The Essence of Women: The Change
The change ... that is always how my grandmother used to refer to it. But that makes it sound like something that occurs quickly. Like you wake up one morning and you've changed. In fact, many women think that just like when they suddenly got their first period, it should end just as spontaneously. Wrong. The cessation of monthly bleeding is not something that happens suddenly. Often, bleeding will lessen in volume and the length of time, a change that can last months, or even a year or two. Then the period may stop for a few months and return. This indecisive time is called Peri-Menopause and women can experience many debilitating symptoms during this time. Hot flashes, night sweats, body aches, loss of focus or memory, fatigue, anger, depression, anxiety, cravings, vaginal dryness, just to name the most common.
Peri-menopause can actually last up to ten years beginning in the late 40's into the 50's. During this period there are fewer follicles and so the maturing of the egg becomes erratic. Bleeding irregularities occur because of the fluctuating levels of estrogen and progesterone. Also as the ovaries wind down in their release of estrogen, the liver picks up. In women who have undetected liver sluggishness, this will produce stronger peri-menopausal symptoms. During this period, increase your intake of essential fatty acids from cold-water fish. Supporting adrenal function can help during this transition as well as keeping an eye on boron levels which support estrogen. You may also try Wheat Germ Oil and Evening Primrose Oil. Herbs such as Shepherd's Purse or Capsella can reduce excessive bleeding along with the consumption of rutin-containing plants such as buckwheat, while Chaste Tree and Dong Quai can balance the mild symptoms. Making sure you have enough B vitamins are also crucial for healthy blood flow and strong blood vessels. And if your interest in your mate has dropped so walking the dog becomes more enticing, then boost your zinc and start taking Shatavari laced with Tribulus!
Once a woman's body no longer contains eggs and hormone production diminishes as a result, menopause begins. During this period, hormonal levels can fluctuate and it is these changes that bring on many of the negative symptoms associated with menopause. One of the most common symptoms is hot flashes. These can cause as much as a two degree difference in the temperature of the skin, and can just as easily cause rapid chills. They tend to be aggravated by caffeine, sugar, spicy foods and alcohol. Increasing essential fatty acids such as Wheat Germ Oil and Evening Primrose can reduce them, as well as herbs such as Sage for night sweats and Black Cohosh which suppresses the secretion of Luteneizing Hormone.
Other symptoms which can become disabling are vaginal dryness and irritation, fatigue and sleep problems and memory loss. Decreasing levels of progesterone and estrogen can cause the mucous membranes of the body to thin out and become irritated and more susceptible to infection. Again black cohosh helps with this, but also vitamin E topically, massage of the mucous membranes to increase blood flow and elimination of all vaginal treatments including douches. Herbs such as Wild Yam, False Unicorn and Tribulus may help by interacting with hypothalamic estrogen receptors, thereby allaying the effects of estrogen withdrawal. This can be found in Wild Yam Complex (3-4 tablets per day) which contains False Unicorm, Wild Yam and Korean Ginseng. It is thought that Korean Ginseng can help to prevent cancer in women over the age of 50. Increasing foods that contain dietary sources of phytoestrogens are essential such as soy, apples, black beans, celery, dates, lima beans, pinto beans, alfalfa and flaxseed. Women at this time are also heavily dependent on protein intake to maintain healthy mental function, so if the memory is waning, don't just try ginkgo biloba, also increase your protein intake.
Here Are More of My Favorite Formulas
Valerian Complex - for insomnia and nervous tension, particularly to calm frayed nerves. Tribulus - this Bulgarian herb contains saponins that bind with hypothalamus receptors to convince the body that there is additional estrogen. It is amazing for increasing libido and reducing menopausal symptoms such as vaginal dryness and muscle atrophy. Wild Yam Complex - wild yam contains dioscin, the only natural pathway for progesterone. It also must be ingested and not simply applied to the skin as the gut flora are needed to make it active and bioavailable to the body. Our formula includes false unicorn, wild yam, St. John's wort, sage and korean ginseng for menopausal symptoms, particularly hot flashes and excessive perspiration. Symplex F - to balance glandular function between the thyroid, adrenal and gonads. I substitute Paraplex for this if there are a lot of sugar cravings. Linum B6 - for dryness. Drenamin - for adrenal support. Eleuthero - for daily fatigue. Biost or Calcifood - for skeletal issues and to prevent osteoporosis. Ovatrophin PMG - ovarian dysfunction is oftentimes a result of a lack of essential fatty acids. But there are many cases where it is the result of injury to the ovaries, or a sluggish ovarian cycle. This formula will help from puberty through menopause to regulate dysfunction of the ovaries. Ovex - this formula provides hormone precursors for frigidity and menopausal hot flashes. It helps to balance hormonal issues involving the ovaries. Wheat Germ Oil / Evening Primrose Oil - this is an excellent source of fat-soluble vitamins, acting as sex hormone precursors and reducing hot flashes in peri-menopausal and menopausal women. Sage - this is one of the most historical herbs for menopause by reducing spotting and excessive perspiration, particularly with night sweats. Ashwaganda / Withania - this is one of the most effective adrenal adaptagens available, helping with common menopausal symptoms such as irritability, anxiety, poor concentration and hair loss. It is especially important to alleviate nervous tension. Allorganic Trace Minerals B12 - this complex helps to alleviate menopausal headaches by providing alkaline ash minerals to restore a balanced pH and hydration to the body tissues.