Menopause is a natural event that occurs when the body stops releasing eggs and starts to produce less estrogen. The effects of menopause are usually revealed when a woman reaches 50 years old.
I am 59 years old and I begin to experience menopause in my early fifties. I knew that when I started menopause, I wanted natural remedies and without any oral medication. At first I didn’t realize it was menopause because my ultrasound showed that I had multiple fibroids. I was experiencing heavy bleeding during my menstrual cycles and then I started having cycles two times a month. It was pretty heavy in that I had to wear the biggest at night pads I could find. I had to wear two of them and still it was bleeding through my clothing. My hemoglobin stayed low to the point where I had to take iron supplements. By the time I had surgery my hemoglobin level dropped to 6. After surgery my blood count went back to normal.
Specific information on how to prepare for this life stage, how to cope with and manage its symptoms, as well as healthy lifestyle tips will be covered in this article.
Some of the most common symptoms that women experience during menopause are hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness. These symptoms can vary in severity and frequency but they are all caused by low estrogen levels.
According to Mayo Clinic, “Menopause can happen in your 40s or 50s, but the average age is 51 in the United States.”
Some of the symptoms are:
The following is a list of natural remedies for some of these symptoms:
– Hot flashes and night sweats can be reduced with exercise, stress management techniques, acupuncture, or prescription medications.
– Vaginal dryness can be treated with over-the-counter lubricants or hormone replacement therapy.
Increasing the intake of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants may also help with hot flashes.- Dry skin can be treated by applying a moisturizing cream or lotion before bedtime.- Caffeine increases blood flow and helps with stress management- Ajuga is also known to help with vaginal dryness.
I opted to go the natural route. Although some medications work for some, my mother was on estrogen and developed breast cancer.
I had a combination of the fibroids and menopause that cause my heavy bleeding. I did have surgery, but it was only to remove the fibroid that was pressing against the endometrium, and I had a polyp that was removed. I’ve had polyps before and they can also cause heavy bleeding. My doctor performed a procedure called, Myomectomy. It was one of the procedures that he recommended and one I did research on. I had a good doctor who was willing to listen to me and work with me as I battled with heavy bleeding(see my article on finding a good doctor here). Within a year, I no longer had any periods. My symptoms are: Hot flashes, vaginal dryness, mood swings and sometimes forgetfulness.
It is estimated that up to fifty percent of women experience sleep problems after menopause. Some of the most common complaints are difficulty falling asleep, waking up in the middle of the night, and restless sleep.
The hormonal changes that occur during menopause can be a contributing factor to these problems, as can other factors such as stress, poor diet and lack of exercise. However, these issues can be treated with natural remedies. The following are some effective solutions:
– Keep a regular sleep schedule – Avoid caffeine or alcohol before bedtime – Exercise regularly – Practice good sleep hygiene (keeping your bedroom dark and cool; keeping electronics out of your bedroom)
I take I take melatonin at night and it helps me to fall asleep quickly. I also have a fan next to my bed and run it during the night. I also like to keep my room cool.
I wanted to handle menopause naturally, so how am I dealing with vaginal dryness, hot flashes, difficulty sleeping and forgetfulness? For one, I am following my sister who decided not to take any supplements or prescription drugs. She just rode it out. I do use fans. Since I am a couponer and deal searcher, I was able to find several fans for a penny. For more information on penny shopping click here. I have one in every room.
So when I get super hot, I just turn it on until I cool down.
I don’t believe in taking medication for menopause. I take enough meds for other ailments. My mother took estrogen and ended up with breast cancer. There is medication that helps to reduce the symptoms, but I prefer to try natural means. Eating healthy and exercising seems to help me. Along with eating a mostly healthy diet, I am juicing. Juicing seems to help me to build my immunity as well as generally making me feel good. I do have occasional aches and pains, but not associated with menopause. I make sure I have a lot of protein in my diet to strengthen my bones. As far as vaginal dryness that is a quick fix with all the lubricants on the market. I can’t say it resolves my menopausal symptoms completely, but I do feel better mental and physically.
When I have trouble sleeping I take melatonin. I also take L-Theanine which helps to relax me and put me in a better mood.
A friend of mine started menopause abruptly because she had a hysterectomy. Her doctor recommended anti-depressants for her. She was going through the loss of her mother and major surgery. It did work for her and she didn’t have to be on it for long.
If healthy eating helps us at other phases of our life why not middle age? I notice that when I am eating a lot of processed foods and sweets, not only do I feel tired but I suffer from joint pain walking up the stairs. I recently changed my diet to veggie/fruit juices, protein and raw veggies and for now stopping a lot of processed foods. My main drinks are water, coffee, and sparkling water. I have a container that holds 64 oz of water and I try to drink that everyday. I am also on supplements which include multivitamins, elderberry, probiotics, D3, and vitamin C. Since I’ve been off the processed foods, I can walk without pain.
I try not to do a lot of strenuous exercise. My favorite is some workouts I used to do back in the 80’s, the Fabulous 50’s lady who has workouts on You Tube, Susan Powter and my spinning bike. I take baby steps. Sometimes I will just try 20 min three times a week. I change things up. I may do the bike twice a week one week, then focus on aerobics the next. Sometimes I don’t exercise at all, but am active in other ways. I like working out because it makes me strong. It gives me the endurance that I need. It strengthens my bones and muscles and helps my heart. It also uplifts me! Menopause can cause muscle loss so vitamin C, protein and strength training can aid in strong muscles.
The most widely used option among women is Black Cohosh, this herb is available in capsule form and can be taken once a day before breakfast or dinner with a full glass of water. Some other popular options are Tofu and Sage, these can be consumed by boiling them in water for 10 minutes or by taking it in an extract form. Flaxseed can also be consumed by boiling them in water for 10 minutes or by taking it as an extract form. Another popular remedy is Omega-3 fatty acid which can help maintain the blood circulation and reduces pain.
Several women rave about Black Cohosh. They shared how it helps with hot flashes. According to Healthline, 80 women were given Black Cohosh daily. The women stated that they did have fewer hot flashes. The downside is that this supplement acts the same as the hormone estrogen which has been reported to cause cancer. That being said it’s good to research herbal supplements because natural doesn’t mean a guarantee that it won’t harm you. I don’t think there are enough studies on this, but for me I decided to not try it. My mother was on estrogen and did get breast cancer. So, since it runs in my family, I would rather be safe than sorry.
While this can be a difficult time for many women, it’s not the end. I really believe when we focus on a better diet, exercise and just staying busy will help us to get through it. I know my worst days are when I don’t take the time to rest and take a break from what stresses me out. The pandemic has actually helped because since I am indoors most of the time, I can just wear shorts and tank tops. That helps me tremendously since I stay cool with barely anything on.
The symptoms of menopause, like hot flashes and night sweats, can be difficult to manage. Fortunately, there are lots of natural remedies that can help. What have you tried?