Menopause is not typically a stage of life that women look forward to. Officially beginning when a woman has gone 12 consecutive months without menstruating, menopause is earmarked with the following symptoms:
- Night sweats
- Weight gain
- Foggy thinking
- Slower than normal digestion
- Joint aches and pains
Why Menopause Occurs
As a woman ages, her reproductive system ages as well. The ovaries, responsible for producing reproductive hormones, become less active in releasing youthful hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Menopause is a completely natural part of the aging process for women. It is the time when a woman’s menstrual periods stop and she can no longer become pregnant. Menopause typically occurs in women between the ages of 45 and 55, but it can happen earlier or later depending on a variety of factors. By age 55, it is estimated that most women have already completed their menopause cycles.
During menopause, the levels of estrogen and progesterone, two hormones that play a key role in the menstrual cycle, decline. This decline can cause a range of physical and emotional symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and mood changes just as we described above. It is important to note that not all women experience menopause in the same way. Some women may have few or no symptoms, while others may experience more severe symptoms. In addition, the severity and duration of menopausal symptoms can vary from woman to woman which we explain now.
Mild, Moderate, or Severe?
For some women, menopause symptoms are barely noticeable, with very few changes to a daily routine to accommodate minor symptoms. Other women view it as a life-altering event as symptoms and hormonal brain changes affect nearly every aspect of life. For those women that experience severe symptoms and changes coming with menopause, it may be necessary to seek medical intervention to resume a normal life once more.
Plenty of prescription medications are available for reducing symptoms and balancing hormones while your body undergoes these changes, but there are others who seek out alternative means of managing symptoms without drug intervention. The following list of best Menopause supplements has been shown effective in treating and managing symptoms of menopause, giving women a light at the end of the tunnel that allows them to take their post-menopausal care under their control. Which ones are right for you? Read on to see how to handle your unique symptoms and feel energetic and youthful once more.
Black Cohosh is one of the most vetted supplements proven effective in reducing hot flashes. Made from the roots of the American black cohosh plant, it helps reduce the severity of hot flash symptoms and even eliminates more mild symptoms in some cases. People with liver cancers and other liver issues are advised not to use Black Cohosh to treat hot flashes.
Flaxseed and its derivative oil can help ease discomfort from night sweats, an uncomfortable condition that interrupts sleep patterns with excessive sweating and overheating. An excellent source of lignans, this natural supplement helps to balance and regulate female hormones, improving sleep quality overall.
Another side effect of menopause is the risk for develop osteoporosis, or “brittle bone” disease. This condition comes about due to a natural loss of calcium in the bones, making them less dense over time. Taking a calcium supplement or incorporating foods rich in calcium helps to offset this natural degradation of bone tissue, allowing you to feel more youthful and strong. It is recommended that women aged 51 and older take at least 1200 milligrams a day for best results.
Calcium and vitamin D go hand in hand; vitamin D allows your body to get calcium from the supplements and foods you are taking. Most adults need between 600 IU and 800 IU of vitamin D daily to improve calcium absorption and improve your mental mindset. Do what you can to soak up some sun and take a quality D supplement to support a number of other body processes.
Those opting not to undergo hormone replacement therapy can opt to take a natural supplement called Wild Yam. An abundance of creams and pills abound with this natural substance that helps support the production of progesterone and estrogen. Many women report relief from fatigue, aches, pains, and hot flashes with regular use of wild yam.
St. John’s Wort
St. John’s Wort has long been known for its effectiveness in treating symptoms of depression. Recent studies have linked its efficacy in treating menopause mood swings and lows, helping women cope with life changes in a healthier way.
The human body naturally produces DHEA when we are young. Known as the “hormone of youth”, our levels of DHEA drop steadily after age 30. Supplementing with doses of DHEA has been known to ease symptoms associated with hair loss, low libido, and hot flashes associated with menopause.
American menopausal women are almost eight times more likely to experience hot flashes than their Asian counterparts. Could an abundance of soy in the Asian diet be the reason that Asian women age more gracefully? Soy has been known to naturally stimulate the production of estrogen in the body, so consuming foods such as soy nuts, tofu, and soy sauce can be incredibly effective in reducing menopausal symptoms.
Self-Care is important
Self-care is an essential part of managing menopause and maintaining overall health and well-being. During this time, it is important to prioritize taking care of your physical and emotional needs. This can include getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and finding ways to manage stress.
It is also important to pay attention to your mental and emotional health during menopause. This may include seeking support from friends and family, finding ways to manage mood changes, and seeking help from a healthcare provider or therapist if needed.
Taking A Natural Approach To Healing
Taking a natural approach to healing menopausal symptoms allows you to be more in touch with your body as you age. Doing a bit of deep diving into natural supplementation will reveal the best choices for you that will allow you to embrace the menopausal process and move into your next stage of life with all the beauty and dignity that you deserve.