What is Menopause?
When a woman reaches puberty, her body begins a menstrual/reproductive cycle that is typically present until she reaches her forties, at which time it begins to decline. Eventually the woman will experience menopause, which is when her body ceases to menstruate and produces progressively less estrogen. Menopause is known to be a source of discomfort, as the diminished production of estrogen opens the body up to hormonal imbalances, menstrual irregularities, hot flashes, night sweats, mood changes, memory impairment, cold hands and feet, insomnia, loss of skin elasticity, weight gain, and urinary and vaginal discomfort. Some women experience a higher level of discomfort than others, and the traditional approach to menopause in Western medicine has been hormone replacement therapy. Because this practice has been associated with breast cancer, however, there is a search for other means of treatment in the modern world.
How can I treat Menopause?
Traditional Chinese medicine considers estrogen, and other hormones, to be associated with the kidney essence. As such, treatment of menopause focuses not on replacing hormones, but on regenerating them through proper diet, healthy lifestyle, exercise, acupuncture, and herbal therapy. This process can help the menopause sufferer to not only treat uncomfortable symptoms but may empower her to redefine her life in new, healthier terms. This can happen through a diet of green, leafy vegetables, lean proteins such as fish and egg whites, beans and legumes, and nuts and seeds. Other remedies include juicing cucumbers, celery, watermelons, and apples to relieve hot flashes, as well as practicing daily cardiovascular exercise and qi gong.
What should I avoid in my lifestyle for Menopause?
Things to avoid include deep-fried foods, fatty foods, processed and refined foods, dairy products, sugar, coffee, alcohol, smoking, stress, and emotional upset, as each of these things may make menopause symptoms worse.
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