5 Ways to Naturally Manage Menopause Symptoms
When it comes to managing menopause symptoms, many women prefer natural ways to ease menopause symptoms over hormone replacement therapy. It’s important to talk to your healthcare provider to create the symptom management plan that’s right for you. But to help get you started, here are five natural solutions many women use to keep their menopause symptoms in check.
1. Increasing Your Physical Activity Is a Smart Move
Every time you exercise, your body releases endorphins that both make you feel good and help you manage stress levels. And with the drenching night sweats and monumental mood swings of menopause, there certainly isn’t a shortage of stressors to be managed. For many women, feeling down or depressed is a common experience throughout menopause.
Physical activity—and the endorphins it brings—can help you keep those feelings of depression at bay. But it’s important to remember that exercise alone might not be enough. If you experience prolonged periods of depression or if you find your mood impacting your productivity, appetite, or energy level, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor.
Physical activity isn’t just important for stress and mood management. During post-menopause, your body is more likely to suffer from bone density loss, which means that osteoporosis becomes a greater risk. Throughout your post-menopausal years, exercise will be a key component in osteoporosis prevention.1 And working workouts into your routine now will help you set yourself up for success later.
Start with Small Steps If the mere thought of joining a gym or signing up for a workout program makes you feel exhausted, don’t sweat it. Taking small steps to make physical activity a habit—like planning 10-minute walks over your lunch breaks—can have a big impact on both your health and your outlook.
2. On Pins and Needles - Literally
Acupuncture has become increasingly common in the treatment of sports injuries and chronic pain over the last 20 years. But did you know that it could also be effective in treating menopause symptoms? In a recent study, acupuncture (20 treatments over 6 months) led to a 36.7% decline in hot flash occurrences compared to a 6% increase in control group.2 Acupuncture has also shown promising results in managing mood swings and depression in women.3 So if your body is singing the menopause blues, you may want to consider giving acupuncture a try.
Being Nervous Is Normal If you’ve never tried acupuncture, it can seem a bit scary. But it’s important to know that the average needle used in a treatment is .00325 inches in diameter—or approximately the diameter of a strand of hair. The needle used when you get a flu shot is roughly 8 times larger in diameter. So if you’re envisioning becoming a real-life pincushion, know that an actual acupuncture treatment is nowhere near that extreme.
3. Fill Up on the Good Stuff
For most women, weight gain and menopause go hand in hand. Filling up on fibrous vegetables can help reduce your overall caloric intake and lessen the power of those persuasive menopause cravings. Proactively planning more produce into your menu is an offensive strategy for tackling your metabolism changes throughout menopause. During perimenopause, it’s also common for women to begin losing muscle mass. Working a little extra protein into your diet can help you offset that muscle loss. Not to mention, you can kill two birds with one stone by opting for plant-based proteins that are also rich in fiber—like chickpeas and almonds.
On top of adding more fiber and protein to your diet, there are things you might want to consider limiting. Both sugar and alcohol have the power to wreak havoc on your menopausal metabolism. And caffeine could disturb your sleep cycles more easily during menopause. We’d never tell you to deprive yourself of chocolate entirely. But during menopause, moderation is key.
4. Om On
If you experience joint pain during menopause or if The Change has led to some pretty big changes in your anxiety levels, meditation just might help. Research studies have indicated that meditation could be effective in the treatment of anxiety, pain, and depression.4 And many women report that meditation helps them calm down during menopause and mentally unwind before bed. So if you’ve found that menopause has brought insomnia along with it, consider looking into meditation. (It’s better than just looking into the texture of your bedroom ceiling, right?)
If you’re new to meditation, you’re not alone. There are thousands of free guided meditation videos online as well as subscription-based apps and meditation studios you can access to get a feel for meditation. Some women prefer more active meditation techniques—like yoga—to sedentary ones. So if you don’t take to the first meditation technique you try, don’t worry. Whether you settle on visualization, breath focus, or candlelight flow, you’ll be working to namaste your way to more manageable symptoms.
5. You Might Find a Friend in Phytoestrogens
Phytoestrogens are naturally occurring compounds found in some vegetables, grains, legumes, and herbs. The phytoestrogens’ molecular shape allows the compounds to bind to your body’s estrogen receptors and mimic some of the effects of estrogen. Research indicates that phytoestrogens might help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with low estrogen, like hot flashes.5
Where to Find Phytoestrogens
You might be wondering what foods to eat for menopause symptoms. And because of their phytoestrogen content, soybeans, soy milk, sesame seeds, wheat berries, oats, barley, and flax are all worth considering working into your diet during menopause.
EQUELLE Hot Flash Relief supplement is another source of a phytoestrogen. By taking EQUELLE twice a day, you can provide your body with a consistent supply of phytoestrogens to help manage some of menopause’s most common symptoms. In clinical trials, EQUELLE has been shown to help reduce the frequency of hot flashes and muscle discomfort.† Which is great, because when the heat of menopause makes you want to lose your cool, you’ll likely find yourself wondering, “what can I take for menopause?” And EQUELLE just might be the perfect solution for you.
1Burdette LM. The North American Menopause Society (NAMS). Bone Health: Exercise Is a Key Component. Version current 16 November 2018. Internet: http://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopauseflashes/bone-health-and-heart-health/bone-health-exercise-is-a-key-component (accessed on 27 November 2018).
2Avis NE, Coeytaux RR, Isom S et al. Acupuncture in Menopause (AIM) study; a pragmatic, randomized controlled trial. Menopause. 2016;23(6):626-37.
3Sniezek DP and Siddiqui IJ. Acupuncture for Treating Anxiety and Depression in Women: A Clinical Systematic Review. Medical Acupuncture. 2013;25(3):164-72.
4Goyal M, Singh S, Sibinga EMS et al. Meditation Programs for Psychological Stress and Well-being: a Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(3):357-68.
5National Institute on Aging. Age Page: Menopause. Version current December 2013. Internet: http://www.aahf.info/sec_appendix/AgePages/menopause_2.pdf (accessed on 27 November 2018).