Approximately 40 million women in America are nearing or are currently experiencing menopause. But there are options and remedies to help women manage their symptoms to be more comfortable as they go through these changes.
Managing the Change, Menopause Relief
Estrogen and progesterone, two primary hormones in the female body, need to work in harmony to perform their many and complex regulatory functions. As women age, levels of these unique hormones become imbalanced as the body produces much less of them.
Symptoms of this imbalance can include hot flashes, night sweats, moodiness, low libido, irritability and more. During this challenging transitional phase of life, women can try a variety of medications and natural means to help restore balance.
Somewhere between age 45–55, most women begin peri-menopause, a prelude to official menopause, which, by definition, is the time when a woman has naturally ceased having menstrual periods for one year.
Six Nutrients that Can Support the Changing, Mature Female Body
- Essential fatty acids like Omega-3 and Flaxseed Oil can be converted into eicosanoids—hormone-like compounds that regulate many important bodily functions and processes, including heart health, already-normal-range blood pressure maintenance and hormonal responses.
- As we age, many forces rob the structural system of strength and flexibility. Calcium, magnesium and vitamin D can help bones and muscles stay strong and flexible.
- B vitamins support the nervous system under stress. And if your body’s all freaked out, you’re stressed out.
- Black cohosh herb has been used for decades by women who want to keep cool during menopause.
- Soy foods like tofu and edamame contain phytoestrogens, hormone-like compounds that can help balance hormone levels in the body. One group of these compounds, isoflavonoids, is found in abundance in soybeans and other soy products. Studies show that isoflavonoids can help improve estrogen levels.
- Wild Yam root helps balance the female glandular system and is widely used to support menopausal women. It contains diosgenin, a steroidal saponin that is used commercially to produce steroid hormones.
Hot Flash Relief
Fact: 80–90% of menopausal women in North America experience hot flashes. Some up to 15 times a day.
A hot flash is a brief sensation of heat that may include a red face, sweating, rapid heart rate or chills. When these occur at night, they are called night sweats. Hot flashes happen when blood vessels near the skin’s surface expand to help cool the body. Hot flashes are the most frequent symptom of menopause and peri-menopause.
One of the joys of being an aging woman is experiencing hot flashes. According to WebMD 75% of women who experience hot flashes and night sweats are just experiencing the normal symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. This means only 25% of women are lucky enough to only have mild hot flashes or to not have this problem entirely. Of the women who experience hot flashes as a normal symptom of perimenopause or menopause, 25-30% experience hot flashes severe enough to interfere with their quality of life.
If you happen to be among the women who suffer severe hot flashes, try some of these tips for gaining relief:
Tips for Taking the Heat out of Hot Flashes
1. Avoid certain triggers that may bring on hot flashes more frequently or cause them to be more severe. These include stress, caffeine, alcohol, spicy foods, tight clothing, heat and cigarette smoke.
2. Pretty basic, but when you are having trouble controlling your body temperature, help manage it with external controls. Turn up the AC at night to reduce night sweats. Keep your bedroom cool at night and dress in light clothing.
3. Practice slow, abdominal breathing.
4. Keep moving! Walk, swim, dance or ride a bike. Studies show regular exercise reduces the occurrence of hot flashes.
5. Use a cool pillow.
6. Try to be at the ideal weight: When you carry too much weight, hot flashes are more severe.
7. Choose lower thread count sheets: Sounds like the opposite of normal advice, but sheets with higher thread counts are more tightly woven, so they do not breathe as quickly. Lowering the thread count can help with air flow and keep you more comfortable at night.
8. Eat a diet rich in soy: Increase your soy intake and you may just notice a reduction of hot flashes.
9. Wear layers: Since your body may not be doing a great job of regulating body temperature for you, this will allow you to help regulate it on your own.
10. Drink to keep body temperature down and avoid dehydration: Dehydration can increase hot flashes. Stay hydrated and use hot and cold beverages to help your body regulate temperature.
What triggers your hot flashes? Watch for triggers and avoid them.
Talk to your doctor. While many women suffer from hot flashes, there are ways to get relief. So don’t just live with the discomfort of hot flashes, do something about them!
Changes Women’s Health Blend Essential Oil
CHANGES helps women ease the symptoms that are traditionally associated with PMS or the transitional phase of menopause with luscious floral notes, grounding herbal tones and cooling peppermint. Chamomile, Clary Sage, and Ylang Ylang (among others) are found in Changes.
Plant me a garden to heal the heart,
Balm for joy and the sweet violet,
Cowslips, pansies and chamomile,
To ease the pain I want to forget
–Elizabethan Herb Song
Clary Sage: A 2006 study had the purpose of exploring “the effect of aromatherapy on menstrual cramps and symptoms of dysmenorrhea.” (1) The conclusion of this study: “These findings suggest that aromatherapy using topically applied lavender, clary sage, and rose is effective in decreasing the severity of menstrual cramps. Aromatherapy can be offered as part of the nursing care to women experiencing menstrual cramps or dysmenorrhea.”
Ylang Ylang: This essential oil is helpful with anxiety and stress. It may also help promote feelings of happiness.
CHANGES also includes: Pine needle, Orange, Ho Leaf, and Peppermint.