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Menopause

Menopause is not an illness but a rebalancing of hormones.  It is possible to go through a healthy menopause with minimal or no symptoms.  It’s possible to support this transition of your body with herbal and nutritional supplements.  It can be a time to celebrate the leaving behind of the restraints of having a period every month.
 
Biological Changes During Menopause
At the menopause the female body stops producing eggs.  The ovaries stop producing oestrogen and to compensate the adrenal glands produce oestrone (a form of oestrogen).  Increased body fat is normal at this stage as the body produces oestrogen from fat cells the body.
 
Symptoms of the Menopause:
Some women do not experience any symptoms apart from their periods stopping.  Others experience a variety of symptoms such as:
 
  • Hot Flushes
  • Mood Swings
  • Declining Libido
  • Osteoporosis
  • Ageing Skin
  • Reduced Hair Quality
  • Lack of Energy
  • Joint Pains
  • Anxiety Sweats
  • Weight Gain
  • Headaches
  • Vaginal Dryness
 
Ways to Relieve these Symptoms:

There are many herbal and nutritional supplements designed to relive the symptoms of menopause.  Below are some of these:

 
Nutritional Supplements
  • A good quality multi vitamin and mineral will ensure a small dose of all the nutrients.  This will help to cover any deficiencies or extra needs during menopause.
 
  • Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) are beneficial to every cell in the body.  All cells have a lipid coating and they also support healthy brain function (60% of the dry matter in our brain is fat).  You may well be deficient in these fats; most people are.  EFA’s help to lubricate the body from the inside they can support healthy soft skin and prevent vaginal dryness.
 
  • Vitamin E has been shown to reduce hot flushes and vaginal dryness.  It can be taken internally and used externally on dry areas.
 
  • B Vitamin deficiencies have symptoms that overlap menopausal symptoms such as fatigue, nervousness, depression, hair loss, and poor concentration.  They can also help if you are suffering from energy loss or stress.  It is best to take a B-complex that includes all the B vitamins as taking just one can upset the balance of the others.
 
  • Magnesium is nature’s relaxant and can help with symptoms such as anxiety, mood swings and irritability.  Magnesium is an essential mineral for bones during menopause.
 
  • Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant the chief function of which is the production of collagen.  Wrinkles can sometimes be a lifelong deficiency of Vitamin C.  It can also provide support for vaginal dryness and elasticity.  In the urinary tract it can help provide elasticity to prevent leakage. 
 
Herbal Supplements
 
There are some excellent herbal supplements proven to give relief to menopausal symptoms.  Known as adaptogens they work to balance the body’s natural response to the menopause.

 
  • Agnus Castus supports your body to control hot flushes by stimulating and balancing the function of the pituitary gland.
 
  • Black Cohosh can be very effective in restoring balance to your hormones whilst relieving symptoms such as hot flushes and vaginal dryness.
 
NOTE: The above herbs should NOT be taken with hormonal medication such as HRT, The Contraceptive Pill or Fertility Drugs.
 
Food can provide enormous support.  During the menopause including foods known to contain phytoestrogens such as, celery, chickpeas, seeds, nuts, beans, and soy can help to balance your hormones. 

 
There is no need to suffer in silence; there are an arsenal of nutrients and herbs that can provide support through the menopause to a more exciting phase in life.
 
Recommended Reading

Balancing your Hormones by Patrick Holford and Kate Neil

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