The menopause is a natural change which occurs when our body’s experience a dramatic decline in hormone levels.
This decline leads to a plethora of nasty symptoms of anxiety and depression to night sweats and insomnia.
One of the most notorious of the menopause symptoms is hot flushes. A wave of scorching heat overcomes your body and you feel as if you’ve been thrown into a fire.
Another particularly common symptom is forgetfulness. It can become so bad that women fear they are at the early stages of Alzheimer’s as Ulrika Jonsson recently revealed on ITV’s Lorraine.
Studies show that 85% of women will experience the at times debilitating symptoms of the menopause, so how do we treat it?
HRT can be off-limits for a number of reasons, the most common being genetic predispositions to certain cancers (breast and uterus) which are hormone-sensitive. The reason being that the treatment has been shown to proliferate cancerous cells, but not initiate it.
With such severe symptoms that can be detrimental to our quality of life, simply doing nothing when HRT is ruled out, is not an option.
So how do we deal with symptoms of the menopause and get the quality of our life back to the way it was?
Herbal remedies have been shown to have some success in dealing with symptoms of the menopause. Although it often comes down to trial and error as what works for some women may be ineffective for others and studies have yielded the same mixed results.
The most common natural remedies for the menopause are:
- Black cohosh
- Primrose Oil
- Omega 3
- Soy isoflavones
- Vitamin E
Available to buy from Healthspan.
With lifestyle changes, the problem is that most of us already have been looking after ourselves well for decades. We go to the gym when we can, follow a healthy diet and are well-seasoned in the art of stress management, yet symptoms still persist.
But if your lifestyle is in need of some fine-tuning, try our suggestions below.
- Eat more starchy foods
Foods high in starch should make up over a third of what we eat. They are useful for the menopause because they help balance out blood sugar levels which can reduce irritability and mood swings. For this same reason cutting down refined carb intake can also be a benefit.
- Eat foods high in phytoestrogens
Soy products, flaxseed, oat, barley, sesame seeds and carrots are all rich sources of phytoestrogens which have been shown to help ease hot flushes.
- Take up Yoga
Yoga is a brilliant way to maintain flexibility, improve bone health and reduce stress.
- Regular Exercise
Consistent exercise improves energy levels, boosts mood, reduces stress, aids bone density and maintains muscle tone.
A handful of top-rated and helpful products well worth a try…
Silentnight Geltex Premier Pillow
A pillow which is designed to be breathable to help keep the temperature cooler, ideal for night sweats, as recommended by GP and menopause expert, Dr Louise Newson.
Buy now from Amazon
Promensil Cooling Spray
A travel sized spray designed to provide instant relief for hot flushes and night sweats.
Buy now from Boots
Replens MD Vaginal Moisturiser
Replens MD delivers moisture to the problem gradually which makes a single capsule last up to three days, providing longer-lasting relief for vaginal dryness.
Buy now from Amazon
Finding the right treatment
As we’ve mentioned earlier, natural treatments often come down to trial and error which is frustrating as there’s no immediate relief or guarantee they’ll work.
It’s always good to see a doctor and talk through options to see which approach would be best for you. The final decision as to what treatment you go for should always be your choice.
If you have any questions, contact the Women’s Health Concern, a telephone advisory line for the menopause where you can speak with Kathy Abernethy, a specialist nurse. Appointments start at £20.
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