FIVE WAYS TO NAVIGATE MENOPAUSE NATURALLY

natural women’s health, hormonal imbalance, menopause symptoms, botanical medicines, acupuncture, hormone replacement therapy

As women begin to age, their bodies shift from menstrual related hormonal disruptions, to other physical changes. Women at this time of life might experience symptoms that feel familiar, but are actually indicators of hormonal imbalances brought on by menopause.


Menopause, generally, refers to the time in a woman’s life when the ovaries slow down and eventually cease to produce sex hormones. Menopause is the encompassing term that refers to the horizon of time between pre, peri and post menopause.

Many symptoms of menopause are similar to those of pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS). A woman might experience things like:


  • Bloating
  • Irritability or mood shifts
  • Headaches/ Migraines
  • Brain fog
  • Heart palpitations
  • Skin changes
  • Hair loss

The most indicative symptoms of menopause, though, are the ones talked about from time to time, such as:

  • Hot flashes
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Decreased sex drive

Universally hormones begin to drop off during the ages of 45-60 (SOURCE). Testing for the presence of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone during the menopausal years, though, is most often not needed as the indicators of menopause are widely known. Instead, we look to overall health and underlying issues to manage symptoms and preserve wellness and longevity.


Women are often drawn into conversations about altering their hormonal landscapes by altering or replacing hormones. Because the body is so intuitive and wise, I counsel women to utilize other options first. There are many ways that a sense of self and well-being might be restored during menopause, naturally. Here are a few things to try:


NUTRITION

Many studies have been done on the effects of soy among women during menopause (SOURCE). Specifically, soy isoflavones have been shown to have a positive impact on the health of women experiencing menopausal or post menopausal symptoms in terms of increased estrogen production, decreased risk of female cancers, increased bone density, and improved cardiovascular health.


Soy, a legume, is a natural source of protein and can be consumed as a replacement for red meat. Regular soy consumption – for instance incorporating soybeans into the diet – increases your intake of soy isoflavones. You might also try a natural soy isoflavone supplement which is available in capsule form.


BOTANICALS

Botanical medicines are extracts from plants that have been used to treat disease symptoms for generations. They can be consumed in various forms such as tinctures, teas, capsules or whole.


A few herbal supplements that are known to be helpful during the menopausal years are:

  • Maca – supports bone health during menopause as well as decreased hot flashes, sleep problems, vaginal dryness, and mood.
  • Black cohosh – relieves hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, sleep, and mood issues.
  • Ginseng – reduces hot flashes and can boost your libido 

ACUPUNCTURE

Known to bring balance to the body, an acupuncture regimen can alleviate menopausal symptoms, especially hot flashes and night sweats, and it has been known to help with emotional distress, mood issues, sleep, and vaginal discomfort.


MOVEMENT

The risk of post menopausal osteoporosis increases with age. Movement is a preventative measure you can take as you age to slow the loss of bone density and the onset of osteoporosis. Movement builds muscle mass which leads to increased bone density.


Movement, especially in nature, is known to positively impact mental health and wellness.


BIOIDENTICAL HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY

As a last resort, and with particularly severe and unmanageable symptoms is the option of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT). Unlike its synthetic, conventional counterpart – Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) – BHRT offers a natural option for women during peri and post menopause.


BHRT is a plant-based option utilizing nutrients from plants that are identical to human specific hormones. They provide women with an opportunity to replace diminishing hormones and reduce hormone related symptoms.


There are fewer side effects and health concerns when using the BHRT option as opposed to the risks of HRT like female cancer, cervical cancer, and blood clots. If all other options have been explored and quality of life is minimized, BHRT might be a helpful alternative to HRT.


If, during menopause, you are looking for natural ways to alleviate symptoms there are many options. It might feel like your body is beyond your control, but there are underlying issues that can be addressed and resolved. As a naturopathic physician I can help you get to the root of your symptoms.


Are you living in the Guilford/ Branford/ New Haven/ Madison/ Clinton area of Connecticut and would like to learn more about naturopathic solutions for your menopausal symptoms? Please call (203) 453-0122 or CLICK HERE to schedule a consultation.



RESOURCES:

“Hormone Therapy for Menopause: Types, Benefits & Risks.” Cleveland Clinic, https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/15245-hormone-therapy-for-menopause-symptoms.

M;, Pabich M;Materska. “Biological Effect of Soy Isoflavones in the Prevention of Civilization Diseases.” Nutrients, U.S. National Library of Medicine, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31330799/.

“Menopause: A Natural Life Transition.” Women’s International Pharmacy, 3 Aug. 2020, https://www.womensinternational.com/blog/portfolio-items/menopause/.

Natural Remedies for Menopause: Hot Flashes and Night Sweats. https://avivaromm.com/herbal-remedies-hot-flashes-night-sweats/.