What is menopause?
Menopause is a stage in life when a woman stops having her monthly period. It is a normal part of aging and marks the end of a woman’s reproductive years. Menopause typically occurs in a woman’s late 40s to early 50s. However, women who have their ovaries surgically removed undergo “sudden” menopause.
How does natural menopause occur?
Natural menopause is the permanent ending of menstruation that is not brought on by any type of medical treatment. For women undergoing natural menopause, the process is gradual and is described in three stages:
Perimenopause or “menopause transition.” Perimenopause can begin 8 to 10 years before menopause, when the ovaries gradually produce less estrogen. It usually starts in a woman’s 40s, but can start in the 30s as well. Perimenopause lasts up until menopause, the point when the ovaries stop releasing eggs. In the last 1-2 years of perimenopause, the drop in estrogen accelerates. At this stage, many women can experience menopause symptoms. Women are still having menstrual cycles during this time, and can get pregnant.
There are effective, natural remedies for perimenopause and menopause. And that they work. These five steps can put that knowledge to work for you and help you get some relief, fast:
1. Avoid the five biggest sources of hormone disrupters.
Avoid pesticides and GMO foods by eating organic, especially for the dirty dozen. Choose grass-fed and organic for meat and dairy. Use makeup, fragrance, self-care, and cleaning products that have minimal (if any) hormone-disrupting chemicals like parabens, phthalates, and triclosan.Avoid BPA by avoiding food or drink packaged in plastic.Avoid PFCs by avoiding nonstick cookware coated with Teflon.
2. Eat a hormone-balancing, menopause-friendly diet.
50 percent fruits and vegetables 25 percent protein25 percent healthy fats, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes
Include superfoods like flaxseeds, black beans, walnuts, sesame seeds, cinnamon, leafy greens, eggs, pear, cucumber, seaweed, burdock, ginger, anchovies, yogurt and raw dairy, goji berries, longan berries, and pine nuts.
Don’t eat too much of these foods that tend to flare up hot flashes: alcoholspicy foodsprocessed foods (including refined sugar)
3. Practice stress management.
Find a relaxation technique you like. Try meditation, taiji, qigong, breathing exercises, acupressure, or reflexology. Practice it five days a week—even if it’s only for three minutes a day at first. If you’re not sure where to start with stress management, try this:
Sit in a comfortable position.Grab the top of your ear, right where it meets your head, between your thumb and pointer finger.Squeeze gently while making little circles as you take a deep breath in, then exhale for as long as you can.Move your finger and thumb halfway down your ear and repeat—squeezing gently while making little circles and taking a deep breath in and then all the way out.Move your finger and thumb to your earlobe and repeat—squeeze gently while making little circles while taking a deep breath in and then all the way out. Yes, it can really be that quick!
4. Get some exercise.
Gentle exercise, like walking, yoga, exercise bicycles, and Pilates are incredibly helpful for lowering stress levels, releasing helpful hormones and neurotransmitters, and for heart health. Try for 15 to 20 minutes five times per week.
5. Take a Chinese herbal formula.
As an herbalist, I recommend taking a Chinese herbal formula designed to help the body during menopause. Many of the most effective formulas use herbs like Rehmannia, Dendrobium, Chinese White Peony root, Aged Tangerine Rind, Phellodendron Bark, and Anemarrhena Rhizome.
Of course, before beginning any new regimen, please talk to an herbalist for help finding a high-quality formulation and to make sure they’re compatible with any health issues or medications you might be taking. Always tell your doctor when your herbal supplements change too.
This five-step plan can help relieve menopausal symptoms, reduce signs of aging, and protect your health well into the future.
Source: Mind Body Green, Myclevelandclinic.org