Dealing With Menopause Depression Or The Menopause Blues
Menopause is the time in a womans life when she stops getting her menstrual period.
When a woman reaches her 40s or 50s, her reproductive hormones naturally decline. The result is not only the cessation of her period, but also various other physical and mental changes. While many people talk of hot flashes, menopause depression is a very real issue for many women.
Does Natural Menopause Relief Work
Put simply, the evidence that natural remedies for menopause work is mixed, and scientific research is somewhat limited. According to the charity Women’s Health Concern, herbal remedies “may sometimes help with troublesome symptoms, but they are unlikely to have a significant impact on bone strength, the heart or blood vessels”.
Why Do Women Turn To Herbal Menopause Support
For a long time, women quietly struggled through the symptoms of menopause. It just wasn’t something that anyone talked about. Fast forward to now, and thankfully women are sharing their stories and looking for additional avenues for support.
Hormone replacement therapy was previously the standard treatment for menopause symptoms, but it turns out its not without risks. While HRT still has its place when used appropriately, it’s linked to an increased risk of significant health concerns, including breast and ovarian cancer, heart disease, and pulmonary embolism.
While some of the early research also suggested that HRT may increase the risk of dementia, more recent research points to the protective effect of estrogen on a woman’s brain. A North American Menopause Society study concluded that a longer duration of estrogen exposure from hormone therapy supports cognitive health, especially for older women.
Needless to say, the topic is complex, so it’s no wonder that women are searching for alternatives to support this transition. Luckily, herbs can be powerfully effective, and many have been used for thousands of years in traditional medicine.
Read Also: Signs Of Anger And Depression
Complementary/alternative Therapies For Menopausal Women
The majority of women experience a natural menopause when their periods finish, usually around the age of 51 years. During the years when women are having periods, the ovaries produce eggs and the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. As women approach the menopause, there are few remaining eggs in the ovaries and those that remain are less likely to develop. Fewer eggs are released and less of the hormones are produced, until the ovaries finally stop working and periods stop. Often the menopause is accompanied by uncomfortable symptoms. These symptoms are caused by fluctuating and lower levels of estrogen.
In a recent survey 95% of women said they would try alternative therapies before HRT because they think they are more natural and because they are worried about the health risks of HRT. NICE guidelines have used carefully weighed evidence-based evaluations of the effectiveness of alternative treatments compared with placebo and also with conventional forms of HRT.
Your clinician should help you explore the lifestyle changes which will improve your general health and well-being and explore the long-term implications of the menopause. They should be able to provide information about the different treatments including the benefits and risks of treatments and the evidence for their effectiveness.
Women who have breast cancer or are at high risk of breast cancer should receive care and advice from a healthcare professional with expertise in the menopause.
Natural Remedies For Menopause Relief
Menopause is the permanent end of menstruation and fertility, defined as occurring 12 months after your last menstrual period. You can start to transition into menopause as early as your mid-30s, with most women entering menopause in their 40s or 50s . For some, menopause comes earlier due to health conditions, including a history of eating disorders, cancer treatment or surgical removal of the ovaries.
Menopause is a completely natural biological process, and therefore not a problem to solve. And although it concludes the time in a womans life for fertility, you can stay healthy, vital and sexual through your 50s and well beyond. That being said, there is generally a hormonal shift that occurs in women during menopause that may lead to mood swings, hot flashes, insomnia and other common symptoms.
What types of things can you do to help get find relief from menopause symptoms? First and foremost, its important to realize that in most women, symptoms such as night sweats will decrease over time and then often go away completely without any treatment, including hormone replacement drugs. As the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care puts it, Menopause is not an illness. It is normal for hormone levels to fall in middle age. These hormones do not need to be replaced.
Also Check: Vitamin D For Seasonal Depression
Red Clover Trifolium Pratense
Traditionally, the flowers of red clover have been used for skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis, and coughs.
Red clover is one of the most widely researched herbs for menopausal health. It contains phytoestrogens called isoflavones, which can have oestrogen-like actions in the body. Most of the research conducted on red clover has been on the preparation Promensil®.
It may be beneficial for hot flushes, but evidence for its effectiveness is conflicting, due to varying formulations and dosages. Some research suggests it may be more effective if you are postmenopausal rather than perimenopausal , and if you experience five or more hot flushes per day.
There is limited evidence that it may help to maintain bone health and perhaps reduce LDL cholesterol .
Precautions: The safety of red clover for patients with breast or endometrial cancer has not been established.
Benefits And Risks Of Hormone Replacement Therapy
The main benefit of HRT is that it can help relieve most menopausal symptoms, including hot flushes, brain fog, joint pains, mood swings and vaginal dryness.
It can also help prevent thinning of the bones, which can lead to fractures . Osteoporosis is more common after the menopause.
