Reducing the Symptoms of Menopause

August 17, 2010

We Tried - It Didn't Work

It isn't optional. Every woman will eventually experience it, either surgically or naturally. Menopause. Since it really is a natural end to a period of time in life, it makes sense to treat the symptoms of it in a natural way. For many years synthetic hormones were used in hormone replacement therapy and they did seem to provide a panacea for menopausal women. However, time has borne out the facts that HRT is detrimental to women's health, increasing the risks for breast cancer and heart disease.

Enter natural hormones, herbs, and other alternative treatments aimed at lessening the symptoms of menopause and reducing discomfort that can be associated with this change in women's lives. Hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and mood swings are but a few of the more common side effects of menopause. Left untreated, they can make a woman's life very uncomfortable and render her an emotionally volatile individual. There are some ways to help alleviate the symptoms of menopause without ingesting drugs or doing anything radical.

Eat to Beat the Symptoms

First of all, diet is very important. Before menopause, most women were careful about their diet because they wanted to ensure good health and a great body. Diet is no less important during menopause. As a matter of fact, knowing what to eat can greatly reduce unpleasant symptoms quickly. Any food or beverage with caffeine in it should be avoided - it just makes you sweat a lot and who needs that? Carbonated beverages that contain phosphorous can increase bone loss, a problem during menopause, so leave those alone too. Meats like beef, pork, and chicken that are commercially grown contain a high amount of saturated fats that decrease the body's ability to metabolize estrogen. Excessive sugar is never good at any time for anybody, but for the menopausal woman, it limits the liver's ability to metabolize estrogen and impairs the immune system.

Instead, eat more foods that contain phytoestrogens, including fermented soy (the regular soy isn't good for you), whole grains such as oats, wheat and brown rice, and nuts like almonds, and cashews. Of course lots of fresh, organic fruits and veggies are always good.

Not a Drug and Works Like Crazy

Red clover isoflavone supplements have been used in controlled studies to prove their effectiveness in treating symptoms of menopause. It turns out that they have a significant positive effect on several aspects of menopause including bone loss and cardiovascular health, and they have a protective effect against breast and endometrial cancer. There is also evidence that red clover isoflavone decreases those favorite symptoms - hot flashes and night sweats. These supplements are available over-the-counter. You don't need a prescription for them, they're not a drug, and they work.

Take Care of Those Innerds

It is important for menopausal women to take good care of their intestinal tracks to help utilize and metabolize estrogen. Lactobactillus acidophilus and Bifidus, all good bacteria found in the intestine, can be found in a wide variety of nutritional formulas in health food stores and pharmacies. It is believed that these bacteria are also instrumental in keeping yeast infections in check.

Vitamins and Minerals That Help

Registered pharmacist Steven G. Ottariano, in his book, Medicinal Herbal Therapy: A Pharmacist's Viewpoint, says that certain vitamins and minerals can provide particular benefits to menopausal women. To help reduce night sweats and hot flashes - Vitamin E (400-800IU daily); Calcium, either microcrystalline calcium hydroxyapatite calcium (MCHC) or calcium citrate (1500mg daily); Magnesium, which helps the absorption of calcium (500mg to 750mg daily); Vitamin C helps absorption of Vitamin E and decreases capillary fragility (1,000-2,000mg daily).

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