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Menopause can certainly be a challenging time for some women. One of the most important changes that occur reduced oestrogen levels thus producing a variety of symptoms.

What can do to help this process?

Strategies for change

During and post menopause, women need to focus on supporting hormonal levels. This can be achieved by encouraging some of the following treatment strategies:

  • Herbal Medicines such as Black Cohosh, Ladies Mantle, Wild Yam and Shatavari
  • Nutritional supplementation such as Calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Magnesium and Essential Fatty Acids (Omega 3, 6 and 9)
  • Dietary recommendations such as increasing food sources of phytosterols found in fermented soy (miso, tofu, tempeh), sprouts, whole grains and flaxseeds
  • Lifestyle strategies such as weight bearing exercise, sunshine exposure, friendship and laughter

Environmental impact

Another important consideration is to reduce one’s environmental exposure to chemicals and toxins. Two interesting toxins are toluene and phthalates.

Toluene is found in nail polish to make it easy to apply. This clever toxin also interferes with the enzymes that enable oestrogen production. As such, whilst someone’s nails look a pretty, they are actually promoting their chance of having a hot flush or other oestrogen deficiency symptom. Furthermore, a rebound effect is that it aggravates cholesterol pathways and contributes to elevated cholesterol – not a good prospect!

Phthalates are found in common plastics such as cling wrap and plastic containers. These chemicals are typically added to plastics to increase their flexibility and have been shown to have xenobiotic activity – this means that it behaves as a rogue hormone-like molecule and interferes with oestrogen production and utilisation in the body. Interestingly, it has been shown that when a woman exposes herself to excessive quantities of phthalates her body unable to process these foreign substances tends to store them in fatty tissue thus contributing to obesity and weight gain.