Early menopause symptoms are highly troublesome! When Menopause happens prematurely, it puts the health of a woman at the risk of multiple diseases.
Early Menopause increases the risk of several diseases in women. That’s why she needs extra medical, physical and emotional support to help her manage the changes she is going through.
Maintaining your health with right foods and lifestyle will help to prevent the health risks that are lurking just behind early menopause.
Now, while you may not be able to reverse Premature or Early Menopause; you can surely manage your health with Ayurvedic diet, lifestyle and herbs.
In this post, we will guide you with natural remedies and Ayurvedic practices to take care of your health and well-being during early menopause.
Firstly, we will look into the signs and causes of early menopause.
Then, we will go through the Ayurvedic guidelines and natural remedies that you can adopt, in case Menopause comes unannounced at your doorstep.
Let’s get started!
What is the Earliest Age of Menopause?
The average age of natural menopause is 51 years. Yet, the actual age of natural menopause can be anywhere from 45 years to 55 years.
While Menopause is a natural physiological phenomenon, it is not taken well by a woman’s body when it happens at a young age. Early and Premature Menopause both indicate end of menstruation much earlier than the ideal age of Menopause.
Premature Menopause (menopause age below 40 years) affects nearly 1% of all the women. Also, nearly 5% of the women experience Early Menopause (before she turns 45 years).
Some women have been observed to have premature menopause as early as at 36 years of age.
What Causes Early Menopause?
Early Menopause can happen naturally or it can be induced by surgery and medical treatment. In both ways, early menopause happens because ovaries cannot produce eggs anymore.
Here are some of the cause of Early Menopause:
1. Pelvic Injuries and Medical Treatment
Injuries and accidents of the pelvic region can damage the ovaries. Also, medical treatments such as chemotherapy, pelvic radiation, and sometimes hormone therapy can end your menstrual cycle.
2. Surgical removal of ovaries
Removal of ovaries through oophorectomy or during hysterectomy (removal of the uterus).
3. Physical, Mental and Emotional Stress
When a woman experiences continuous daily stress, and strenuous work overload the body organs and systems. Chronic emotional stress is a leading cause.
4. Genetic Disorders
Early Menopause due to genetic disorders is observed in 10-20% of cases. The commonest abnormality is Turner’s syndrome (45X0).
5. Autoimmune Diseases
Early Menopause is reported in 30-60% of women with autoimmune diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, HIV, and Hashimoto’s Disease.
Women with autoimmune diseases are at an increased risk for hormonal imbalances and metabolic disorders. This can trigger menopause earlier.
Mumps is one of the most common infection associated with Premature Menopause.
7. Pelvic tuberculosis
Pelvic health problems such as tuberculosis can cause loss of menstrual cycle due to failure of ovaries in 3% of women.
Chemicals in cigarette smoke are known to induce early Menopause. It can be due to primary smoking or from secondary smoking (women who are constantly exposed to cigarette smoke).
9. Inadequate sleep
Sleep is important for everybody, but especially for the women in Perimenopause.
Insomnia and chronic sleep disorders lead to severe Vata Imbalance. It is one of the primary triggers of early menopause.
What are the First Signs and Symptoms of Early Menopause?
As ovaries start to shut down, monthly production of Estrogen and Progesterone goes down. This leads to severe hormone imbalances during early menopause.
1. Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance
Often labelled as Menopause Symptoms, following are functional symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance.
Hormone levels fluctuate at a much faster rate during Early Menopause, leading to severe functional Menopause Symptoms.
- Frequent Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)
- Hot flashes
- Night Sweats
- Reduced libido
- Mood swings
- Vaginal dryness
- Menopausal weight gain
- Hair loss
- High Triglycerides
2. Irregular periods
Menstrual Cycle becomes irregular as ovulation does not happen on monthly basis. Combined with hormone imbalance, a woman can experience significant changes in menstrual flow and her menstrual cycle.
- Irregular Periods
- Period Cramps
- Spotting in between periods
- Heavy bleeding
- Scanty Menstrual Flow
Health Risks | Is Early Menopause Dangerous?
Sudden and severe hormone imbalances during early menopause may expose a woman to serious diseases.
As her body is not yet ready to undergo the changes of Menopause; her physical, mental, and emotional wellness is affected. The risk of health complications increases with earlier age at the time of menopause.
- Cancer: Ovarian and colorectal cancer
- Eyes: Vision loss in the form of cataract and poor vision
- Teeth: Rapid tooth loss and periodontal diseases
- Osteoporosis: Increased risk for lower bone density, earlier onset osteoporosis, and fractures
- Heart disease: Rapid loss of estrogen can lead to heart disease, high triglycerides and cholesterol
- Parkinson’s Disease like symptoms such as depression and dementia (loss of memory)
Early Menopause in Ayurveda
According to Ayurveda, Menopause is the stage of transition from Pitta dominated phase of life to the Vata dominated phase.
However, during Early Menopause, a woman is rapidly and untimely exposed to the transition of Dosha. This fast transition creates severe Vata Pitta Imbalance symptoms in her body and mind.
Such severe changes in her hormone levels and dosha balance poorly affect her metabolism as well. That’s why, some women may experience Kapha Imbalance symptoms such as excess weight gain, depression and high cholesterol.
