Menopause symptom relief is key to quality of life for women in midlife.

When I was hit with sudden, full-blown menopause symptoms following a medically necessary full hysterectomy at age 44, I had to figure out some solutions.  I was too young to be dealing with these symptoms.

I found a wonderful functional medicine doctor who ran all kinds of tests and helped me realize the natural means to providing menopause symptom relief. Here are the things I have discovered:

Clean up your diet

  • Eating organic dark leafy greens every day
  • If you're a meat-eater, only buy and consume hormone-free, humanely-raised, organic meats and eggs.
  •  Give up white foods (sugar, potatoes, refined grains)
  • Lean toward small portions of unique whole grains (spelt, millet, amaranth) rather than wheat and rice
  • Try quinoa a few times/ week - it's actually a seed not a grain and is high in protein
  • Incorporate juicing vegetables a few times each week

Kick the coffee habit

  • Caffeine is found to contribute to hot flashes and irritability as well as mood swings. Do yourself a favor and make friends with the herbal tea menu and say adios to coffee.

Step away from the wine and whiskey

  • Medical research shows that alcohol consumption messes with our hormones and affects calcium absorption and may contribute to osteoporosis
  • Research also indicates that alcohol consumption contributes to hot flashes

Create a sleep-time routine

  • Stop eating 3 hours before bed time
  • Turn off all electronics one hour before bed
  • Create a very dark and cool environment where you sleep
  • Wear cool, loose cotton nightgown and invest in some cool, cotton sheets

Saddle up to some supplements

  • Seek a functional medicine doctor who can run tests to see where your vitamin and hormone levels are which can then lead to specific recommendations for natural supplements.
  • Talk with your doctor about B-vitamin supplements. A lot of times this can help with symptoms depending on where your levels are.
  • Omega 3 essential fatty acids have been shown to help with symptoms. You can increase your salmon consumption and you can supplement with good clean fish oil sourced from purest, cleanest fish.
  • Seek out non-estrogenic herb supplements. You may want to stay away from soy as it's been found to have complications for some women

Learn to relax