Lead A Healthy Lifestyle
Menopause experts agree that eating a healthy balanced diet, with plenty of wholegrains and fruit and veg, can help your body cope with menopausal changes.
Exercise is important too. A large South American study found women exercising less than three times a week were 28% more likely to experience severe menopausal symptoms, particularly hot flushes and low mood.
The researchers think getting active can help ease stress and depression, which allows your brain to cope better with menopausal symptoms. You could try yoga preliminary research found a regular class may ease hot flushes.5
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Hot Flushes And Night Sweats
Many herbal therapies have been tried for relief of hot flushes and night sweats in menopausal women. Some herbs have been found to be effective in reducing hot flushes, whereas others have been found to be no better than a placebo . Some have not been studied rigorously.
Black cohosh is perhaps the most extensively researched of all herbs used for managing menopausal symptoms. It is available in many different products, which vary in quality and effectiveness, and it can be combined with other herbs to tailor a formula specifically for hot flushes. Evidence is conflicting: some studies show it is effective and others do not.
St John’s wort, on its own or in combination with other herbs, has been shown to be significantly better than placebo in the treatment of menopausal symptoms. In combination with black cohosh or passionflower, St John’s wort may decrease hot flushes significantly and improve your mood compared to placebo.
Hops contain a potent phytoestrogen , and some research has shown that it may be useful for menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes.
Red clover also contains phytoestrogens called isoflavones that may help ease hot flushes and night sweats, but seemingly more so in women who are postmenopausal than perimenopausal .
Other herbal therapies such as dong quai, evening primrose, Korean ginseng and linseed continue to be used for hot flushes, but evidence is lacking, or shows they are no better than placebo.
Does Food Play A Role
Some have suggested that menopause was much easier for Asian women than for Westernersat least while women followed traditional, mostly plant-based diets. Hot flashes have been reported by only about 10 percent of women in China,1 17.6 percent of women in Singapore,2 and 22.1 percent of women in Japan.3 In contrast, it is estimated that hot flashes are experienced by 75 percent of women over the age of 50 in the United States.4 Whether these differences might be partly due to reluctance in reporting symptoms among Asians is not entirely clear. And as Asias diets gradually westernize, these differences are likely to disappear anyway.
But we do know that, throughout their lives, Western women consume much more meat, and about four times as much fat, as women on traditional Asian rice-based diets, and only one-quarter to one-half the fiber. For reasons that have never been completely clear, a high-fat, low-fiber diet causes a rise in estrogen levels. Women on higher-fat diets have measurably more estrogen activity than do those on low-fat diets. At menopause, the ovaries production of estrogen comes to a halt. Those women who have been on high-fat diets then have a dramatic drop in estrogen levels. The drop appears to be less dramatic for Asian women who have lower levels of estrogen both before and after menopause. The resulting symptoms are much milder or even nonexistent.
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How To Improve Estrogen Imbalance Naturally
You probably remember estrogen from high school health class. It is one of your primary female sex hormones and it plays a critical role in your hormonal health. Estrogen imbalance can lead to an array of symptoms and health issues, including premenstrual symptoms, menstrual problems, endometriosis, infertility, headaches, and fatigue. If you are dealing with symptoms of estrogen and hormonal imbalance, you will be happy to hear that you can improve estrogen imbalance naturally.
In this article, I will explain what estrogen is and what are the three major types of estrogen. You will learn more about estrogen imbalance and estrogen dominance. You will understand potential problems with hormonal medications and xenoestrogens. I will explain how estrogen metabolism works. I will share the testing method I recommend for your estrogen levels and share my top natural solutions for estrogen dominance and hormonal imbalance.
Importance Of Correcting Low Estrogen
The reason why its so important to correct low estrogen levels is that it will greatly improve your experience of both perimenopause and menopause. Not only that, but consider all the benefits of estrogen listed above your cardiovascular and cognitive health would probably be on top of your list.
Low estrogen levels are associated with these conditions:
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Keeping Or Restoring Strong Healthy Bones
Osteoporosisthinning of the bone tissueis common, particularly among Caucasian women, after menopause. The cause is not an inadequate calcium intake, ordinarily. The problem is abnormally rapid calcium loss, aggravated by the following five calcium wasters:
St John’s Wort Hypericum Perforatum
St John’s wort traditionally has been used for menopausal symptoms of anxiety, irritability, insomnia and depression. It can be useful for hot flushes. It does not possess hormonal actions and its antidepressant action is believed to be due to a combination of active constituents in the herb. St John’s wort has been studied extensively for its effectiveness in mild to moderate anxiety and depression. It may be that St John’s wort is as effective as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors for the treatment of depression, and it may have fewer side effects.
