Please see the start of the menopause as the beginning of freedom! This is how it is viewed in many other countries. Natural therapies such as acupuncture, herbal medicine and homeopathy can be enormously helpful in treating menopausal problems. However, since dietary and lifestyle changes can have such a huge impact on the classic menopause symptoms of hot flashes, night sweats and low moods, I suggest that you start by making some everyday changes to help yourself.
An area to pay particular attention to is your bone health to help prevent Osteoporosis. Oestrogen is very protective of bone health and declining levels during and after the menopause can cause the classic symptoms mentioned above. You can help protect your bones by having a good selection of naturally occurring calcium and vitamin D foods.
Good levels of calcium are found in broccoli & green leafy vegetables, sesame seeds, almonds, dairy foods, and tinned salmon with the bones mashed in. Vitamin D is plentiful in oily fish, eggs and dairy products. And don’t forget to get natural daylight every day, even when the sun is absent!
Vitamin K; boron; zinc and magnesium are also essential for keeping bones strong. Reducing fizzy drinks; saturated fats; alcohol; caffeine; sugar and salt would be helpful for bone health, heart health and to prevent or reduce hot flashes.
A group of foods called phytoestrogens are very useful for helping the body replace some of its naturally lost oestrogen levels. Good foods containing these include flax seeds, oats, chick peas, lentils, sage, and red clover. Weight-bearing exercise is also very protective of bones. Combine this with some regular walking/cardiovascular exercise for heart health.
Adequate soluble fibre found in vegetables and fruits, and clear fluids are required for good bowel health, and essential fatty acids found in flax seeds and oily fish are good for joints and heart health.
Our moods can fall at this time, so you might like to see a herbalist about a herb that could be safe and useful for you.
Written by Jacquie Lane, CNM Nutritional Therapist