Menopause is often a delicate pivotal period for women; hormonal upheaval, weight gain, hot flashes, irritability, accentuation or triggering of osteoporosis… his approach is for many women the synonym of a difficult period to get through, while for others it is a mere formality . For all of them, a natural accompaniment can avoid the discomfort linked to this evolution of their life as a woman.
Hormone replacement therapy or natural alternative?
At menopause, many women turn to hormone replacement therapy although the High Authority for Health itself recommends resorting to it only if the symptoms really affect the quality of life. It also specifies that women should use it for as short a period as possible and that they must be informed of the risks associated with taking this treatment. For example, the increased risk of cancer and stroke. And once started, this treatment should not be stopped overnight.
On the other hand, there are many natural alternatives because many plants have an action on the hormonal system; they must of course be used wisely, because the greatest precision is essential. But they provide a natural and effective solution to gently regulate the great hormonal upheaval represented by menopause… All these changes acting on the whole body, nothing beats global support, because the hormonal action alone will not come at the end of all evils if we do not think of the necessary action of trace elements, vitamins and minerals in this delicate period…
What happens at menopause?
From puberty to menopause, ovarian activity guarantees (almost) regular production of estrogen and progesterone; from pre-menopause, the latter begins to decline, causing the first inconveniences: more irregular cycles, sometimes more painful, weight gain, fatigue, irritability, etc. At menopause, the combined drop in estrogen and progesterone accentuates the phenomenon and hot flashes appear. For some women, it lasts a few months, for others it’s more like several years…
Rather lean women are often more victims of hot flashes because the body has the possibility of producing estrogen in the fat cells to compensate for the drop in natural production. But if there is no fat reserve, the rescue system does not work… so it is better to avoid starvation diets as you approach menopause.
Moreover, if weight gain is a problem encountered by the majority of women during this period, it is mainly because progesterone helps the transformation of active thyroid hormones; when progesterone drops, thyroid activity naturally slows down and causes slight weight gain, as well as fatigue: women have every interest in naturally supporting the activity of their thyroid, with trace elements and nutrients which are necessary for her, the time that she adapts to the change of hormonal regime.
If women are subject to mood swings and greater sensitivity to stress from pre-menopause, it is also because of the drop in progesterone. It influences stress management and relaxation because it can be transformed by the body into cortisol or allopregnanolone, a neurosteroid which binds to the receptors of the relaxation neurotransmitter, GABA. Estrogens also have an action at this level since they influence the cerebral synthesis of serotonin.
Finally, we know that the decline in estrogen and progesterone can contribute to weakening the bone system: but this is not inevitable if the lifestyle and diet are adapted to this life transition.
Anticipate for a gentle menopause
It is better to anticipate from pre-menopause and the first upheavals felt: the transition will thus be smoother, because the body will thus be able to gradually prepare for this important appointment… Menopause may or may not be the occasion to take care self !
If you fear osteoporosis, getting back to moderate but regular physical activity and ensuring you have a balanced diet will be the first asset. A natural supplementation of vitamin D3, calcium, magnesium and silica will provide the necessary nutrients to the bone system, which will thus not suffer too much from the hormonal change.
The thyroid can be supported by providing it with the nutrients and trace elements necessary for its functioning: iodine, iron, zinc, magnesium, vitamins A and B, etc.
Zinc is particularly indicated in all the key moments of the hormonal system, including of course the menopause. We will favor its contribution in natural form as with the lithotherapy remedy Blende D8. The dosages are to be seen with a professional.
You can also start supplementing with evening primrose oil at the first signs: not only is it an excellent hormonal regulator, but it also preserves the skin’s hydration and fights against inflammation.
The natural drop in progesterone during pre-menopause can be accompanied by taking plants with a so-called progesterone-like action, which are less delicate to handle than those providing phytoestrogens.
Plants for hormonal purposes, a delicate use
Be careful, plants with a hormonal action, and especially those that are qualified as estrogen like, that is to say those whose action simulates that of estrogen are not to be taken lightly. Taking the latter is also not recommended in case of a history of hormone-dependent cancers. Before a well-established menopause (that is to say after 6 months without menstruation), it is better to avoid consuming them in self-medication, because they should not be taken throughout the cycle and unless analysis demonstrates the contrary, nothing proves that estrogen has dropped to the point of having to resort to these plants.
On the other hand, after the menopause and if the hot flashes are important, their use is completely indicated, on the condition of always accompanying them with their complementary, progesterone like plants. Their use is also very precise to respect the natural alternation of these two hormones in the body: the first part of the cycle is naturally dominated by estrogen, the second part is dominated by progesterone.
The most common estrogen-like plants are: sage, angelica, fennel, cranberry, cypress, cimicifuga, red clover…and soy in all its forms.
Progesterone like plants are yarrow, lady’s mantle, yam, chasteberry, sarsaparilla…
To sum up, before the menopause, we are content to use progesterone like plants, and only in the second part of the cycle. After menopause, you can start using estrogen-like plants, unless you have a history of hormone-dependent cancer. But in this field, the best is to call on a professional who will establish a tailor-made program with you.
We must not forget that menopause is not an illness but a natural stage in a woman’s life, just like puberty and pregnancy… The more global and natural the support, the more the stage will be gentle.