Change of Life / Climacteric
Menopause is the cessation of menstruation with age (though it can also occur suddenly from a hysterectomy). It occurs when the ovaries stop producing estrogen, causing the reproductive system to gradually shut down. Many women, especially in countries with more natural lifestyles, make it through menopause almost effortlessly, so it is a myth that this time of life must be brutal. In Europe and the United States, however, menopause can be seriously traumatic for women and the men in their lives. There’s good reason for this trauma: When a woman hits menopause, her body doesn’t slowly reduce the amount of hormones it produces; it alternately stops and restarts producing them. Eventually, the estrogen production level stabilizes itself, but that’s after many highs and crashes. Many wonderful natural cures can ease menopause, however.
In addition to irritability and increased osteoporosis risk, menopausal women also experience symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, loss of libido, vaginal dryness, weight gain, water retention,depression, palpitations, poor concentration, irritability, the urgent need to urinate, and increased risk of yeast infections, fibrocystic breast disease, breast cancer, and endometrial cancer. A woman can tell menopause is approaching when she has increasingly short, light, and erratic menstrual periods. She may experience sleep disturbances, itching, osteoporosis, muscle pain, atrophy of the breasts, toughening of the skin, and memory loss. It is important for women not to expect this to occur and go into a depression with age, but to take precautions so it does not occur.
The average onset of menopause is around age 50. Some women begin menopause younger if they have suffered from cancer, gone through chemotherapy, or had a hysterectomy. Menopause is considered premature if it occurs before 40. This is rare, occurring in only 1% of women. Autoimmune disorders, thyroid disease, and diabetes mellitus can bring this on.
Treatments for Menopause
When soy meets girl, her life gets better in all ways. Soy is great for the heart and provides nutrients for the building blocks of all hormones. Soy helps with hot flashes and night sweats. Soy is also anticancer, especially estrogenbased cancers such as cancer of the breast, ovarian, and uterine. Soy also helps build strong bones. In general, soy products like tofu and soy protein are better than using soybean oil and soy sauce. As with most foods, the closer it is to its natural state, the better.
Papaya, like soy and soy products such as tempeh, contains phytoestrogens, which are phytochemicals that bind to the body’s estrogen receptors, functioning like a surrogate hormone. Some natural medicine practitioners recommend eating papaya once a day.
While eating phytoestrogenrich foods such as papaya and soy are helpful menopause remedies, estrogen replacement therapy is ineffective because it rests on a theory that most experts now believe is wrong. Physicians used to believe that menopause occurs when a woman’s body runs out of estrogen, but this is not the case. As noted, a woman’s body continues to make estrogen intermittently, even after menstruation has ceased. Hormone replacement therapy would work if the symptoms of menopause were actually caused by an estrogen deficiency, but they are not. In fact, many women have too much estrogen in relation to their levels of progesterone.
Other Treatments for Menopause
- Supplementing with dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), the mother hormone, and pregnenolone, the grandmother hormone, has helped endless women with menopause. Pregnenolone is made from good cholesterol and, in your body, is converted into all your steroid hormones, including DHEA, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
- Many women claim that drinking a glass of cold water at the first hint of a hot flash can keep the flash from hitting fullon.
- For an extra boost to your menopause remedy regimen, try taking black cohosh, alfalfa, sarsaparilla, licorice root, maca root, or blessed thistle. These are all believed to provide some relief from menopause symptoms.
- When it comes to osteoporosis and aches and pains related to menopause, they can be solved with the introduction of bioavailable silica. Organic calcium (from silica) builds bones. Inorganic calcium (from cow’s milk) leaches the organic calcium from your bones and blood as it links up with the organic calcium in your bones in its futile attempt to be absorbed into your body.
- Vitamin D is key to both the prevention of osteoporosis and the relief of menopausal symptoms. Sunshine is the best source of this nutrient, which is quickly converted into a hormone by the body. One teaspoon of cod liver oil contains 400 IU of vitamin D. The primary avenue for intake of vitamin D is exposure to sunlight.
A great deal of research recently indicated that soy in any form can be harmful. Much of this is focused on soy’s interference with the proper functioning of the thyroid gland, which, in turn, causes hormone imbalances. While scientists continue to deliberate on this subject, validating and invalidating the findings of other scientists, most holistic health practitioners who subscribe to the idea of balance as a foundation of good health believe that soy products are only bad when eaten in excess or when concentrated—such as the case with soybean oil. Bioidentical hormone creams containing natural estrogens, progesterone and testosterone are becoming increasingly popular as safer ways to balance menopausal hormones.
Testosterone keeps men and women younger. When you start to get gray hair, you know your testosterone levels are dropping. If you’re a man older than age 35, try 50 mg of DHEA; if you’re a woman older than 35, try 25 mg of DHEA. A number of studies link agerelated declining DHEA levels to the onset of chronic disorders such as high cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes, obesity, arthritis, heart disease, and autoimmune diseases. Add pregnenolone, pantothenic acid, and vitamin C.
- Many women are estrogen dominant at menopause and the trend of taking more estrogen has luckily stopped. There is already too much estrogens in foods, such as soy, pesticides, and milk. This leads to not only estrogen dominance but also thyroid hormone imbalances.
- Menopausal women should avoid processed foods, which contain artificial hormones, and Xenoestrogens in the pesticides, which are also carcinogenic. Livestock are often injected with estrogen and antibiotics. Men can find themselves becoming feminized, and young girls can begin their menstrual cycles too early because of the hormones in milk and meat.