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Publish date: Aug 19, 2010
Summary: Find out about the common symptoms of menopause and how to control them naturally.
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The great majority of women require no treatment at menopause whatsoever as the symptoms are minor and will pass without any particular treatment in a few weeks or months, or at the most, two or three years. Since the use of hormones from an outside source has been associated with serious problems, it is recommended that the administration of hormones be avoided if at all possible. An increase in breast, ovarian, and endometrial cancer has been associated with the use of estrogens.
Only a few women get to experience natural menopause because of the high rate of hysterectomies, other surgeries, and medications.
What happens after hysterectomy? Even though the patient is told that her ovaries were saved when her uterus was removed, surgery can cause damage by cutting off the blood vessels that nourish the ovaries, or by causing trauma to the glands.
What causes hot flashes? An experiment was done measuring the tightening of blood vessels in the skin after ice was applied. Women with hot flashes tended to lack the normal tightening of blood vessels, whereas women who had no flashes or very mild flashes, tended to have a more brisk tightening of the blood vessels. There was a significant relationship between the degree of tightening and the severity of the symptoms.
Should I get hormone treatments? No. Since menopause is a normal physiological process—not a disease—we should not treat it with a drug such as estrogen. We should look for natural, holistic remedies, not pharmacological ones.
If a woman takes estrogen for five years, she increases her risk of breast cancer measurably, and if she takes it for 15 years the risk of breast cancer increases by 35 per cent.i Taking progesterone also increases her risk of breast cancer.ii Taking progesterone also increases the likelihood of getting gallstones, hypertension, and intravascular blood clotting.iii
- Cardiovascular palpitations, high blood pressure, and hot flashes (the major symptom)
- Musculo-skeletal aches and pains (not to be confused with osteoporosis , which is usually symptomless)
- Genital issues such as irregular bleeding, decreased libido, vaginal dryness
- General dryness or wrinkling of the skin Nausea, dizziness, mood changes, irritability, depression, insomnia, numbness, tingling.
There are many options for menopause treatment:
The following are ways we can work with the body's organs in order to optimize the physiological processes associated with menopause:
a. Women's adrenal glands secrete small amounts of male hormones, some of which are converted to estrogens, in the body’s fat cells. Stimulate the adrenals by tapping them vigorously for two minutes, or by alternating very hot water applications and very cold water applications, one minute each for six minutes, ending with cold. Repeat daily.
b. The liver breaks down estrogens—relieve the liver by one day of fasting each week, ending the fast with breakfast.
c. The thyroid has an important effect on metabolism. Stimulate the thyroid with a cool shower each morning followed by a brisk cold mitten friction for three minutes.
d. The anterior pituitary can be stimulated by being regular with seeping times, meals, and exercise. daily and at the same time if possible.
2. Botanical RemediesUse this General Menopause Formula, one cup three times daily. By itself, it is about 80% effective:
3 cup boiling water
1 tsp catnip tea
1 tsp red raspberry leaves
1 tsp alfalfa leaf
1 tsp black cohosh
¼ tsp licorice powder
Other herbs that have estrogen and progesterone precursors are hops and ginseng. Ginsengs has a lot of saponins, which stimulate the nerves and cleanse the bowels.
Vaginal itching may be helped by mixing angelica and powdered alfalfa in glycerin from the pharmacy, and using topically.
3. Physical Activity
Exercise is not just a healthful thing to do; in menopause it is one of the main treatments women need:
- A woman should do three to five hours of outdoor labor daily to stimulate the ovaries and other endocrine glands.
- Weight bearing exercise is the ideal, as it protects against osteoporosis.
- Swimming one hour three times per week has been shown to increase bone mineral content.
- Several times a day, at least four, rise up from your work, stand tall, hold the elbows at shoulder height, and try to touch the elbows together, both in front and behind. Try to maintain this position all day to help prevent poor posture.
- A deep breathing exercise will often stop a hot flash in a few seconds. Simply breathe in deeply through the nose and out through the mouth, repeatedly, until the flash stops.
4. Lifestyle Habits
- It is crucial to quit smoking in order to treat menopause effectively. Smoking itself leads to decrease in estrogen level and increased bone loss at an earlier age. Smoking a pack per day causes the loss of 1% of the bone calcium per year after menopause.
