While most women will experience at least some level of discomfort, menopausal symptoms can vary wildly from woman to woman - some women seem to glide through menopause without even needing a fan! Others however suffer from extreme hot flushes, joint pain, fatigue, night sweats, mood changes, or sleeplessness to name a few (!), and are desperate for a solution.
These more distressing symptoms are largely caused by hormonal changes as the body stops producing eggs in response to the pituitary glands' signals. Simply knowing this, however, won't alleviate your symptoms - but beginning to understand why these changes happen can lay the groundwork for long-lasting changes and improvements.
Some women find making dietary changes can lessen the duration and/or severity of vasomotor symptoms such as hot flushes. More research needs to be done on this subject and results are variable from woman to woman. However, some of us can pinpoint certain foods & behaviours that seem to trigger hot flushes. Commonly found triggers include hot or spicy foods, smoking, caffeine, alcohol, and chocolate. Others find that by eating plant foods containing phytoestrogens hot flushes are reduced. Phytoestrogens are naturally occurring plant extracts that have an oestrogen-like effect on the body. Foods particularly high in phytoestrogens include Flax Seeds, soya beans and nuts, tofu, tempeh, miso, and sesame paste.
Research further indicates a link between exercise and a reduction in vasomotor symptoms. Adding some running, swimming, or cycling to your weekly routine can certainly help to decrease both the severity and the intensity of hot flushes. Another option to consider is yoga. Yoga has become immensely popular with women over 50 who are looking to help themselves through menopause without relying on HRT (hormone replacement therapy). Some forms of yoga are thought to have a balancing effect on fluctuating hormone levels which can intensify unwelcome symptoms. Yoga can also help decrease symptoms of stress which are further affected by changing hormone levels.
Taking a fresh extract of sage, either as a pure tincture or in tablet form has also been shown to decrease both the incidence and severity of hot flushes and night sweats. It can take a few weeks before improvements show (expect 3-4 weeks, although results vary from person to person with some finding results taking 6-8 weeks).
Hibiscus flower, soya isoflavones, red clover, and magnesium are also sometimes used to deal with menopausal symptoms. Various formulas are available either as stand-alone products or as complexes with various herbs or supplements which can be useful if varying symptoms are present. BioAdvanced Menopause Support is one such complex. This is an excellent choice if you suffering from a variety of symptoms.
Solgar VM Prime For Women is an expertly formulated multi-nutrient supplement designed specifically for peri or post-menopausal women. It provides vital nutrients required by menopausal women including calcium, B vitamins, and soya isoflavones. VM Prime for Women can be taken individually or as part of a tailored supplement programme depending on your individual requirements.
Another remedy we find helpful is Lamberts Starflower Oil capsules. Starflower oil is rich in a specific omega-6 fatty acid called gamma-linoleic acid (GLA). GLA is thought to help with certain menopausal symptoms such as mood swings, breast tenderness, and hormone-related skin problems such as acne.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach when dealing with menopause however, there are various remedies and approaches so don't give up if you haven't yet quite found the perfect fit. Visit us in-store to discuss your symptoms and find out more about how natural menopause remedies might benefit you.
It is advisable to check with your G.P or healthcare professional before taking supplements - particularly if you are already taking medication or have a pre-existing condition.