Every month since puberty, your body has ripened some of the half-million, or so eggs stored in your ovaries. But now (usually around the age of 50), there are only a few eggs left. and the entire monthly cycle - the swelling and bursting of the egg sac, its release of the hormones estrogen and progesterone, the hormone-triggered thickening of the uterus with blood as it prepares to harbor and nourish a newly fertilized egg, and the menstrual shedding of uterine cells and blood if an egg isn't fertilized- is slowly coming to a halt.
Starting a few years before your final period (a time called peri-menopause), as your supply of eggs dwindles and reproductive hormones decline, you may begin to feel that "The Change" should be the title of a horror movie-with you as the unwilling star.
There can be hot flashes and night sweats. Fatigue and insomnia. Vaginal dryness and loss of sex drive. Depression, memory loss, or sudden mood swings. what's more, you intermittent periods may be the heaviest and most uncomfortable that you've ever experienced.
Of course, you can opt for hormone replacement therapy (HRT), and many women dealing with the symptoms of menopause can benefit from this type of medication. But it's likely that your doctor has told you that using HRT or enduring the symptoms are your only two choices.
Few women learn about alternative therapies to reduce menopausal symptoms. As a result, many women do not get the treatment that's best suited to their needs. With the alternative home remedies offered here, however, which are recommended by doctors and healers who specialize in treating menopause, you don't have to be one of them. I am now 48 years of age, and 5 years into menopause. I was very young (43 years), to have gone through menopause in which Doctors neglected to properly diagnose me. The following, is how I overcame my symptoms. Individual symptoms, age and treatments may differ.
~Cooling Hot Flashes and Night Sweats~
Most menopausal women experience hot flashes, and many seek medical care. It's not hard to under-stand why.
The "flash" usually begins in the chest, neck, or face and spreads to other parts of your body. You sweat-sometimes mildly, sometimes profusely. (If you have hot flashes at night, called night sweats, you may sweat so much that you have to change the sheets.) After you sweat, you shiver. Because you feel so uncomfortable - first hot, then cold, - you may shed and then add clothes throughout the day.
Hot flashes typically last from 30 seconds to 5 minutes, and they can happen infrequently as few timers a fear or as often as 30 to 40 times a day. Here's how to get relief.
VITAMIN E: As Effective as Estrogen
This nutrient can help control and even eliminate hot flashes. Recommended 400 to 1,200 international units (IU) daily. Start with 400 IU and gradually increase the dosage over 2 weeks until you obtain relief.
The best way to take the vitamin is in divided doses four or five times a day. I you have night sweats, take one dose before bed and another during the night if you wake up.
Once you're felling well, gradually start reducing the dosage back to 400 IU.
Vitamin E may also help ease other symptoms of menopause, such as vaginal dryness. Various studies show that vitamin E can be an effective substitute for estrogen in the majority of women.
FOOD: Add E to Your Diet
Foods that are good sources of vitamin E include; avocado, flax-seed, and wheat germ. I also urge women to regularly eat small quantities of E-rich seeds and nuts. *Sprinkle sunflower seeds over a salad, or chop a few Brazil nuts on a casserole or grain dish.
B-COMPLEX VITAMINS: To Reduce Stress
The effects of stress on menopausal women can be reduced by being sure that the multivitamins they take contain adequate doses of B vitamins. Take daily multivitamins that contain 25 to 100 milligrams of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, and B6, as well as 50 to 100 micrograms of B12.
BLACK COHOSH: For Hormonal Balance
This herb attaches to estrogen receptor sites in the body, helping to correct hormone imbalances and reducing many of the symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes and night sweats.
I recommend using high-quality products such as standardized tinctures or tablets. If you want to make a tea, which is also helpful, buy some dried root at a health food store. cut 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of root, place it in a pan with 2 cups water, cover and simmer for 10 minutes on low heat. Strain the tea, let it cool to room temperature, and drink 1/2 to 1 cup three times a day.
