Menopause can be a challenging transition for many women, as hormonal fluctuations can lead to uncomfortable symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood changes, difficulty sleeping, heavy bleeding, and variable menstrual cycles. Fortunately there are several natural therapies that can be helpful in easing the hormonal transitions, and alleviating some of the symptoms.
Ground flaxseed contains phytoestrogens, which are structurally similar to the body’s own estrogen, but act much more weakly. Flax has a balancing effect on estrogen whether it is high or low, and can support the body’s transition from high to low estrogen. As a bonus, flax is also rich in omega 3 fatty acids and soluble fiber, giving it a healthy profile from both a hormone-balancing and nutrient perspective.
Skip the Wine
Alcohol acts as a relaxing agent when first consumed, but once the effects wear off, the withdrawal can lead to sleep-maintenance insomnia, or waking in the night and having trouble getting back to sleep. Red wine is especially problematic because it acts on blood vessels in a way that promotes hot flashes and insomnia.
Support the Adrenals
Once the ovaries stop producing hormones, the adrenal glands remain as key players in hormone production. Ensuring healthy and balanced adrenals can benefit the overall hormone profile, and may be especially important during times of higher stress.
There are many herbs that can be helpful throughout the menopausal transition. Certain botanicals are useful for balancing estrogen and progesterone, while others are helpful for alleviating heat or flushing. There are also herbs that are specifically tonifying to the uterus, and can influence menstrual flow.
If diet, lifestyle, and herbal medicines do not provide adequate relief, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can be considered as an additional treatment. Benefits and risks need to be discussed based on each individual’s personal and family health history, and specific administration forms and dosing are based on each unique person’s needs.