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Manage Symptoms of Peri-menopause & Menopause – Naturally!

There is an element of mystery (as well as stigma) when someone mentions “the change”. It was something that happened to our grandmothers. It wasn’t something that was discussed among my female family members, and I had NO idea what the heck “peri-menopause” was. Menopause is a natural transition in women’s lives. Hormonal shifts can cause unfamiliar symptoms that are unpleasant and uncomfortable. Even at my ob-gyn appointments, I never felt comfortable asking about it until I started experiencing symptoms every month that weren’t normal for me.

I was in my early 40’s when I started having extreme mood swings and felt depressed each month. My periods were still regular, so it did not even occur to me that I could be having symptoms of menopause!! Indeed, my hormones were shifting and I wasn’t sure how to boost my mood. I wasn’t about to take anti-depressants, so I started doing my own research on natural ways to help with my mood swings. A few years after this my cycle was unpredictably irregular and I started getting hot flashes and night sweats. Luckily, I found some natural ways to manage these symptoms without medications!

DRY SKIN:

Dietary Recommendations:
• Seeds such as pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower
• Wild-caught fatty fish such as mackerel, tuna, and salmon
• Walnuts
• Consume bone broth
• Limit consumption of caffeine and alcohol

Herbs & Supplements:
• Collagen peptides
• Fish oil
• Geranium essential oil

Lifestyle Modifications:
• Use sunscreen with SPF 15+ when exposed to the sun (make sure to check for toxic ingredients, as these interfere with hormone balance)
• Avoid smoking
• Stay well hydrated by drinking a lot of water
• Moisturize with coconut oil or other organic lotion after bathing/showering
• Use gentle soaps free of harsh chemicals and fragrances

HOT FLASHES & NIGHT SWEATS:

Dietary Recommendations:
• Try eliminating gluten from your diet
• Flax seeds, maca, pomegranate seeds and oil
• Limit consumption of caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods
• Choose only non-GMO whole soy products (tofu, tempeh, miso, natto, edamame)

Herbs & Supplements:
Black cohosh (this was a game-changer for me!)
• Clary sage oil
• Red ginsing tea

Lifestyle Modifications:
• Acupuncture (this also really helped me with overall relaxation and mindfulness)
• Balanced breathing exercises
• Dress in layers (so it’s easy to remove/add clothing) that are comfortable!
• Engage in regular moderate exercise
• Practice restorative yoga

ESTROGEN BALANCE:

Dietary Recommendations:
• Cruciferous veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts
• Choose only non-GMO whole soy products (tofu, tempeh, miso, natto, edamame)

Herbs & Supplements:
• Dong quai
• Vitex (also known as chasteberry)

Lifestyle Modifications:
• Avoid plastics and toxic chemicals with known endocrine disruptors
• Maintain a healthy weight

LOW LIBIDO:

Dietary Recommendations:
• Avocados, bananas, Brazil nuts, dark chocolate, figs, and vitaminC rich foods (broccoli, citrus, red peppers)
• Avoid excess alcohol consumption

Herbs & Supplements:
Ashwagandha
• Citrus essential oil
• Maca
• Red ginsing tea
• Sandalwood essential oil

Lifestyle Modifications:
• Kegel exercises
• Moderate exercise
• Engage in sensual and sexual pleasure

POOR SLEEP:

Dietary Recommendations:
• Crowd out sugar
• Limit caffeine – avoid altogether in the afternoon and evening

Herbs & Supplements:
Black cohosh
• Lavender tea or essential oil
Melatonin
• St. John’s Wort

Lifestyle Modifications:
• Remove electronics from the bedroom
• Create a bedtime routine
• Limit exposure to blue light from electronics at least two hours prior to going to bed
• Practice restorative yoga before bedtime

JOINT PAIN:

Dietary Recommendations:
• Cherries and cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts)
• Try eliminating gluten from your diet
• Healthy oils like avocado, olive, walnut
• Wild-caught fatty fish such as mackerel, tuna, and salmon

Herbs & Supplements:
• Cayenne
• Citrus essential oil
• Nettle
• Turmeric root

Lifestyle Modifications:
• Acupuncture
• Low-impact exercise

MOOD SWINGS: 

Dietary Recommendations: 
• Try eliminating gluten from your diet 
• Flax seeds 
• Leafy greens 
• Organic eggs 
• Organic yogurt 
• Sardines 
• Walnuts
• Eat wild-caught fatty fish such as mackerel, tuna, and salmon 

Herbs and Supplements: 
• Fish oil 
• St. John’s Wort 

Lifestyle Modifications: 
• Acupuncture 
• Meditation 
• Moderate exercise 

PROTECT AGAINST OSTEOPOROSIS:

Dietary Recommendations: 
• Almonds, leafy greens, oranges, and sweet potatoes
• Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts) 
• Consume high quality protein (plant or animal) 

Herbs and Supplements: 
• Calcium supplements 
• Clary sage oil 
• Vitamin D 

Lifestyle Modifications: 
• Avoid smoking
• Limit consumption of alcohol 
• Regularly engage in low-impact exercise 

VAGINAL DRYNESS: 

Dietary Recommendations: 
• Pomegranate seeds 
• Seeds (pumpkin, sesame, sunflower) 
• Walnuts 
• Wild-caught fatty fish such as mackerel, tuna, and salmon

Herbs and Supplements: 
Black cohosh 
• Pomegranate oil 
• Tea tree oil 

Lifestyle Modifications: 
• Avoid using soaps with harsh chemicals or scents in the vaginal region 
• Drink lots of water to stay well hydrated 
• Practice moderate cardio several times a week 
• Use organic lubricant

 Try some of these and you’ll no doubt improve your overall health, but ease the symptoms of menopause. I know that I personally have noticed a dramatic improvement!

NOTE: this information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to treat or cure any condition nor is a substitute for medical advice. Always consult a medical professional before taking any herbs or supplements. This post may contain affiliate links. I only promote products that I personally love and purchase regularly.

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