Natural Solutions for Menopause
September 17, 2019
Menopause sneaks up on you. It might start out with a little weight gain, a restless night, irritability, then before you know it, you’re suffering from hot flashes, night sweats and dryness. These are just a few of the annoying symptoms brought on by fluctuating estrogen and progesterone levels. Luckily, for women seeking natural solutions for menopause, there’s a surprisingly large array of options from which to choose.
Yeah. We know. You’ve heard it before. Exercise is good for you. While it’s debatable whether it specifically helps with hot flashes, there’s plenty of evidence that exercise can reduce some of the other bothersome symptoms. It boosts energy and metabolism (to fight weight gain), reduces stress (to balance mood) and encourages better sleep (to combat insomnia). Aim for three hours of exercise a week.
When it comes to hot flashes, acupuncture works for some and not for others. A few studies show acupuncture to be a viable option, but other studies show it’s a placebo effect. But does it really matter if you’re looking to end the sweating? It’s worth a try.
Eat foods high in phytoestrogens
Phytoestrogens or dietary estrogens are plant-based compounds. Research suggests phytoestrogens may offer similar benefits as estrogen for easing hot flashes and protecting against bone loss. While phytoestrogen nutritional supplements are available, it’s a good idea to obtain them from natural food sources such as the following:
- cruciferous vegetables
- fruit / dried fruits
- flax seeds
- sesame seeds
- wheat bran
Practice relaxation techniques
Stress, which is more pronounced during menopause, can increase body temperature and sweating. Relaxation techniques like yoga, Tai chi, deep breathing exercises and meditation can reduce the severity and frequency of hot flashes. These techniques also ease anxiety, irritability and sleeplessness. Women report an improvement in their overall well-being with yoga and other relaxation exercises.
Eating protein throughout the day helps maintain muscle mass, which typically declines with age. Protein consumption promotes weight loss since it enhances a feeling of fullness so you’re less likely to binge on carbs and sugars. And, since your body needs to work harder to utilize protein, you burn more calories.
There’s no shortage of supplements for natural help for menopause. Like acupuncture, the success of nutritional supplements is highly individual. Some of the most popular supplements for menopause include:
- Black cohosh
- Evening primrose
- Vitamin D
- St. John’s wort
- Valerian root
- Red clover
- Wild yam
These alternative solutions may offer effective ways for you to manage menopause. As always be sure to speak to your healthcare professional before starting any new supplements to make sure they’re the right choice for you.