Menopause is the cessation of menstrual periods, usually between the ages of 45 and 55, and no two women go through exactly the same experience. You may be relatively symptom-free, or it may spark uncomfortable alterations in your body and your mood that last as long as five years.
Common menopause symptoms include:
• Hot flashes caused by the dilation of blood vessels near the surface of the skin
• Flushed skin
• Night sweats and insomnia due to hormonal fluctuations
• Mood swings including depression and anxiety due to hormonal fluctuations
• Vaginal dryness and atrophy due to declining levels of estrogen
• Decreased libido due to declining levels of estrogen and testosterone
Although menopause is a natural part of life, it can induce extreme stress and anxiety in women experiencing it. Stress in turn exacerbates the other symptoms of menopause. Menopause is an excellent time in your life to start experimenting with alternative health therapies like diet, herbs and supplements, massage, and acupuncture.
Herbs That Ease Menopause Symptoms
Herbs may help you ease the symptoms associated with menopause. Herbal teas made from black cohosh have been used to alleviate menopause symptoms since the Middle Ages. Scientific studies show that black cohosh has estrogenic effects on your body. Not only does black cohosh help your body tolerate hot flashes and mood swings, it may also protect bones from osteoporosis.
Raspberry leaf teas and ginseng teas are also effective in controlling menopause symptoms. Ginseng stimulates the release of adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH), which helps the body deal with stressors, while raspberry normalizes hormone imbalances.
Foods That Exacerbate Menopause Symptoms
You benefit from avoiding certain foods during menopause. Research has found that soy-based supplements and foods do not alleviate symptoms such as hot flashes and decreased bone density associated with menopause. In fact, women who use soy products regularly run a much higher risk of developing endometrial hyperplasia, a precursor to endometrial cancer.
Sugar can also be detrimental to you when you’re going through menopause since menopausal women have a tendency to put on weight. Sugar can also cause your blood glucose levels to fluctuate wildly out of control.
Eating healthy, using herbs, exercising to relieve stress, and getting plenty of sleep can help you have a more positive experience as you go through this change.