Natural Remedies for Menopause That Actually Work

Memory Problems, Weight Gain, High Cholesterol, Vaginal Symptoms

Coping with menopause can involve using lifestyle approaches that include natural remedies for menopause and hot flashes. Everyone experiences menopause differently and responds to treatment differently. Talk to your doctor about which symptoms you are experiencing, and see if strategies like natural remedies for hot flashes and other effects of menopause would be right for you.

green tea
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Safety Note About Natural Remedies

Always remember that natural does not necessarily mean safe. Many herbal, plant, and dietary supplements interact with prescription medications or may have a negative impact on chronic medical conditions. Natural approaches are not risk-free, and the more you know, the better you can choose treatments that will keep you safe and well.

Before deciding to use alternative and complementary remedies for your menopause symptoms, check with your medical provider and read up on possible side effects and cautions for any remedy you are considering.

Memory Problems

It is frustrating to try to recall a word or name that's on the tip of your tongue, but won't come out. Forgetting where the car keys are or where you put your glasses can also drive you crazy as you get ready to leave the house. Sound familiar? Many women begin to notice memory glitches as they get into perimenopause. It may be just the natural aging process, but there are things you can do to maintain your memory as you get older.

Green Tea

Drinking green tea has been associated with many health benefits, including combatting inflammation and boosting the immune system. Research is now beginning to link green tea with the prevention of memory loss.

It has few side effects and is readily available.

Adequate Sleep

In order to process memory tasks, your brain needs to have adequate sleep. Research suggests both short naps and longer naps can aid in memory function. If you can’t grab a cat nap during the day, though, pay special attention to getting enough nighttime sleep, which can help you avoid memory problems.

Stress Management

Stress is a major memory buster. If you are having trouble concentrating or remembering everyday things, pay attention to your stress level. Research has confirmed that even ​short-term stress can impact learning and memory.

The menopause transition is at a time of life that may present major challenges—divorce, illness, parenting teenagers, and taking care of aging parents, to name a few. Taking care of yourself and reducing the stress in your life is a survival skill. Memory problems may be an early red flag that your stress level is climbing.

Hot Flashes

Hot flashes are common during menopause. Some people have them multiple times per day and some experience bouts for days at a time. Using a fan, wearing layers, and keeping the air conditioning at your comfort level can help on the spot.

Additionally, natural remedies may help prevent hot flashes.

Soy

Research suggests that soy might be beneficial for symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes. Soy has a physiologic activity similar to that of estrogen, so while it might be helpful, you need to use it with caution, especially if you already take estrogen therapy.

Avoid Trigger Foods

You might have noticed that certain foods or drinks precipitate your hot flashes or make them worse. Some people notice that spicy foods, alcohol, or caffeine can trigger hot flashes. Try to keep track of dietary triggers so you can avoid them.

French Maritime Bark Extract

Hot flashes are associated with vascular changes, and this plant-based supplement may have effects on circulation. French maritime bark extract, often marketed as pycnogenol, is available as a supplement, but it can interact with blood thinners or medications that affect blood pressure, so be sure to get your doctor's approval before using it.

Black Cohosh

A herbal remedy that has estrogen-like properties, black cohosh may help alleviate symptoms of hot flashes. Because of its hormonal action, you should only use this herbal supplement with the approval of your doctor.

Weight Gain

Weight gain is common during perimenopause, and many people continue to gain a few pounds every year after menopause. While there are no proven herbal preparations for weight loss, there are lifestyle and diet changes that can help you naturally curb the tendency to put on weight.

Stress Management

Stress can interfere with your body’s ability to maintain a healthy weight. Stress often causes overeating and unhealthy eating habits, and it can also alter cortisol and insulin activity, which intereferes with metabolism and causes weight gain.

Healthy Diet

The menopause transition is a great time to take a look at your diet and make changes that will serve you through the rest of your life. As your metabolism slows and you begin to handle calories differently, you can revise your thinking to include a proper menopause diet that will set the stage for healthy menopausal years.

Exercise

Everyone knows that exercise is good for you. As you get close to menopause, though, it becomes an essential part of your healthy life plan. Weight loss, of course, requires consistent physical activity. Since exercise also aids memory, mood, and bone health, however, it is truly an all-purpose approach to menopause wellness. Exercise can also maximize your ability to manage your weight.

Sleep

Not getting enough sleep makes you want to eat more and causes your body to collect fat around your middle. Adequate sleep resets your body and lets it recover from the stresses of your day. Your body works more efficiently in every way if you are getting the rest you need.

