With the natural aging process in a woman's life comes the fluctuation and final decline in reproductive hormones. With this regression of hormones also comes a real possibility of the onset of unique and challenging menopausal symptoms. While prescribed treatments may help to ease these symptoms, they may also invite a multitude of potential adverse side effects. When managing menopausal symptoms, it only makes sense to start from a natural treatment perspective.
Symptoms of Menopause
While not all women experience symptoms of menopause, it’s estimated that 85 percent of all women do report having some degree of symptoms. The possible changes, feelings and sensations which often accompany the onset of menopause usually include symptoms:
- Hot flashes/ Night sweats;
- Mood swings;
- Low libido;
- Muscle tension;
- Aching Joints;
- Increased stress;
Managing Menopausal Symptoms
In the recent past, symptoms of menopause were commonly treated with a program that included synthetic estrogen and progestin called hormone replacement therapy (HRT). However, studies over the years have clearly demonstrated that HRT significantly increases the risk of breast cancer and heart disease in women.
Fortunately, there are natural alternative measures that can be taken to mitigate the impact of menopausal symptoms. Certain lifestyle changes can positively improve a woman’s physical and emotional wellbeing during this stage in her life. Beginning with a natural approach to relieving menopausal symptoms involves fewer risks and can be easily implemented.
Natural Treatments For The Symptoms of Menopause
There is nothing like regular exercise to let off some menopausal emotional steam and improve the physical body. Routine aerobic exercise increases blood flow which works out symptoms such as stiff joints and tense muscles. Walking, cycling and swimming are all excellent activities that benefit and alleviate symptoms. Exercise also improves emotional health by helping to ease stress.
Proper Nutrition Plan
- Plan a diet that is rich in natural and unprocessed foods. Enhance your menu with whole grains, vegetables, fruit, seeds and nuts while drastically cutting down on unsaturated fats, sugar, fried foods and salt.
- Increase your consumption of foods that are loaded with calcium such as dairy products, broccoli and spinach.
- Omega-3 fatty acids are a very important in addressing menopausal symptoms. Proper levels of omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to improve symptoms of depression and reduce the occurrence of hot flashes. Foods that contain high levels of these essential fatty acids are cold ocean fish such as sardines, halibut and salmon. Walnuts, flaxseed and pumpkin seed are also high in omega-3 fatty acids.
- Alcohol only increases the frequency and intensity of hot flashes and should be avoided.
Yoga can be considered an isometric exercise for the body and the mind. By committing to a routine of yoga, menopausal symptoms can be alleviated by the strength and relaxation that this practice provides. Through sustained poses and gentle stretching, most muscles of the body are addressed and stress relief is the result.
A small study in 2006 on the benefits of acupuncture and menopausal symptoms found that it did help women with the severity of nighttime hot flashes. Acupuncture is also performed with some success on women who suffer from memory difficulties, incontinence, mood swings and fatigue.
Meditation and Deep Breathing
Finding a few times a day to be still, and let the mind relax will help keep stress and anxiety at bay. Deep breathing exercises twice a day have shown to reduce hot flashes in women by 40 percent. Deep, slow respiration increases oxygen to the brain and body that can encourage relaxation and promote awareness. Give these natural menopause treatment options a try before resorting to more drastic measures.