Naturally Taming the “Wild Woman Menopause Shrew”
Menopause vastly differs from woman-to-woman. It is a re-birth process, at the cellular level, of our spirit, our soul, our mental processes, and the physical body – a “Rite of Passage”. What menopause is not – a perfect, well planned, schedule of easy physically and mental events. THAT DOES NOT EXIST. Some ladies seemingly breeze through this 1-2 decade long process and others are in anguish from the very first drop
of sweat from a hot flash. Each of us is totally unique in how we experience our journey through menopause.
Peri-Menopause & Beyond
Peri-Menopause can begin at wildly different ages for each woman. The earliest can begin around age 35 with the median age being about 45. What occurs at this stage is noticeably different timing between periods (closer together, farther apart, normal amount of flood flow, less blood flow, much more profuse blood flow). Night sweats or hot flashes may begin to occur for some women but some will not experience them at this stage. Every woman is different, and again, a perfect, well planned, schedule and life-friendly menopause DOES NOT EXIST.
During Peri-Menopause and beyond, a few natural options may help the process.
- Nourish the Entire Endocrine System:
Menopausal changes occur in the adrenal, thyroid, pancreas, pineal, and pituitary glands, as well as the ovaries. Herbal remedies for the endocrine system are important at the beginning of menopause to avoid depletion of the entire system. Whole foods and vitamins can also help.
- Add fresh parsley and dill to your foods – each of them help strengthen the adrenal glands
- Cinnamon sprinkled daily on foods can help check flooding tendencies
- Cut down on sugar! It worsen hot flashes, makes you angry, and leaches calcium from the bones
- Dandelion greens help with iron requirements during heavy bleeding.
(NOTE: Coffee, black tea, soy protein, egg yolks, bran, and calcium supplements over 250 mg impairs iron absorption. The body absorbs more iron if taken throughout the day in small doses. Most bodies can only absorb a little at a time. Taking iron with orange juice or milk will enhance absorption.)
- Include cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower 3-4 times per week. These veggies are high in indole 3 carbinole, which helps flush out excess estrogen and are powerful antioxidants to fight free radical damage in the body.
- Seaweeds are a source of natural iodine that balances thyroid activity and hence hormone spikes. They are also excellent detoxifiers of chemical toxins in the body.
- Increase Calcium Rich Foods: This will help protect against osteoporosis, heart disease, and emotional mood swings. Green leafy vegetables are rich in calcium and include broccoli, collard and turnip greens, parsley, and dandelion greens. Swiss cheese has the highest amount of calcium followed by Jack cheese and then other cheeses. Sardines rank quite high with the bones in. Almonds are a good source as well.
Exercise: An important factor throughout the entire menopause years. Even gentle exercise such as Tai Chi, Qigong, and Yoga will be beneficial during this process. Walking, jogging, working out at a club, canoeing, skiing, and much more are all excellent ways to ensure we maintain peak bone mass and it is one of the most effective ways to battle the insomnia that may occur.
Plan Time Alone: During the peri-menopausal years, some women may experience the need to increase their time spent alone. Planning for an appropriate “sacred space” for yourself where you can be “off-limits” to others will help educate family members to honor your alone-time at a slower pace. The “alone-time” needs will increase during the main menopause phase, but keep in mind every individual is different – some ladies need their time alone to mean a complete removals from all social responsibilities and interruptions. Other’s find they need to be with people, especially ladies that “get it” more frequent. Honor yourself and do what works for you – don’t follow the “rules” – follow what works for you.
- Gain up to a Pound a Year for Ten Years: Yep, some women are getting permission to gain a bit of weight! Thin women tend to have more hot flashes and a more difficult menopause than heavier women. Fat cells produce a kind of estrogen. If you find it impossible to allow yourself to gain ten pounds over ten years, at least stop strict dieting regimes. Dieting can decrease bone mass and weaken the heart when the body is already stressed due to hormone imbalances.
This stage of a woman’s life is truly a great time to get crazy, do what you have always wanted to do and start living BIG! You’ve earned it! The more active you are, the better you will feel. This is a Rite of Passage – start opening the doors to new experiences.
REACH OUT! This is an article that deserves conversation. If you have specific questions or would like more information – CONTACT me by COMMENTING TO THIS POST and we’ll start a discussion. These are not easy years ladies – we need to support in every way we can.