Menopause Kuel Category Expert: Lorraine Miano
One of the many misconceptions that surrounds perimenopause and menopause (and believe me…there are many!) is that Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), is the only treatment option for reducing or eliminating symptoms.
As they travel through their perimenopause years, women often assume that because they’ve chosen not to do hormone replacement therapy (HRT), that they are left to suffer with the symptoms they may be experiencing.
We Have Options:
“You’ve got options my magical lady!”
The average age for a woman to begin Perimenopause is around 45 years old. This is the time in a woman’s life where her ovaries are shutting down and hormones are fluctuating. Perimenopause can last from two to up to fifteen years. Once a woman has not had a menstrual cycle for twelve consecutive months, she has reached menopause. In effect, menopause is actually just one day…the twelve-month anniversary of when menses cease. The following day a woman is considered post-menopausal and will be for the rest of her life.
As a 62-year-old integrative health and hormone coach who has not only studied how to holistically support women during these years, but who has also successfully lived, thrived, and come out on the other side embracing my post-menopause years with a healthy body, a positive mindset, and a passion for life that is unstoppable…. I can tell you…. You’ve got options my magical lady!
HRT Is Not Our Only Option:
Although HRT (which is the replacement of female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone) has been deemed a safe and effective therapy for many women who may find themselves experiencing uncomfortable symptoms of hormone imbalances during their perimenopause years, for others, the potential risks outweigh the benefits. This is especially if a woman has been diagnosed with heart disease, or if she or her mother has previously experienced a female related cancer. As well, there is a slight increase of risk for any woman for blood clots, stroke, breast cancer and heart attack. Other side effects may include nausea, headaches, breast tenderness and vaginal discharge. The decision to use HRT is between a woman and her doctor and depends upon her health and symptoms. Experts generally recommend that you take HRT at the lowest dose for the shortest possible time, as the full risks are still unclear.
The symptoms surrounding the hormone imbalances during the Perimenopause years vary for each woman, depending on not only her genetics, but her lifestyle as well. This includes diet, exercise, and stress levels. Some women may not experience anything other than irregular periods.
Symptoms Associated With Perimenopause:
- Anxiety (this could often be the first symptom you notice)
- Irregular periods (less frequent or more frequent)
- Hot Flashes and/or Night Sweats
- Low Libido
- Dryness in the eyes and mouth
- Dry Vagina and/or Vaginal atrophy (thinning of the lining of the vagina)
- Breast Tenderness
- Weight Gain
Support For Women In All Phases Of Menopause:
“all women can benefit from a holistic approach to finding hormone balance and a healthy body”
Providing support, resources…and a whole lotta love for women during all phases of their menopause journey is my passion. I enjoy researching and discovering holistic, effective, and safe products to make that ride more comfortable and enjoyable for women. Whether you decide to use HRT or not, all women can benefit from a holistic approach to finding hormone balance and a healthy body.
Today I specifically want to talk about a miracle supplement for women, no matter which stage of their reproductive years they may be in. Later in the article I’ll share my favorite brands which I have researched and personally use.
Maca (pronounced mah-kah) is an ancient herb that has been grown and cultivated in the Andes Mountains of Peru for over 3,000 years. It’s actually a cruciferous vegetable, which means it’s related to kale, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. Maca root, also known as Peruvian ginseng, grows underground and comes in a variety of colors including red, white (or gold) and black. Maca is loaded with important vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, copper and iron, as well as 20 amino acids — 8 of them essential.
What Is So Magical About Maca?
Maca is an adaptogen herb. These herbs support the body’s ability to accommodate varying physical and emotional stresses. As they support the body’s stress response, adaptogen herbs help to regulate hormone production and flow.
Five Magical Benefits of Maca:
1. LIBIDO BOOSTER:
Maca is popular for use as an aphrodisiac (for both women and men). According to a 2010 systematic review, two randomized clinical trials suggested that maca can have a positive effect on sexual dysfunction or sexual desire in both menopausal women and adult men after 6 weeks of ingestion.
2. MOOD BOOSTER:
One study showed that maca root reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression, especially in post-menopausal women. This may be due to the fact that maca contains flavonoids.
3. BALANCES HORMONES:
One of maca’s many adaptogenic functions is its ability to balance hormones either when your body is under or over producing them. This is so important for women in any phase of their reproductive cycles, but especially during their Perimenopause and Post-Menopause years.
A 2006 study published in “International Biomedical Science Journal,” found that organic maca is particularly beneficial for early post-menopausal women. The study concluded maca balanced hormone levels and relieved symptoms of menopausal discomfort, including hot flashes and night sweating.
4. ENERGY BOOSTER:
Maca is a popular supplement with athletes and bodybuilders because it is believed to increase athletic endurance and performance. Few clinical studies have been conducted, but legend has it that Incan soldiers would carry maca into battle for strength and endurance. Energy was one of the first benefits I received when I started taking my Maca supplement!
5. MAY IMPROVE MEMORY:
So Which Maca Supplement Should You Use?
As a certified Health & Hormone Coach, I’ve done the work for you, and curated some of the very best options.
The very best Maca supplement I’ve found in capsule form (for those who prefer the ease of this type of supplementation) was introduced to me by a Functional medicine doctor. It has the highest success rate in published clinical trials of any peri/menopausal herbal supplement in the world and is the only one to demonstrate statistically significant effects on hormones. There is a different formulation for a woman’s reproductive years, Perimenopause years, as well as, Post-Menopause years. I personally take the one for post-menopausal women. This company also has a complimentary medical team on staff for ANY questions you may have. I cannot say enough good things about this supplement and company. They are absolutely AWESOME. You can check out their products here (oh, and if you purchase through my link, you can buy two months, get one month FREE with FREE shipping as well): FEMMENESSENCE
Prefer To Add Powders To Your Diet?
For those of you who prefer to add superfood powders to your smoothies, juices, or other “bowls”, you’ll want to check out the powdered varieties of Maca from THE MACA TEAM. They also have a liquid tincture available. The Maca Team is a family run company of true maca specialists who are passionate about sharing high quality Peruvian grown Maca with the world, and proud to offer the best selection of maca products anywhere. Their products are always organically grown, fairly traded, non-gmo, gluten free, fresh and potent.
Finally, YOURSUPER.COM has an assortment of powders which contain Maca, as well as other superfoods, for your best health. Moonbalance for improving hormone health as well as EnergyBomb for boosting energy and PowerMatcha for increased focus. I use them all!
Use my code: LORRAINE15 for a 15% discount at checkout.
If you are a woman of any age, but especially in the Perimenopause and Post-Menopause years, who may be experiencing the unpleasant symptoms of hormone imbalances, Maca root may just be the Magical Miracle you’ve been looking for.
Here’s to your Magical Menopause!
About the Author:
As a post-menopausal woman herself, Lorraine Miano discovered her passion of offering menopause advocacy, support and resources to women in all phases of menopause through health coaching, proper nutrition and preventive lifestyle choices. She received her certifications as a Health Coach and hormone health expert from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She has been able to help even more women by writing and publishing her first book, The Magic of Menopause: A Holistic Guide to Get Your Happy Back!
Lorraine loves to encourage her clients with her mantra “Menopause is NOT an ending! IT IS a new beginning!” When she’s not advocating for “the change”, you can find Lorraine traveling with her husband Richard, quite often to visit her 5 grandchildren who call her “Nonni”.