Smooth Sailing Through Menopause: Home Remedies
While menopause can cause physical and emotional symptoms that require medical treatment, in most cases women can alleviate the discomforts of menopause through at-home remedies such as simple lifestyle adjustments, practices of self-care, and alternative or natural remedies.
Here are some at-home steps women can take to make their journey through menopause smooth-sailing and positive.
• Eat a Healthy Diet: Proper nutrition will keep your body functioning optimally, help prevent weight gain, and give you a sense of mastery and control. Make sure your diet includes enough vitamin D, limit your fat intake, and eat lots of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
• Sleep Well: A good night's sleep can do wonders for you physically and emotionally while you are going through menopause. If you have trouble sleeping through the night, avoiding caffeine and be sure to exercise regularly each day. If you suffer from nighttime hot flashes, learning how to manage hot flashes will help you sleep better.
• Managing Hot Flashes: If you know what triggers your hot flashes (i.e. a warm room or hot weather, spicy foods, alcohol consumption, etc.), you can learn to manage and minimize the occurrence of hot flashes. In addition, exercising regularly and dressing in layers has been shown to be effective in helping women minimize this uncomfortable symptom of menopause.
• Relaxation Exercises: For many women menopause is a stressful time of life. Learning simple relaxation techniques are an important part of basic self-care, especially during menopause. There are many tools and techniques to help one relax, including deep breathing, yoga, progressive muscle relaxation, listening to music, and guided imagery. Be sure to take some "time out" for yourself each day and incorporate relaxation as part of your daily routine.
• Exercise regularly: Exercise is long known to reduce stress, prevent weight gain, strengthen muscles, and protect against osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and other conditions associated with menopause and the aging process.
• Stop Smoking: Studies have long proven that smoking increases the risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, osteoporosis, and other health concerns. In particular, smoking can bring about earlier menopause and it may also increase the occurrence of menopausal hot flashes.
• Alternative Treatments: There is evidence that certain herbal treatments or natural dietary supplements can relieve hot flashes, depression, and mood swings associated with menopause. Black Cohosh, a herb believed to have estrogenic properties, is reported by women to be particularly effective. Some women have also experienced relief from hot flashes by taking supplements of vitamin E, and from remedies and supplements such as chasteberry, wild yam cream, dong quai, licorice, and evening primrose oil. However, while these at-home remedies are reported to be successful, there is as yet no scientific evidence to back up these claims.