High Cholesterol

As your estrogen begins its decline before menopause, your cholesterol may begin to climb. During menopause, women have the same risk of heart disease as men. You can help keep your cholesterol at optimal levels with some natural strategies.

Soy and Red Clover

Soy protein has been shown to reduce total cholesterol readings and lower “bad” (LDL) cholesterol. Red clover lowers triglycerides and may increase the “good” (HDL) cholesterol. It may be that these plant estrogens help take up the slack to protect your heart when your own estrogen begins to wane.

Whole Grain Oats

Including whole grain oats in your diet can lower cardiac risk by reducing both total and LDL cholesterol levels.

Melatonin

In addition to helping with sleep, melatonin may help raise levels of HDL cholesterol without raising overall cholesterol. This may prove to be protective for women with an increased risk of heart disease. If you are taking melatonin for sleep, you may find your cholesterol benefits as a welcome side effect.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is common during menopause, and it can cause a predisposition to serious problems, such as bone fractures.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps with the absorption of calcium, a mineral necessary for bone formation. You can get vitamin D from a combination of dietary sources, such as vitamin-D-enriched milk, supplements, and sunlight exposure.

Of course, too much time in the sun without skin protection can be dangerous, so be sure to practice safety and moderation when it comes to sun exposure.

Calcium

Calcium is involved in the formation of bone, and calcium deficiency can cause thinning of bones. Good dietary sources include dairy products and vegetables. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for females between ages 50 and 70 is 1200 milligrams. Talk to your doctor about whether you need calcium supplements in addition to the calcium you are getting in your diet.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is involved in the metabolism of proteins that help form bone. Good dietary sources include vegetables, meat, eggs, and fish.

Exercise

Getting regular exercise strengthens your muscles, making you less prone to issues like falling. Exercise is also beneficial for bone health.

If you already have osteoporosis, be sure to stick to low-impact exercise to reduce your risk of injury.

Vaginal Symptoms

Losing pleasure during sexual activity and beginning to leak urine are two complaints that women may experience during perimenopause and menopause. If you are having vaginal symptoms during menopause, there are several natural approaches that might help.

Wild Yam Cream

Creams derived from wild yam contain a phytoestrogen that, as with other estrogen creams, can work locally to help with symptoms.

Vitamin E and Flaxseed Oil

The combination of vitamin E and flaxseed oil, taken orally or used directly on the vagina, can sometimes offer some relief from vaginal and urinary symptoms. Usually, women take them as oral supplements, but there are creams that contain them as well to be applied directly to the vagina.

Kegel Exercises

Kegel exercises may be used to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and can improve sensation during intercourse and reduce urinary incontinence. If you do them several times a day, you may see results in two to four weeks.

Vaginal Moisturizers and Lubricants

Although not technically “natural” remedies, vaginal moisturizers work for several days to make the vagina more elastic, and vaginal lubricants help reduce friction and pain during sex. Water-based products are unlikely to provoke an allergic response and are easy to find in drug stores.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long does menopause last?

Menopause is defined as when a person stops having regular periods for 12 months. Perimenopause starts before menopause, and it involves irregular periods, light periods, weight gain, and thinning hair. Perimenopause begins between two to 10 years before menopause occurs.

When does menopause start?

The average age of menopause is 51, and the average age when perimenopause begins is 45.

What are the 34 symptoms of menopause?

There are many symptoms of menopause. Common symptoms include weight gain, mood changes, fatigue, clouded thinking, vaginal dryness, diminished libido, urinary urgency, hot flashes, and hair thinning.

What are the signs you are coming to the end of menopause?

The most definitive signs that perimenopause is ending and that menopause is near are that menstruation becomes infrequent, periods are very light, or menstruation completely stops.

How do I lose weight during menopause?

The best ways to lose weight during menopause are to stay physically active, consistently exercise, eat healthily, and avoid overeating.

How long does menopause weight gain last?

Menopause weight gain can be most noticeable during the perimenopausal years and can slow down once menopause occurs.

What causes hot flashes other than menopause?

Hot flashes are believed to occur due to blood vessel dilation (widening) that results from alterations in the body's temperature regulation due to hormonal changes.

A Word From Verywell

Menopause brings a number of bothersome effects, some of which can be managed with natural remedies. Don't hesitate to talk to your doctor about natural remedies. It's important that you use these safely, as they can interfere with prescription medications that you take, and they can also cause problems if you have other health problems, such as a risk of breast cancer.

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