Managing Menopause and Perimenopause with Natural Remedies
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and Its Risks
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is a conventional treatment for menopausal symptoms that involves taking medications containing oestrogen and progesterone. However, HRT can come with potential risks and side effects, such as an increased risk of breast cancer, blood clots, and stroke. As a result, many women are seeking natural alternatives to HRT.
In addition to the risks mentioned above, studies have also shown that HRT may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and dementia in some women. These risks have led to a decline in the use of HRT over the years. Women who have had breast cancer or have a family history of breast cancer are choosing to avoid HRT due to its potential to increase the risk of breast cancer recurrence.
Natural alternatives to HRT have become increasingly popular in recent years, especially as more women become aware of the potential risks of conventional hormone therapy. While some natural remedies may not be as effective as HRT in managing menopausal symptoms, they may offer a safer and gentler approach to managing the symptoms of menopause and perimenopause. It's important to discuss any natural remedies or supplements with your healthcare provider to ensure their safety and effectiveness.
Natural Remedies for Managing Menopause and Perimenopause
Black Cohosh: A perennial herb commonly used to relieve hot flashes, night sweats, and other menopausal symptoms. Black cohosh may work by binding to oestrogen receptors and producing oestrogen-like effects in the body.
Dong Quai: A root vegetable used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat menopausal symptoms. Dong quai is thought to have oestrogen-like effects in the body and may help reduce hot flashes and vaginal dryness.
Red Clover: A legume that contains plant compounds called isoflavones, which have oestrogen-like effects in the body. Red clover may help relieve hot flashes, improve bone density, and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Maca Root: A root vegetable from the Andes region of South America that has been traditionally used to improve energy, mood, and sexual function. Maca may also help relieve hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms.
Phytoestrogens: Plant-based compounds that have oestrogen-like effects in the body. Foods high in phytoestrogens include soybeans, flaxseeds, and chickpeas. Consuming phytoestrogen-rich foods may help relieve hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms.
Calcium and Vitamin D: Essential nutrients for bone health, which become particularly important after menopause due to the decline in oestrogen levels. Good sources of calcium and vitamin D include almonds, dairy products, leafy greens, and fortified foods.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Found in fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel, as well as in walnuts and flaxseeds, omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce inflammation and improve cardiovascular health.
Regular Exercise: Exercise has been shown to help relieve menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes, mood swings, and insomnia. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.
Stress Management: Stress can exacerbate menopausal symptoms, so it's important to manage stress levels through relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga.
Sleep Hygiene: Poor sleep quality is a common complaint during menopause. Good sleep hygiene practices, such as maintaining a regular sleep schedule, using aromatherapy and creating a relaxing bedtime routine, can help improve sleep quality.
Lavender: Lavender essential oil can help with anxiety and poor sleep which is a common side effect women experience. Find Lavender in our Calm and Sleepy Head ranges and also our Relaxing Face & Body Oil
Citrus: Oils such as sweet orange and grapefruit have the ability to boost moods. Look for our Awaken, Revive and Happy ranges
Basil: Basil is a great essential oil as it contains an estrogen hormone-like component — meaning it can help your body adjust to the changing estrogen levels. Find Basil in our Happy range
Ylang-ylang: This oil can calm and uplift the mind while relieving stress and anxiety. The oil is also great for combatting low libido, another common symptom of menopause. Find Ylang Ylang in our Relaxing Face & Body Oil and our Vanilla Rose Bath Salt Blend
Peppermint: Peppermint is one of the most popular essential oils for hot flashes. Try putting a few drops of Focus essential oil on to a tissue and holding the tissue up to your nose while slowly inhaling.
Other Alternative Therapies
Acupuncture: A traditional Chinese medicine practice that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body. Acupuncture may help reduce hot flashes, improve sleep quality, and relieve anxiety and depression.
Massage Therapy: Regular massage therapy may help reduce muscle tension, improve sleep quality, and alleviate anxiety and depression.
Chiropractic Care: Chiropractic adjustments may help relieve back pain, improve spinal alignment, and promote overall wellness.
Mind-Body Practices: Practices such as yoga, tai chi, and meditation can also help manage symptoms of menopause and perimenopause. These practices are known to reduce stress, improve mood, and enhance overall well-being. Studies have shown that yoga, in particular, can help reduce hot flashes and improve sleep quality in menopausal women. Meditation and deep breathing exercises can also help reduce stress and anxiety, which are common symptoms of menopause. Practising mindfulness meditation can help women become more aware of their thoughts and feelings and better manage their emotional responses to the changes happening in their bodies.
Menopause and perimenopause are natural stages of a woman's life, but the symptoms associated with them can be challenging to manage. While hormone replacement therapy may be an option for some women, it comes with its own set of risks and side effects. Natural remedies such as herbal supplements, dietary changes, and lifestyle modifications can help manage symptoms and improve overall well-being.
In addition to these natural remedies, alternative therapies like acupuncture, massage therapy, chiropractic care, and mind-body practices can also be effective in managing menopause and perimenopause symptoms. It's important to work with a healthcare provider to determine the best course of treatment for individual needs and to ensure that any natural remedies or alternative therapies are safe and effective.
By taking a holistic approach and combining natural remedies with lifestyle modifications and alternative therapies, women can manage the symptoms of menopause and perimenopause and enjoy a healthy, fulfilling life.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for informative purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for medical or professional advice. It is always recommended to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or making changes to your existing healthcare regimen. The author and publisher of this article are not responsible for any adverse effects or consequences that may arise from the use of the information provided here.