MENOPAUSE SYMPTOMS – WHAT'S THE HYPE ABOUT?
Everywhere you turn these days—TV, magazines, newspapers, radio, junk mail, Internet—menopause and aging are turned into a disease to get rid of quickly! That is, if they are talked about at all. Advertising and media play a very powerful role in American life. So much so, most of us will not take the time to educate ourselves about particular issues, especially health issues. And why should we, when someone else will do it for us? We have been lulled to sleep by those who would say, “Don't worry we’ll take care of you.” It seems that you cannot deal with these natural processes—aging and menopause–without some form of drug or surgery being advertised as the newest solution. Until recently, menopause wasn’t even talked about openly in the media. It was something to dread and quietly mention to your personal physician.
When menopause symptoms hit, many women go into denial. Some think they have some sort of disease or emotional problems. Who wouldn’t with all of the negative messages and conflicting information? That’s what the pharmaceutical companies want. Everything they sell all give the same message; that your goal should be to slow down or stop the aging process. Notice how many makeover and cosmetic surgery ads/shows have sprung up? As the baby boomers age and approach menopause/andropause, everyone seems to want to cash in on the spending power this group has. It’s becoming as overwhelming as the diet industry—lots of products that don’t really work without side effects, but only a few lifestyle solutions. Nowadays, many doctors feel pressured to give hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to every woman, whether she needs it or not, like pressure to push Viagra for every man over age 50. After all, traditional medicine has a history of viewing the female organs as a problem. Or they are the cause of emotional problems, as in Freudian psychotherapy. Why is it that we insist on making these natural processes, aging, menopause and andropause, into a disease? I suggest that we look in the directions of greed and the monetary gains to be made.
Not all cultures think this way. Indigenous cultures, many outside of the United States, view women in menopause as entering their wisdom years. They are valued as important leaders of their family group and tribes. Many of them are the leaders and directors of the culture, passing down historical and valued knowledge to the younger members. Elders are not viewed as limited physically or mentally, but more wise because of their reflective experience.
In this article I cover the most common symptoms and some natural, even inexpensive, ways to ease these symptoms. Handling menopause gracefully is a lifestyle approach with a set of positive beliefs and a healthy mindset. Buying into the hype is only a way to harm yourself in the long run, and only delays the inevitable. The sooner you learn to accept your body and love yourself, the easier perimenopause and menopause will be.
Did you know that not all women get severe menopause symptoms? Studies show that a minority of women have symptoms that cannot be alleviated easily. Most of these women have stress related issues aggravating the symptoms. Did you know that there are three kinds of menopause? Most women experience natural menopause, the gradual cessation of monthly periods during ages 45 to 55. The other types involve a small percentage of women who experience menopause in their thirties or early forties, and artificial menopause, caused by surgery.
Symptoms are health problems that represent imbalances in the body that were already growing and unmasked by the shifting hormones. The most common symptoms and their natural treatment options are listed below:
- Allergies – Dietary changes, acupuncture
- Breast swelling and tenderness – Eliminate caffeine, natural progesterone, fermented soy, supplements
- Change in sexual desire – Natural progesterone, acupuncture, herbs
- Fibroids – Natural progesterone, dietary changes, weight loss
- Fuzzy thinking/ forgetfulness – Herbs, natural progesterone
- Hot flashes and night sweats – Natural Vitamin E, fermented fermented soy, black cohosh, wild yam, Chinese herbs, natural progesterone, meditation, aromatherapy, homeopathy, dietary changes, acupuncture
- Insomnia – Reduce stress, Valarian, Melatonin
- Migraine headaches – Eliminate caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, peanuts, aspartame in diet drinks, and other dietary changes, natural progesterone, herbs, supplements
- Mood swings and depression – Resolve unfinished emotional business, improve diet, exercise, meditation, acupuncture, aromatherapy
- Numbness in arms and hands – Acupuncture, exercise
- Osteoporosis – Dietary adjustments, weight bearing exercise, natural progesterone; Vitamin D-3, C, magnesium, manganese, calcium, and boron supplementation; quit smoking, cut back on alcohol, limit caffeine and soda drinks, reduce phosphates
- Palpitations – Deep breathing, dietary changes, supplements
- Skin problems – Supplements, natural progesterone, dietary changes
- Stiffness/ joint pain – Dietary changes, acupuncture, natural progesterone
- Thinning hair – Lose excess body fat, vitamin supplements, acupuncture, Chinese herbs
- Urinary infection or incontinence – Kegel exercises, organic cranberry juice, d-Mannose; ACS 200
- Vaginal dryness, irritation, thinning – Black cohosh, Her Oasis™ Natural Vaginal Hydration, aromatherapy
- Weight gain – Diet changes that increase natural foods, exercise; stress reduction
Many symptoms can also be alleviated with Ayurveda and Chinese medicine. Adding foods to the diet which contain phytoestrogens may help with some symptoms.
As you can see, you can take a proactive role in the elimination of the source of the symptoms. Just remember, symptoms are an indicator that something is out of balance. I am convinced that the most important factor in going through menopause with minimal symptoms is developing a healthy diet. The concern is that 95% of the population has no idea of what a healthy diet looks like. You can find out more about healthy diet and recommended supplementation in my e-Book, Proven Secrets to Whole Body Hormone Balance Ebook.
Loretta Lanphier, ND, CN, HHP is a Doctor of Naturopath, Clinical Nutritionist and Holistic Health Practitioner in Houston, TX area and CEO/Founder of Oasis Advanced Wellness. A teacher, Naturopath and author, she counsels Oasis Advanced Wellness clients on the aspects of getting the body healthy and keeping the body healthy. As a stage 3 cancer survivor, she is able to relate extensively, both as a patient and a practitioner, to clients suffering from disease. Dr. Lanphier has been privileged to share her cancer survival story with hundreds of people. Her passionate style of truth and straight-forwardness in an easy-to-understand format is very refreshing to even the most discerning of audiences. Dr. Lanphier is the author of several e-books and many articles on health conditions written from a natural/alternative medicine viewpoint. Dr. Lanphier is dedicated to helping people create lasting changes in their health and enhancing well-being through whole body nutritional balancing including physician strength supplementation. Dr. Lanphier is Editor and contributor to the worldwide newsletter Advanced Health & Wellness. Visit Dr. Lanphier's Oasis of Health & Wellness Blog.