For Tablets, I suggest taking 20 milligrams twice a day. If you use a tincture or liquid form of the herb, take 1/2 teaspoon as is or diluted in a small amount of water twice a day.
Depending on the severity of your symptoms, you'll need to take the herb daily for anywhere from 5 days to 5 or 6 weeks before you feel better.
MOTHER-WORT: The "Cool" Herb
If you don't see results from black cohosh, look for another plant ally. Try mother wort, which cannot only help stop hot flashes but also alleviate irritability, a common problem during menopause.
To make motherwork tea, pour 1 pint of boiling water into a pot containing 1 ounce of the leaves, steep for 10 minutes, strain, and drink at room temperature. Drink 1/2 to 1 cup of tea three times a day as needed.
As a tincture, take two droppers every 10 minutes until your symptoms go away, which usually happens after two or three doses. If you can't take it that often, take two droppers once and hour, either straight or with a small amount of water. A tincture of this herb at these doses is quite safe.
SAGE: For Profuse Sweating
This herb works well for a woman who is having hot flashes throughout the day - taking her sweater off, putting it on, waking with night sweats, and driving everybody crazy, including herself. Make a sage tea, following the directions for mother-wort tea, above.
PROGESTERONE: To Halt Hot Flashes
Most women who used the hormone progesterone for 1 year will have improvement of their hot flashes. Pro-Gest, a natural progesterone cream applied 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of cream twice daily, right after getting up in the morning and right before going to bed. Rub it into any area of your skin.
HYDROTHERAPY: Sweat More to Sweat Less
The body expels toxins during menstruation. When menstrual cycles decrease or stop, the body needs another outlet for the toxins, so it seats or has hot flashes. By sweating intentionally in a sauna or steam bath, you provide as outlet for the toxins and can eliminate hot flashes.
~Steps to More Energy and Better Sleep~
Fatigue and insomnia are major problems for menopausal women. Here are some effective ways to solve them.
SIBERIAN GINSENG: an Herbal Energy Booster
This herb helps restore energy and cool hot flashes. Recommended taking 200 to 1,000 milligrams in three divided doses throughout the day. Determine the size of the dose according to the severity of your hot flashes.
For some menopausal women, Siberian ginseng can cause increased menstrual bleeding, so if you experience this effect, discontinue the herb.
SUPPLEMENTS: Three for the Adrenals
Worn-out adrenal glands are a common cause of fatigue in menopausal women.
To regenerate your adrenals, recommended three adrenal-building supplements: 2,000 milligrams a day of vitamin C, 500 milligrams a day of pantothenic acid (a B vitamin), and 80 milligrams two to four times a day of desiccated adrenal extract. Take the extract for 2 or 3 months, then take a break for 1 to 2 months before restarting.
LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OIL: Give It the Nod
Dabbing a few drops of lavender essential oil on your pillow can help you sleep.
VALERIAN: For a Good Night's Sleep
Taking 300 to 500 milligrams of Valerian extract 1 hour before bedtime is a safe, nonaddictive herbal option for better sleep.
ACUPRESSURE: Resting Points
Stimulating two acupressure points on your feet once a day can help relieve insomnia and anxiety in menopausal women. To do the exercise, sit comfortably and press firmly but gently on each point for 1 to 3 minutes with your middle and index fingers.
*KI6 - Using your left hand, press the indentation on the inside of your right ankle, directly below the anklebone. Repeat, using your right hand on your left ankle.
*BL62 - Using your right hand, press the indentation on the outside of your right ankle, directly below the anklebone. Repeat with your left hand on you left ankle.
~Dealing with Vaginal Changes and Lowered Libido
As peri-menopause changes to menopause, early symptoms such as hot flashes and mood swings tend to go away.
Changes in the vagina increase, however. The tissues become thinner, drier, and less elastic, which could cause painful intercourse and reduced sexual desire. Sexuality itself is also estrogen-dependent, so after menopause, orgasms can be less frequent and can be less intense and clitoral sensitivity can be lessened.
