Menopause, or the “change of life” as it is often called, is the stage in a woman’s life when ovulation and menstruation ceases, indicating the end of fertility. When ovulation stops, a woman’s ovaries largely stop producing the hormones Oestrogen and Progesterone.
Oestrogen is commonly thought of as a sex hormone strictly tied to reproduction, but it also acts upon other organs of the body. Cells in the vagina, bladder, breasts, skin, bones, arteries, heart, liver and brain all contain oestrogen receptors, and require this hormone to stimulate these receptors for normal cell function. Oestrogen is needed to keep skin smooth and moist, the body’s internal thermostat operating properly, and the arteries unclogged. It is also necessary for proper bone formation.
The menopausal period is different for each different woman. Some women start earlier and some later, but the average age for the menopause is 50. The transition usually lasts up to five years. Some women go through the menopause with few or no noticeable symptoms. However many women experience short-term or acute symptoms which may include as hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings, fatigue, dizziness, headaches, anxiety, depression, poor libido, bladder problems, vaginal dryness and itching, burning and discomfort during intercourse, breast tenderness, dryness and aging of the skin, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, and insomnia. All of these symptoms are due to Oestrogen and Progesterone deficiency. Over the long term, the diminished supply of Oestrogen increases the likelihood of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and vaginal atrophy.
Importantly, how a woman views this time can significantly impact how frequent and severe menopausal symptoms are. If menopause is viewed as the end of youth and sexuality, then this time is likely to be much more challenging than if it is viewed as the next phase of natural development. With proper diet, nutritional supplementation, and exercise, most of the unpleasant side effects of menopause can be minimised or eliminated.
Symptoms are often also due to adrenal imbalance and/or toxicity. Liver support is vital through menopause.
It is important to remember that menopause is not a disease at all, but rather, a natural progression in a woman’s life. As such, “treatment” is not the appropriate term (it is used here simply because it is the one most commonly used). The right way to view this is in terms of symptoms. That is: are the symptoms manageable and tolerable? If not, then treatment of these symptoms is available.
As Oestrogen and Progesterone levels drop at the onset of menopause, it is tempting to increase these using HRT, natural Progesterone or herbs. However this only serves as to delay (which may be welcome in cases of severe symptoms) rather than to resolve.
At The Centre For Integrated Health, we’ve discovered that severe menopausal symptoms are often related to liver health, as well as to vitamin and mineral deficiencies. We also find that herbal and homeopathic support help regulate hormones, and that nutrition and lifestyle improvements play a role in symptom management as well.
We have treated hundreds of patients that have detoxed during the peri-menopausal (before) stage and their menopause has been symptom free. Detoxifying involves cutting out intolerant foods (often dairy, wheat, tea, coffee, alcohol and sugar), and clearing toxic build-up from the body.
This is a recipe from Natural Alternatives to HRT, by Dr. Marilyn Glenville.
This common symptom can be alleviated by taking:
Vitamin E -250-400ius daily
Selenium -15-50mcg daily
Vitamin C With bioflavonoids -1-3grms daily
An interesting study in Chicago Medicine showed how much more effective bioflavonoids and Vitamin C were for controlling hot flushes compared with HRT.
The researchers looked at thirty-six women who had gone into a surgical menopause and fifty-eight whose menopause had come naturally.
The Vitamin C and Bioflavonoids had a dramatic and positive effect in stopping or reducing the hot flushes. The researchers also put forward an interesting theory as to why this happened. Normally, circulating oestrogen keeps our blood vessels toned and prevents excessive vasodilation (opening blood vessels which make us sweat). The suggestion is that the Vitamin C and Bioflavonoids, taken as our oestrogen levels drop, helping to tonify the blood vessels and so lessen the hot flushes.
A number of studies have shown the benefits of vitamin E supplementation in helping to control hot flushes. In one study, a group of women who had been taking the vitamin E supplement, and whose hot flushes had gone, were then switched to a placebo (dummy pill) without their knowledge. The hot flushes returned.
We have no idea why it works but it seems to for many people. These three vitamins are anti-oxidants i.e. they help the body detox and we believe many menopausal symptoms are caused by toxins.The articles section of this website has a comprehensive article about menopause and the steps that can be taken. Certainly, inclusion of certain nutrients and herbs can make a big difference.
Not happy with the intolerable symptoms of menopause that she was experiencing, Mrs. “B” decided to see what The Centre For Integrated Health might be able to do to help. She came in with complaints of hot sweats, sleeping problems, anxiety, tiredness, dizziness, and feeling bloated. She was spending a fortune on supplements that she thought, or had been advised, would help; but they did not appear to have any positive effect. Mrs. “B” was also one stone overweight.
Our scan of Mrs. “B” provided us with the information required to set an effective course of treatment. It identified nutritional deficiencies and a problem in her liver. Our experienced practitioner prescribed a course of treatment, combining homeopathy, herbal medicines and the use of dietary supplements (ones which had been identified as being effective specifically for Mrs. “B” and her system).
Swiftly, Mrs. “B” began experiencing greater energy levels, and her hot sweats and dizziness were gone. She lost her excess weight and is now enjoying a much better overall quality of life in spite of menopause!
Many women visit our clinic each month suffering with what can be quite debilitating menopausal symptoms. We find there is a lot of scope for aiding these symptoms using natural means. Contact us for a discussion of treatment options, and to see how we can help you enjoy this natural change of life!
There follows a list of products that clients have enjoyed success with. For personalised advice, please email
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