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Menopause Symptoms - causes, symptoms, relief with herbs & Ayurveda

What is menopause?

Menopause is simply the end of menstruation. It is also referred to as the period before and after a woman's final menstrual cycle also known as peri-menopause and post-menopause. Menopause generally occurs when a woman reaches 50 years of age. It can also occur as early as when she is 40 and as late as when she is 60. The age at which menopause occurs depends on hereditary issues among other factors. It has been found that women generally reach menopause at around the same age as their mothers.

What causes menopause?

Generally when a woman reaches her 40's, her ovarian functions slow down. They cease production of eggs and the hormones estrogen and progesterone. These hormones play a important role in the reproductive system and cause changes in the body with the most significant one being the end of the monthly menstrual cycles. Decreased estrogen levels are also said to be the cause of the various symptoms of menopause.

What are the symptoms of menopause?

Not everyone experiences menopause symptoms. For some women these symptoms may be more strong than others
  • Hot flashes which includes sudden heating and reddening of the face, neck and upper back accompanied by sweating. Hot flashes generally last a few minutes.
  • Night sweats which can cause sleep disruption and insomnia
  • Anxiety, nervousness, panic attacks
  • Irritability, depression
  • Weight loss
  • Tiredness and loss of interest
  • Need to urinate frequently especially at night
  • Pain during intercourse on account of thin vaginal tissues and dryness

    If there is any bleeding after menopause, you should get checked by a doctor since it could be a sign of uterine cancer among other possibilities.

  • How can menopause symptoms be treated?

    Both conventional and alternative treatments aim to resupply the body with hormones it no longer produces in sufficient quantities. Conventional therapy is Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). This includes providing estrogen and progestin supplements either orally or through a skin patch. Both estrogen and progestin are given as estrogen alone can cause serious side effects such as endometrial cancer and uterine cancer. Progestin can cause side effects such as headaches, bloating, irregular bleeding and even an artificial monthly period. The side effects associated with HRT are serious which has lead many women to embrace alternative natural herbal remedies.

    What are some natural ways to alleviate menopause symptoms?

  • Herbs such as shatavari (asparagus racemosa), black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa), wild yam (Dioscorea villosa), Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) and chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus) are known to help alleviate menopausal symptoms by virtue of the phytoesptrogens they supply
  • Take foods high in plant estrogens such as soy beans,lima beans, nuts, seeds, fennel, celery, parsley and flaxseed oil
  • Increase calcium intake and take 400 to 800 IU of vitamin E daily to treat hot flashes and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Menosan is an ayurvedic formulation with herbs such as Shatavari, Ashoka tree, Chebulic myrobalan, country mallow, licorice and Indian pennywort. This has been formulated specifically to alleviate menopausal symptoms as well as provide overall hormonal balance. Its herbs provide phytoestrogens in the required quantities and are an excellent alternative to HRT without any side effects. Read more on Menosan benefits and research studies

    You may also be interested in the following articles

    Herbal Alternative to Synthetic Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

    References:

    The Medical Advisor - The complete guide to Alternative & Conventional Treatments

    Pub Med

    Himalaya Herbals Company

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