&noscript=1 />

Menopause An Opportunity For Self Care

April 29, 2020

people like this

Menopause: An Opportunity for Self-Care

by Dr Olivia Rose, ND

What is Menopause?

Menopause is defined as the absence of a menstrual period for 12 months. Once in menopause the function of the ovaries, the female gonads, drastically decline. This leads to the cessation of ovulation and a decrease in the primary sex hormones, estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Menopause is not a disease and it is important to remember that your hormones do not need to be replaced and menopause itself does not need to be treated. Instead, this is a period of time in your life to focus on self-care and to examine the holistic ways to manage the discomforts your body is experiencing. Remember, it may take some effort and time to find exactly what works for you.

Symptoms of Menopause

Menopause is a gradual process. This process is called perimenopause. Perimenopause is the transitional period leading up to menopause which usually begins in your 40s. During this time you may begin to experience your first symptoms of menopause; irregular periods and hot flashes. Every woman’s experience of menopause and perimenopause is different.

The main symptoms of menopause include:

  • – hot flashes
  • – night sweats
  • – mood changes
  • – depression
  • – anxiety
  • – vaginal dryness
  • – decreased libido
  • – fatigue.

However, your experience with these symptoms or whether you even experience them at all will have a lot to do with how you set yourself up for this transition. In other words, the healthier you are in mind and body before perimenopause, the smoother the transition will be. This is the time to take stock of your health and to examine the lifestyle, environmental and nutritional factors that influence your well-being.

Consider yoga

Yoga has been proven to promote a reduction in stress, to improve your mood and promote sound sleep. Yoga serves as a wonderful tool to help manage your reaction to the stressors in your life. When you are stressed, the hormones, cortisol and epinephrine can increase the frequency and intensity of your hot flashes; stress hormones can also disrupt your sleep patterns. Anxiety can arise during perimenopause totally throwing you off-kilter. The controlled breathing offered in yoga practices, can help reduce the anxiety and calm your body’s response to stress. There are a wide range of yoga practices out there to choose from. If it is your first time, look for a beginner level class and one that is accommodating if you have any challenges with mobility.

Incorporate daily movement

If you have not started to incorporate it in your life already, it is not too late. What are we referring to? Exercise. There are two types of exercise that are equally important here; weight bearing exercise and cardio. Weight bearing exercise is performed while on your feet either with or without an added weight to strengthen, tone and improve your bone density. Cardio exercise is any exercise that raises your heart rate.

Remove stimulants such as caffeine and spicy foods

Adopting a diet rich in protein, fiber and greens and low in refined carbohydrates and trans fats will set you up for a better transition to menopause. At the same time, it is best to avoid the overuse of stimulants such as caffeine and spicy foods. Caffeine is a common trigger for hot flashes and night sweats. Keep in mind that caffeine is found in many items including tea, chocolate, prescription and over-the-counter medications. Spicy foods that contain hot peppers also increase your internal temperature and can therefore set you up for more intense hot flashes and night sweats. If you are an avid coffee drinker, consider reducing your intake of coffee while increasing your water intake. Give herbal tea a try. You may discover a love for a new beverage.

Try herbal remedies such as Dong Quai (Angelica sinensis) and Rehmannia (Rehmannia glutinosa)

Herbal medicine has been used for women’s health complaints for many centuries. Dong quai in particular has been used in Chinese Medicine for over 2000 years. A native plant of Europe and Asia, Dong quai is known as a female tonic and spice. It is used to treat female menstruation complaints, irregular periods, night sweats and hot flashes. Dong quai is a hormone balancer and scientists believe it may contain mild estrogen-like qualities and work to stabilize your blood vessels, reducing hot flashes and decreasing vaginal dryness. It also contains folic acid and B12, two important nutrients in women’s health. Rehmannia nourishes your adrenal glands and in Chinese medicine it is used to support a healthy stress response. Your adrenal glands produce your stress hormones such as cortisol and when taken regularly Rehmannia can help your body adapt and actually thrive in stressful situations. This becomes of utmost importance in menopause as a heightened stress response can intensify symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats – no thank you.

Harmony Menopause

Harmony Menopause, Harmony Menopause Day & Night and Harmony Menopause Max are multi herbal formulas featuring Rehmannia and 5 other herbs including Dong Quai and Chinese Yam. All of these formulas provide relief from hot flashes, sleeplessness, irritability and night sweats. Wherever you are in this transition, know that you are not alone. There are many holistic ways to support your health as you enter menopause. Take it one step at a time and seek the guidance of a holistic practitioner who can serve as your guide.

(1) A Pilot Study of Integral Yoga for Menopausal Hot Flashes – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4110168/

(2) Sexual Function and Exercise in Postmenopausal Women Residing in Chalous and Nowshahr, Northern Iran


Leave a Comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.