Women’s Health & Staying Healthy
Menopause is as natural as breathing for women when they have reached a certain age. What age? We are all unique so the age of menopause is different for all women. For the majority of us the age ranges from 45-65 years old,(some as early as age 30), unless you have had a hysterectomy or had health issues that has effected your female organs in some way. Our stress and health condition has everything to do with the way our body reacts to menopause. If you have had any of these issues or had a hysterectomy it will usually bring on menopause earlier.
Prevention is the best medicine. I’m sure you have heard that phrase. It is true for us women and our overall health. At any age we can begin to gain some of those years we were so busy taking care of everyone else, and ignored our own health. By taking good care of our self now, we can live a long healthier life.
The BEST option for you, is what works for you. Here ,Living Super Healthy, will provide you with major information, to help you make intelligent decisions for your health.
In this article I will list several options that has worked for countless other women. You will have to research and know what works for your own body. I will list the vitamins and minerals and herbs you should be taking as a normal every day regimen for your overall health. In taking care of your overall health, it usually takes care of the symptoms of menopause. As we get older, our body stops producing the vitamins and mineral we use to produce, so we react in a number of ways, and one of those ways is how we (our body) reacts to menopause.
COMMON SYMPTOMS of Menopause or perimenopause:
- Irregular periods
- Hot flashes, night sweats
- PMS-like symptoms (cramps, bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, irritability)
- Sleep difficulties
- Fatigue, loss of energy
- Feeling sad, moody or overwhelmed
- Feeling anxious, heart palpitations
- Feeling forgetful, fuzzy minded or confused
- Bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, nausea
- Stiff, achy joints
- Weight gain, especially around the middle
- Loss of libido
- Vaginal dryness
- Thinning hair, hair loss
Phytotherapy can gently help women reverse hormonal imbalance and maintain better equilibrium in menopause. With its adaptogenic effects, phytotherapy can help normalize, strengthen, and protect your system from many stressful events in menopause.
Using herbs for menopausal symptoms is becoming more popular in the wake of the Women’s Health Initiative revealing dangerous side effects of conventional hormone replacement therapy. Naturopathic physican Tori Hudson writes in her article, “Menopause Botanicals”:
Botanical therapies for menopause symptoms are taking an increasingly important role. Many women are determined to utilize therapies that are herbal or nutritional, natural hormones, or lower dose hormones in combination with botanicals, in order to create a risk to benefit ratio that they feel comfortable with.
Phytotherapy or plant-based medicine is especially effective for relieving the symptoms of menopause and perimenopause when the herbs are adaptogenic. Adaptogenic herbs have the power to adapt to the specific needs of a woman’s body. This is very different from the traditional “one-size-fits-all” approach in most conventional settings, which often includes a focus on hormone replacement therapy or antidepressants.
The use of phytotherapy can resolve even severe symptoms for all women. Certain herbs known as phytocrines share important features with natural hormones, allowing them to provide symptom relief, and increase the body’s natural ability to make and use hormones:
- Phytocrines can act like the body’s own hormones. By binding to our hormone receptors, they allow cells to get the information they need to function.
- Phytocrines can imitate hormone functions. One example is the phytoestrogens found in red clover which closely resemble human estrogen and can help normalize estrogen activity in our bodies.
- Phytocrines encourage hormone production. Plants can gently stimulate the body’s tissues to make more natural hormones.
The natural approach is most effective because it recognizes that every woman is unique and so is her hormonal imbalance. Understanding and effectively treating hormonal imbalances requires a whole-body approach, rather than looking at health as a set of independent issues. This is especially true with hormones, which are all interrelated.
Take vitamins- C =2-4,000 mg. daily,E= 800-1200 mg. daily,D3= 10,000 mg. daily,omega-3-6-9 oils (capsules- Flaxseed with salmon or krill oil)=1,200 mg daily, B complex=one daily,B-12=2500- 7500 mcg daily, ( depending on your energy level). Click on each or any vitamins above -it will take you the best choice.
Herbal Supplements are as important as the vitamins.
4 Herbs to Help Menopause
Garlic lowers not only blood pressure but blood glucose and cholesterol levels, as well as those of other blood lipids. The herb also prevents clot formation, has mild antibiotic and antifungal properties, strengthens the immune system and protects the liver.
This plant is effective in treating menopausal symptoms. It can also lessen post-operative functional disorders after removal of the uterus or ovaries.
During and after menopause, women often experience dry skin, eczema, hair loss, painful breasts and slower healing caused by lower estrogen levels. Evening primrose oil can ease these symptoms, making a new stage of life more manageable.
Hawthorn’s anti-arrhythmic properties help control cardiac arrhythmia. The plant is able to dilate coronary arteries (which provide blood to the heart), lowering the risk of heart attack and increasing blood flow to the heart. Hawthorn can also lower systolic blood pressure—the first, higher, of the two numbers in a blood pressure reading—which is of particular value for those over 50, who run the highest risk of elevated systolic pressure. This herb also corrects blood pressure that is too low.
Recommended herbal mixture for menopause.Some women notice an improvement in their menopause symptoms within seven to ten days, however we recommend daily use for a minimum of 60 days for best results.
