Natural approach to Menopause

The term Menopause is derived from Greek Meno (months) and pause (cessation). The word means cessation of menstruation. It is defined as occurring 12 months after your last menstrual period.

What are the symptoms of Menopause?
Classic symptoms are change in menstrual cycle pattern (during perimenopause) and decline in fertility, hot flashes & night sweats, vaginal dryness, lower libido, sleep disturbances. Other symptoms sometimes associated with menopause are cognitive concerns (memory, concentration), headaches, urinary frequency, incontinence. 
Psychological symptoms (depression, anxiety, moodiness), voice changes, frozen shoulder, dry eye, body aches, fatigue, weight gain, skin changes, dental changes, ocular changes, hair changes, and other.

Most women transition through these changes for 5 to 10 years.
Menopause usually takes place between the ages of 45–55, with the average age being 51 years old.

When it comes to hormonal transition we can see increase in:
follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), 
– luteinizing hormone (LH)

Decrease in:
– oestrogen, 
– progesterone, 
– testosterone, 
– androstenedione, 
– DHEA, 
– DHEA-S, 
– Thyroxine, 
– Triiodothyronine, 
– GH.

Changes in body composition such as decreased bone mass, bone density and lean body mass, and increase in fat tissues and bodyweight. 
One of the most common ways to ease the side effects of menopause is to use hormone replacement therapy drugs (HRT).  This generally involves taking combination of two female hormones,  an ‘oestrogen‘ and ‘progestogen’ replacement drugs or using hormonal creams. However, the risk to a woman’s health from taking hormone replacement drugs has become a serious concern. Studies show that taking hormone replacement therapies (HRT) long term can increase a woman’s risk for several serious diseases, including:
•    Breast cancer
•    Heart disease
•    Stroke
•    Blood clots
•    Urinary incontinence
•    Dementia and memory loss

What are the treatment interventions?
Lifestyle Factors such as healthy diet, exercise, stress management, nutritional supplements, and botanical medicines. 

Healthy diet
Eating a healthy diet is a way to decrease troublesome symptoms of menopause, as well as to lower risk for many other age-related illnesses. 
– Include plenty of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. These contain dietary fibre to manage your appetite, antioxidants to slow the ageing process and phytosterols that can help balance hormones. —
– Vegetables in the cruciferous family such as broccoli, cabbage and kale contain indole-3-carbinol, which naturally helps to balance oestrogen levels. 
– Eat high-fibre foods to help control appetite, boost digestive health and benefit heart. Some of the best sources include nuts, seeds, legumes/beans, ancient grains, avocado, vegetables and fruits.
– Phytoestrogen foods are plant-based oestrogens that can mimic the effects of natural hormones your body produces. Some studies have proved that these dietary oestrogens actually help some women during menopause by reducing cancer risk, reducing night flashes, promote satiety and protecting the heart. 
– Omega 3 – fats from fish and flaxseed can protect the heart, keep inflammation levels low, boost metabolism and promote healthy skin. Some of the best sources include wild-caught salmon, sardines, mackerel, anchovies, herring. Other sources of healthy fats include extra virgin olive oil, virgin coconut oil, avocado, coconut milk, nuts, seeds and wild seafood.
– Probiotic-rich foods – they can boost the immune system and protect cognitive functioning. The best sources include yoghurt, kefir, cultured vegetables such as sauerkraut or kimchi, kombucha, miso and other fermented foods.
– Drink plenty of water. Aim for 8 glasses daily to help replace fluid lost from hot flashes and to decrease bloating.

Avoid Foods:
 – Packaged and processed foods contain added sugar, chemical preservatives, high amounts of sodium, toxins and synthetic additives. They can also cause worsened hormone imbalances.
– Foods cooked in highly-processed vegetable oils (sunflower, corn, safflower, soybean or canola oil,) are high in omega-6 fats that can contribute to inflammation and other health problems.
– Carbonated soda drinks may be able to deplete the body of calcium and contribute to osteoporosis, bone loss and teeth problems.
– Alcohol – can aggravate hot flashes and contribute to weight gain.

One of the best ways to combat many of the uncomfortable symptoms associated with menopause is to make exercise a regular part of your daily routine. Exercising not only boosts serotonin levels, thereby improving mood, appetite and helping sleep, but the benefits of exercise have been shown to do more. 10–30 minutes of burst training, and performing weight training several times a week. It maintains muscle mass, strengthens bones to combat osteoporosis. 

Stress management. 
Cortisol is the adrenal hormone released in response to stress. If you are constantly producing cortisol, it is at the expense of the other hormones, and they become deficient.
This contributes to many of the symptoms experienced during the menopausal transition. Identifying and reducing stressors is the first step in restoring hormone balance. Some effective ways to relieve stress include exercise, meditation, acupuncture, aromatherapy, spending time in nature, and spiritual practices.
Get enough sleep to allow your body recover from stress, control appetite, improve energy, aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night.

