Menopause - A Holistic Approach
August 30, 2017
By: OB/GYN Dr. Danish Siddiqui
Whether you are seeking to alleviate specific menopausal symptoms, or simply interested in maximizing your health and well-being as you enter a new stage of life, the ideal approach to addressing menopause is one that is comprehensive and holistic.
For many women, perimenopause and menopause are an opportunity for change and growth. You may be surprised to learn that menopause can be a stage of life that is better in certain areas then you ever could have imagined.
Making natural adjustments to your lifestyle can result in feeling much better, but also feeling better in control of your symptoms. Start to make these small, yet important changes and watch as they lead to remarkable results.
Food is the most effective and pleasurable medicine that exists. Optimal nutrition means making sure you are consuming enough vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients. Strive to eat a balance of good fats, complex carbohydrates and protein. Also, make sure to have plenty of fruits and vegetables at every meal, including breakfast. Reduce your intake of refined carbohydrates and sugars.
Busy lifestyles can make it difficult to get all the nutrition we need from the foods we eat. There are natural supplements you can add to your daily regimen. Be cautious about supplements, however. Always talk with a trusted physician who can guide you toward supplements that have scientific backing supporting their benefits. Buy only recommended brands, since dietary supplements are not regulated the same way as pharmaceuticals. And always remember that supplements are a form of medicine, and can interact dangerously with other prescriptions you may be taking.
Regular exercise is another holistic “prescription”—one that can make a big impact on a wide variety of menopausal symptoms without costing you a thing. Adding regular exercise can help combat the weight gain that is common during perimenopause, especially around the stomach and abdomen. It can also work wonders on fatigue and mood.
You can make such a positive impact on your health though, by walking, dancing, yoga, swimming, biking or whatever other form of exercise you love. Find something you genuinely enjoy… and just move!
Stress, anxiety and depression are not at all uncommon during perimenopause. Your thoughts and feelings have a dramatic impact on your health. Stress, for example, has also been linked to symptoms such as hot flashes and low libido.
Many women are prescribed antidepressants for these symptoms, but pharmaceuticals are not the only option for relief. Explore different activities designed to boost your emotional wellness and find a combination that works for you. Believe it or not, each of these has science backing its effectiveness. Keep an open mind, and don’t neglect your emotional health.
- Deep breathing, meditation or yoga
- Keeping a daily journal
Dr. Danish Siddiqui is a member of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) and stays abreast of the current research regarding the complex set of issues and challenges menopausal women face. He takes a special interest in guiding patients toward the most effective medications, alternative remedies and lifestyle choices at this time in their lives. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Siddiqui, please call the Center for Women’s Health at 920.262.4825.