If you are a woman of a certain age, as I am, you might be experiencing a range of menopause symptoms.
I’ve been going through the menopause for over 12 months now. I was expecting some menopause symptoms but others completely threw me. I knew about hot flushes and the tiredness, but no one said anything about anxiety or sleepless nights.
After I hadn’t slept for 5 nights I went to my doctors and begged her to put me on HRT (hormone replacement therapy).
Consequently, she looked over my medical records and asked me about my family history. My mother died of breast cancer so she was reluctant to use HRT as a first treatment.
We went through all my menopause symptoms one by one and discussed natural ways I could relieve them.
There are lots of women that cannot or doesn’t want to go on HRT. Therefore, natural supplements can be a great way to ease even some of the stronger menopause symptoms.
As with any supplements, you must seek medical advice before you start taking any. Some supplements can interact with traditional medications. Furthermore, if you have underlying conditions you might not be able to take certain vitamins or minerals.
So go to your doctor and get the all-clear before you try anything new.
Here are 5 menopause symptoms and 5 natural ways you can relieve them
1. Hot Flushes
The first symptom I noticed was the onset of hot flushes. Any woman that has experienced hot flushes, I don’t need to tell you how debilitating they are. Your face goes red, your body is covered in sweat, and even my scalp would drip.
Then, almost as soon as I was hot I would be cold as the sweat cooled. This can disturb your sleep and affect your work. I would say to any woman having hot flushes – layers are your friend. And ones with natural fibers as well.
I wear a cotton t-shirt and a cardigan so that when I’m hot I whip off the cardi, then when I get cold I can quickly pop it back on again. Don’t wear artificial materials such as polyester or clothes that are too tight and you can’t get off quickly.
Hot flushes are caused by the changes in hormone levels in our bodies. The best natural remedies are those that mimic these natural hormones.
Black Cohosh and Soy Isoflavones
I take black cohosh and it has dramatically reduced the number of hot flushes I experience on a daily basis. Experts warn, however, that prolonged use can lead to liver damage. A safer alternative is soy isoflavones which are known as phytoestrogens.
In other words, these derive from plants but have estrogenic qualities.
Oh my goodness the tiredness! You can feel tired through a number of reasons. Your hot flushes might be preventing you from sleeping. But tiredness is one of those menopause symptoms in its own right. Again, it is the decreasing levels of hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and even adrenaline that causes fatigue in menopause.
Not getting enough sleep can make you feel like a zombie. I know, I didn’t sleep for 5 days. It’s hard to explain but it was as if I was carrying a 40 stone person on my back. Every time I got up or walked about, that person would weigh me down.
But then when I went to bed my mind was wide awake.
Siberian Ginseng is a plant which has tons of medical uses. The main one combats fatigue. However, it also helps with insomnia and increases appetite (something I struggled with for weeks).
3. Restless Arms and Legs
Restless arms and legs caused me the most grief throughout my whole menopause. Moreover, it was the one menopause symptom I hadn’t heard about. When I went to bed, every 5 seconds my arms or legs would jerk.
I would have to get up and walk around to relieve the feeling. It felt like someone had plugged my arms and legs into an electricity socket. Having no sleep crippled me. I was a mess. But there are natural ways to combat this symptom.
Magnesium and Iron
This was my savior. Magnesium supplements and oil with 100% magnesium salts in it which I would spray on my arms and legs just before bed. Magnesium is essential for good nerve and muscle function. If your magnesium levels are low you could have a problem, not just with restless legs.
Magnesium is also good for many other symptoms such as anxiety and depression. It helps protect against heart disease, lowers blood pressure, prevents migraines, and increases energy levels. You should also get your iron levels checked.
Low iron levels can cause levels of dopamine to decrease which triggers restless legs.
4. Anxiety/Mood swings
I’m an anxious person anyway, so to have my anxiety notched up a level was not pleasant. There are many supplements on the market that can help but I found that my anxiety naturally decreased once I started taking magnesium.
There are other natural ways to decrease your anxiety. I found that getting out in the fresh air and walking my dogs always helped. But if you need something a little stronger than just exercise, you do have options.
If you want to try something different, valerian root has been used for centuries to combat the symptoms of stress and anxiety.
Some people find the valerian root has a strong sedating effect which might be okay at night but not during the daytime. If you want a milder alternative try passion flower. It works to increase the GABA levels in our brain (GABA reduces neuron activity).
5. Aching bones and muscles
Finally, I wasn’t expecting to suffer from this menopause symptom but after talking to several post-menopausal women it is quite common. After the hot flushes came to the aching muscles and bones. I would feel like an old aged pensioner when I got up in the morning. I would have to walk slowly and hang on to the staircase railing.
Experts believe that estrogen helps to reduce inflammation. As this hormone declines, our joints and muscles no longer have this built-in protection and can become stiff and painful.
Fatty acids like fish oils and omega-3 help reduce inflammation. They also keep joints lubricated.
Devil’s Claw is nature’s version of steroids but without the harsh effects. It reduces painful inflamed areas and is super gentle on the body.
Are you going through the menopause and suffering from menopause symptoms? Did you find an effective remedy? Let us know and we’ll share it.
By Janey D.