How Do Naturopaths Help Women with Menopause?

During this time of life, it is imperative you get all the help you need to make this transition smoother both emotionally and physically. Naturopathy can help women suffering from the most common symptoms of Menopause, including:

  • Reduce the severity of hot flushes;
  • Relieve mood swings;
  • Improve sleep and reduce night sweats;
  • Improve the quality of life
  • Reduce anxiety
  • Vaginal dryness and increase libido

How Shamanic Healing & Breath-work can help;

  • Support your through emotional release
  • Support trauma release
  • Support mindfulness and emotional balance
  • Support life transitions

Managing Menopause With Naturopathy

Conventional Treatment vs Natural Treatment

HT is not all bad but it is a little confusing and there is a lot of different options regarding the different types. Click here to read a full current break down.

The goal of holistic treatment is to bring overall balance to the hormonal cycles without overly affecting the natural transition of menopause, and treatment will vary widely from person to person depending on symptoms and varying hormone imbalances. While hormone replacement therapy has been proven to treat all symptoms, and can help many women, it’s not without its downsides. Even natural or bioidentical hormone replacement can interrupt the hormonal transition that is naturally occurring in the body. As part of the ageing process, the body naturally decreases the production of oestrogen and progesterone and will, over time, equilibrate to the lower levels of hormones. Natural therapies, other than natural or bioidentical HRT, can assist in bringing the body back to balance throughout this transition of decreased hormonal output, as well as help ease a woman’s symptoms. However, in extreme situations, HT definitely has its place.

Natural Remedies for Menopause

This transition in life can be a vulnerable time but it is important to remember that it doesn’t last forever. There are many things you can do to help naturally support the process:

Nutrition

Stick to non-processed whole foods, fruits and vegetables to reduce inflammation

  • Include Omega 3-rich foods like oily fish, hemp seeds and flaxseed
  • Include calcium-rich foods for bone health, like fish with bones, broccoli and legumes
  • Cruciferous veggies: Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and cabbage contain several powerful nutrients that help metabolise oestrogenic molecules.
  • Include Iron-rich foods like lean meat, fish, eggs, leafy green veg, nuts and grains
  • Phytoestrogens are a special group of phytonutrients that occur naturally in most plant foods. The two major classes are isoflavones in soy, and lignans in seeds, whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables. They’re called phytoestrogens because of the way they interact with oestrogen receptors but they’re not actually oestrogen. They actually effectively block estradiol and are therefore better classified as anti-oestrogen which can be beneficial in cases of too much oestrogen.
  • Plant-based foods that are high in isoflavones or phytoestrogen like fermented soy can help to relieve symptoms caused by declining oestrogen.
  • Avoid trigger foods like spicy foods, caffeine, alcohol and sugar

Lifestyle

It’s essential to make time to move your body and give it the attention that it needs. This can reduce your stress and overall severity of symptoms:

  • Daily gentle movement like walking, yoga or pilates can help the movement of the lymphatic system to assist with detoxification and release our “feel good hormones” . Walking in nature with some sunlight can do wonders for mood. Movement can also assist to calm the mind and move stuck emotions. Moderate exercise on a regular basis—30 to 45 minutes three times a week of cardiovascular exercise, plus 10 to 15 minutes two to three times a week of weight training—has been shown to ease symptoms.
  • Relaxing self-care therapies like; Epsom salt baths can be beneficial before bed for insomnia and muscle tension to support magnesium and relaxation. Massage can also be great to relax and unwind.
  • Alternative therapies like; breathwork, Meditation, acupuncture, somatic healing, reiki – can all help with emotional release. Creative paths like art therapy, new hobbies or dance can be an amazing outlet and give you some inspiration for your next chapter.
  • Therapy can be so important to process such a transitional and emotional time. Finding a good counsellor, psychologist or psychotherapist can make a big difference and offer some additional support.

