Tactics To Reduce Menopause Symptoms Naturally
Published on 03/28/21
Menopause is natural and unfortunately so are some of the menopause symptoms. Some women’s transition is easy but for some, it can be difficult physically and emotionally. Menopause happens when your ovaries stop producing eggs. This means you can no longer get pregnant naturally. Menopause is considered to have started when you stopped having periods over the course of a year or your periods have permanently halted. Menopause can start in women from ages 45 to 60. The average age being around 52 years.
Leading up to menopause, that phase is called perimenopause. This can last on average four years and the symptoms can vary. These symptoms are triggered by your ovaries preparing to shut down. They also force hormone levels to change, particularly in estrogen and progesterone hormones. This also causes the physical symptoms of menopause.
These symptoms can range from hot flashes, to night sweats, to irregular periods, to irritability, to sleep disturbances, vaginal dryness and decreased libido. These just being some of the most common symptoms a woman may deal with as her body adjusts to the hormonal changes. Every woman’s symptoms vary to some degree. At least two-thirds of women experience some symptoms of menopause.
In addition, menopausal women are at a higher risk of several diseases including osteoporosis, obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Many women turn to natural supplements and remedies for relief.
Here are a few tactics to help reduce menopause symptoms naturally:
Eat More Foods That Contain Vitamin D and Calcium
The hormonal changes during menopause can cause the structure of the body to change. It can cause bones to weaken and leave women susceptible to osteoporosis.
When you consume more foods with vitamin d and calcium, you’re investing in better bone health. These nutrients are significant in your diet.
Adequate vitamin D intake in postmenopausal women is also associated with a lower risk of hip fractures due to weak bones.
The foods to look for that are rich in calcium are a lot of dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt.
Also look for green vegetables like spinach, collard greens, and kale. You can also find it in beans, sardines, and tofu.
Aside from food options, opt for sunlight for your vitamin D needs. Your skin produces vitamin d when it’s exposed to the sun. If sun exposure isn’t an option, take a supplement or increase food sources like eggs, oily fish, and cod liver oil to cover your basis.
In total, a diet rich in calcium and vitamin d can help prevent bone loss during menopause.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
During menopause, weight gain is very common. This boils down to a lot of factors like age, changing hormones, genetics, and lifestyle. However, when you gain excess fat around the waist this increases your risk for developing diseases like heart disease and diabetes.
Weight may also affect your menopause experience.
Losing weight can help eliminate certain symptoms during menopause and help prevent disease.
Eat Protein-Forward Foods
As we age, we lose lean muscle mass. Regularly eating protein throughout the day can help prevent the loss of lean muscle. As well as slow down the process of losing muscle due to aging.
High protein diets can also aid in weight loss because they are satiating, enhance the feeling of fullness and increase the amount of calories burned.
Protein rich foods include: fish, eggs, meat, legumes, dairy, and nuts.
Say No To Trigger Foods
Some foods may actually trigger some menopause symptoms. Especially the common ones like night sweats, mood swings, and hot flashes. These can be alcohol, caffeine, or foods that tend to be sugary or spicy.
Keeping track of the particular foods that trigger those symptoms can help you reduce your consumption of them or maybe even avoid them entirely.
Reduce Or Avoid Refined Sugar and Processed Foods
Diets that tend to be high in sugar and simple cards can cause sharp rises and falls in blood sugar. When you crash from a sugar spike, it may make you feel tired and irritable.
In some research, it was found that women who had diets high in refined carbs may increase the risk of depression in postmenopusal women. As well as affect bone health.
Women who have had a diet high in processed snack foods were associated with poor bone quality.
Eat More Phytoestrogens
Phytoestrogens are naturally occurring plant compounds that can mimic the effects of estrogen. Foods that are high in phytoestrogens, can help balance hormones in the body. Studies show that women in Japan consume a high intake of foods that contain increased amounts of phytoestrogens and they rarely experience hot flashes.
You can find phytoestrogens in foods like:
- So products
- Sesame seeds
Diets high in soy were associated with reduced cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and reduced numbers of hot flashes and night sweats. Even Though there are separate studies that suggest soy is not good for you. The debate continues!
Studies show that foods with sources of phytoestrogens are better than food with added soy protein.
Maintain An Active Lifestyle
No one truly knows if exercise is effective in treating some of the menopause symptoms like hot flashes, however, there are other benefits of regular exercise.
Staying active helps improve energy levels and metabolism, keeps your joints and bones healthy, and decreases stress and promotes better sleep.
Exercising for about three hours per week for a year can improve mental health and quality of life.
Exercise also helps associate with better health and protects you from certain conditions and diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, cancer, osteoporosis, stroke, and heart disease.
Overall, it can protect against weight gain, help sleep and anxiety, and protect you from various diseases.
We hear this one a lot right? But this especially applies to women who are going to menopause. Women tend to experience dryness as a symptom and it’s likely caused by a decrease in estrogen levels.
Make sure to drink 8 to 12 glasses of water a day to help alleviate these symptoms.
Drinking water can help with reducing bloat symptoms that can happen with hormone changes.
As well as aid in weight loss and preventing weight gain altogether. Adequate water helps you feel full for longer and increases the metabolism slightly.
In order to find out if you are starting to enter your menopause stage. Your doctor may test your hormone levels to get a clearer reading. It’s possible to have lower hormone levels and still get your period. These are not definite tests but provide guidance when it comes to the state of the body.
Reducing menopause symptoms can also be helped by hormone replacement therapy. With these though, come a balance of increased risk of heart disease and cancer. Talk to your doctor to discuss your options and see if your individual symptoms make hormone replacement therapy a good option for your specific needs.
It’s been known that some women have found relief in herbal medications. Herbals like soy or black cohosh are like phytoestrogens which can mimic estrogen in the body. They have a similar response as hormone replacement therapy but are lower in risk than the traditional hormone therapy.
Reducing Menopause Symptoms Naturally
Overall lifestyle changes can be an effective way to help combat menopause and some of it’s worse or annoying symptoms. Since every woman’s experience is different. The remedies and approach should match the woman and her needs accordingly.
For common symptoms, there are a few basic rules every woman can abide by and benefit:
- Weight and cholesterol spikes: During menopause, women are more likely to gain weight, especially in their midsection. Menopausal changes also can make cholesterol levels more difficult to control. Counter these by eating a cleaner diet that incorporates fruits, vegetables and organic, low-fat proteins like chicken or fish. Drink lots of water and avoid processed foods.
- Hot flashes: If you have hot flashes, keep the room cool and dress in layers so you can regulate your body temperature by taking off or putting on more clothes. Avoid alcohol and spicy foods, which can make hot flash symptoms worse.
- Bone loss: The decrease in the estrogen hormone can accelerate bone loss. Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, running and weight training can help keep bones strong.
It’s Your Experience, it’s Your Treatment Choice
Some women, even your closest friends may have specific symptoms or respond to a particular treatment or supplementation. It’s important to remember that everyone’s approach is different as is their symptoms. Talking to your doctor to find the right approach that works best for you in particular will be your best decision.
If there are parts of menopause symptoms that you struggle to deal with, focus on those and address those particular areas. Concentrate on what you would like to change in your menopause journey.
By talking with your doctor about all of your symptoms, their impact on your life, what remedies you’ve tried and what options you have, both natural and traditional, you can devise a plan to help you more easily navigate this natural biological change.
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Gynecologic services at Rosh Maternal & Fetal Medicine include providing comprehensive diagnosis and therapy for many conditions like menopause symptoms, in-house. As a result, you can get quick answers and timely treatment when you visit your local Manhattan OBGYN.