Menopause is an important phase in a woman’s life, bringing with it a range of physical, emotional, and psychological challenges. Indeed, coping with menopause can be very difficult.
During menopause, a woman ceases to menstruate. In general, it begins somewhere between the mid-40s and early 50s, and involves a range of symptoms, from hot flashes and insomnia to the gradual appearance of wrinkles and facial hair.
Many women dread and resent this phase of their life, but much can be done to make the process easier.
If you are beginning to go through it, here are some tips on coping with menopause…
Coping with menopause
1) Think carefully before committing to HRT
HRT stands for “Hormone Replacement Therapy” and replaces the oestrogen that your ovaries have ceased to make.
It comes in many forms, usually as tablets, but also as patches, and even nasal sprays. But do not embark upon a course of HRT without careful consideration.
Menopause is not an illness requiring medication. There are also side effects, ranging from weight gain and higher blood pressure to an increased cancer risk.
You may still decide that HRT is for you, but at least spend a little time researching it first.
2) Eat a diet rich in isoflavones
Known as “phytoestrogens”, isoflavones have an oestrogen-like effect, and when consumed in large amounts can ease many of the symptoms associated with menopause.
Fermented soya foods, lentils, alfalfa, kidney beans, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds are all rich in isoflavones.
3) Get plenty of vitamin B12
This should reduce the irritability, bloating, and headaches which often torment menopausal women. Of course, you could take supplements, but in general, it is better to adopt a healthier diet. Eggs, shrimp, liver, mackerel, red meat, and yoghurt all contain B12.
4) Eat more foods containing potassium and pantothenic acid
These will help support adrenal function and prevent adrenal fatigue.
Load your shopping trolley with whole grains, broccoli, cauliflower, banana, oranges, fish, and cantaloupe melon.
Again, potassium and pantothenic acid can be bought as supplements if you prefer.
5) Avoid harmful chemicals
In order to feed an ever-growing population, farmers and food growers across the world use pesticides and herbicides and treat their animals with antibiotics and growth hormones.
Many of the chemicals in your food contain substances known as “xenoestrogens”, so eat organic whenever possible.
6) Consume maca root
Maca is a root vegetable from Peru used for centuries to reduce hormonal symptoms.
Maca encourages the pituitary gland to produce hormone precursors. In turn, these balance the adrenal glands, thyroid, and pancreas and raise oestrogen and progesterone levels. It should also reduce depression and hot flashes.
You can usually buy maca root in capsule form. If you do, make sure you buy a good quality brand.
7) Treat the symptoms with essential oils
Essential oils are an effective and completely natural way of coping with menopause symptoms. Oils such as clary sage, lavender and geranium are all excellent for this purpose.
8) Consider therapy
Along with the physical effects, menopause can have an enormous emotional and psychological impact. The menstrual cycle has come to an end.
Even women who do not want another baby often find this difficult to accept, regarding it as the symbolic end of their youth.
Instead, try seeing it as an opportunity. Therapy may help you approach the experience from a different angle.
Remember, menopause is not a disease or illness. Women do not “suffer from” menopause; it is a natural part of life and one that should be embraced. There are of course many unpleasant side effects, but these can be relieved through a careful diet and the use of supplements.