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Can a naturopath help with menopause symptoms?

Perimenopause and menopause can cause a variety of symptoms for women; ranging from hot flushes, mood changes, unpredictable cycles and sleep disturbances. Ballarat Naturopath Jasmine Satchell discusses how a naturopath can support women through this period of change.

During menopause the ovaries begin to produce less oestrogen and progesterone. This usually starts to happen between the ages of 40 and 50 years old. Similarly to when a young girl starts her menstrual cycle, menopause is a transitional phase of a woman’s life and one that should be celebrated, even though it rarely is!


As a naturopath, part of my role is to help support women through this phase; providing them with a sense of self-acceptance, self-worth, love and strength to move through perimenopause and menopause confidently.


Symptoms of perimenopause and menopause can differ significantly from person to person. However, the most common symptoms include hot flushes, mood changes, brain fog, weight gain, sleep disturbances, decreased libido, vaginal dryness, longer or shorter cycles, and heavier or lighter periods. Menopause can also be associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes and osteoporosis. It is generally the drop in oestrogen levels that cause most of the symptoms.


Saliva or serum tests can help determine oestrogen and progesterone levels. When the female hormone profile has been ascertained, herbs and supplements can be prescribed to help manage symptoms. Prescribed herbs will differ for each person. However, some commonly prescribed herbs include black cohosh, red clover, white peony, passionflower, valerian, St John’s wort, and holy basil. A naturopath will determine the correct combination and dosage.




Dietary choices are considered. Some foods such as processed sugars, spicy foods, hot drinks and alcohol can increase the frequency or severity of hot flushes in some people. Fast food and fatty meats can cause weight gain, and a high salt intake has been linked to lower bone density in postmenopausal women. A naturopath can support women through the process of eliminating suspect foods, and introducing more supporting foods.


Women moving through perimenopause, menopause and into post-menopause should have a balanced diet of dairy, healthy fats, whole grains, lean protein, and fruits and vegetables. Some foods that contain phytoestrogens—compounds in foods that act like oestrogen—have been found to be beneficial. These include foods like flaxseeds, soybeans, grapes and berries, cruciferous vegetables, and chickpeas.


The change in hormone levels can also affect the cardiovascular and nervous systems and bone density. Naturopaths can provide lifestyle advice and support to help energy levels, manage stress and mood changes and minimise the impact on bone health.


Some women experience menopause symptoms that need investigation by a wider health team. Menorrhagia (heavy bleeding), blot clots, pain and bleeding after intercourse are symptoms that would be referred to a general practitioner.


 

Jasmine Setchell is a practicing Naturopath at Go Vita Ballarat.


She has worked in the health industry for 27 years, and in private practice for over 20 years. Jasmine has a Bachelor of Health Sciences (Naturopathy), an Advanced Diploma Herbal Medicine, Advanced Diploma in Nutritional Medicine, and a Certificate 4 Aromatherapy.


She specialises in holistic patient-centered health care, with special areas of interest including cardiovascular, reproductive, autoimmune, and gut health. Jasmine is Mother to a 21-year-old daughter and is an avid gardener and cook.



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william Tenz
william Tenz
Mar 27, 2023

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