Menopause, or the "change of life" as it is often called, is the stage in a womans's life when she stops ovulating and menstruation ceases, indicating the end of fertility. It is important to remember that menopause is not a disease but a natural process in a woman's life and how a woman views this time can have a lot to do with how frequent and severe the symptoms are.If menopause is view as the end of youth and sexuality, then this time will be much more difficult than if it is viewed as the next, natural phase of life. With proper diet ,nutritional supplements, and exercise, most of the unpleasant side effects of menopause can be minimised or eliminated.

When a woman stops ovulating, her ovaries largely stop producing the hormones oestrogen and progesterone. Oestrogen is commonly thought of as a sex hormone strictly tied to reproduction, but it also acts on many different organs of the body. Cells in the vagina, bladder, breasts, skin, bones, arteries, heart, liver, and brain all contain oestrogen receptors, and require this hormone to stimulate these receptors for normal cell function.

Oestrogen is needed to keep skin smooth and moist, the body's internal thermostat operating properly, and the arteries unclogged. It is also necessary for proper bone formation. The menopausal period is different for each individual woman. Some start early and some later, but the average age for the menopause is fifty. The transition usually lasts up to five years. Some women go through the menopause with few or no noticeable symptoms. However many women experience short-term or acute symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings, fatigue, dizziness, headaches, anxiety, depression, poor libido, bladder problems, vaginal dryness and itching, burning and discomfort during intercourse, breast tenderness, dryness and aging of the skin, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, and insomnia. All of these symptoms are due to oestrogen and progesterone deficiency. Over the long term, the diminished supply of oestrogen increases the likelihood of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and vaginal atrophy.

Case Study

A women aged 38 having had early menopause diagnosed by her GP following blood tests. Her periods had stopped and was suffering with hot flushes. It would appear this comes from the effects of the contraceptive pill taken since 1981 with a few breaks in between. There was a history of regular periods then five weeks apart. She had a termination in 1989 and 1992. Symptoms of abdominal fluid retention tender breasts and cramps before her periods. She is suffering with excessive perspiration and hot flushes every thirty minutes.

On screening the patient was deficient in zinc, selinium, vitamin c and essential fatty acids. She was also sensitive to dairy products, wheat and caffeine. After two months excluding these foods, taking supplements and homeopathic remedies, the patient had had two periods two weeks apart and the hot flushes had stopped. There was less fluid retention otherwise the periods had been normal. Three months later and the periods have returned to normal.