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Herbal remedies for menopause

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I am 46-year-old and I have stopped seeing my period. Does this mean that I have entered menopause?

FOR women, menopause is a natural part of the ageing process and usually occurs somewhere between the age of 45 to 55. At this time there is a decline on ovarian function leading to much decreased levels of the hormone oestrogen and a complete cessation of progesterone production.

Common symptoms include hot flushes, night sweats, loss of libido, vaginal dryness, palpitations, depression and anxiety.

Approximately one fifth of British women take HRT but up to 60% give it up within a year due to adverse side effects such as liver problems, bloating, headaches and nausea.

I do not advocate taking orthodox hormone replacement therapy (HRT) because of increase risk of high blood pressure, weight gain, gallbladder and liver problems, not to mention breast and endometrial (womb) cancers. Orthodox HRT slows the rate of bone density loss, but only while you are taking it. If you are under a lot of stress at this time, adrenal function is greatly affected.

Healthy adrenal glands continue to supply postmenopausal women with a form of oestrogen. The more stressed the adrenals, the more they are kept busy pumping the stress hormone cortisol and the less oestrogen is made.

Menopause is the cessation of spontaneous menstrual cycles; climacteric; menopause; postmenopausal; climacteric period (starts around 40 years or more) is when the ovarian function declines though the periodic bleeding can still be maintained; menopause (occurring between 45 and 55 years) is when the menstrual cycle stops completely; postmenopause period is the period after menopause.

Almost every woman should be postmenopause by age of 58 years; premature menopause can occur before the age of 30 years and the reason should be sorted out by see your doctor.

The following symptoms can occur during menopause:

Hot flashes, sweating, mood changes, depression, anxiety, insomnia, skin changes e.g wrinkles, fracture or easy breaking of bones due to osteoporosis.

Foods for menopause

Eat more oily fish and small amounts of quality meats rich in vitamin B12 which has been shown to reduce irritability, headaches associated with the menopause.

Eat organic meat, chickens, vegetable, fruits and foods to avoid ingesting too many toxins from herbicide and pesticides.

Also eat plenty of foods that help regulate hormone levels such as cabbage and soy products.

Reduce or eliminate

Avoid caffeine, red wine and all spicy foods.

In some women, even a hot drink can trigger a flush.

Generally cut down on all saturated fats found in meat, full-fat diary, chocolate etc.

Millions of cattle and chickens are regularly fed with large doses of antibiotics to reduce infection. Animals also eat grasses and feed that are contaminated with pesticides, which enter the food chain, and have an oestrogen or building-like effect within the body.

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