Menopause, Naturally

Doctor Marita & her motherWhen I asked my mom about her experience through menopause she said “meno – what?”

She told me that menopause for her was complete cessation of her period and nothing more. No hot flashes, night sweats, irritability, or sleepless nights.

Now, many menopausal women out there would be incredibly envious of a woman who just cruised through menopause. Why is it, they might ask, there is this variance between women with respect to their menopausal symptoms?

There is even great variation in experience of menopause in women around the world. Studies show that women in Asian countries, India and the Yucatan in Mexico rarely report problems of hot flashes, yet the majority of North American women battle  blouse-soaking perspiration. Our attitude towards menopause, cultural differences, diet and lifestyle all seem to influence how we experience menopause.

Menopause is not a disease. Many women are programmed to accept the brutal physical and emotional symptoms as inevitable, but I would rather encourage menopausal women to embrace it as a gain of wisdom and freedom, and recognize it as a normal transition that all women eventually go through.

Additionally, many women are unaware of the natural strategies available to them to prepare their bodies for this phase in their lives. 

One common theme I see with all my menopausal patients is STRESS! Poor adrenal function, which leads to poor adaptation and coping with life’s challenges can definitely affect how successfully you will cruise through menopause.

On top of carrying the burden of stress, the adrenal glands are also responsible for taking over hormone production when the ovaries shut down during menopause, so it’s critical to nourish and support the adrenals long before women transition into menopause.

Adrenal fatigue is very common among the majority of people, especially women. As women age and transition into peri-menopause and menopause, fluctuating hormones can put a lot of stress on the body. Many women have exhausted adrenals well before menopause; therefore keeping the adrenal glands supported and strong will make this transition so much easier.

A group of herbs called adaptogens can be very beneficial for nourishing the adrenal glands and thus improving the body’s ability to deal with stress. Powerful herbs such as Rhodiola, Siberian Ginseng, Ashwangandha, Suma and Schizandra can be all found in a product called AdrenaSense that many of my patients find very helpful to combat stress, and eliminate those uncomfortable symptoms. This is especially true when dealing with fluctuating hormones.

B vitamins, vitamin C, and magnesium are also key nutrients for supporting the stress response and healthy adrenal glands.

I can only hope to be as lucky to sail through menopause as my mom did. My mom has always led a healthy lifestyle with exercise and good nutrition as well as taught me to always live with passion. Hopefully I will follow in her footsteps! 

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