by: Dr. Craig A. Maxwell
Menopause can be a difficult period of time for some women. Fluctuating estrogen hormone levels can bring on annoying and frustrating symptoms that can interrupt a woman’s daily life. Let’s take a look at some of your options for treating hot flashes, irritability, and night sweats. (Hint: It’s not synthetic hormone replacement therapy!)
What is Menopause?
Menopause is the cessation of a woman’s menstrual cycle. It’s the time when her estrogen hormone levels lower and she is no longer able to conceive children. Menopause should not be seen as a disease or a condition, but rather a milestone. Achieving the maturity of middle age should be celebrated. Unfortunately, the symptoms of this maturity are a little bit less to be desired.
Symptoms of Menopause
The most common side effects of declining estrogen hormone levels are irregular periods, hot flashes, night sweats, decreased interest in sex, discomfort during sex, anxiety and irritability, hair loss, increased abdominal fat, increased urination, vaginal dryness, and problems with memory and concentration.
How Long Does Menopause Last?
As soon as a woman starts going through perimenopause, she wonders, “How long will this last?” Just like puberty, the symptoms and duration of menopause are different for every woman. Genetics, lifestyle, stress, dietary factors, and general health will all affect how a woman experiences menopause.
Symptoms of perimenopause can begin in your early thirties and last until your mid-fifties. This isn’t to say you’ll experience every single symptom for twenty years. There’s no need to panic. Menopause for most healthy women only lasts anywhere from 2 to 10 years, with varying degrees of intensity.
Why Synthetic Hormone Replacement Therapy is Not Your Best Choice
Again, it’s important to understand menopause is not a disease though it’s sometimes treated as one by the conventional medical community. If vaginal dryness and sexual disinterest has you considering asking your doctor for HRT, it’s important to understand the side effects first. Synthetic hormones such as progestin can cause side effects such as:
- Blood clots
- High blood pressure
- Vaginal bleeding
- Skin rashes
- Weight gain
- Mood changes
- Increased risk of stroke
- Increased risk of endometrial, ovarian, and breast cancer
Natural Remedies for Menopause
If declining estrogen hormone levels have you feeling hot and uncomfortable, you have alternatives to hormone replacement therapy.
When it comes to health, everything begins with diet. The healthier you eat, the better you feel, no matter what stage of life you’re going through. As your hormones change, it’s important to learn how to change with them. This means throwing out the processed foods and dining on more whole-food fare such as lean meats, fish, organic fruits and vegetables, and the right type of fats. Also, start eating smaller meals more often.
Avoid consuming large amounts of caffeine or alcohol, as these can increase your hot flashes. Also, consume more calcium-rich and magnesium-rich foods to prevent osteoporosis and decrease anxiety.
To balance a woman’s system without the use of synthetic chemicals, I recommend Diamond Nutritional’s Menopause Support Formula. It contains a synergistic blend of herbal extracts designed to regulate your hormone levels and ease night flashes. Let’s take a look at the ingredients:
- Gamma Oryzanol
First processed and used in medicinal form in the 1950s, Gamma Oryzanol can ease the symptoms of hot flashes naturally. It is also reported to decrease cholesterol levels.
- Black Cohosh Root Extract
Black Cohosh root extract works by balancing estrogen hormone levels naturally due to its hormone-like properties. It can help decrease hot flashes, vaginal atrophy, depression, mood swings, and anxiety.
- Dong Quai Root Extract
Used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine, Dong Quai has a natural balancing effect on women’s hormone levels. Dong Quai has also been used effectively as a weight-loss treatment for women in their menopausal years.
- Licorice Root Extract
Licorice root extract is another natural plant that treats the vaginal dryness and hot flashes associated with menopause. Licorice root also has natural anti-inflammatory properties and can relieve muscle and joint aches associated with the change-of-life.
Menopause can be a time when you’re feeling hot, uncomfortable, and less feminine than you used to. You’re not alone. Changing your diet to a healthier one and adding some necessary supplements can ease you through this change without unpleasant or dangerous side effects. Along with dietary changes and supplements, it’s important to continue (or begin) an exercise routine to keep both your body and mind sharp. You’ll get through this. Menopause isn’t an end, it’s just a change.