It is the vital stage of women in which they stop having menstruation, usually happens around 45 years and leads to decreased production of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.
Menopause is considered to have arrived when there has been no menstruation for 1 year; 1 year of amenorrhea

The correct term to refer to the changes that occur before, during and after menopause is called Climacterium but since the term menopause is more colloquially known, I will refer to it this way.

Symptoms of the menopause

They are variable for each woman and can last 5 or more years. One of the first indications that one is entering menopause is changes in the frequency of the period; this is known as pre-menopause or perimenopause.

Some of the symptoms that can be manifested are:

  • Reduction in concentration (forgetfulness), energy, self-esteem.
  • Less frequent menstrual periods that eventually stop.
  • Headaches.
  • Emotional weakness (stress, anxiety, sadness, …).
  • Hair loss.
  • Excessive hair growth (Hirsutism).
  • Fatigue.
  • Night sweats.
  • Peripheral circulation problems.
  • Cataracts.
  • Glaucoma.
  • Low vision.
  • Mood changes including irritability, depression and anxiety. [6]
  • Hot flushes, usually worse during the first 1-2 years
  • Decreased sexual interest or changes in sexual response
  • Reddening of the skin
  • Weight gain and/or fluid retention.
  • Dyspnea.
  • Leaking of urine.
  • Articular pains.
  • Sleep disturbances.
  • Irregular heartbeat (palpitations).
  • Strong or accelerated heartbeats.
  • Vaginal dryness and painful sexual relations.

Furthermore

To confirm that the symptoms are due to menopause there are urine and blood tests (estradiol, FSH, LH) to try to determine more precisely if you are close to menopause or if it has already passed.

These symptoms are produced mainly by the decrease in the production of ovarian estrogens, however, the body will tend to rebalance itself by increasing the production by other pathways such as the adrenals, skin, liver, brain and muscles (although mostly adrenal), which will supply the ovarian function and begin to manufacture estrogens in an adequate physiological amount. This period of adaptation can last several years and therefore the symptomatology can persist until the body has regulated itself.

Hormonal variation during this stage can also lead to increased cholesterol (LDL) and increased risk of osteoporosis. In some cases, poorly regulated estrogen levels can lead to breast cancer.

Ways to alleviate symptoms and help the body restructure

Woman in the menopause

Medically, there are hormonal treatments, although before exposing yourself to the multiple risks involved, I recommend opting for more natural and body-friendly alternatives. Among the risks of these therapies are: breast cancer, dementia, ovarian cancer, vaginal bleeding, urinary incontinence, cardiovascular disease, … [22], [23], [24], [25], [26], [27], [28], [29]

I recommend opting for phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens compete for the cytoplasmic receptors of 17-B-estradiol, act on the enzymatic functions involved in the regulation of steroids and prostaglandins. [7]
Improving the estrogenic health in a natural way we will regulate all the symptoms derived from menopause, reducing the hot flushes, cholesterol, risk of osteoporosis, … And we will avoid the possible damages derived from the hormonal treatment or from drugs.

To avoid

Caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, sweetened products, carbonated drinks (with gas), meat derivatives, excess salt, solanaceous (peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants).

Recommended foods

Fermented soy (tempeh, miso, …), bone broth, green cabbage, crushed seeds (sesame and flax), berries, green banana, seaweed, sprouts (red clover, alfalfa), soy sauce in small quantities or low salt content, cruciferous (cauliflower, broccoli, . ..), grape skin and seeds (especially if cognitive symptoms are present), kuzu (Pueraria Lobata type), rhubarb, celery, brussels sprouts, apple. [3], [5], [13], [14], [15], [16], [17], [18], [19], [20], [21]

It is advisable to combine foods from the inner list with one or some of these: yam, chasteberry, rhubarb, hops. [3], [12]

And moreover…

Foods rich in healthy fats: avocado, fresh blue fish (anchovy, sardine, mackerel), extra virgin olive oil, extra virgin linseed oil They help to promote the synthesis of S-Equol which is a metabolite that enhances the effects of phytoestrogens.

Those with resistant starch: legumes (among which I highlight the azukis), green banana, potato (less recommended), sweet potato, brown rice, oats (gluten-free). These foods are rich in starch, but if we cook them and then let them cool down we transform the starch they contain into digestible starch.

Specific food for sweating and hot flushes: Cimifuga Racemosa, kuzu, liquorice, cava, saffron, yam, red clover. [3], [12], [16]

Important: these foods should be incorporated into the diet, the diet should never be based only on these foods and neither should they be abused.

Activities: Kegel exercises, slow and deep breathing, yoga, tai chi, meditation, strength exercises, steps, going up or down stairs, jogging, sunbathing (very important because of the vitamin D), …

Some plants: Sage, Hawthorn and Balm. Indicated in the form of decoction before meals and in fasting in the morning.

More tips: wear light clothing and few layers, use lubricants during sex, use acupuncture as an adjuvant, be sexually active.

What if with these changes I don’t get enough improvements?

We also have

Adequate supplements when cognitive symptoms appear due to climacteric: Soya Isoflavones and Ginkgo Bilova. [4]

Supplementation with natural phytoestrogens such as isoflavones (protection against osteoporosis, hot flashes, and hypertension). [8], [9], [10]

Probiotics with acidolactic bacteria, bifidobacteria and fructooligosaccharides (FOS).

Depending on the situation, other supplements such as vitamin D, calcium, vitamin K, omega 3, turmeric, trace elements, iron, …

If no improvement is achieved, it should be assessed whether there are pathologies that interact with enzymes, hormone levels, absorption, … For example: deficit of aromatase production, thyroid diseases, pituitary, metabolic diseases, gonadales, diabetes, obesity, …

Links of interest

1-https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4381290/

2-https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/

3-https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3800090/

4-https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21237589

5-https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/136/5/1270/4669984

6-https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/

7-https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2254331/

8-https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4525046/

9-https://iubmb.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/biof.5520220145

10-https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20464785

11-https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00394-012-0331-7

12-https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4029542/

13-http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/9/8/773.long

14-https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4340720/

15-https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5462345/

16-https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4678495/

17-https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5783135/

18-https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5295071/

19-https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4808879/

20-https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4243716/

21-https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5758942/

22-https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3127562/

23-https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6390656/

24-https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18299491

25-https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12771112

26-https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20959578

27-https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15213206

28-https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12117397

29-https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14519708

 

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.