A Natural Approach to Menopause
Menopause is not an illness or medical condition. It’s part of the natural ageing process for every woman; there is no hard and fast rule to managing symptoms, as everyone’s experience will be slightly different.
Some women may sail through with very few side effects; for others, they will experience a range of symptoms, both physical (such as hot flushes, night sweats, vaginal dryness) and emotional (such as anxiety, mood swings, and sleeplessness).
For many women, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) will be the first go-to option, unaware that there are alternative natural routes to investigate and explore.
There are many herbal formulas that claim to ease menopausal symptoms naturally, but it is important that when you make the decision to take the natural option, you choose a supplement with a credible and researched background.
Dr Jane Johnston, Associate Specialist in Women's Health MBChB, MRCGP comments:
“Many women will opt for HRT to help them deal with symptoms caused by going through menopause.
However, not all women want to take HRT or cannot take it for medical reasons. Lifestyle changes can help ease the menopause transition, but alternative remedies can also be useful and effective.
Over the years, I have recommended Promensil Red Clover to women who are at the start of menopause as an effective way of helping them during the menopause transition.
I also recommend it when women are ready to try coming off HRT. It can have other health benefits too, and is a safe option.
However, all women should check with their GP before starting any alternative product. Promensil Red Clover has a long history of safety as a standardised, high-quality extract.”
After all, menopause is a natural transition, so why not try a natural approach first?
For those women who do not wish to take HRT, cannot take it for medical reasons, or find it doesn’t suit them, a natural route may be the best option. It’s about recognising your symptoms and getting the support to help you discover which therapies and lifestyle changes work best for you. Here are our recommendations and natural approaches to managing the menopause:
Supplement your diet with Phytoestrogens
Phytoestrogens are compounds that are derived from naturally occurring compounds (such as isoflavones) and mimic the body’s own natural oestrogenic activity.
Studies have shown that diets rich in Phytoestrogens can help reduce common menopause symptoms, including hot flushes, night sweats and anxiety, and may also slow down the bone loss that can occur post menopause. Research suggests they may also offer significant protection against heart disease.
It’s been shown that natural isoflavones in some foods (namely pulses and legumes, such as soya, chickpeas and other beans) can be helpful in maintaining hormonal balance. However, the typical British diet contains almost no isoflavones, and you would need to consume a significant amount to obtain the recommended daily intake of 40-80mg of standardised extracts.
This is where a daily dose supplementation can help. Red clover isoflavones contain twice as many types of isoflavones and are in higher concentrations than soya. Promensil Red Clover isoflavones are naturally occurring and are not chemically synthesised.
Maintaining a healthy, varied diet during menopause is one of the simplest, best and most natural ways to help manage some of the side effects.
Bone-strengthening calcium, found in dairy products, bony fish and legumes, is important. Iron – found in nuts, eggs and leafy green vegetables – is vital, as is making sure you get enough daily fibre.
Drinking plenty of water and cutting back on high-fat foods, sugar, salt, caffeine and alcohol can all exacerbate symptoms, too, so avoid them when you can.
Women tend to lose muscle mass and gain fat during menopause, so regular exercise can help reduce unwanted weight gain, which not only boosts health but self-esteem too.
Research suggests it may also reduce hot flushes, boost mood, slow bone loss and reduce the risk of serious diseases, including Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
But don’t think you’ll have to join an exclusive gym or splash out on expensive equipment, a brisk walk taken daily will do the job just as well - and it costs nothing.
Progesterone and oestrogen help counteract the effects of the stress hormone cortisol.
But once the levels start to lower during perimenopause, this buffering effect weakens. The result is a change in how we deal with stress.
Many women will find they experience increased anxiety, low mood and suddenly feel overwhelmed or isolated in the run-up to and during menopause.
Managing stress is, therefore, more important than ever during this life stage. Deep breathing, meditation and gentle activities, such as Yoga and meditation, can help. It’s about putting the brakes on to find some ‘Me’ time and remembering to be kind to yourself.
Finally, it’s good to talk too. Rather than suffer in silence, share your feelings with a family member or friend and never be embarrassed to ask your GP for help.
Visit www.promensil.co.uk to discover the full Promensil range.
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