While in etymological terms, amenorrhea signifies ‘absence of menstruation’, menopause literally means ‘end of monthly cycles’. The term ‘menopause’ denotes the stage in a woman’s life when her periods stop for good. It’s a natural process which usually begins between the ages of 45 and 55 (1).
Every female baby is actually born with a finite ‘reserve’ of ovarian follicles. Once a girl reaches puberty, she will begin drawing on this reserve at each menstrual cycle, regular or otherwise, to produce eggs, prompted by follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) produced by the pituitary gland (2-3).
These ovarian follicles secrete oestrogen which causes the uterine lining to thicken and optimises the consistency of cervical mucus in order to promote fertilisation.
Once ovulation has occurred, it’s the turn of progesterone to intervene, strengthening the lining of the womb so that it can support implantation.
If the egg is not fertilised, progesterone levels drop sharply while oestrogen levels are low: the surface layer of the uterine lining is then shed, enabling a new cycle to begin. These cycles are known as periods, or menses (4).
Once a woman’s ‘reserve’ of ovarian follicles has been used up, her periods cease: this is the menopause.
As the menopause is clearly not a disease, it’s perhaps inappropriate to talk about ‘symptoms’. But the fact is that this loss of ovarian function results in a a lack of oestrogen and progesterone and it’s this decline in hormones that’s often associated with what can be extremely troublesome symptoms (5):
Although it’s a natural process, it often causes considerable discomfort and can be highly disruptive to many women’s lives. That’s why it’s vital for women who want to continue living life to the full during the menopause to make good use of natural remedies, adopt an appropriate diet and consider taking natural dietary supplements.
Modern Western medicine has long steered menopausal women towards hormone therapy (also known as hormone replacement therapy or HRT) to alleviate the symptoms that impair their quality of life. However, a number of recent studies have shown that:
It therefore makes sense to rely instead on natural and dietary remedies to ease menopause symptoms:
Logically enough, the dietary supplements recommended for alleviating menopause symptoms contain the same molecules as those found in menopause diet foods.
Many women going through the menopause prefer to ingest these substances in the form of supplements simply because it’s easier and the amount consumed can be precisely controlled. These supplements are:
Be sure to consult your doctor to find out which supplements best suit your particular needs.
Alongside these natural remedies, adopting some simple habits can help reduce the symptoms of menopause, prevent weight gain and maintain good sleep quality:
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