Note: This is the second part in a series of articles on menopause. Read the first part here.
Menopause is characterised by a cessation of menstrual periods and ovulation. It is referred to as “Change In Life.”
A woman can experience last menstrual periods between the ages of 40 to 50. In some cases, a woman may menstruate up to the age of 60.
The average age for menopause is 51 years. From this age, the years leading to menopause are characterized by disruption in menstrual cycle and even in the nature of periods themselves.
Some women experience menopause with serious discomfort whilst others do not have any at all. A woman is considered menopausal when she has passed 45 years in age and has not menstruated for six months.
Many of the symptoms of menopause have been mentioned by Iya Ibeji and friends in the first part of this blog post. 25% of women experience distress during this period. These symptoms may last up to five years.A woman is considered menopausal when she has passed 45 years in age and has not menstruated for six months. Click To Tweet
Menopause occurs because production of oestrogen and progesterone in the ovaries have greatly decreased. Without the supply of sufficient oestrogen, the uterine lining that is shed during menstruation cannot form. This change can occur suddenly. This accounts for a variety of physical and emotional symptoms.
Please note, that contrary to popular belief that the loss of oestrogen experienced during menopause leads to redistribution of fat, contributes to loss of muscle and indeed causes wrinkles, research has proven this to be most untrue.
Women who underwent surgery removing their uterus experience untimely menopause.
Women who were given chemotherapy and radiation therapy as cancer treatment, usually experience instant cessation of menstruation.
Today’s women suffer more symptoms of menopause compared to our forebears. Why? Corporate ladies eat a lot of denatured meals and drinks.
Indeed, a woman who has menopause discomfort once told me that every day, she suffered something that could be likened to mental illness. I asked what was her best meal. It was hot bread eaten with noodles. This she takes at least once daily.
To douse the effect of menopause, if you’re currently going through serious emotional and physical distress, a change of lifestyle is a must.
Dietary guide for menopausal women
- Eat diets high in raw vegetables like carrots, cucumber, lettuce, cabbage amongst others.
- Avoid red meats, wheat and wheat products, sugar, dairy products, coffee, teas not recommended by a professional, greasy foods, fried meals, alcohol, all types of soft drinks, and nicotine.
- Alcohol and caffeine aggravate the hot flashes. Drinking up to three litres of water is very helpful.
- Avoid stress as much as possible.
- Daily exercise will assist all women in menopause.
- The propensity to have osteoporosis becomes very high at menopause. The tendency is greater when menopause is induced. Don’t engage in activities that may fracture your bone.
- Women in menopause, and indeed all women, should learn to forgive others quickly. It helps to speed up the healing of the soul and body. Indeed the origin of some degenerative diseases could be traced to unforgiveness. Please endeavour to forget very quickly too.
- Eating frequent light meals is preferable to eating three heavy meals. This discourages the hot flashes.
- Avoid smoking and secondary smoke.
- Junk or fast foods are fingered as frequent trigger of hot flashes. All manufactured meals and drinks should be avoided completely.
Adherence to the foregoing will grant every woman soft landing during menopause.
Herbal remedies for menopause
Menopause affects women differently, therefore herbal combination for every woman is supposed to be tailor-made.
There is an erroneous belief that once the hormonal herbs are given, all menopausal symptoms will disappear. It’s beyond that. Professional herbal therapists now know that for a menopausal woman who is down with these symptoms to be up and doing, her emotional well-being should be the priority, in consideration of her herbal needs.
- Herbs like chamomile, valerian, hops must be included in her pack.
- Hormonal herbs like black cohosh, donquai, vitex should also be included.
During this period, immunity may run low; astragalus will help.
- Ginko Biloba is good for blood circulation and it enhances memory.
- Vitamin E is good. Evening Prime Oil works well on menopausal women.
It’s important you get professional guidance from a certified herbal practitioner, who will help you turn the above-named herbs into just one tea or two, with appropriate guidance on dosage.
Today, Iya Ibeji and co have embraced changes in lifestyles and are taking appropriate herbal remedies, as advised by a certified herbal practitioner. And life is treating them better even in menopause.
My advice to all menopausal women is to eat healthy and adhere to the foregoing guidelines. Use of herbs is equally important, but please seek professional advice.
Women are encouraged to ensure that their husbands read this, to prepare them for the encounters ahead. Men should anticipate a change in the lives of their wives as they get close to menopause. These changes may affect their relationship with their spouses negatively.
Men are encouraged to demonstrate understanding and maturity in dealing with the emotional breaks of their wives. In some homes, menopausal disposition of wives has led the entire family into irreversible disaster.
If only men knew and appreciated the enormity of emotional and physical trauma women go through at this time, men would give more support and love.
Women in menopause with negative symptoms need the kindness of their husbands. They need deep understanding and support even more than pregnant women.
If you have any questions or requests feel free to reach out and continue this discussion.
Leye Popoola is a naturopathic doctor and the Chief Executive Officer of Nature Healing Alternatives, Lagos, Nigeria. You can contact him on +234-803-306-9864 (Hot line and WhatsApp) or send him an email via egbonlale[at]gmail.com.