A recent review suggests St John’s wort, alone or combined with other herbs, may be significantly better than placebo in the treatment of menopausal symptoms. it is particularly effective when combined with black cohosh to decrease hot flushes and improve mood.
Precautions: St John’s wort influences your liver enzymes that can reduce or increase the effectiveness of certain medications. It is one of the few herbs that has been studied for interactions with medications. If you are on the following medications, you should be very cautious about using St John’s wort, and consult your own doctor:
- anticoagulants such as warfarin, heparin, aspirin, apixaban and rivaroxaban
- antidepressant drugs, especially SSRIs or serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors
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A Recipe To Get You Started
Avocados are SUPER rich in fiber10.5 grams of fiber per cup of sliced avocado! The fiber content of avocados varies depending on the typethere is a difference in fiber content and makeup between the bright green, smooth-skinned avocados and the smaller darker and dimpled variety . Florida avocados have significantly more insoluble fiber than California avocados.
Raw Chocolate Pudding
3 large avocados, soft and ripe*¼ cup organic, high-quality raw cacao powder3 6 tablespoons BPA-free canned full-fat coconut milk1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract2 teaspoons raw coconut oil, melted2 tablespoons raw honeypinch of pink Himalayan salt or fine sea salt
* I dont recommend using avocados that are bruised as it will be bitter. Soft avocados are perfect.
Add all pudding ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. I like to let the machine run for a couple minutes to get it super smooth. Portion the pudding into a container and chill in the fridge for an hour or so. Or you can serve it right away. Best enjoyed within 12-24 hours. If you want an instant cold pudding, refrigerate the avocados and coconut milk before making this pudding!
Hrt Alternatives: Do Natural Remedies Really Work
Hormone replacement therapy is widely used to treat a number of menopausal symptoms. It works by delivering synthetic oestrogen and progesterone hormones that gradually decline in menopause.Although it is effective for most women, not every woman chooses HRT or can have HRT to help their symptoms of the menopause, due to personal preference or previous medical history. For this reason, some women turn to natural remedies such as dietary changes,complementary medicine, or supplementation, although its not always clear if these alternative therapies are truly effective. Below well explore a range of HRT alternatives to help you decide on the best option for you.
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Home Remedies To Increase Low Estrogen In Women
Not everyone responds well to medical treatment for low estrogen. There are also those who would prefer to go with a more natural approach. While there may be no immediate cure, many home remedies have been known to be effective treatments for many women. The following are methods that may bring you some symptom relief if you have low estrogen.
Healthy eating: Lowering intake of carbohydrates and fats, as well as increasing fiber in the diet, can be helpful. Including foods that have naturally occurring estrogen in themsuch as soybeans, tofu, edamame, peas, and wheat branis also a good option. Fresh foods are also better than processed foods and avoiding high amounts of sugar can help keep estrogen in balance.
Herbs: Some herbs are known to provide nutrition to the glands that produce estrogen. For example, chasteberry may be useful for increasing estrogen. Check with your doctor before taking any herbs as they may interfere with other medications.
Exercise: Regular and moderate exercise, which is about 30 minutes per day, can help prevent obesity, heart disease, and diabetes, as well as helping to increase estrogen. Remember excessive exercise has the opposite effect.
Stop tobacco use: Tobacco is known to indirectly lower estrogen levels. Some studies now suggest it may be linked to early menopause.
Caffeine: Although surprising, studies suggest women who drink at least two cups of coffee or tea each day may be able to increase their estrogen levels.
Korean Ginseng Panax Ginseng
The ginseng root is a Chinese medicinal ‘adaptogenic’ herb, which is a herb that may promote resistance to external and internal stresses and may improve your physical and mental function.
It may be used for relief of menopausal symptoms, stress, fatigue, physical exhaustion and loss of stamina. It is said to heighten your vitality and concentration and improve your sexual function and arousal. One study showed that ginseng improved the number of hot flushes compared to placebo, but overall it did not improve symptoms of hot flushes.
Precautions: Korean ginseng has been associated with postmenopausal vaginal bleeding . This could be related to an anticoagulant or oestrogenic effect of the herb. It should be used with caution in those on anticoagulant medications, such as warfarin, heparin and aspirin, and stopped a week before any surgery.
If you have hypertension , or drink excessive amounts of caffeine , you should not take Korean ginseng. It is also said perhaps to worsen infections, so is best avoided. You should only ever use it short-term .
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Soy And Other Legumes
Soybeans and soy products are a rich source of isoflavones, one of the most important groups of phytoestrogens. You can add soy to your diet with:
Other legumes, such as chickpeas, peanuts, and beans, are also a good source of isoflavones.
Theres some debate about the benefits of soy isoflavones. Many studies suggest that they can and breast cancer, as well as reduce symptoms of menopause.