- Alcohol suppresses the growth of bone, is toxic to the ovaries, and can cause infrequent ovulation and menstrual irregularities.
- Coffee interferes with many metabolic processes, including those concerned with normalizing the menopausal process. Most damaging is the loss of 1.4% of bone calcium per year after menopause from drinking just one cup of coffee per day.
5. Mental and Emotional Health
Improving our interpersonal relationships not only makes us more at ease but actually lessens hot flashes.
It may take many months to overcome hot flashes, so don't be too discouraged. One way to stop hot flashes promptly is to adopt a vegetarian, sugar-free diet. Hot drinks, hot meals, and hot spices can aggravate hot flashes, as can sugar or refined carbohydrates.
Avoid salt or caffeine, as these cause the kidneys to excrete calcium in the urine. Calcium supplements may decrease the availability of copper and zinc, increase cholesterol, and decrease iron retention. Taking crude blackstrap molasses will reduce the mineral deficiency in the blood and tissues. It's also best to have a low-phosphate diet. Phosphates are found in animal products, soft drinks, and baking powder.
The following foods have been found to be high in naturally-occurring plant sterols, which similar in chemical formula to estrogens. Some of these should be eaten daily in liberal quantities if you do not have sensitivities to them:
- Apples, cherries, olives, and plums,
- Anise seed, wheat germ, food yeast, and whole grains
- Garlic, barley, corn, and parsley
- Oats, rice, and sage
- Coconut, carrots, peanuts, and yams
- Soya bean, alfalfa leaf tea, and licorice root tea
- Bell peppers, paprika, and pimentos
- Eggplant, potatoes, and tomatoes
Low Protein Diet
Adopting a low-protein diet prevents the kidneys from excreting large amounts of calcium into the urine. This helps prevent menopause issues.
Low Fat Diet
A low-fat diet can be accomplished by abstaining from margarine, mayonnaise, fried foods, salad oils, cooking fats, nut butters and other such foods. A low-fat diet treats both hot flashes and osteoporosis. Women in the Seventh-day Adventist Church who have vegan diets display healthy levels of essential fatty acids and very low rates of osteoporosis.
Take two tablespoons of ground flaxseed at each meal to prevent strokes and fat build-up in the blood.
Vitamin E can be used to manage hot flashes. To treat dryness in the vagina, puncture a vitamin A or E capsule and insert it into the vagina each night for six weeks. After six weeks, resume this procedure once or twice a week. Itching can also be helped by rubbing the vulva with vitamin E oil.
Take three milligrams of boron each day to increase the deposition of calcium in the bones. Boron can also stimulate the production of small amounts of estrogen, even in women who have gone through the menopause or who have had a hysterectomy. Although the estrogen is produced in small amounts, it may be sufficient to avoid the most severe symptoms of menopause.
7. Water Treatments
Hydrotherapy can improve absorption and assimilation of nutrients. Use hot compresses on the abdomen for 20 minutes, four to five times a week. Or, take hot baths five times a week for four weeks to stimulate the ovaries.
To relieve itching around the vagina, pour one quart of hot or cold water slowly through the low part of the pubic hair, gently opening all folds in the vulva.
Avoid irritation of all mucous membranes as these surfaces become quite thin following menopause. Cleanse the vaginal area by first washing your hands, then meticulously rinsing the area with clean water. Blot the non-hairy portion dry, rather than rubbing. Do not douche, as this will remove the shed cells, and never use soaps on the genital area.
Tight and restrictive clothing is damaging to our health. Nothing should be worn that leaves red marks on the skin. Perhaps the most important rule, yet the most difficult to follow, is to cover the extremities with warm clothing, even when we don't feel cold. In experiments, it has been shown that blood flow to the pelvic organs is altered if even one hand is exposed to cold for longer than five minutes.
i. Center of Disease Control, 1992
ii. Dr. John McDougall
iii. Annals of Internal Medicine (May 1, 1992.
These remedies are adapted from the book Healing Edibles & Other Home Remedies by Joe and Elsa Willis. Joe and Elsa Willis run Maranatha Medical Ministries, an medical outreach center in the mountains of Honduras. They help surrounding villagers with their health issues using principles of healthful living and the natural means God has given. Their assistance to the poor of Honduras has made a huge difference in the lives of many.
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