Supplements for Menopause

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an essential building block for a healthy body. It promotes healthy bone renewal, normal cell growth, and hormone balance, which are all important for menopausal women. As women age, their ability to absorb vitamin D decreases, heightening their risk of bone density loss. This makes the need to incorporate vitamin D into their diets that much more critical.

Taurine

Taurine is an amino acid that is not used to build proteins but instead acts as a free amino acid to support the healthy functioning of the immune and nervous systems. It can be great for perimenopause, menopause, sleep, mood, insulin resistance, and migraine prevention. It calms stress and anxiety, helps with bones and muscles and supports mood changes.

Magnesium

An amazing stress reliever, supports sleep, and regulates cortisol. Magnesium levels are essential during this time.

Calcium

Osteoporosis is a disease of ageing, which happens when sex hormones (oestrogen in women and testosterone in men) reduce. For this reason, calcium levels are important during and after menopause. Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption. Bone has a primary structural requirement for calcium but it also acts as a reservoir for the rest of the body’s calcium requirements. If calcium is not available to the organs, which require it for their optimal functioning, it will be withdrawn from bones. That’s why measuring calcium levels in the blood is deceptive – the body will draw calcium out of bones to maintain constant blood levels. Calcium is continuously released from the bone and filtered through the kidneys, only to be absorbed back into the bones (ideally). The older we get, the more calcium we lose through the urine.


Natural Herbs for Menopause

Black Cohosh is a well-known menopause herb. Often mistakenly referred to as an oestrogen herb, Black cohosh does not contain oestrogen. It is thought to be able to modify oestrogen receptors. Black cohosh may also act on the receptors for the “feel good” neurotransmitter, serotonin. Serotonin fluctuations are believed to trigger hot flushes. It is the herb for vaginal dryness. It is not recommended if you have history of liver disease.

Shatavari is a potent tonic for the female reproductive system and contains phytoestrogens and natural precursors to female hormones that help to balance hormones and reduce menopausal symptoms. It is also naturally cooling and moistening to the reproductive tract, making it perfect for the hot, dry symptoms of menopause whilst also boosting libido. It is also an adaptogen that aids in the stress response.

Sage is the ultimate hot flush vanquisher, but it’s essential to drink it cold. Warm sage tea can have the opposite effect. Sage shouldn’t need to be used continuously. I find most women can reduce hot flushes using sage within 1-2 weeks can reduce the symptoms of menopause including hot flushes. Sage is traditionally used in Western herbal medicine to decrease excessive sweating.

Zizyphus is used to calm the spirit, aid in sleep, relieve sleeplessness and reduce sweating making it a great tonic for menopause.

Wild Yam can relieve menopausal symptoms when taken orally. Women report feeling less agitated, reduced hot flashes intensity and reduced aches and pains when taking wild yam. The benefits from topical wild yam creams are questionable, but some women still swear by it. Wild yam may assist with hormone balance, inflammation, and abdominal spasms or cramping

Rehmannia is traditionally a cooling herb. This herb proves helpful when hot flashes persist day and night, alongside constipation, a history of heavy bleeding and joint aches and pains.

Red clover is a phytoestrogen and member of the legume family. The isoflavones found in red clover are more bioavailable than soy. It can weakly stimulate the beta oestrogen receptors and help reduce oestrogen fluctuations that trigger hot flushes

Chaste Tree is used when PMS symptoms are severe. It can also aid in sleep. I am always cautious using chaste tree, depending on other hormone levels.

Stinging Nettle is known for its nourishing and restorative properties, its support of joint and skin health, and even its ability to rehydrate vaginal tissue! It can support and may even heal bleeding disorders, arthritis, and inflammation. It’s known as a nervine, which means it’s a tonic for the nervous system.

Evening primrose is high in omega-6 fatty acids, evening primrose oil may reduce inflammation, ease pain, help support brain function, and contribute to bone health.

For sleep I often use lemon balm (which assists in sleep and lifts the spirit), lavender, passionflower and oats straw.

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