However, a lot of the evidence is preliminary, and many of the studies were performed on animals.
Dong Quai Angelica Sinensis
Dong quai root is one of the most widely used traditional Chinese herbs for women’s health, including for period pain, menopause and menstrual irregularity. Some women believe it is useful for hot flushes, but overall the evidence is not very supportive however, doses of dong quai used in research have been much lower than traditional Chinese medicinal dosage, and traditionally it is also used in combination with other Chinese herbs as powder or pill formulae.
Precautions: Due to the potential for oestrogenic effects, some test-tube evidence suggests women with breast cancer should avoid dong quai until further safety information becomes available. You should also exercise caution if you are on anticoagulant medication, such as warfarin, heparin or aspirin, as it can increase bleeding time. For this reason, you should stop taking it a week before any surgery to avoid bleeding complications.
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Estrogen Dominance And Histamine Intolerance
Estrogen dominance and histamine intolerance share some common symptoms, including headaches, fatigue, and abnormal menstrual function. Estrogen and histamine also attach to the same receptors , which will result in the release of histamine from your mast cells present near your reproductive organs.
The more estrogen your body has, the more histamine your mast cells will release. More histamine, however, will lead to more estrogen feeding a vicious cycle of estrogen dominance and histamine intolerance. If you are dealing with estrogen dominance, it is best to check for and address possible histamine intolerance as well. To learn more about the connection between estrogen dominance and histamine intolerance, I recommend reading this article.
How Can I Test My Oestrogen Levels At Home
You can test your oestrogen levels by getting a blood, saliva, or urine test. You will have to go to a doctor, whereas saliva tests can be done at home. Your doctor will provide you with a kit to test your oestrogen levels at home. However, get tested by your doctor for accurate testing and correct results.
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How Estrogen Levels Affect Your Body
Having consistently low levels of estrogen can affect your reproductive system as well as other systems in your body.
Estrogen is the hormone that’s mainly responsible for sexual development in girls as they reach puberty. Some of its other functions include:
The type of HRT therapy, the mode of administration, and the dosage that you are prescribed depend on many factors. These include the underlying cause, severity, and symptoms of your low estrogen.
Basic facts about HRT include:
Natural Solutions For Dryness
At menopause, vaginal blood flow falls. Dryness and irritation can occur, and bacteria infections that pass to the urinary tract are more likely.
What is to be done? First of all, even after the ovaries stop, the adrenal glands and the fat tissue continue to contribute to estrogen production after menopause. In addition, phytoestrogens in plants provide weak estrogen effects. Soy products, such as tofu, tempeh, and miso, contain huge amounts of these natural compounds.
The plant-derived estrogen and progesterone creams described above can be helpful. Used on a regular basis, these creams maintain a moist vaginal lining. However, please note that they should not be used as a sexual lubricant. Estrogen cream is a medication, not a lubricant, and it goes through any skin it touches, including mens. Many women prefer to avoid hormone creams entirely and use ordinary lubricants or moisturizers instead.
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May Reduce Menopause Symptoms
The hormone-balancing effects of Vitex agnus-castus may also help relieve symptoms of menopause.
In one study, vitex oils were given to 23 women in menopause. Women reported improved menopause symptoms, including better mood and sleep. Some even regained their period .
In a follow-up study 52 additional pre- and postmenopausal women were given a vitex cream. Of the study participants, 33 percent experienced major improvements, and another 36 percent reported moderate improvements in symptoms, including night sweats and hot flashes .
However, not all studies have observed benefits. One recent and larger double-blind, randomized, controlled trial the gold standard in research gave women a placebo or a daily tablet containing a combination of vitex and St. Johns wort.
After 16 weeks, the vitex supplement was no more effective than the placebo at reducing hot flashes, depression or any other menopausal symptoms .
Keep in mind that in many studies reporting benefits, women were provided with supplements that mixed Vitex agnus-castus with other herbs. Therefore, its difficult to isolate the effects of vitex alone (
This may be especially true in women with luteal phase defect, or a shortened second half of the menstrual cycle. This disorder is linked to abnormally high prolactin levels and makes it difficult for women to become pregnant.
Keep in mind that the supplement held a mix of other ingredients, making it difficult to isolate the effects of vitex.
Herbs That Raise Estrogen Level
Many women, especially post-menopausal women, have lowered estrogen levels. Estrogen is the female sex hormone associated with reproduction and menstrual cycles. It is produced in the ovaries and naturally decreases over time. Low estrogen levels are associated with infertility, irregular ovulation and missed periods. The conventional medical approach includes hormone replacement therapy and dietary modifications. In addition, there are herbs that are recognized for their ability to raise estrogen levels naturally.
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