Just like with PMS, there is a lot of negative talk about menopause in our culture. Women are expected to suffer from symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats and even be feared for their mood swings - which is shown a lot on TV and in movies. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) often seems like the only way to alleviate these issues, but that's not the case!
Menopause is a natural transition the involves the body decreasing hormone production as it leaves its child-bearing years. If you think about it, this is a good thing! Carrying, delivering, and caring for a baby puts a lot of stress on the body, and at a certain point, it would be a bit too much to handle. How about celebrating menopause as the beginning of a new chapter of a woman's life?
Dr. Anne can help ameliorate symptoms so that the body can go through this beautiful and natural process with as little discomfort as possible.
Blood tests can be used to determine hormone levels and classify a woman as "perimenopausal" or "menopausal," but many women never get official blood work, instead thinking of themselves as postmenopausal once they've gone a year since their last period. This change can happen as early as a woman's thirties to as late as a woman's sixties, but family history can give a more accurate estimate of when it will happen. Ask your mother, older sisters, and aunts when they went through menopause, and it's very likely that you can expect it around the same age. No matter what stage you're in, know that you don’t have to suffer.
Chinese Food Therapy
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, food is very similar to herbal medicine in that each grain, fruit, vegetable, etc. has inherent properties that affect the body in specific ways. With this perspective in mind, these dietary adjustments are advisable for managing most menopause symptoms:
Limit spicy food.
Alcohol and sugar are gasoline for hot flashes and night sweats. Minimize them as much as possible.
Add cooling foods, which include most seafood and juicy summer produce like watermelon and citrus. Goji berries are also a Yin-nourishing herb that can easily be added to dishes like oatmeal or salads.
Drink plenty of water, and consider sprinkling a small amount of pink or sea salt in it for extra hydration.
Try bitter foods like bitter melon to help clear Heat, keeping in mind that they can be an acquired taste.
In TCM, people with very similar symptoms can have different underlying imbalances, and people with the same imbalances may present with a variety of different symptoms. Book an appointment Dr. Anne for an in-depth look into your body's patterns and more targeted advice – she did her Doctoral dissertation on Herbs and Acupuncture to successfully treat menopause and she can help you, too.