At a certain age– say about 50– most women stop producing eggs. Their body’s production of estrogen drops. They enter a phase of their life called menopause, signaled by 12 months since last menstruation. Common symptoms include hot flashes and vaginal dryness, as well as sleep disturbances, irritability, anxiety and/or depression.
What are some natural approaches to dealing with menopause such that it’s “easier?”
Consider Asian women who eat mostly plant-based diets. In studies, Asian women reported fewer hot flashes (10-22%) than American women (75%). Could food play a role? Certainly. American women should cut down on meat and fat when they’re approaching menopause and try switching to a rice-based, plant-based diet, which could conceivably lessen their experience with hot flashes. Historically, women who ate mostly vegetables and avoided dairy and fat reported few, if any, hot flashes– interesting, right?
Now if you’re not inclined to give up hamburgers, how can you deal with hot flashes? It turns out that regular aerobic exercise helps. This is the time in your life to take vigorous walks daily or do some water aerobics in the local pool.
What about vaginal dryness? During menopause, dryness, irritation and bacterial infections can occur. You might want to use plant-based creams to maintain a moist vaginal lining. Ordinary lubricants and moisturizers work, too.
What about the mental shift occurring during menopause? A woman might not be in her “right mind” during the process, complete with feelings of nervousness, depression, and/or even memory lapses. This is part of the process– and temporary. It can help to talk about these feelings with a trusted confidante.
Sunlight is important to women going through menopause. When sunlight touches the skin it gets the body to naturally produce vitamin D. This, in turn, helps the digestive tract absorb calcium from foods.
Meanwhile, menopausal women should get their spine and nervous system checked by a chiropractor. Adjustments can help balance the nerves, leading to better sleep and clearer thoughts. Since everything is connected, a chiropractor’s work on the upper neck and mid-to-lower back areas can positively affect other parts of the body such as the reproductive organ tissues and pelvic pain! A chiropractor removes nerve interference, allowing the body to naturally heal itself. And adjustments help lower elevated levels of the stress hormone Cortisol, balancing hormones without the dangerous effects of medications like HRT.
To take a natural approach to menopause, please call Lakewoods Chiropractic to make an appointment at 651-464-0800.