Are you afraid of menopause? Don’t be; all you need do is to prepare adequately for it and make it pleasurable, says Dr Leye Popoola, Chief Executive Officer, Nature Healing Alternatives. A way of doing this is by ensuring that half of their daily meal is raw.
This, Popoola said, would ensure that women complete their transition to menopause without any hitch. He said menopause is not a disease, noting that it is a point when a woman stops ovulating and menstruation.
He said: “Many years before a woman gets to menopause, her ovaries slow down the production of important hormones- estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Estrogen is very important for a woman’s reproductive activities. It also performs non-productive functions. Estrogen can act on the cell of the skin, mammary glands, especially the breasts, heart, liver, bones, arteries, brain and the vagina wall. These cells have estrogen receptors and require hormone to stimulate the receptors to function at optimum.”
Popoola said there are early symptoms a woman would experience as pointers to her arriving at the menopausal stage. “These are hot flash, irritability (mood swing) and frequent vagina infections, cold hands and feet, night sweat, fatigue, headache, decreased sex drive, breast tenderness, palpitation of the heart, insomnia, dry skin and vaginal irritability because the body flora and fauna are affected.
“Others are dizziness, inability to concentrate, urinary incontinence, weight gain, anxiety, reduced stamina and the feeling that they are bloated.”
These symptoms, Popoola said, are normal, stressing that the problems often subside when a woman gets into menopause because a new balance has been achieved in all the hormones present in the body.
“But, this also is a difficult period for the woman because new health challenges will emerge, especially cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis and vaginal atrophy. Osteoporosis is the major problem women often face after menopause with about 75 per cent or more experiencing it,” he said.
He warned women in their menopause to avoid alcohol, caffeine and sugar, so also spicy food, hot soups and drinks.
The women, he said, should ensure that they are not stressed out with tasks.
Dr Popoola recommended the use of salt substitute because salt increases urinary excretion of calcium, which might lead to bone loss in the long run. “Salt substitutes are low-sodium table salt alternatives marketed to circumvent the risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease associated with a high intake of sodium chloride while maintaining a similar taste. The salt substitutes are currants and raisins, white beans, dark leafy greens (spinach), bakedpotatoes (with skin), dried apricots, baked acorn squash, yogurt (plain, skim/non-fat), fish (salmon), avocados, mushrooms (white), bananas.
“Sun-dried tomatoes, sweet potato (with skin), kale (raw), green (snap) beans, cowpeas, pigeon peas, yam, beans, walnuts, cashew nuts, carrots, onions, sugarcane, tomatoes, cucumbers, pumpkins, papayas (pawpaw) and dates. They should drink not less than two and half litres of purified water daily. It is advisable at this stage for such women to avoid fried food and junk meals.”
Menopausal problems, he said, showed that there was a transition and as such: “Some women experience frightening symptoms that suggest they have terminal diseases but that is usually not the case. That is why we encourage women to try natural medicine approach to their condition. Menopausal symptoms could be very disturbing; it may look as if the life of the woman getting into menopause is in danger when the situation arises. This is why most people treat it as a disease instead of a natural transition that women experience as they grow,” he stated.
Popoola said: “Medics usually prescribe various medications to ameliorate the symptoms. Whereas, all they need do is to aid the body to overcome the symptoms naturally. The use of hormonal replacement therapy by orthodox medicine practitioners has its disadvantages that outweigh the benefits. Primarin is commonly used in the treatment but it contains estrogen that is derived from the urine of pregnant mares. The danger of synthetic progesteron is that it has many reactions, which are adverse to the woman system. They are present in the blood. It is always good to stay close to Mother Nature at this phase of a woman’s life.”