Some types of HRT can slightly increase the risk of breast cancer and blood clots in some women. You need to discuss whether you have any risk factors with a doctor or nurse.
Evidence says that the risks of HRT are small and usually outweighed by the benefits.
Your GP can give you more information about the risks and benefits of HRT to help you decide whether or not you want to take it.
Recommended Reading: How To Recover From Severe Depression
Evening Primrose Oil For Menopause
What: The seeds of evening primrose, native to North America.
Benefits: There is some limited evidence for the effectiveness of primrose oil, although it should be noted that most studies conclude it is no more effective than a placebo. It is generally considered safe and is well tolerated by most people.
Considerations: Although it’s widely used, there’s insufficient scientific evidence to support its use for menopause treatment. Primrose oil may also interact negatively with certain HIV drugs and, as with all supplements, it’s worth checking with a professional if you’re on other medications.
Best For Good Night Sleep: Relizen Herbal Remedy For Equelle Hot Flash
Relizen offers a variety of remedies for personal choice and yet maintains quality in all the variants. The Relizen Herbal Remedy For Equelle Hot Flash is great for hot flashes and it is highly recommend. The manufacturer says: Stay breezy with cooling relief from hot flashes and night sweats, thanks to the benefits of our exclusive bonafide pollen, which balances body temperature to keep you cool and dry, day and night. These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration.
Most importantly, the relizen herbal remedy for equelle hot flash is perfect for menopausal women, works with other ingredients and it is used for more energy.
Almost all customers quickly discovered that the remedy takes a good 2-3 weeks to see a difference. Stick with it. it works well. And, a few strongly agree that the remedy does not show caffeine anywhere on the label, packaging or in the list of ingredients. In addition, a few strongly agree that the remedy is designed to provide relief from hot flashes and night sweats with no side effects shown vs. placebo in clinical studies. To sum up, many buyers have used the relizen herbal remedy forequelle hot flash for more than a few months without any problems, and it shows no sign of giving up.
Top Customer Quotes:
Read Also: How To Get Ketamine Treatment For Depression
What Are Phytoestrogenic Herbs
Phytoestrogens are a kind of plant compound similar to estrogen. There is some evidence that this similarity allows them to replicate the effects of estrogen in your body, helping balance hormone levels. However, they don’t help the body to produce its own hormones. Some herbs that contain phytoestrogens include:
- Black Cohosh
Do Herbal Remedies For Menopause Really Work
Menopause may be a completely natural process, but can the symptoms be effectively treated with natural herbal remedies? While there is some evidence that the main herbal products on the market can work, it’s important to be aware that these are unregulated. This can make it hard to know exactly what you’re taking. However, there are things to look out for that can help you identify whether a product is safe.
02-Mar-22·7 mins read
Recommended Reading: Why Do I Always Get Depressed
What Herbal Remedies Are Available
Depression is a serious medical condition with an increased risk of self-harm and, in principle, should not be managed by self-treatment with herbal remedies. The condition needs the help of a qualified medical practitioner. However, although some people may say that they are depressed when more accurately, they suffer from low mood or mood swings. If your doctor has decided that you are not clinically depressed, a herb such as St. Johns wort may be of help.
Chaste Tree Berry Extract For Irregular Periods
This herb helps regulate menstruation. Some patients say it also has a positive effect on their libido, while some studies suggest it may help relieve breast pain. Chaste tree berry is thought to work by increasing progesterone levels, which helps prevent the heavy menstrual cycles so common during menopause. There really are no good clinical studies on its use, but integrative practitioners have had years of positive results using it. This herb is also helpful if you develop PMS as part of your perimenopause. Preparations vary considerably, so follow the instructions on the package.
Don’t Miss: How To Control Depression Thoughts
Black Cohosh Actaea Racemosa
For centuries, Native North American women have used black cohosh for menstrual cramps and menopausal symptoms.
Black cohosh is the most extensively researched of all herbs used for managing menopausal symptoms, and is available in many different formulations, which vary in quality and efficacy. Many of the clinical studies of black cohosh have used the commercially available product Remifemin®, or the extract Ze 450 .
It is not clear how black cohosh acts on the body. It does not appear to act like the female hormone oestrogen, but may be involved in modulating oestrogenic pathways in the body. It may mimic the actions of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine.
Precautions: black cohosh should be taken only for as long as your menopausal symptoms persist. It is generally well tolerated, although can cause headaches in some women. Headaches usually stop if the dose is reduced for a while, then gradually increased again.
Black cohosh is often used in early menopause brought on by cancer treatments, especially breast, ovarian or endometrial cancer. Of all the herbs, black cohosh has the most research about its safety in support of its use. It appears to be safe in breast cancer patients, although further research is needed. Women with breast cancer or other hormone-dependent tumours should always talk to their doctor before taking black cohosh.
