When Does Menopause Start?
Menopause is the natural ending of ovarian function. The reproductive hormones estrogen and progesterones stop producing, so the woman also stops menstruating. The age menopause starts varies from woman to woman. Women typically enter menopause in their late forties or early to mid fifties.
When we live in alignment with nature and the principles of Ayurveda, we don't need to fear this shift. For women in their forties and fifties, menopause can be seen as the ultimate freedom! Focusing now on projects, not children, and devoting their time and attention to aspects of their lives that they find fulfilling for their own sake, can be wonderful.
Ayurveda + Menopause
According to Ayurveda, menopause is the Vata time of life, when it is most dominant in us and most easily pushed out of balance, into excess. Irregularity of body functions like irregular periods, and underproduction of tissue, are sure signs that Vata Dosha is out of balance.
So it is imperative that Vata Dosha be managed properly in order to manage Vata-related symptoms of menopause. Stress, poor nutrition and caffeine can trigger irregular menstruation and increase Vata. Living an Ayurvedic lifestyle with regular routines and nourishing self-care will minimize the potentially negative impact of the menopausal years.
To reduce stress, daily exercise, time in nature, Yoga and meditation are necessary choices. Healthy food and eating habits will improve your nutrition and take away the need for caffeine and other stimulants.
As the famous Ayurvedic saying goes, “If diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. If diet is right, medicine is of no need.” By making simple dietary and lifestyle changes, you can support this shift and decrease the severity of the symptoms from a sudden reduction in estrogen.
As written before, when women age, Vata begins to accumulate. The body is still in the Pitta time of life, typically fully capable of reproduction, but the Vata Dosha is slowly creeping in more and more. We can see this in subtle changes in the body, shifts in metabolism, and fluctuations in energy, always changes and movement, characteristic of Vata. You pacify Vata through routines, especially routines around food and sleep.
Natural Menopause Treatments With Ayurveda
This holds true no matter what stage of life you're in, but make sure your foods are whole, fresh and organic. Your digestive system is strongly impacted by what you eat, when you eat and how you eat. When foods are fresh and organic, you'll have a better opportunity to convert that food into high quality tissue and strength. But stress and other typical aspects of our modern lives disturb digestion. Food you eat may not be fresh and organic. Distracted eating is also common, one hand on the phone and an eye focused on a nearby screen.
- Avoid processed and non-organic food
- Avoid storing foods in plastic containers or drinking out of plastic bottles because plastic mimics estrogen and interferes with the normal hormone balance
- Dine consciously so your digestion is optimal and undisturbed. Savor your food and your ability to spend time nourishing yourself
- Listen to your body. Eat when you are hungry and only until you have satisfied your hunger. Ayurveda recommends that you eat until you are about 75% full
- Drink plenty of water during the day. Start your day with 12 - 16 oz of warm water with a squeeze of lemon.
- Go to bed early enough to sleep 7 to 8 hours
- Turn off electronics at least one full hour before sleep so that you have the support of melatonin when you want to go to bed and you're not affected by insomnia
- Avoid stimulants such as coffee and sugar, as well as depressants like alcohol. These interfere with the nervous system and may negatively impact sleep
- Conserve your energy as much as possible. When you are active, you draw energy from the food you have eaten. When that energy is spent, you draw energy from your own stored resources. When you feel fatigue, you have exhausted these resources. If you continue to spend energy, you deplete ojas, an Ayurvedic term for your vital reserves. When you feel fatigue, stop
- Begin your day with a routine, including cleansing, stretching, breathwork and meditation.
- If you notice your energy flagging in the afternoon, take a short walk and breathe deeply. Eat nourishing food such as a piece of fruit or nuts
All views and information shared here is only for the sharing of Ayurvedic knowledge. Please do not try or prescribe or take any of the remedies and suggestions here without talking to your regular, qualified doctor. Kottakkal Ayurveda and no other person associated with Kottakkal is responsible for unwanted side-effects or contraindications in your health.