By: Guest Author
Published: February 13, 2019
Written by Brooke Faulkner- Guest Contributor
Part of the aging process for women includes going through menopause. Although everyone is different, most of us experience some changes in our health and well-being. Fortunately, some symptoms related to menopause can actually be alleviated through natural methods.
As a health issue specific to women, menopause marks the end of menstrual cycles, but it also may lead to a number of unexpected side effects. Along with this perfectly natural change, some women experience hot flashes, depression, anxiety, night sweats, chills, sleep issues, mood changes, weight gain, hair loss, and dry skin.
Each woman may experience some, all, or none of these. However, a few lifestyle changes can help to lessen or eliminate these issues. This normal right of passage does not need to be a bad or uncomfortable experience.
As your body undergoes major hormonal changes, your dietary needs may need to change also. Menopause means a decrease in estrogen, which can cause a lot of uncomfortable symptoms but also lead to some more serious health issues like bone density loss and high cholesterol.
To combat the effects of menopause, there are foods you can eat that will replace what you have lost and protect against a decline in your health. Boost your intake of water to avoid bloating, dry skin, and chronic conditions like dry eyes. Be sure you are getting plenty of calcium with foods like yogurt and milk, or consider a calcium supplement. Pistachios and dark chocolate help to lower blood pressure.
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to ease digestion and protect your heart. Look for foods rich in vitamin D as well. Whole grains will help you with metabolism, energy, and managing stress. To get an adequate amount of healthy nutrients, consider adding flaxseed to your cereal in the morning. It contains omega-3 fatty acids which aid the body in many ways. Soy milk also helps with hot flashes and night sweats.
Try to stay away from alcohol, sugar, caffeine, and spicy foods which can make the symptoms worse. Moderate your meat and dairy products. An interesting study of Greek and Mayan women found that in Mayan culture they do not consume meat or dairy and the women had absolutely zero hot flashes during menopause.
Hair loss during menopause can be one of the worst symptoms. Your hair is part of your image and linked to your self-confidence. It is one of the first things people notice about you. Therefore, safeguarding against hair loss during menopause might be a priority for you.
A study performed back in 2015 showed significant proof that essential oils actually helped not only to slow down hair loss but actually to regenerate new hair growth. Rosemary, sandalwood, cedarwood, geranium, and clary sage all have healing properties that help prevent the loss of hair and scalp dryness and aids in the growth of new hair.
Along with hair loss, these essential oils help to strengthen hair follicles, reduce swelling, heal dryness, and regulate oil production. Unlike other chemical solutions, there are virtually no side effects. You will need to mix the essential oils into natural hair products then massage them into your scalp. Stay away from hair products that contain sulfates.
The older we get, the more good, relaxing sleep we need. Sometimes during menopause, women have trouble sleeping. Be sure to maintain a regular sleep regimen. Go to bed around the same time and wake up at the same time each day. Consistency is key to helping your body get into the rhythm of regular sleep and learn your patterns.
Avoid distractions like TV or mobile screen use 30 minutes before going to bed. Don’t drink caffeinated beverages or alcohol in the afternoon or at night. Try drinking a little milk before bed. It contains tryptophan, and it helps to relax some people.
Be sure to keep your room dark and cool. If you suffer from insomnia, read for a bit to try and tire yourself out, but don’t get overly anxious or upset. Most importantly, don’t fight it; worry will only exacerbate the problem.
Another helpful and healthy routine to adopt during menopause is regular exercise. Even a 20-minute walk per day will help alleviate hot flashes, maintain your heart health, improve circulation, and provide other numerous benefits.
Studies have also shown that people sleep better on days when they get exercise. During menopause, some women experience mood swings. A daily dose of healthy activity can also help with this. Working with weights can strengthen your bones and improve bone density which you lose during this period. Low-impact exercises are best. Furthermore, fitness tracks and apps can inspire you to exercise more frequently.
Getting outside for a brisk walk can also have side benefits like exposure to the sun, where you can soak up some extra vitamin D to help your body too. A solid exercise plan will not only boost your metabolism but also make it easier for you to maintain a healthy weight.
Meditation is known to help in many areas of health and well-being, but it can also ease some of the emotional aspects of aging and menopause. Yoga and other meditation techniques ease stress, help with focus, improve energy, and alleviate pain along with other physical symptoms. The American Journal of Cardiology reports that mediation helps to smooth out your heart rate variability, which helps maintain a healthy heart and leads to longevity.
Other mindful techniques can help as well. During a 2012 study at Baylor University’s Mind-Body Medicine Research Laboratory in Waco, Texas, women who underwent clinical hypnosis reduced their hot flashes by an average of 80 percent.
Even just 10 minutes of meditation per day can have a significant impact on your life during menopause. Marine troops going into battle have been using meditation to help increase focus, improve memory and release stress. Slowing down your mind and body has far-reaching health benefits beyond just relief for menopause symptoms. Incorporate a daily meditation ritual into your life to make these later years your best years ever!
Author Bio: Brooke Faulkner is a mother of two and animal lover from Portland, Oregon.
The views expressed herein this article, written by a guest contributor, do not necessarily represent those of the Red Hot Mamas organization. The content is for informational purposes and should not substitute the advice of your doctor.