Management and Prevention of Early Menopause in Ayurveda
Ayurveda can help to prevent health risks and find relief from the intensity of early menopause symptoms. Ayurvedic treatment and natural remedies focus on strengthening and rejuvenating the reproductive system with:
- Aahara (Food)
- Vihara (Lifestyle)
- Aushadhi (Medicines and Herbal formulations)
- Karma (Treatment)
Let’s discuss these through and understand how Ayurvedic treatment and remedies can help with Early Menopause.
1. Ayurvedic Diet for Hormone Balance in Menopause
- Increase the intake of warm foods and drinks. All of these are balancing for Vata Dosha.
- Maintain regular meals and follow scheduled timings.
- Use spices as fennel and cumin.
- Avoid excess salt, chilies, spices, sour foods, and pickles.
- Reduce the use of caffeine, stimulants, refined sugar, and cold drinks.
- Stop consuming junk food, and carbonated drinks.
- Avoid untimely meals, multiple meals, late night foods, and snacks.
- Stop the consumption of processed foods and packaged foods.
2. Take in Calcium rich foods to protect your bones
- Dried fig
- milk and milk products
- seeds and nuts
- cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower
- leafy greens
3. Take in Magnesium rich foods for Mood and Brain
Magnesium rich foods help to prevent anxiety and period problems. They also promote brain health and heart health.
- whole grains
- dairy products
- leafy greens
4. Maintain Vitamin D sufficiency to protect bones and hormone balance
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that supports your bones, hormone balance and heart health. With aging, Vitamin D production in the body goes down. That’s why, majority of the menopausal women struggle with Vitamin D deficiency.
You should take Vitamin D supplements and or support your body’s Vitamin D by spending more time in morning and evening sun.
5. Take in Healthy Fats to support heart and lower down risk of bad Cholesterol
Healthy fats promote heart health, strong immunity and brain power. Several studies indicate that Omega 3 foods can reduce psychological distress, anxiety, and mood swings.
Additionally, Omega 3 foods prevent inflammation in the body.
- Nuts and seeds such as flax seeds, walnuts, hemp seeds, almonds, and chia seeds.
- Fish and other sea foods such as oysters and shrimps
- Beans and lentils such as soy beans, kidney beans, and black eyed beans
- Mushrooms such as shiitake mushrooms, enoki, and shimeji mushrooms
6. Consume phytoestrogens (Estrogen rich foods)
Phytoestrogens will help to balance the subsiding Estrogen levels. Thus, they will support hormone balance and prevent low Estrogen levels. Here are examples:
- soy beans
- dry fruits
- seeds and nuts
- whole grains
7. Vihara – Lifestyle Practices for Early Menopause Symptoms
- Take sound sleep for at least 6-7 hours. Go to bed early and wake up early. The best bedtime is between 10 pm to 6 am.
- Follow a routine to keep Vata Dosha in balance. Keep regular timings for food and daily activities.
- Practice good sleep hygiene. Learn here on how to sleep better with Ayurveda.
- Pursue hobbies and interests for mental wellness
- Do bedtime massage with sesame oil.
- Go for nature walks, swimming, and relaxing physical activity to keep Vata and Pitta dosha in balance.
- Practice yoga, pranayama, and meditation regularly. They can add a better day in the early menopause transition.
Here are Ayurvedic herbs that you can take to manage Early Menopause symptoms.
Shatavari is a powerful adaptogen and tonic for female reproductive system. It helps to balance hormones and protects Menopausal symptoms.
- Shatavari helps is helpful for Anxiety, Hot Flashes, and Vaginal Atrophy.
- It tones up the uterus, hence prevents risk of uterine cancer and inflammation.
- Shatavari can help to manage heavy periods experienced during early menopause.
- It increases level of Progesterone, flushes excess Estrogen and nourishes the uterus.
Ashwagandha is another revered adaptogen in Ayurveda. It reduces stress and increases our body’s strength.
Regular consumption of Ashwagandha elevates the brain chemicals and helps to relax. It also establishes hormone balance and reduces the intensity of early menopause symptoms.
10. Saraca indica
- It is the reliever of grief and can help offset depression and mood swings.
- Sarca Indica helps to balance Vata dosha.
- It also acts as a detoxifying agent. Thus, it reduces inflammation and heat in the body.
11. Symplocos racemosa
- It reduces heavy bleeding during menses.
- Symplocos racemosa reduces the intensity of premenstrual syndrome.
- It helps to balance the hormones, thus reduces intensity of early menopause symptoms
12. Yoga Asna for Early Menopause
Yoga balances both Vata Dosha and Pitta Dosha. It is an excellent therapy to promote mental wellness and improve the health of your heart, bones and muscles.
Pranayama consists of breathing techniques that calm the mind, improve oxygen flow in the body and promote hormone balance.
Here are some yoga asana that you should practice to improve your health during early menopause:
- Alternate Nostril Breathing (Anuloma Viloma Pranayama)
- Humming Bee Breath (Brahmari Pranayama)
- Reclining Hero Pose (Supta Virasana)
- Shoulderstand (Salamba Sarvangasana)
- Marichi’s Pose (Marichyasana A)
- Head-to-Knee Forward Bend (Janu Sirsasana)
- Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
- Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)
Now we want to hear from you. Do write to us for any queries and feedback. If you have tried any of the above Ayurvedic remedies, then do share your experience with us. We will get back to you the soonest.
Wishing you vibrant health!