Menopause is a physical condition that all women over the ages of 40 go through. In medical terms, menopause is a condition wherein women over a certain age stop ovulating; their bodies no longer experience menstruation. For this reason, menopause is also referred to as secondary amenorrhea.
Menopause does not happen overnight; the symptoms of menopause begin to show a couple of years before the body reaches the state of complete menopause. The main symptom of menopause is hormonal imbalance in the body; the ovaries also slow down the production of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone hormones. The hormone levels in the body drop causing thinning of the endometrium. Endometrium is the lining inside of the uterus. As the lining starts thinning, the woman experiences less loss of blood and infrequent menstruation.
Lowered production of estrogen does not support pregnancy in a woman’s body. Estrogen is the hormone that is responsible for sustaining a healthy pregnancy; the hormone also keeps retain normal libido. Besides these, estrogen is helpful in development and upkeep of bones as well as regular and healthy functioning of the heart, the liver and the bladder. Regular production of estrogen is important for maintaining young and healthy skin.
Low production of hormones in the body is responsible for a lot of problems and disorders; it is little wonder then that menopause is a term frowned upon by most women. With less production of estrogen, the body experiences loss of collagen and elastin, which are responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the skin. Elastin and collagen ensure that the skin does not develop any unsightly wrinkles and keep the signs of aging at bay. Their absence causes skin dryness, thinning of the skin, dark and patchy skin, itching and wrinkles.
However, the major problems associated with loss of estrogen are cardiovascular diseases, heart problems, tooth decay, weakening of bones including osteoporosis and even vaginal and cervical cancer in some cases. During the course of menopause most women experience hot flashes, high blood pressure, reduced sexual urges, mood swings including depression, vaginal dryness and heart palpitations
Some of the side effects of menopause can be resolved using only medical treatment including hormone replacement therapy and hysterectomy in some cases. Women who have begun to feel the onset of menopause can try simple home remedies to deal with the effects better. These remedies are herbal and natural and are as effective as prescribed medications.
Natural Remedies For Menopause
1. Fatigue is one of the most common complaints during menopause. Women tend to feel tired and lethargic most of the times; simple household chores seem like herculean tasks. Help your body fall into this mode by eating a well-balanced diet. A nutritious diet consisting of fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, cereals, nuts, fiber and carbohydrates and essential minerals will keep your body in active mode always.
Avoid fatty, oily, sugary and starchy foods because they tend to add to the pounds on your body. It will be difficult to get rid of this fat once your body descends into menopausal mode. The ideal daily diet for women on the verge of menopause is two bowls of lentils, two glasses of milk, two servings of vegetables and two servings of fruits. Fruits and vegetables can even be had as snacks in between meals.
2. Drink herbal teas like chamomile and mint to deal with the ill-effects of menopause. 3-5 cups of herbal tea in a day are ideal for soothing your nerves and improving the state of your mind. Chamomile and mint are great mood up lifters and will pull you out of depression and anxiety. You will find it better to deal with the effects of menopause better when your mind is at peace. The herbal teas should be prepared without adding sugar. You can add one teaspoon of honey to one cup of herbal tea if you want to improve the taste.
3. Go for regular walks in the morning and in the evening to keep your weight in control. 40 minutes of daily of brisk walking will help you maintain your weight. It has also been proven that people who exercise are less likely to fall ill or suffer from depression. Exercising keeps the mind and body healthy. Yoga and meditation are also a good way of dealing with weight gain issues during menopause.
4. Drink lots of water throughout the day to keep your skin well-hydrated. This will prevent the formation of wrinkles and also take care of other skin problems associated with menopause. Start using vitamin E enriched creams for moisturizing the skin. You could also use homemade anti-winkles face packs to deal with aging of the skin.
5. Many women experience cold hands and feet during menopause. To avoid this problem drink 5-8 glasses of warm water every day. You could also add a few drops of prim rose oil in the water to help deal with hot flashes. Many health food stores also sell prim rose capsules that should be taken daily to prevent hot flashes.
6. Drink two glasses of warm milk and have two bowls of curd every day to treat loss of calcium from the body. Calcium is important for maintaining healthy bones. Loss of calcium in menopausal women puts them at high risk of osteoporosis. Your doctor will also recommend intake of calcium supplements daily. Sufficient amount of calcium in the body will prevent the bones from getting weak and brittle.
7. Many women complain of insomnia during menopause. Deal with this sleeplessness by remaining physically active through the day. Leading a sedentary life is often the cause of insomnia. You could also try exercising five hours prior to your bed time. Meditating one hour before hitting the bed will also help you sleep better.
8. Yoga and meditation are very beneficial for menopausal women. The deep breathing yoga exercises will help you keep your moods and anxiety levels under control. Proper breathing will also help improve the circulation of blood and oxygen to all parts of the body which will help the body perform its functions better.
9. Vaginal dryness is also an issue associated with menopause. The condition makes it painful to have sex and is often the reason for low sex drive. You can use a lubricant during sex to prevent dryness of the vagina. Massaging the vagina with vitamin E oil or olive oil before going to bed will keep the vagina well moisturized.