Menopause is a natural hormone (estrogen) deficient state that occurs at the age of 45-55 years. After the age of 40 years, ovaries reduce their production of sex hormones. As a result, the menses as well as other body functions are disturbed. Finally the menses cease permanently. This ultimate pause is described as menopause. Needless to say that this phase also marks the end of fertility in a woman. Irregular periods, hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness and itching, and mood swings-- all these are typical symptoms of menopause. Osteoporosis (thinning and weakening of bones), heart disease, and Alzheimer's disease (progressive loss of memory and concentration) are the long-term hazards of menopause. With an increase in life expectancy, menopause has become an inevitable phenomenon in a woman's life and many years are spent in the postmenopausal phase. In this millennium, a woman perceives menopause as an opportunity to concentrate on new activities and bring out the best in her. Consequently, treatment of this transitional phase has now gained more importance than ever before.
Menopause Symptoms - -
2]Feeling of intense heat in your body on some occasions
3]Profuse sweating at night
4]Excessive falling of hair,
5] Irregular menstrual periods with excessive or scanty bleeding,
6] Burning and increased frequency of micturation,
7]vaginal dryness and itching
11] Sleeplessness Lassitude.
According to allopathic medicine normally physicians prescribe 'H.R.T.' ( Hormone Replacement Therapy). In this cyclical treatment with Estogen and Progesteron is given.Besides being expensive, H.R.T. is apprehended by many women because of the associated risk of developing breast and uterine cancers. H.R.T. is also contraindicated in women with hypertension, myocardial infarction, recent blood clots, migraine headaches, liver disease and gall bladder disease.
Ayurvedic View -
Ayurveda links menopause with aging. Aging is a 'Vata' predominant stage of life. Thus, the symptoms of menopause experienced by some women are similar to the symptoms seen when the Vata dosha rises and upsets the normal balance of the body. Vata-type menopausal symptoms tend to include depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Menopause may also manifest itself as a rise in the other two humors also. Women with Pitta-type symptoms are often angry and suffer hot flashes. Kapha type symptoms include listlessness, weight gain, and feelings of mental and physical heaviness.
Ayurved, the science of life, advocates a holistic treatment of menopausal syndrome by utilizing various herbs and minerals and offers a reliable option to the conventional treatment.
Ayurvedic Treatment -
Simple Ayurvedic remedies are very useful in these conditions.They use substances known as phytoestrogens (natural hormones). They are estrogen-like substances derived from plants. They mimic the actions of the estrogens in the body but are free from their side-effects.
Useful Ayurvedic preparations are -
Ashok Ghana, Dashamool Ghana, Lodhra Ghana,Manjishtha Ghana,>
Trivang Bhasma,Dashamool quath, Dashamularishta, etc.
Useful Tips - (to complement the beneficial effect of Ayurvedic Medicines):
* To compensate for the low calcium in your body, consume more of calcium-rich foods such as skimmed milk and palak.
* To keep a check on your cholesterol levels-
* Nourish yourself with whole, natural foods. Avoid saturated fats such as cheese and butter. Instead eat low fat butter.
* Have adequate amount of unsaturated fat such as sunflower and corn oils in your diet.
* Limit your intake of tea or coffee to one to two cups daily.
* Avoid sedentary lifestyle.
* Make exercise a daily routine (after consulting your doctor) to keep yourself fit.
* Practise yoga and meditation for calming effect and mind control, and hence stress management.
* Develop positive approach towards menopause.
* Most importantly, avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.
Key factors in achieving graceful menopause –
A smooth menopause transition and great health in the years to come can be achieved with the help of -
1. Balancing Doshas - Ascertain the imbalance dosha according to your symptoms and follow the advice given above to balance that dosha.
2. Balancing Diet - Diet plays a key role in balancing hormones during and after menopause. It is well known that Japanese women rarely experience hot flashes, probably because their diet contains large amounts of soy/soya, a food rich in certain plant estrogens called "isoflavones." Soya products are not the only source of plant estrogens, however. Another equally healthful source of phytoestrogens are "lignans," compounds found in a variety of whole foods including grains and cereals, dried beans and lentils, flaxseed, sunflower seeds and peanuts, vegetables such as asparagus, sweet potatoes, carrots, garlic and broccoli and fruits such as pears, plums and strawberries. Common herbs and spices such as thyme oregano, nutmeg, turmeric and licorice also have estrogenic properties.
Eat a varied diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and dried beans .It's a rich source of phytoestrogen. Variety and moderation are important because just as too much estrogen is unhealthy after menopause, too much phytoestrogen may also be dangerous.
3. Balancing Apana Vata - It governs the genito-urinary tract, elimination, and menstruation, is a key area to attend to when preparing for menopause. Drink plenty of warm water throughout the day. Eat plenty of cooked, leafy greens, as this helps elimination and is also a good source of calcium. For both Pitta and Vata imbalances, a breakfast of cooked apples and prunes and figs is a good way to start the day, as it balances the doshas and cleanses the digestive track.
4. Panchakarma - More serious symptoms, such as frequent hot flashes, continual sleep disturbance, and moderate to severe mood swings, are signs of deeper imbalances. Ayurveda describes that these stubborn symptoms are usually due to the buildup of wastes and toxins, referred to as "ama," in the body's tissues. In this case, a traditional Ayurvedic detoxification program "panchakarma," may be needed to clear the body's channels and gain relief. This internal cleansing approach is also the treatment of choice for more serious problems such as osteoporosis and high cholesterol.
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