Menopause or cessation of menses in women is a normal event which occurs in the mid or late forties. It signifies the end of the female reproductive period of life, which commences at adolescence in the early teens.
At the time of menopause, the entire chain of endocrine glands is affected, particularly, the gonads, thyroid, and pituitary glands. In some women, the menopausal change takes place without any unpleasant symptoms, the only change really being the cessation of menstrual flow. There are, however, many women who develop disturbing symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats, tension, insomnia, diminished interest in sex, irritability, and depression. Other symptoms are fatigue, palpitations, dizziness, headaches, and numbness.
Disturbing symptoms associated with menopause arise from the fact that the ovaries are no longer producing their normal amount of estrogen, the dominant female hormone. Anything which interferes with the normal functioning of the ovaries may also bring about these symptoms. Lack of a normal hormonal balance may also result in a severe backache which is caused by thinning of the bones. This condition is called osteoporosis and arises from the low level of estrogen in the bloodstream.
During menopause, lack of ovarian hormones can result in severe calcium deficiency. For this reason, a larger than usual intake of calcium may help greatly. Vitamin D is also essential for assimilation of calcium. Any woman experiencing disturbing symptoms at this time should supplement her daily diet with 1,000 units of natural vitamin D, 500 mg of magnesium, and obtain 2 gm of calcium daily which can be supplied by one litre of milk.
Beet juice has been found very useful in menopausal disorders. It should be taken in small quantities of 60 to 90 ml at a time, thrice a day. It has proved much more permanently helpful than the degenerative effects of drugs or synthetic hormones.
Carrot seeds have also been found valuable in menopausal tension. A teaspoon of the seeds should be boiled in a glass of cow's milk for about ten minutes and taken daily as medicine in the treatment of this condition.
The use of liquorice is one of the most effective remedies for menopausal disorders. Liquorice contains the natural female hormone, estrogen, and can, to some degree, compensate for the diminished hormone. One teaspoon of the powder should be taken daily.
The herb Indian spikenard is another valuable remedy for certain disturbances due to menopause. It should be given in small doses of 2 gm daily. It will soothen the nervous system and induce tranquillity of the mind.
Diet is of utmost importance in menopausal disorders. It should comprise of seeds, nuts, grains, vegetables, and fruits, with emphasis on vitamin E-rich foods, raw and sprouted seeds and nuts, unpasturised high-quality milk, and homemade cottage cheese. An abundance of raw, organically grown fruits and vegetables should be included in the diet. Plenty of freshly-made juices of fruits and vegetables in season should be included.
All processed, refined, and denatured foods should be completely eliminated.
Plenty of outdoor exercise such as walking, jogging, swimming. horse-riding, or cycling are imperative.
Other helpful measures in this direction are avoidance of mental and emotional stresses and worries, especially worry about getting old; sufficient sleep and relaxation; and following all the general rules of maintaining a high level of health.