Menopause is a natural part of our ageing process. Between the ages of 16 to 50 pitta is considered to be the dominant force. Then we make a transition into a period that is dominated by vata.
It is the transition from pitta to vata that causes the menopausal symptoms. Menopause is the permanent ending to our menstrual periods. Most women experience menopause between the ages of 40 to 58 with the average age being about 51. Menopause is confirmed when we have not had a period for 12 consecutive months. Women who have had their ovaries surgically removed at any age will also experience menopausal symptoms.
Peri-menopause is the time prior to menopause when we start having hormone related changes these can start during our early 40’s. The symptoms we get and the order in which we get them vary from woman to woman and a small percentage of women have no symptoms at all.
Most Common Symptoms of Menopause are:
Hot flushes, Insomnia, Irregular bleeding, Vaginal dryness, Anxiety, Depression, Fatigue, Weight gain, Fuzzy thinking, Loss of libido.
The symptomatic treatment depends on the dominant dosha of the lady in menopause. Menopause is a natural time of life, but due to an un-natural lifestyle, it can appear as a disorder. The key to a smooth transition through menopause is to work out which dosha is being affected and then try to calm or balance that dosha.
Balancing Different Types of Menopause
- Vata-Dominated Women Experiencing Menopause
The Symptoms: nervousness, anxiety, insomnia, depression, lack of skin tone, mild hot flashes, constipation, vaginal dryness.
How to Balance: Vata is naturally cold, light and dry, if these tendencies are increased causing your symptoms you can balance them by using the opposite qualities. Make sure your drinks are warm and that you are eating warm food rather than salads. Try and eat your meals at regular times and go to bed early. Learn relaxation techniques, meditation and yoga, these will help to calm your nervous system and make you feel more secure and confident. Shatavari with brahmi is a helpful combination for vata types. Decrease caffeine, sugar and other stimulants. Spices such as fennel, cumin, cardamom and ginseng are beneficial. Licorice and linseed can help with constipation problems.
- Pitta-Dominated Women Experiencing Menopause
The Symptoms: anger, irritability, short temper, hot flashes, night sweats, urinary tract infections, skin rashes.
How to Balance: Pitta is naturally hot, oily and intense; if these tendencies are increased and causing your symptoms you can balance them using the opposite qualities. Increase the amount of cold water you drink and cold foods you eat. Have more sweet juicy fruits such as melons, apples, plums, mango, pears etc. Stay out of the hot sun and try to avoid eating hot spicy foods, hot drinks and stay away from alcohol. Try not to work yourself into a frenzy – the less aggravation you have the better; meditation is a great way to help keep yourself calm. Shatavari with amalaki is an excellent combination to take for menopause, it has general cooling qualities which help reduce the hot flash symptoms and help you to cope with mood swings.
- Kapha-Dominated Women Experiencing Menopause
The Symptoms: weight gain, sleepiness, sluggishness, yeast infections, slow digestion, fluid retention.
How to Balance: Kapha is naturally cold, oily and heavy; if these tendencies are increased and symptoms you can balance them using the opposite qualities. Eat light, dry, warm food and avoid refined sugars, white flour, pasta and potatoes. Eating fruit, whole grains, legumes, and lots of vegetables will be beneficial. Get up early prior to 6 am is preferable, use the vata energy that is dominant at this time to keep you alert and motivate you for the entire day. Shatavari with vibhitaki is a helpful combination for kapha types. Kapha women can tend to be heavier and prone to weight gain, so it is important to exercise and stay active if you are prone to kapha imbalances. Exercise will help with fluid retention, weight gain, improving your mood, energy and memory.