Night sweats. Chills. Mood swings. Sleeplessness. Embarrassing hot flashes.
“The Great Change.”
Yep, we’re talking about menopause.
Welcome to the other side. Though menopause is completely natural, many women are plagued by the uncomfortable side effects, and mitigating them is a top priority. After all, no one enjoys losing sleep because of uncomfortable night sweats or experiencing a hot flash while at the grocery store.
However, there often aren’t many options presented to menopausal women. Many times, hormone therapy is offered as the only choice for relief from annoying symptoms, but not everyone is excited about committing to a prescription for life. What many don’t know is that there are other completely natural options for alleviating menopausal symptoms.
Symptoms And Complications Of Menopause
Menopause marks the end of a woman’s menstruation cycle– a natural, biological process typically beginning around age 50, although some women lose their period as early as age 45. Menopause can also be accelerated as a result of a hysterectomy, when one or both ovaries are removed. Whether menopause is entered naturally or from surgery, your body reacts to the drop in estrogen and progesterone levels, causing a myriad of different symptoms.
Many women experience night sweats, trouble sleeping, mood swings, chills, anxiety, hot flashes…the list goes on. Declining levels of estrogen also put women at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, muscle loss, and occasional urinary incontinence. Health is a continuously moving target that changes with age, and menopause is a good reminder of just how impactful these shifts can be.
What all this means: taking care of your body is more important than ever. If you’re experiencing any range of symptoms, there’s no time like the present to take positive steps toward supporting your personal health and addressing new symptoms and concerns proactively.
Conservative Options For Menopause Symptom Relief
Though hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is often recommended to pre- and post-menopausal women, HRT doesn’t come without risks. Among them: stroke, blood clots, heart disease, and breast cancer. Because of the health dangers, many women prefer natural, more conservative treatments instead; specifically, managing menopause symptoms through diet and exercise.
Increase Nutrient-Dense Foods
Muscle and bone loss increase as you get older. As such, osteoporosis becomes a real concern with menopause contributing to your risks. By incorporating more vitamin D and calcium-rich foods, you’re helping to support your bone health with these two powerhouse nutrients. Dark leafy greens, beans, and dairy products are all great sources of calcium. Oily fish (like salmon) and eggs are great for getting your fill of vitamin D.
Additionally, try to eat phytoestrogens when you can. Phytoestrogens naturally occur in plants and can mimic the effect of estrogen– making them a great counterbalance for your body during menopause when estrogen levels are dipping. Tofu, soybeans, flaxseeds, and tempeh are all foods that are high in phytoestrogens.
Beware Of Triggering Food And Drink
Eating well is also about what not to put in your body. Caffeine, alcohol, and sugary foods have all been known to trigger hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings.
While you don’t necessarily have to completely give up your beloved morning coffee and occasional sweet treat, keeping a symptom diary may be helpful, to isolate the foods that are triggering for you. Pay attention to when you feel an increase in symptoms, and watch for patterns associated with what you’re eating and drinking.
Commit To Moving Your Body– Regularly
Regulating your mood and anxiety can be more difficult when your hormones are fluctuating, and exercise offers many health benefits. If you’re new to regular exercise, we’re not saying that you need to become a gym regular overnight. Instead, try committing to 3-4 days per week in which you prioritize time to exercise. Whether it’s hiking with friends, a run through the neighborhood, or a spin bike workout, giving yourself time to raise your heart rate and get your sweat on can truly work wonders for keeping anxiety and mood swings at bay.
And, don’t be afraid to inject some weight lifting into your routine! Weight training bestows many health boons to women in particular, as it is extremely effective in supporting bone health and warding off muscle loss and atrophy– two big health concerns of aging and menopause. Plus, those feel-good endorphins at the end of a workout are a great mood-boost.
Using Chiropractic Care To Alleviate Menopause Symptoms
While a healthy approach to diet and exercise is a good start to alleviating the symptoms of menopause, sometimes your body needs additional support. Used in conjunction with other conservative methods, chiropractic can be a great resource during this stage of your life, as now you’re addressing both lifestyle and systematic adjustments that your body so desperately needs. How so?
Chiropractic care focuses (among other things) on your body’s nervous system function. The nervous system helps with hormonal regulation– something that menopausal women are actively struggling with as estrogen and progesterone drop. Misalignments of the spine, which can happen simply as a result of daily life, affect the nervous system, and can exacerbate already uncomfortable menopausal symptoms.
Chiropractic works by treating the spine, the protector of many of our nerves. Gentle chiropractic adjustments help to realign the body, allowing the nervous system to restore normal function. Additionally, chiropractic adjustments can also help lower cortisol, the stress hormone, that can act as a trigger for many menopause symptoms when left untreated.
If you’re struggling to manage the symptoms of menopause, it’s time to get relief.