Natural help for Menopause

imageOver the last few weeks I have been writing about PMS and the problems that it can bring as well as the natural remedies which may help to offer some relief. This week I am completing that series with a look at menopausal issues.
HOT FLUSHES AND NIGHT SWEATS – for many women the main irritation associated with the menopause is having to deal with the hot flushes and nights sweats. The night sweats particularly as they lead to disturbed sleep and therefore fatigue. The first herb we always turn to to try and help with this problem is sage. Sage has been found to help reduce the symptoms of hot flushes and night sweats quite effectively – with apparently up to 8 out of ten women reporting significant reduction in symptoms – this is well worth a try.
LOW MOOD, ANXIETY AND FATIGUE – these issues can all affect women who are going through the menopause. This is because our hormones actually have quite a strong effect on our moods, oestrogen for example is naturally anti depressant, whilst progesterone helps to keep you calm. So falling levels or these hormones during the menopause can cause issues with low mood, anxiety and fatigue. We often suggest products like Soya or Red Clover, due to their content of Isoflavones – substances which mimic hormonal action in the body – to try and help relieve these issues. Our favourite for those really struggling with low mood or anxiety is Vogels Menosan Menopause Support this is a fermented soya based product, which we have had great feedback from. For those struggling with mood issues and fatigue, we tend to try Natures Aid Red Clover Complex first as this combines the effects of red clover with Siberian Ginseng, which has a reputation for helping to boost energy and stamina.
DRYNESS – with falling oestrogen levels, women can notice that their skin, their vagina and even their eyes may become more dry. Vaginal dryness can of course lead to irritation and discomfort. Dry eyes can actually lead to your eyes streaming with tears – as your body attempts to compensate for the lack of lubrication, by producing extra tears. All this happens because the oestrogen we produce during our cycle helps to produce natural lubrication. Therefore, as the levels of this hormone drop, these uncomfortable symptoms can arise. Again looking to Isoflavones from fermented Soya products, such as Vogels Menosan Menopause Support could be helpful. This is due to the fact that it is believed these Isoflavones could mimic the oestrogenic actions in your system.
Our favourite product for these problems though is often Sea Buckthorn – Omega 7. I wrote about this last year, mentioning how helpful my mum had found it for her dry eye problems – her streaming eyes had been stopped within weeks of starting to use this supplement! Since then we have had literally scores of people report the same results.
We have had other women tell us that it has also helped them with the vaginal dryness which had been irritating them as well. Which is why we love it!


Low Oestrogen – Low Mood

_ Sad eye _

Over the last two week we have been looking at PMS and have discussed progesterone and androgens. This week I am going to take a look at the third hormone involved with the cycle – oestrogen. Oestrogen is very important to the proper functioning of the cycle and is very much involved with ovulation. Falling oestrogen levels could therefore mean that periods become lighter, more erratic and could even go missing for a month or so. Oestrogen also has a huge impact on the mood as it actually has natural anti depressant activity. Low oestrogen could therefore be indicated by your mood dropping suddenly during your cycle or before your period. If you suddenly feel inexplicably low, tearful or depressive – ask yourself – could you have just ovulated or are you due on – if the answer to either (or even both) of these questions is yes, your falling oestrogen levels could be at the root of it. It is often thought that dropping oestrogen levels signal that a woman could be pre menopausal, but whilst this may often be the case, these problems may also occur earlier in life as well.
As well as lighter, more erratic periods and low moods, the following issues could also indicate lower oestrogen levels being involved with your hormonal problems –vaginal discomfort– dryness, soreness and itching – without thrush, thinning skin, painful or tender joints, increased body temperature, sweats and also problems with urinary continence.
It is often suggested that when oestrogen levels are low, natural remedies which contain plant oestrogens, could offer relief from uncomfortable symptoms. We should be clear here though – plants do not actually contain any oestrogen, they actually contain substances known as isoflavones, which have a similar chemical make up to the oestrogen in your body. What this means is that taking a plant which contains isoflavones could actually ‘con’ your body into thinking that your oestrogen levels are higher than they are and therefore reduce some of the symptoms associated with low oestrogen levels. Possibly the most well known plant oestrogens are Soya Isoflavones. However, it is worth noting here not all soya products are equal. As soya needs to be fermented in order to ‘activate’ its oestrogenic action, just taking a plain soya product or eating soya rich foods, may not provide the benefits you seek.
If you want to try plant oestrogens to see if they could be helpful for you, look for a soya product which has already been fermented, such as Vogels Menosan Menopause Support. This is relevant, even if you are not menopausal, if you think you may have low oestrogen. We have had some great reports back on this product with one woman telling us that she has found it reduced this vaginal discomfort she was suffering, another telling us that it had been a ‘life saver’ as it had helped her low mood so well and another who tells us it is the only thing which has ever helped her pre menstrual sweats!