MENOPAUSE: The Japanese don’t have a word for menopause in their language—because it doesn’t exist as a problem. Current research points to the high use of soy products (soy is estrogenic) as the reason Japanese women don’t go through the ravages American women may experience during menopause. I agree that diet plays a role in menopause, but I think the total diet is important. For my own experience, I started going through menopause about the time I started my herb business. While pursuing natural healing, I also pursued nutrition and quality food. I noticed as my diet improved and my health improved, my uncomfortable symptoms disappeared.
What are my suggestions for easing you through menopause? Here they are: I believe a well nourished, well balanced body doesn’t have severe menopause symptoms. I believe this is proven by other cultures, including the Japanese, who eat a diet more natural than we do. The first thing to do to gain this balance is to make sure your thyroid is functioning properly. This gland controls hormone levels (and moods), energy, metabolism and much more in your body. If it’s not working optimally, you aren’t. Your thyroid gland needs iodine to function and iodine is not available in our food (except for iodized salt and you’ve probably given that up). I take Kelp Capsules every day to supplement my iodine. Kelp is seaweed and is a mineral rich sea vegetable high in iodine. (Maybe this is part of the Japanese formula for health as the Japanese eat a wide variety of seaweeds and ocean fish in their diet).
You can tell if your thyroid is normal by taking your body temperature throughout the day. This test (The Basal Metabolism Test) was for a long time the standard for determining your thyroid’s function. If your body temperature is below the normal reading of 98.6 degrees F., your thyroid is low. You may also notice 2 lines circling your neck, or a particularly “fat,” fluid looking neck. Your thyroid is located around your wind pipe and if it doesn’t get enough iodine, it swells. Remember when you could see men’s Adam’s apples? They’re covered up now with a swollen thyroid.
You’ve taken the first step. You’re feeding your thyroid. The next step is harder. Avoid the foods that contain the steroids that are pumping estrogen into your body. Dairy cows, beef cows, chickens and some other animals are fed steroids (for weight gain and milk production) that convert to estrogen in your body. What can you do? Buy free range or organic meat. Is it more expensive? Yes. I hope you’re willing to pay more to feel good; not just feel good but to have really good health. If you don’t have local grocery resources, hire a farmer to raise a calf for you. You’ll have to pay him not to use steroids because this is what makes the calf grow so fast. If this isn’t an option, go on the internet. If the cost seems too high for you to manage, get a friend to share an order. Then do what the Japanese do. Cook a little meat with a lot of vegetables. You’ll be satisfied.
Still need help? There are more herbs that can help, depending on your symptom. If you need a little estrogen boost, you can use Fennel Seed or Red Clover caps. Black Cohosh Root caps, taken at night, help your overall hormone balance. Dong Quai root is also an estrogen balancer. Above all, be sure to take a multi-vitamin-mineral. We’re trying to help your whole body and it can’t work without the right nutrients.
You can feel good going through menopause. You weren’t made to feel bad and make everyone around you miserable. To go through this process is totally natural and shouldn’t be painful and uncomfortable. When do you start menopause or premenopause? Ask your husband or your children. They’ll tell you.