November 27, 2012

Why Can’t We Just Talk About Menopause?

I feel like I have to make a confession here; for some strange reason, the very topic of “menopause” makes people, especially men, extremely uncomfortable.

Try having a major hot flash in the middle of a work meeting—now, that’s uncomfortable.

Or, when you getting cozy and loving with your significant other, only to lash out in some unforeseen behavior because your hormones are quite literally, all over the place. The symptoms of menopause are so vastly different from women getting their periods. What happens to a woman’s body can be a beautiful thing, if we embrace it.

There is no need to run, hide and wait years and years until menopause is over.

It may feel like that would be the best option, but frankly, we do have to deal with the world on a daily basis. Women going through menopause need a little compassion—we are experiencing a major change in our bodies; nothing similar at all to any man losing his hair or growing a big belly.

No, menopausal women are actually better human beings in these advanced years.

More wise, courageous, incredibly loving, peaceful and superbly grateful that we don’t have to deal with the monthly rigors of menstruation. That’s all gone bye-bye.

If I can offer a bit of advice for the men out there dealing with their menopausal woman, it would be this:

Be patient.

Be compassionate.



Do some research on menopause.

Love her, despite her body changing.

That’s it. Simple. The menopausal woman will be more than grateful, and return her affection twofold. It is that easy, or can be.

Nutritionally, besides the HRT (hormone replacement therapy), there are some excellent natural sources which alleviate the symptoms of menopause that can be amazingly helpful. Listen up, men. You could even go purchase these things for your woman—how happy would she feel?

Here’s your list of items to get at the natural foods store, or pharmacy that delves into holistic healing:

1. Maca root.

A powerful member of the radish family grown in Peru. Maca has been used for centuries to remedy hormonal situations in lieu of traditional estrogen replacement therapy. It is an efficacious endocrine system remedy. Maca works in an entirely different and more satisfactory way for most women than phytoestrogen herbs like black cohosh and licorice root.

It is important to remember that maca itself doesn’t contain any hormones, but its action on the body jogs the pituitary gland into producing the precursor hormones which ultimately end up raising estrogen, progesterone and testosterone levels, as well as helping to balance the adrenal glands, thyroid and pancreas.

But this occurs naturally, not with time bomb drugs that throw the body into a state of confusion. Maca helps the endocrine system to stay in balance.

2. Foods to include in your diet.

Brown rice, almonds, cashews, oats, fresh fruit and vegetables.

3. Foods to avoid in your diet.

High-caffeine foods, processed meats, saturated fats, and any carbonated sugary beverages which decrease the body’s ability to metabolize estrogen. Soy is a highly desirable food for menopause due to its phytoestrogen content. Tofu, soy milk, and any other food containing soy are thought to be the number one remedy for menopausal symptoms. However, so much research in the latest years will show that soy is not the end all.

As a matter of fact, soy is very difficult to digest, similar to corn.

4. If you choose to eat soy:

Accompany it with probiotics, which will aid in the digestive process, alleviate gas, bloating and create some healthy flora in the gut. Probiotics are essential for a menopausal woman. Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidis (the “good” bacteria in our intestines) cultures are important for women during menopause to help with metabolism and utilization of estrogen.

5. Vitamin E.

This fat soluble vitamin is pretty amazing for hot flashes and night sweats. Between 400-1000 IU’s of this gem daily, will be your best friend.

Of course, these options must all be discussed with your practitioner, and remember that everyone is different. Some women may opt for the traditional drugs; that’s okay too. It’s just that talking about menopause doesn’t have to be such a taboo subject. It’s real. It happens. All women experience it.

And now that women are becoming more invested in the business and political world, wouldn’t it be nice to know, men, that a menopausal woman can bear the brunt of power? This change of life that women go through encourages men to understand and be patient, and face the reality that women are just as sweet, open-hearted, peaceful, and loving. We have simply crossed over into a new realm of really knowing who we are.



Editor: Jennifer Townsend

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