alcohol, as these foods have been said to worsen hot flashes, bone density loss, and weight gain.

10. Sleep Enough

With all these symptoms, it might be difficult to get a good night’s sleep. In fact, these symptoms are actually worsened by lack of rest, as poor sleep has been shown to increase stress hormones, reduce immunity levels and raise the likelihood of developing depression or anxiety. Ensure you get a minimum of seven to nine hours of sleep every night. Try mindfulness meditation or diaphragmatic breathing to calm yourself to sleep if necessary.

Both perimenopause and menopause are natural events and cannot be stopped. There are several natural treatments available to mitigate their symptoms, but please do not feel that these are your only options. Before attempting the remedies mentioned above, you should consult your gynaecologist, as some of them may have side-effects or interfere with other medicines you are taking. If you must try the food supplements, do so one at a time to avoid stressing your body out. Please note that this only applies to supplements, as balanced diets, exercise, and sleep are essential to building a stronger healthier body.

Also Read: Getting Pregnant After Menopause

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