Nutritional supplements.
Going through menopause can be highly stressful, however, some women find their stress levels seem to increase dramatically with no clear reason. They may feel more irritable, anxious and some even begin to suffer from panic attacks. Stress can come from so many different factors— emotional, physical, and physiological – but whatever the underlying cause, B vitamins have a key role to play in managing this stress. There are many symptoms of B vitamin deficiency, and these include
– tension,
– irritability,
– difficulty managing stress,
– poor concentration,
– and anxiety.
B vitamins help to support hormone production: for example, B3 and folic acid are needed to produce oestrogen, with folic acid supporting body’s ability to use the female sex hormone. Serotonin is one of your neurotransmitters, known as the ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitter, and helps to stabilise mood, support feelings of well-being and your ability to sleep. Vitamin B6 and B12 are important cofactors in the production of serotonin, which means without them this neurotransmitter cannot be made. 

The best food sources of the B vitamins are:
•B1 thiamin: vegetables especially peas, fresh and dried fruit, eggs, whole grains, liver
•B2 riboflavin: milk, eggs, rice and fortified cereals
•B3 Niacin: meat, fish, whole grains, eggs, milk
•B5 Pantothenic Acid: chicken, beef, potatoes, oats, kidney, eggs, broccoli, whole grains
•B6 Pyridoxine: pork, chicken, turkey, fish, whole grains, eggs, pulses, soy, peanuts, potatoes, bananas, avocados
•B12: meat, fish, milk, cheese and eggs. Vegetarian sources include fortified foods and some sea vegetables
•Folic acid: green leafy vegetables, liver, peas, chickpeas, brown rice, asparagus, oatmeal, avocados.

Botanical medicines.
In regards to herbal medicines for treating menopause symptoms, keep in mind that it’s important to buy high-quality, pure products and to use them in proper amounts.

Recommended nutritional supplements supporting menopausal symptoms. 

Cleanmarine MenoMin supplement is a unique all-in-one Omega 3, Phytonutrient and Vitamin blend. Cleanmarine MenoMin has been formulated specifically to give extra nutritional support for peri-menopausal and menopausal women.
It is packed with Omega 3 Krill Oil, Vitamins B1, B2, B6, B12 and D3, as well as Rosemary Extract, Soy Isoflavones, Folate and Biotin. With Vitamin B6 to help regulate hormonal activity, biotin to help maintain normal mucous membranes, as well as Vitamin B2 to reduce tiredness and fatigue and Vitamin D to help maintain healthy normal bones. This synergistic formulation is ideal for women approaching the menopause who want to feel good every day. 

Vogel Menoforce Sage Tablets. 
Extracts of sage herb, such as Menoforce® Sage tablets, have become one of the most popular menopause treatments, gaining a reputation as a simple way of helping deal with excessive sweating, hot flushes and night sweats during the menopause.

Dong Quai, Soya Sprout Complex (Female Support Complex).
The ultimate female tonic plant, Dong Quai has centuries of use in China to maintain hormonal health in women. Soya sprouts contain a high concentration of phytoestrogenic isoflavones such as genistein and daidzein. 

Pukka Herbs Wholistic Shatavari Organic.
Nourish women’s health, reduces menopausal symptoms. Helps with the hormonal transition during menopause. 

EstroLibrium (Orange) 70g (14 Servings)
EstroLibrium features a combination of targeted nutrients that may help support healthy oestrogen metabolism and balance in women of all ages.  It incorporates well-researched ingredients including n-acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC), broccoli extract, natural non-soy phytoestrogens from flaxseed and kudzu, along with a good blend of vitamins and minerals, to support optimal hormone balance. EstroLibrium provides a range of nutrients that biologically support liver involvement in hormone metabolism and balance including the B vitamins, glycine, curcumin and NAC. It also contains a good range of vitamins and minerals to support everyday health. Please note that this product has not been tested for interactions with hormonal contraceptives, the effectiveness of which cannot be ensured during use of EstroLibrium. 

Stress management supplements. 

Reishi Mushrooms 
are one of the most famous tonic herbs of all time and have been used for thousands of years to promote the healthy functioning of the immune system, fight stress and increase vitality. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Reishi Mushroom is often referred to as “The Mushroom Of Immortality”.

Lion’s Mane mushroom
has been traditionally used in tea by Buddhist Monks to give clarity to their meditation. Lion’s Mane shows potential in the treatment of anxiety and depression in the study involving menopausal women, the mushroom reduced depression and anxiety by some mechanism other than its NGF-enhancing properties. The effect was particularly strong in lowering anxiety, reducing feelings of ‘irritation’’ and enhancing concentration. So Buddhist monks were right! 

HIGH FIVE B-Complex with Mag Ascorbate 
Each of the Viridian B-complex supplements offers a full array of the B vitamins together with a higher level of a featured B vitamin. This supplement features a higher level of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) to aid in the reduction of tiredness.
B complex vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 & B12) contribute to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue, to normal psychological function and mental performance, energy-yielding metabolism, the regulation of hormonal activity, the functioning of the immune, cardio and nervous systems and the maintenance of normal skin, mucous membranes, vision and red blood cells. B complex vitamins also contribute to the protection of cells from oxidative stress.  

Pure Encapsulations Ashwagandha 60’s
Research has found that Ashwagandha improves resistance to stress by possibly decreasing cortisol production.  Ashwagandha acts on the endocrine system (which produces hormones) by encouraging hormone balance and reduces hot flashes and anxiety. 

To purchase some of the recommended products please use code ANW10 to get 10% off. 

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