- Don’t take herbs and drugs in the same sitting. This can change the rate at which a drug is absorbed. In other words, take them at different times of the day, and ask your healthcare practitioner if you need to know what time to take your regular medications. Always be sure to update your healthcare practitioner on what you are taking.
- Look for standardized extracts. Although some may argue that using standardized extracts takes away some of the whole-herb qualities and strays from the roots of herbal medicine, we feel that standardized extracts can help decrease some of the unpredictability of using plants for healing. Now you certainly don’t have to choose them — particularly if you are well-versed in the use of herbs or have a professional herbalist or naturopath you can consult with — but standardized extracts provide pure isolated active components of the plant at guaranteed levels. This is particularly useful when you are looking for the known target range of efficacy of an herb.
- Have patience. In most cases, using herbal remedies takes time to build up an effect in the body. This is because they do their gentle work at the source of the imbalance and it may take time to heal metabolic pathways that have been off-balance for many years.
WHAT TO EAT OR NOT TO EAT-THAT IS THE QUESTION
INSOMNIA AND HEADACHES
Studies suggest that eating carbs can increase the release of tryptophan, an amino acid that helps the brain manufacture serotonin, which helps us fall asleep.
SAY YES TO:
- Eating a piece of toasted whole grain bread or a small portion of another carbohydrate before going to bed.
- Other foods that contain tryptophan are turkey, soy, cod, egg whites and warm milk.
- Also, omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish such as salmon, trout and tuna, play a role in sleep induction.
- And don’t forget cherries. They contain melatonin, a substance found in the body, which helps regulate sleep.
SAY NO TO:
- Large meals. When you eat a large meal, digestion brings blood into the abdomen, raises body temperature and tells the hypothalamus in the brain to send a signal that causes hot flashes. Eating smaller meals can help reduce the number of hot flashes.
- Caffeine. Coffee, tea, colas and dark chocolate contain caffeine. They may trigger hot flashes and affect your sleep. So drink water and avoid caffeine, especially in the late afternoon and at night.
- Alcohol. Alcohol can increase the hot flashes and affect sleep, mood and weight. Heavy use can lead to osteoporosis because alcohol prevents cells from building new bone. Limit yourself to no more than one drink a day.
During the menopause transition, another common midlife symptom is bloating, which may be due to hormone fluctuations, overproduction of estradiol and conversion of androgen (a so-called “male” hormone) to estrogen through a process called aromatization, which increases with age and body weight.
SAY YES TO:
- Foods and herbs that have diuretic properties, such as celery seeds, parsley, dandelion, juniper berries, asparagus, artichokes, melon and watercress. And drink plenty of water and herbal teas.
SAY NO TO:
- Sugary and high-sodium foods such as frozen dinners and canned soups. Read the sugar and sodium content on food labels, and reduce the amount of sugar and salt you add to foods and beverages.
Many women during the menopause transition report a decreased sense of well-being due to irritability and mood swings. Good nutrition plays a major role in moods. So it is important to understand which foods stabilize our moods and which ones to avoid.
SAY YES TO:
- Omega-3 fatty acids in foods such as tuna, salmon and mackerel.
- Eating vegetables such as asparagus, Brussels sprouts and beets, which are rich in B vitamins. Green vegetables such as spinach and peas are high in folic acid, a member of the B-complex group that may also help stabilize mood because it’s needed to make serotonin. Don’t forget that spinach and other dark, leafy greens can be used raw in salads and sandwiches as well.
- Chicken and turkey, which are rich in vitamin B, a player in the production of serotonin in the body.
SAY NO TO:
Sugary foods, which cause a rise in blood sugar and may increase mood disturbances.
For some women, menopause and its associated decline in “sex” hormones can lead to a decline in sex. A lower level of estrogen is the main culprit and that can lower libido and cause vaginal dryness.
SAY YES TO:
- Granola, oatmeal, nuts, dairy, green vegetables, garlic, soybeans and chickpeas. These foods contain L-arginine, which is thought to be helpful in improving sexual function.
- Avocados contain potassium, which regulates thyroid hormones and may enhance female libido.
- Chocolate intake releases serotonin in the brain, producing feelings of pleasure similar to having sex. But indulge in moderation for its benefit, and try eating it as a prelude to lovemaking.
- Asparagus is a vegetable to consider due to its vitamin E content.
- Fresh fruits. Feast on fresh fruits such as strawberries, pomegranates and grapes, which are delicious and rich in antioxidants.
SAY NO TO:
- Chile peppers. Eating chili peppers in excessive amounts can lead to hot flashes. This will not help you set the mood. However, when enjoyed in a flavorful recipe, these feisty peppers can also help trigger the release of natural endorphins, creating a high that is not unlike lovemaking.
It is always recommended to speak with your healthcare provider before starting any new diet changes.
We hope this information has helped you and remember, this is your website to keep living super healthy and happy.
Reference: Dr. Mercola.com & Care2.com ,Collins, J. Winter, 2006. Phytotherapeutic management of endocrine dysfunctions. NutriNews, pp. 1–4, 6–8. URL: http://www.douglaslabs.com/pdf/nutrinews%5CEndocrine%20Dysfunctions.pdf