Registered Dietitian Nutrition Counseling-J.Nutrition

A holistic approach to health and wellness

Natural Remedies for Menopause

I’m an advocate of a foods first approach when it comes to management of menopausal symptoms. This right of passage can be marked by many nuances for ladies. Symptoms of menopause may be both physical and neurological in nature, sometimes leading to both physical discomfort in irritability.

What are some common physical signs and symptoms of menopause?

Some of the more common physiological signs and symptoms of menopause include hot flashes or night sweats, and bladder urgency. Menopause symptoms may also include body aches, acne, hair thinning, facial hair, headaches, joint pains, abdominal weight gain, dry skin and decreased bone mineral density.

Some basic anatomy behind menopause body changes without getting too dull include estrogen and progesterone reduction with absence of active follicles. While the body has adaptive strategies in place to continue to produce circulating estrogen, levels are lower than women in reproductive stages of life.

What are some cognitive signs and symptoms of menopause?

Some of the mental signs and symptoms of menopause can include mood changes, sleep disturbances, anxiety and irritability. Women’s experiences with these changes are influenced by many variables including social and cultural factors. How one’s culture values aging can have positive or negative implications on how ladies will respond to these changes and may influence some of these cognitive symptoms.

I encourage you to examine how you are feeling about yourself and your own values if you are currently experiencing the menopause transition. Are you feeling positive about a time in life that frequently marks acquisition of wisdom and respect? Can you think of some core values that will help in making the experience a positive one such as maintaining long term health, family values, or serving as a positive role model to kids and grand kids?

What we believe about ourselves as well as our ability to create our own behavior change will have the greatest impact on our overall wellness. Holistic living and thought will help promote positive health in menopause. Looking for some stress relief strategies? Believe it or not stress relief is one of the greatest natural remedies for menopause! Here are some ideas to get you started.

  • Meditation 5 minutes or more daily. Set aside a time to meditate.

  • Deep breathing- (5 seconds in 5 seconds out. This activates a calming part of your nervous system).

  • Progressive muscle relaxation- sit quietly. Close your eyes. Focus on each muscle group starting with the toes. Tense for 5 seconds and then release. Work through each muscle group on the body.

  • Journal daily or as stress comes up.

  • Write down positive moments on post it notes and keep in a jar. Pull them out if you are feeling discouraged.

  • Keep positive quotes in office space, bathroom or bedroom.

Natural Remedies Food List for Menopause

Here are a few food choices. I encourage natural whole foods to reduce symptoms and sustain good health during menopause and beyond.

  • Diet rich in fruits and vegetables

  • Decrease processed foods (fried foods, boxed foods with many preservatives)

  • Whole grains (whole wheat, oatmeal, barley, quinoa, whole grain rice)

  • Reduce added sugars (desserts, pre-packaged foods)

  • Reduce sodium intake ( watch for excess sodium in cheeses, lunch meats, boxed meals, dining out, added to frozen foods such as chicken, through salt shaker).

  • Reduce excess alcohol intake

  • Flaxseed- consume 2 tablespoons 2x per day may reduce incidences of hot flashes (has estrogenic activity with lignans. Converted to estrogenic mammalian lignans with estrogenic and aniestrogenic effect)

  • Soy- there is mixed research in this area but may reduce arterial stiffness promoting cardiac health.

  • Hesperidin- (found in citrus fruit). may help with hot flashes and improve integrity of vascular system. Combine with Vitamin C for added benefit.

  • Grapeseed extract- 50-75mg/day. Reduces hot flashes & anxiety, improves sleep, reduces risk of depression.

  • Fish oil- 500mg 2x per day. may reduce hot flashes.

When we think natural remedies for menopause-there is no greater contributor than the fuel we put into our bodies daily.

Citrus fruit is a natural remedy for menopause and can help reduce hot flashes.

Citrus fruit is a natural remedy for menopause and can help reduce hot flashes.

Exercise as a Natural Remedy for Menopause

Setting up an exercise routine can have many benefits in alleviating symptoms of menopause including:

  • keeping blood pressure in normal range

  • keeping up metabolism

  • maintain weight or weight loss

  • improve circulation

  • increase mood and decrease anxiety

  • improve cardiac function

  • maintains bone mineral density

In summary there will be changes in the body as we undergo menopause. However, that does not mean we cannot incorporate natural remedies such as a healthy diet, exercise, and mental fitness activities to accommodate for menopause body changes. There is no one miracle cure for symptoms associated with menopause. I encourage you to examine your overall lifestyle and dietary choices versus harboring the idea of one super food or supplement may be a cure all for potential menopause ailes. I encourage holistic living in during this time of beautiful transition. Is there any other fantastic natural remedies for menopause you’ve tried that are not included in this article? I’d love to hear about them!

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