For those of us who have already been through and are finished with menopause, we certainly understand what the women who are going through it now, or who have yet to go through it, are up against. However, there are things that you can do nutritionally and with herbs that will help you maintain your sanity during a time in a woman’s life when nothing is sane. This is not medical advice, but rather some things you can opt to do if you want to.
The really bad news is that menopause it not over in a week or a month. It can’t be “cured” with an antibiotic. It can last for several or many years and cause heartache and sometimes, the feeling of despair.
Your skin gets thin, you may put on weight, there are the horrible “night sweats” along with the daily power surges (hot flashes), irritability, mood swings, crying jags, insomnia, and the list goes on. Many doctors suggest hormone replacement therapy (HRT) but that’s another article.
Another option is bio-identical hormones. They continue to be a subject for discussion.
The only problem with bio-identical hormones that I found, is they are still a synthetic compound that must be mixed by a trained and certified pharmacist who is qualified to compound. The cost of this is one thing, but trying to find a pharmacist that compounds bio-identical hormones may be a bit challenging depending on where you live. The bad news is that sometimes, they don’t work for women as every woman’s body is different.
Soy has been touted as a life saver for menopausal women. This can be consumed in several different ways. You can drink soy milk, each foods with soy in it, eat Soy Joy (a new snack food on the market), or consume legumes on a regular basis, as examples.
However, there are vitamins and nutrient-rich herbs that can help ease menopause and its symptoms in addition to soy.
- Vitamin C (healthy teeth and gums, heart health, and clears out toxins): alfalfa, catnip, cayenne, dandelion, hawthorn, parsley, red raspberry, and rosehips. You can also get Vitamin C from your citrus fruits, and some vegetables.
- Vitamin E (for a healthy heart and arteries): alfalfa, dandelion, kelp, red raspberry, rosehips, and watercress. 400 IU is usually the standard.
- Iodine (promotes nerve and brain functions and regulates metabolism): garlic, Irish moss, kelp, mustard, nettle, and parsley. Fresh Garlic is much better than garlic salt or garlic powder. Kelp is wonderful steamed, and parsley can be added to just about anything if finely chopped.
- Vitamin B1 (helps the nervous and digestive systems:) cayenne, dandelion, fathen, fenugreek, kelp, and watercress. Dandelion can be taken in pill form, or as a tea. Cayenne can be used as a spice in any dinner or it can be taken in capsule form.
- Vitamin B2 (eye health): burdock, dandelion, fenugreek, parsley, and watercress.
- Vitamin B3 (niacin supports the adrenal glands; deficiency symptoms can include insomnia, depression, and irritability): alfalfa, burdock, fathen, kelp, parsley, and sage.
- Black Cohosh (contains estrogenic substances): This helps relieve some of the menopausal discomforts such as the hot flashes.
- Strawberry is one of the top boron-containing foods along with peaches, cabbage, cherries, beets, apricots, apples, asparagus, parsley, and dill. Foods containing boron can double blood levels of circulating estrogen. Make sure these are all fresh.
- Alfalfa has demonstrated estrogenic activity. The leaves make a tasty tea. You can also throw alfalfa in a salad or stir fry them in with other vegetables.
- Don’t forget a good multi-vitamin. Check the label to make sure there are not alot of fillers in your vitamin. The sasme applies to your Vitamin C, E, and Bs. Do your homework to make sure you are getting the best and purest product you can.
You can also get your vitamins in the foods that you eat. Making an appointment with a nutritionist may not be a bad idea to help you get an eating program that will ensure you get the nutrients that you need to get through menopause without major difficulty.
We can’t stop menopause. It is like a right of passage for women when they get to a certain age. But we can help lessen the “change” with good nutrition and good vitamin and supplement support. Remember—fifty is the new forty—or so I have been told. Don’t let menopause take over your life.