What is Menopause?
Classical definition for menopause explains that end of the last menstrual period. A women experience 12 months without menstrual period is said to have menopause. Initiation of period cycle (menarche) to ending of menstruation (menopause), everything is a natural biological process. Menopause occurs in a menstruating women from late 40s to early 50s. It happens because the ovaries do not respond to the female sex hormones (oestrogen and progesterone) as a result ovaries fails to release every month. A women experience symptoms of menopause many years before the menupause occurs.
Ayurveda considered menopause as “Rajo nivruti” which is a natural process of aging. Rajo nivruti occurs due to the imbalance of all three dosha such as vata, pitta and kapha. Vata gives symptoms like depression, anxiety, osteoporosis etc. Anger, hot flashes etc are due to aggravated pitta dosha whereas weight gain, slow metabolism, mental and physical heaviness is due to excessive rise in kapha dosha.
Signs and symptoms:
- Irregular menstrual periods
- Frequent mood swings
- Hot flushes
- Night sweaters
- Dryness in vaginal area
- Altered sleep
- Dry skin and fairfall
- Shrinking of breast tissues
- Weight gain
- Slow metabolism and digestion issues
- Physiological features like anxiety, depression, emotionally drainned
- Heart diseases
- High blood cholesterol levels
- Sometimes cancer
Ayurveda principles to manage the symptoms of Menupause:
Ayurveda works on mainly:
- Regulating hormones by detoxification
- Maintaining mental calmness
- Enhancing digestion or digestive power (agni)
According to ancient ayurveda to manage menopause, detoxification (sodhana) like vaman (emesis), virechan (purgation), basti (medicated enema) sholu be given. Along with nourishing therapies like abhyanga (oleation), sweden (sudation), shirodhara, udvartana, yoni prakshalan and yoni pichu etc are given.
some useful herbs help in rejuvenation as well as relieving symptoms like:
- Flax seeds
- Sesame seeds
Natural home remedies for menopause:
- Getting enough sleep: To reset the body from the everyday stress, adequate sleep is the only way round. Proper sleep will calm the mind and help in relieving psychological symptoms like anxiety, depression etc.
- Weight management: Exercise, yoga or cardio is the essential part of the everyday regime as you get closer to your menopause. Along with managing weight physical exercise incorporates happy hormones inside the body. Physical exercise aids in stablaising mood, memory and bone health.
- Mindfulness training: To be mindful and calm your mind, brain exercises are really helpful. Mind exercises like pranayam (breathing exercises), meditation, yoga. All these help to recognise one’s feelings for the purpose of getting good control over their thoughts.it helps with the symptoms like sleep deprivation, headache, stress, anxiety etc.
- Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha is widely known with the name of indian ginseng. It has anti inflammatory as well as calming properties. It helps to overcome symptoms like hot flashes, insomnia, stress, anxiety. It improves the duration and quality of sleep thus helpful in regulating hormones.
- Soybean: Diet plays a major role in any kind of ailment. It eases the menopausal symptoms. It is the best source of plant based estrogen known as isoflavones. It is an alternative to the body’s estrogen. It aids with the symptoms like night sweats, hot flashe etc.
- Sunlight: In the absence of enough estrogen bones are more prone to fracture or osteoporotic bones. Enough exposure to sunlight helps in restoring vitamin D. It makes the bone stronger.
- Eat calcium and vitamin D rich food: hormonal changes weaken the bones. Therefore food like yogurt, milk, cheese,green leafy vegetables, spinach, tofu, beans helps in main training calcium levels inside the body. And exposure to sun, fish, egg, cod liver oil increases Vitamin D levels inside the body.
- Avoid triggering food: some food items like caffeine, alcholio, sugars,refined and processed food, spicy food may increase pitta dosha inside the body and trigger symptoms like hot flashes, mood changes,irritability and night sweats. Consumption of these foods should be avoided completely.
- Stay hydrated: Drink 3-4 liters of water for the body to stay hydrated. It helps in detoxifying the body, helps in weight management, reduce bloating, and increases metabolism.