Menopause is an important stage in a woman’s life. Most women look for ward to the changes in their menstrual cycle and the related physical and psychological manifestations with trepidation. While some adapt to the changes easily, the majority have a tough time coping with the situation. Irregular or excessive bleeding, hot flashes, severe body ache and frequent depressive phases make period often traumatic for many.
Menopause is when a woman has not menstruated for a period for 12 months. The term ‘menopause’ describes changes a woman goes through either just before or after she stops menstruating. After menopause, she no longer releases eggs for fertilization, and her ovaries do not produce oestrogen and progesterone, as they once did. It is a gradual process and does not occur overnight. This natural biological transition begins between ages of 45 and 55.
“Nowadays, many seem to consider menopause a medical problem that needs treatment, but it is nothing but a stage in a woan’s life. Menopause being an emotional roller-coaster, can be a grenade or volcano thrown into the family as the family is built on the selfless multi-tasking mother who is like a jack of all trades. The family should adapt and change to the needs
How can a woman sail comfortably through menopause?’ T here are three basic stages of natural menopause. There are three stages of menopause:
- Perimenopuse: This occurs just a few years ahead of menopause. At this stage, a woman experiences some of the symptoms of menopause. At this stage, estrogens levels drops radically and the ovaries stop producing eggs.
- Menopause: This stage is when a woman has not menstruated for a period of 12 months. The ovaries stop releasing eggs and estrogen.
- Post-menopause: In this stage a women experiences a reduced level of menopausal symptoms. But the risk of health increases as the estrogen secretion stops.
Symptoms of menopause
In addition to changes in her periods, a woman may experience other signs of menopause. These are loss of bone density, hot flashes, or sudden feelings of extreme heat, causing discomfort and sweating, disturbed sleep, mood swings, fatigue, depression and irritation, headache, weight gain, incontinence, thinning of hair, loss of breast fullness, increased heart rate, urine
tract infections, vaginal dryness that may make sex uncomfortable, and lack of interest in sex.
Ayurveda considers menopause a natural phenomenon that occurs in the lives of all women. As Ayurveda sees it, menopause is the end of youth or sexual urges. It says that women
ohyulAsnioyeshrscBono’ina tecome the greater freedom that the next stage holds. During this stage, women
should avoid food that have vata and pitta aggravating properties. Spicy and fried food can trigger menopausal symptoms to a great extent. Instead, one should consume food that have cooling and soothing properties.
Here’s a list of foods and herbs that can help you manage the symptoms of menopause.
- Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera gel is a powerhouse of various essential vitamins and minerals.
You can either extract the gel from the aloe vera plant or buy it from market. The gel in its purest form is high in phytoestrogens and it helps to correct the hormonal imbalance. Aloe vera gel also has the tendency to rehydrate the body helping to reverse the symptoms of menopause.
Shatavari is said to be very beneficial fen’Ko’JSensSmtahIfmiftoWd good results during the menopausal stage. Commonly known as women health tonic, shatavari can help boost mental strength. It can treat menopausal symptoms like vaginal discharge, night sweats, anxiety, hot flashes and mood swings.
• Fenugreek Seeds
These wonder seeds are packed with a lot of health benefiting properties. It has natural hormonal balancing
soopfltshes tbatscansossfhaloaeaap.and of fenugreek seeds (methi dana) in water overnight and consume it early morning on an empty stomach.
- Ashoka Powder
Ashoka powder is commonly used in Ayurvedic medication. It is a powerful herb that can improve ovarian functions to a considerable extent. It can be consumed in the form of churan. Vata type symptoms such as anxiety, nervousness, panic, vaginal dryness, mood swings, loss of skin tone etc. can be reduced with the intake of Ashoka tree’s bark powder regularly in little amounts in empty stomach.
Bhrami and its uses are extensive in Ayurveda, not only for menopause, but also for many other diseases. It reduces symptoms of constipation, hot flashes, bloating and joint aches, pains and palpitations.
The usage of Licorice is very useful for menopausal symptoms. It reduces various health risks that are caused by menopause. It helps in reduction of mood swings, hot flashes and fatigue.
- Amla (Indian Gooseberry)
This helps in reducing symptoms during menopause. It also provides nourishment to all parts of the body because it contains good amount of nutrients and vitamin C. It delays aging and enhances the health of the skin.
Valerian is one of the highly beneficial herbs used during menopause. It helps when the menopause is yet to approach. It reduces complications like hot temper, irritability, anger, hot flashes, feeling hot, heavy periods, night sweats, skin rashes and acne.
Ayurvedic Therapies for Menopause
- Ayurvedic body massages Ayurvedic body massages have very relaxing and soothing effects on the body. Women in menopause suffer from tiredness, mental agitation, muscle pain and stress. All these symptoms can be relieved with a regular use of ayurvedic body massage.
This is a wonderful ayurvedic treatment that works towards easing menstrual symptoms. It reduces stress, depression, mental irritation, fatigue, mood swings, sleep problems and headache.
This is the most effective way to cleanse the body of toxins and reestablish balance. It thus helps the body to restore balance during the menopausal stage.
Lifestyle remedies for menopause
The several lifestyle changes that a
woman can try out to reduce her menopause symptoms include:
- Avoiding food known to trigger hot flashes, such as spicy food, alcohol, and those that are ‘hot’, including soups, coffee and tea.
- Quitting smoking, as smoking cigarettes is associated with anti-es- trogen activity, which can aggravate a woman’s symptoms.
- Dressing in layers, so one or more layers can be removed if a hot flashes occur.
- Carrying a water bottle with ice water to help cool the body when a hot flash comes on.
- Keeping a portable fan near-by and using a ceiling fan to remain cool when sleeping.
- Avoiding exercise immediately before bedtime, which can cause a higher body temperature that could then make it more difficult to catch sleep. Exercising earlier in the day is associated with better results.
- Breathing in a slow, deep rhythm when a woman feels that a hot flash may be coming on. This practice is known as paced respiration.
Fast facts on menopause
- Menopause marks the end of a woman’s fertility
- Symptoms of menopause include night sweats, hot flashes, mood fluctuations, and cognitive changes.
- A reduction in estrogen levels can lead to symptoms of menopause.
- There are a number of medical treatments and home remedies that can help with symptoms, including hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and self-management techniques.
- The average age of menopause is around 51 years.
Menopause can lead to the development of complications, including:
- Cardiovascular disease: A drop in estrogens, levels has been Associated , with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Osteoporosis: A woman may lose bone density rapidly during the first few years after menopause. Low bone density leads to a higher risk of developing osteoporosis.
- Urinary incontinence: Menopause causes the tissues of the vagina and urethra to lose their elasticity. This can result in frequent, sudden, and overwhelming urges to urinate. These urges can be followed by involuntary loss of urine. Women may involuntarily urinate after coughing, sneezing, laughing, or lifting during menopause.
- Breast cancer: Women face a higher risk of breast cancer following menopause. Regular exercise can significantly reduce the risk.
Diabetes: Many women face an increased blood sugar level as estrogen progesterone levels are decreased. An increased testosterone level affects the regulation of blood sugar leading to diabetes.