Are you one of the 8,000 with menopause symptoms?
Menopause symptoms start to affect about 8,000 western women each day, as they enter the menopause. Menopause symptoms can raise a variety of concerns and fears.
Uncertainty and misinformation about menopause abound. Emotional strains are heightened by the all too apparent physical and mental symptoms a woman can experience.
At the very time when a woman needs extra support from her partner, nature can act against her. Also during menopause stress can be higher and can create communication difficulties. This can lead to problems with partners, family and friends during the menopause.
Drugs – society’s elixir of choice
Rather than search for effective natural remedies for menopause symptoms, many women face another difficult – choice; HRT (or ERT) – yes or no?
The doctor probably says this is how best to treat menopause symptoms. Nurses often agree. Friends and colleagues may report some positive results from HRT for menopause. Women’s groups used to/still do regard HRT as “a woman’s right” for menopause symptoms.
But you also have real concerns about HRT (ERT):
Results from long term trials are limited and ambiguous.
You may react against taking a drug for years into the future – perhaps for the first time.
You are worried about cancer risks.
And you probably wonder if there are natural ways which can better help menopause symptoms – after all, menopause is a natural process. Surely, the symptoms must be able to be managed in a more natural way?
My preferred method – for general good health and at the time of the menopause – is using naturopathy in combination with herbs.
You probably need to change your lifestyle if you want to be as healthy as possible, and if you want to help yourself during the menopause. This does take some effort on your part – maybe changing entrenched habits. But it will be worth it. Changing habits can be very beneficial for these symptoms.
The ‘magic bullet’ is no more present in natural medicine than it was once thought to be in conventional medicine. It takes some solid effort to keep yourself in balance and feeling great.
Naturopathy is the use of simple methods to aid nature to get you well and keep you well. It includes focusing on food, exercise, relaxation and being happy in your work and your life.
Menopause symptoms and herbs
I have found that mild herbal medicines and remedies will often help you to keep healthy and fit. This applies to menopause symptoms as well as in other areas of health. When you are living ‘naturopathically’ – using the principles mentioned earlier – herbal remedies will help you tremendously.
I recommend that you learn to use naturopathic principles talked about on this site and in our newsletter (good food, exercise, relaxation and developing a happy state of mind) and introduce them into your life. This is a very important process which will carry you towards long term good health.
Of course, with unlimited time and money, it would be best to seek out skilled practitioners we feel comfortable with and let them treat our menopause symptoms. This would be ideal. However, many people choose to go the ‘self-help’ route and, if you are otherwise healthy, this can be very successful if you follow a few guidelines.
Menopause symptoms and wild yam
Question: Is taking HRT made from wild yam better than other forms of HRT?
Answer: Much HRT is made from wild yam as a source material. The HRT is still a chemical. If that is the type you are taking, it’s no different from any other drug with the same formula.
The source material is not relevant as it goes through more than 20 manufacturing steps to become HRT.
If, however, you are taking wild yam itself, then some women find the herb helps menopausal symptoms.
The ‘self help’ approach to menopause symptoms
For menopause symptoms, build on the health foundation mentioned by trying various herbs to see which work for you. In the UK, the most popular herb used by itself for menopause is certainly agnus castus (that’s ‘castus’ – it’s not a ‘cactus’, though it looks like it!) Some combination herbal formulas include agnus castus among a number of herbal ingredients. Some women find these agnus castus combinations more helpful for their menopause symptoms.
The very best approach for most is to combine herbs for menopause with herbs to help the liver. This combined approach can be found in a menopause programme
Many women find they benefit from help for the liver at any time – but more especially so during menopause.
As with all natural healthcare, use a reliable company when choosing herbs. Then, try some approaches out for a month or two and see what works for you. Once you find what is helping, you may be able to reduce the dose or leave it off altogether after a course of treatment – perhaps 4-6 months long.
The company you use should certainly be one which gives advice and will discuss your particular menopause symptoms with you.
Further articles about herbs:
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Menopause symptoms, diet and exercise
Herbs can be very helpful indeed; but your underlying diet and exercise regimes must also be reviewed to minimise menopause symptoms. If you are not quite getting the results you want, maybe you really need to scrutinise your diet and exercise habits and take action to improve them. This, in turn, helps the herbs to provide their maximum support to reduce menopause symptoms.
Nerves and stress
Finally, the nerves play a large part in our health. And they can certainly affect hormone balance which, in turn, affects menopause symptoms.
If you have extra stress in your life at menopause time, consider building up the nerves to help reduce your symptoms. Again this can be done using herbs – perhaps a comprehensive herbal nerve programme which can help nourish your nerves and increase your body’s ability to cope with stress. You might be surprised just how much a course of herbs can help you deal with stress.
Other important considerations for stress are to change habits or lifestyle conditions which are making stress worse. For example, work or home conditions may be producing stress and these may need to be reviewed. Changes like this can be difficult of course, but persistence can show results. If the result is reduced menopause symptoms, this is a great benefit.
Exercise can be a powerful reducer of stress. Swimming and walking are both great methods of exercise, especially if one or both are carried out daily. A half hour walk each day is excellent for stress relief as well as cardio-vascular benefits. This will generally help menopause symptoms.
Natural methods have a lot to offer a woman during menopause, and a programme of support using herbs, exercise, and diet is a great way to obtain those benefits, thus reducing symptoms.