Women have many less-than-affectionate ways to refer to menopause. They consider it the end of youth, which can sound dramatic, but it does mark the end of the reproductive years and ushers in the second half of life. Thankfully, popular culture and more willingness to talk about this change are making it easier to accept. Still, for many women, menopause can be physically, mentally and emotionally challenging, but there are ways to manage it.
What is menopause?
Women typically experience menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH). During this time, the body experiences hormonal changes that cause the menstrual periods to stop and you can no longer get pregnant. This happens because the ovaries are no longer producing eggs. The levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone also decrease during this time, which are produced by the ovaries as well. Common symptoms of menopause include:
Mood swings (anxiety and depression)
Indigestion (nausea and diarrhea)
Fatigue (sometimes accompanied by insomnia)
These symptoms are different for every woman and can last up to five years. Common treatments for menopause prescribed by a doctor include hormone therapy as well as antidepressants, blood pressure medications and anti-seizure drugs which can help reduce hot flashes.
Supplements for Menopause
If you're looking to avoid drugs or treatments that could potentially be hard on the body, there are more natural options available for you to try at home. Here are some of the best supplements you can try to lessen the physical and mental side effects of menopause:
These topical treatments can help balance the hormone levels. Progesterone is often called "the forgotten hormone" because women lose progesterone before estrogen, not realizing everything it affects. You can apply these creams on different parts of the body, such as the abdomen, chest or inner arms to help with symptoms.
Soy has been shown to directly reduce the occurrence and severity of hot flashes in menopausal women. Soy isoflavones are readily available in supplement form and you can also substitute soy products for the dairy in your diet.
These fatty acids can help reduce menopausal symptoms while protecting the body against diseases like cancer and cardiovascular disease. Omega-3 also promotes cognitive health, which becomes more important as you age. Taking an omega-3 supplement can help you focus better and improve memory.
Calcium with Vitamin D:
Both during and after menopause, women are susceptible to bone loss that can lead to fractures. You can help reduce your risk for osteopenia and osteoporosis by taking a calcium supplement with vitamin D, which helps your body absorb the calcium better. Vitamin D also supports breast health.
There are several key compounds in this herb that give it phytoestrogen properties to help women during menopause. It can be especially beneficial when it comes to reducing symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats and helping to prevent mood swings.
This herb, native to Asia, has long been praised as a women's tonic. It can be used by women throughout their lives to help manage symptoms associated with various hormonal changes from puberty through menopause. Dong quai contains vitamins A, E and B12 and balances estrogen levels.
Nutrition is the foundation for good health, no matter what age you are. Beyond supplements, there are other diet and lifestyle changes you can make to help manage your menopause symptoms.
Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, which can contain phytoestrogens.
Avoid too much sugar, caffeine, carbohydrates and starches, as these can worsen symptoms and contribute to weight gain.
Communicate with your doctor and other women in your life about how you're feeling and be open to suggestions.
Exercise regularly to prevent excess weight gain and try soothing activities like yoga or tai chi to deal with stress.
Be open with your partner about your sexual health.
Embrace this time in your life as much as you can and know you're not alone in it. With so many options available, you can take control of your symptoms so menopause doesn't control your daily life.
Products you may like:
Solaray Phytoestrogen - One Daily Why you may like this product? Commonly found in plants,
phytoestrogens help balance
hormones as a natural form of
hormone replacement therapy.
This blend is made from
Mexican yam, dong quai, soy
and black cohosh to help
reduce menopause symptoms like
Pure Essence Labs ProFema, The Menopause Multiple Why you may like this product? This multiple for women going
through the transition of
menopause provides 100 percent
or more of 17 vitamins and
minerals women need during
this time. You also get a
blend of superfoods like
chlorella and kelp, digestive
enzymes and herbs such as
black cohosh and dong quai.
What to Expect Before, During and After Menopause Menopause affects every woman differently, but it's important to know
what could be possible. New blog contributor Dr. Steve Vasilev, or Dr.
Steve, is here to explain the ins and outs of this major transitional
time in a woman's life.
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