Wild Yam: Alternative To Hormones
Pills and creams made from certain species of wild yam are popular alternatives to hormone therapy for menopause. Some of the natural compounds in these yams appear similar to estrogen and progesterone, but it’s possible they are not active in people. So far, clinical studies have not found that they ease menopause symptoms.
Don’t Miss: Can Weight Loss Pills Cause Depression
What Are The Signs Of Perimenopause
As mentioned earlier, every woman experiences perimenopause differently. While some women struggle with every single symptom, others may breeze through with very little discomfort. Many of the symptoms mimic those of other health conditions, so its important to consult with a licensed health care practitioner at the onset of perimenopause symptoms to rule out other reasons for concern.
Here are some signs you may be entering perimenopause:
- Irregular periods*
- Urine urgency and incontinence
*Its important to note that even though your body is producing less estrogen and your periods are irregular, you can still get pregnant, so be sure to continue using birth control to prevent an unwanted pregnancy during this time.
**Heavier than normal bleeding during your period can be a sign of another medical condition, so always discuss changes in your period with your doctor.
Lead A Healthy Lifestyle
Menopause experts agree that eating a healthy balanced diet, with plenty of wholegrains and fruit and veg, can help your body cope with menopausal changes.
Exercise is important too. A large South American study found women exercising less than three times a week were 28% more likely to experience severe menopausal symptoms, particularly hot flushes and low mood.
The researchers think getting active can help ease stress and depression, which allows your brain to cope better with menopausal symptoms. You could try yoga preliminary research found a regular class may ease hot flushes.5
Handpicked content: About stress and how you can manage yours
Recommended Reading: How Can I Help My Friend With Depression
Chaste Tree Berries Vitex Agnus
This herb is widely used in women’s health, particularly for premenstrual syndrome , and most studies support its efficacy, particularly with specific extracts. However, it is not usually considered useful for the management of menopausal symptoms. It may be useful for the relief of PMS symptoms in perimenopausal women with erratic cycles. It should be prescribed only by a health practitioner trained in herbal medicine.
Ways To Beat Menopausal Belly Fat
Also, its important to remember that these substances are not FDA-regulated and they are classified as ‘dietary supplements,’ which means there is not really any way to assure purity of manufacture, says Nanette Santoro, MD, professor and E. Stewart Taylor chair of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora. In general, I advise patients that it is ‘buyer beware’and to only use products that have the Good Manufacturing Practices label. It’s not the same as the FDA standard but it’s better than nothing.
That said, heres a look at five supplements that have been scientifically shown to help relieve various symptoms of menopause:
Recommended Reading: Fda Approved For Bipolar Depression
Lemon Balm Melissa Officinalis
Lemon balm leaves have been used for more than 2000 years in Europe and the Middle East to calm digestion, lighten mood and improve memory, and for insomnia and anxiety. It is generally taken as a tea, either using the dried or fresh herb. Per cup, use 1 teaspoon of dried herb or 23 teaspoons of fresh herb, and infuse for 510 minutes. Drink up to 3 cups per day. To aid sleep, combine with valerian and drink one hour before bed.
Horny Goat Weed Epimedium Grandiflorum
Horny goat weed has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for more than 2000 years to enhance libido in men and women, as well as for symptoms of menopause and PMS. It is a popular herb, available over the counter, for both men and women seeking to improve libido and sexual function. However, there are no clinical trials using horny goat weed for menopausal symptom relief, or for sexual function.
Precaution: A single case of mania and increased heart rate has been reported in the scientific literature, associated with taking horny goat weed.
Also Check: How Do Doctors Test You For Depression
Do Phytoestrogenic Herbs Help Perimenopause Symptoms
The increase in the popularity of soy-based products in the West over the past two decades has led to a number of studies and increased interest in the potential benefits of soy. Asian women tend to have less severe menopause symptoms than Western women, leading some to speculate that it’s because of their soy-rich diet. However, there is not enough data to draw any kind of statistically significant correlation.
Even so, many studies report that women who increase phytoestrogens in their diets have less severe hot flashes than women in control or placebo groups. If you are experiencing severe hot flashes, it may be beneficial for you to look into phytoestrogenic herbs or products containing them.
Safety Note About Natural Remedies
Always remember that natural does not necessarily mean safe. Many herbal, plant, and dietary supplements interact with medications or may have a negative impact on medical conditions. Natural approaches are not risk-free, and the more you know, the better you can choose treatments that will keep you safe and well.
Before deciding to use alternative and complementary remedies for your menopause symptoms, check with your medical professional and read up on possible side effects and cautions for any remedy you are considering.
Don’t Miss: When A Man Is Depressed
What Are The Natural Remedies For Mood Swings
In addition to remedies that your doctor can recommend, there are other easy steps that you can take every day to help balance your mood: