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Menopause

Menopause is a natural biological process and every woman will go through this process. Menopause is a phase in a woman’s life when their female hormones and the reproductive cycle go through changes and will eventually stop. With every woman a depletion of reproductive eggs occurs, this is natural. This gradual decline in egg production is referred to as, perimenopausal. During this time, the hormones estrogen and progesterone will also decline. To counter balance these declining hormones two more reproductive hormones are secreted. These hormones, follicle-stimulating and luteinizing, are used and converted into estrogen. However, the level of converted estrogen is not high enough to maintain a menstrual cycle and the woman is no longer able to reproduce.

Common symptoms of menopause are:

  • Hot flashes
  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Heavy perspiration
  • Joint pain
  • Cold extremities
  • Lack of mental clarity
  • Recurring urinary tract infections

Hormones play an intricate role in the health of a woman’s aging reproductive system. These biological changes have an affect on a woman’s mental state. It is interesting to note that women in the United States have more symptoms like hot flashes and vaginal discomfort. There has been a direct link between how woman as a community view aging and how menopause will affect them with the symptoms they manifest. In other cultures, aging and menopausal woman are viewed in a positive light, and it is rare for them to have menopausal symptoms. This begs the questions, how much does personal image and stress affect menopause?

It is quite common to hear the menopausal transition can be uncomfortable and embarrassing at times. The menopausal transition can be amplified with stress. Stress has numerous deleterious effects including promoting inflammation, increasing susceptibility to illness, and contributing to fatigue and lack of mental focus. Addressing stress is critical if you are serious about creating a strong health foundation for longevity, wellness, and improved quality of life. A first step to stress management would be to consider evaluating your sources of stress using an online assessment tool such as the Stress Solution Tool (SST) to discover hidden and unrealized areas of stress that may be robbing your health and quality of life.

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

Menopausal women have heard various stories claiming the benefits and risks of hormone replacement therapy. There may be a time and place for hormone replacement therapy (HRT), yet as the research has shown there are definitely risk factors to consider when medicating with hormones. If you are taking HRT, increasing your intake of cruciferous vegetables is crucial. Also HRT increases your potential loss of B vitamins and certain other nutrients. So focusing on broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, etc. is important. Also a true high quality multi-vitamin without iron and extra B vitamin complex is a good first step.

There are alternative options including herbal supplements like Black cohosh, a very popular non-HRT approach in Europe. Other popular approaches are the incorporation of soy isoflavones, red clover and other herbals. These herbals seem to have a slight estrogenic effect on the body. Prior to taking Black cohosh; make sure you seek medical consultation especially if you have a personal or family history of breast cancer.

Popular in Asia is the use of soy in the daily diet. The isoflavones rich in soy and also red clover have been researched to help control menopausal symptoms. When these are added to a health promoting program that also looks at nurturing the adrenal glands, the benefits can often be quite remarkable. A scientific link has been made between soy and decreasing the risk of cancer.

Prevention

This time in a woman’s’ life is very important and you will need to pay close attention to your health. While your body is changing and your hormones are fluctuating you will need to take extra steps to protect yourself from negative side effects like breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, and osteoporosis. Eating a healthy diet full of vegetables and fruits will increase your antioxidant levels. Important also for all people is the proper intake of essential fatty acids such as fish oil and flaxseed oil, this can also help maintain a more youthful complexion as well and lessen inflammatory processes throughout the body.

Your digestive system can take quite a beating during this time, so ensuring that you are taking probiotics, friendly flora for a healthy intestinal tract can help control some of the risk factors. Increasing your intake of fiber can help cleanse your digestive tract as it acts like a sponge. If you are not a big vegetable consumer then you might opt to supplement your diet with a high-quality fiber supplement.

It has also been recommended by leading medical experts that everyone can benefit from taking a high-quality and complete daily multi-vitamin. Few people actually eat a sufficiently health and broad diet to ensure the adequate intake of nutrients for all the biochemical processes necessary to not just sustain the human body but to help it truly thrive.

Summary

Menopause is a natural biological process that can greatly affect ones’ health depending on how well the woman can cope and rely on external support. As the woman ages her ovaries slow the egg production and eventually her hormones will stop her menstruation cycle. As her hormones change her body can go through changes as well and it is important for her to be educated on healthy treatment options. As a natural approach, soy and red clover, black cohosh, B vitamins, fish and flax seed oil, probiotics, vital chi, and a stress management plan can be greatly beneficial.

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Improve Posture

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