Healing Food And Herbs for Menopause

Menopause is a Natural Part of a Woman’s Life; Here is How to Ease the Transition

Menopause is a process that occurs later in a woman’s life and is determined when her regular menstruation stops continuously for a full year. Natural menopause is a normal part of the ageing course of being a woman. A woman Menopause can be natural or induced. A woman is born with all the eggs she will need for possible conception which is between 1 and 3 million eggs. These eggs are stored in the ovaries which sit on each side of the uterus. When a girl reaches puberty and starts her period, she releases one or more eggs from the ovaries that sit in the fallopian tubes waiting for fertilization by sperm from a man. If that does not happen, the egg disintegrates and is expelled along with the uterine lining that has been building up waiting for a fertilized egg. This monthly shedding of uterine lining is known as a menstrual period. In the course of a woman’s childbearing period, she will release about 400,000 eggs of which only a tiny fraction of them will end up being children. Anytime after the age of 40, several changes occur around the fact that the ovaries stop releasing eggs, ending menstruation permanently. The average age of reaching menopause worldwide is 51 years of age however, some women may experience menopause much earlier due to other reasons such as surgical menopause and hormonal problems. Surgical menopause occurs when a women goes through an operation to remove her ovaries. This usually happens with a diagnosis of ovarian, uterine, colon or cervical cancer. Certain treatments for cancer can also cause a woman to go into early menopause such as radiation and chemotherapy. Finally there is premature ovarian failure. This is due to hormonal imbalance and while it does cause early menopause, it is not always permanent.

The ovaries produce estrogen, a sex hormone that is responsible for menstruation, pregnancy, ovulation and the development of secondary sexual characteristics. This sex hormone is also in charge of other parts of the body including the bones, the cardiovascular system, the skin and the brain. During menopause (including the years leading up to menopause) a sharp drop in estrogen may cause women to have some bothersome side effects. This includes the world famous hot flashes, night sweats, a bone thinning disease known as ‘osteoporosis’, vaginal dryness, a loss of interest in sexual intercourse , skin changes and more. These problems can last for up to several years until the period of menopause is well established and the body can adjust to its new normal.

Treatments to ease the transition to menopause involve mainly hormonal replacement therapy (HRT). This treatment can reduce symptoms of menopause by up to 75% however, it is not recommended to be on the treatment for long because synthetic estrogen can increase your risk of developing blood clots and uterine cancer. A natural alternative to HRT includes consuming soybeans and taking the supplement black cohosh. Soybeans contain phytoestrogens that mimic the activity of estrogen in the body, and are readily available in Nigeria in form of soybean powder. If you are experiencing symptoms associated with menopause, try adding a tablespoon of soybean powder to your meals three times a day and drinking a glass of unsweetened soy milk with your meals. Being diligent in helping to reduce the effects of menopause can allow you to embrace and enjoy your new age. Have a healthy and blessed week!

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