Don't think that you have to take a vow of celibacy, though. You can stay sexually active and enjoy it after menopause. Here are a couple of suggestions.
KEGELS: Squeeze More Pleasure into Your Life
This repetitive squeezing of the pelvis muscles improves vaginal elasticity and increases sexual pleasure. Kegel exercises can be done anywhere, while standing, sitting, or lying down. Ideally, you should practice them five times a day for the rest of your life. Here are instructions for performing these simple exercises.
Slowly draw up the vaginal muscles and hold for 3 seconds, then relax. Repeat 10 times. Next, squeeze the vaginal muscles firmly, then alternately contract and relax them as rapidly as you can. Repeat 10 times.
CHASTEBERRY: Chases Away symptoms
this herb is believed to have a profound effect hormonally, not only helping to reverse vaginal changes and lowered libido but also relieving many of the symptoms of menopause. It takes about 3 months of daily use to see results.
Recommended using the herb in tincture form, following the dosage recommendations of the label. Chasteberry is often available in health food stores under the name Vitex.
~ Slowing Heavy Bleeding~
As hormones shift, periods can become less frequent and lighter. For some, however, periods become longer and heavier before ceasing. There are a number of nutrients that can help solve the problem.
VITAMIN A: Helps Stem the Flow
Women with excessive bleeding have lower-than-normal levels of vitamin A and that supplementing with the nutrient stops bleeding in most women with this problem. Recommended eating plenty of sweet potatoes and drinking carrot juice, both of which supply beta-carotene, the most beneficial form of vitamin A.
B-COMPLEX VITAMINS: Maintain Estrogen Levels
Take 50 to 100 milligrams a day of B-complex vitamins, which can help stabilize estrogen levels.
VITAMIN C WITH BIOFLAVONOIDS: Reduce Bleeding
these nutrients can reduce heavy bleeding. Recommended 1,000 to 4,000 milligrams a day of vitamin C in combination with 500 to 2,000 milligrams of bioflavonoids.
~Natural relief from Memory Problems, Mood Swings, and Depression~
For many women, the emotional and mental effects of menopause - forgetfulness, wide mood swings, and depression - are worse than the physical ills. there are many simple solutions, however.
GINKGO: For Better Memory
This herb is an antioxidant and improves blood flow to the brain. Look for a standardized product containing 24 percent ginkgo flavoglycosides with 6 percent terpene lactones as the active ingredients. Taking a 40- to 80 milligram capsule three times a day can provide significant improvement.
ST. JOHN'S WORT: For Anxiety and Irritability
This herb is more effective than traditional antidepressants for mild to moderate depression. Take 100 to 300 milligrams of a supplement standardized for 0.3 percent hypericin three times a day.
YOGA: Pose As a Child
The yoga exercise known as the child's pose is excellent for calming anxiety and stress due to emotional causes and will also relieve menopause-related anxiety and irritability.
Begin on your hands and knees with your knees hip-width apart and your elbows straight but not locked. Exhale and sit back on your heels, rest your torso on your thighs and bring your forehead to the floor, stretching your spine. Rest your arms on the floor beside your torso with your palms up. Close your eyes, breathe easily, and hold the pose for as long as you're comfortable. You can do it for as long as you like without harm.
AFFIRMATIONS: Be positive
Affirmations are positive statements that help change negative, unhappy emotional and mental states. Here are some of my recommended affirmations for menopause. to do the affirmations, sit in a comfortable position and repeat each statement three times, slowly and clearly.
* My mood is clam and relaxed.
* I handle stress easily and effortlessly.
* I feel wonderful as I go through menopause.
* Menopause is a beautiful time of growth and change for me.
* I am enjoying my life more and more.
* My life brings me pleasure.
NO WONDER WHY IT'S CALLED "THE CHANGE"