- Women's Health
Treating Menopause Symptoms The Natural Way
Research has found that women in some countries suffer few or no symptoms during menopause. The reason? Diet.
Some foods encourage healthy hormone growth while others cause an imbalance giving you hot flashes and mood swings. There are natural hormone replacement therapy you can get from food and not have to take estrogen replacement therapy medications.
Menopause usually starts when a woman is in her 40’s or 50’s but can start earlier if she has had a hysterectomy. This tends to be hereditary so you’ll probably start about the same time as your mother, aunts and grandmothers did. Talk to them and you’ll get an idea of when to look for symptoms.
We all go through it, it’s not the end of the world and for some it’s actually wonderful. No more worries about contraceptives or menstrual discomforts.
Why use this diet?
Natural is always best. Hormone Replacement Therapy are not healthy for us and have side effects that can be serious, some increase your chances of getting breast cancer. Read the information on the sheet that comes with any drugs or go to a medical website and see what can happen after taking these medications.
Premarin comes from pregnant mares urine- (Pre)gnant, (ma)re, ur(in)e. Most women aren’t aware of this. They keep horses breeding all of the time in order to supply women with hormone replacement drugs. Some women opt for a natural diet just because of this reason.
Foods to avoid-
This is very important and if you can’t eliminate or greatly reduce these foods from your list this diet will not work. You can get natural estrogen from foods you eat and not depend on drugs but you have to be willing to take out the bad foods first.
Eliminate beef and pork. Buffalo, lamb and elk can be tolerated by some if you make sure to eat the good foods down below. Keep an eye on your symptoms and you’ll know what you can handle.
Eliminate cheese, ice cream and milk. There is more calcium in broccoli and spinach than dairy products so you can still get sufficient vitamins without dairy. Butter is fine in small amounts.
Peri-menopausal women (perimenopause is when you first start having symptoms) should start taking calcium supplements anyway. When our hormones start to change our bones are more brittle; calcium will help this. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions.
In moderation and occasionally you can have a drink or two; watch your symptoms and see how it affects you. It’s best if you can eliminate it all together.
Some can drink it but most can't without have those awful hot flashes and night sweats. I don’t drink coffee so I can’t really say. Some do fine with decaf coffee while others have to eliminate it altogether. Experiment and see what happens.
Consider these foods your medicine; you have to add these foods in as well as taking the above bad foods out. The combined results will keep you symptom free.
Soy is best absorbed in food. Taking supplements works for some women but most have better results when they eat soy foods. Some studies say supplements don’t work at all. I haven’t tried the pills so I can’t give a personal opinion.
Soy also helps reduce your chances of breast cancer.
You will have to experiment to see how much soy is right for you. You can’t eat too much. I drink twelve ounces of soymilk almost everyday and eat other helpful foods.
This comes in flavors if you don’t care for the taste. Chocolate is my favorite. It has to be soy milk; almond milk or other kinds won't work.
There are many recipes calling for tofu, experiment with it and you might find one you like.
You can eat them like a snack; they can be found at health food stores, usually called edamame beans. You can find them frozen, precooked and all you have to do is thaw them out and they are ready to eat.
This vegetable is not only very good for you it promotes natural female hormones. You can peel, slice and steam them or bake it and eat like you would a baked potato, just be careful with how much fat you add.
You can get tea or natural candy. Many licorice candies have imitation flavors and won’t work so read your labels. You can also find this in a supplement pill at your local health food store.
Black cohosh is an ancient Native American remedy used for many ailments one being menopausal symptoms. This can be taken in supplements or drank in a tea. Make sure it's black cohosh; there are also white and red cohosh supplements too and they don't work for this purpose.
Helps with hot flashes, vaginal dryness and low libido. Read the label and take as directed. I prefer the pill form. There is a powder you can add to food or drink if you don't mind the taste.
Ginseng is good for blood circulation and mental alertness. It also helps with libido if you are having issues with that. I switch out Korean ginseng tea one day and American ginseng the next. They are different and help with different things.
Even if you don’t use the menopause diet you should take calcium. Menopausal women can have problems with bone loss later on if we don’t get enough calcium.
Since we are eliminating dairy we need to add more calcium rich foods like broccoli and spinach, which are healthier for us anyway. Even if you eat a good diet of calcium rich foods I recommend you still take a calcium supplement. Many of our foods lose vitamins during transit.
Fish and seeds-
These are good for your overall health.
I take the pills. Yogi has a tea with this and a few other ingredients that help women during menopause.
The Chinese have used it for centuries. Some western scientists are skeptical of its benefits but I think it helps.
Overweight women experience more hot flashes than trim women. Fat is a heat insulator so if you have extra padding on your body you are going to be hotter.
Yoga, tai chi and walking are great ways to stay active, keep the blood flowing and your mind young.
Decrease in sex drive-
I have read that this happens to many women. I never had this symptom but there are a few things you can do to help. Kegal exercises, horny goat weed (tea or pill form), maca, ginseng and dong quai are a few things that help. Eating healthy, keeping fit and feeling attractive makes a big difference. We don’t have to be young to feel sexy.
This can happen when hormones change and there is a reduction in estrogen. Kegel exercises will help as well as eating more fish and drinking plenty of water. Maca works great for this. Horny goat weed and don quai also help.
Use lubricant during intercourse even if you've never needed it before will help.
All women should do these no matter what age. It strengthens the vaginal muscles helping blood flow to that area. Keeping our muscles toned helps with bladder control. Some women have a problem with losing urine when they sneeze, cough or laugh. Do pelvic floor exercises and this won’t happen.
This is a natural hormone booster derived from foods we eat. Just like we don't always get enough vitamins and nutrition from our diet we may still need a little help with hormones even after eating the above foods.
You can find these in most health food stores and some pharmacies on the supplements aisle. These are much safer than the artificial replacement drugs you get from a doctor.
Chinese have been using phytoestrogen for many years with great success.