Several months ago I started getting hot flushes, nothing major just short ones, mild but inconvenient. Then I started getting headaches, something that I have never really suffered from and then in the last few weeks I have had some 'total lost the plot' moments.
Then...I had the hot flush from Hades...it not only lasted nearly two hours but it was horrendous to the brink of passing out...seriously scary and not pleasant in the least bit.
Hello peri-menopause it is NOT nice to meet you.
My body is not exactly in perfect health and never really has been after being hit with ulcerative colitis and proctitus from the age of 16 but I deal with it, over the years I weaned myself off all the nasty medications and now manage it with holistic therapies and eating properly.
However my lady parts have been through the mill a bit - an ovarian cancer scare a few years back resulting in an operation (thankfully successful), a miscarriage, one polycystic ovary and two C sections have left it feeling a little bit jaded but my moontimes have carried on regardless and haven't really caused me too many problems although they are now quite erratic.
I don't hate my moontimes, I have never thought of them as a curse, more of a reminder that I am a woman so these peri menopause symptoms have come as a bit of a shock I can tell you.
The doctor can't do much apparently, they can offer anti depressants for the mood swings - erm no thanks, having taken them for seriously bad post natal depression and suffered the side effects it is not a route I want to re-visit and that's pretty much it until you hit the actual menopause when they can give you HRT (not convinced about that either but I will cross that bridge when I come to it).
So what to do?
Enter stage right...herbal remedies.
When I first started getting the flushes I did my research and sage seemed to be the King of all herbs to beat them. I have been taking a sage complex for a few months which was helping...unfortunately I am totally rubbish at remembering to take them...so I now have my whole family on 'mummy's happy vitamin duty' to remind me.
I have also started adding sage leaves to my herbal tea in the morning, it is seriously yuck on it's own but not too bad added in with mint tea. They also advise drinking sage tea at the onset of a hot flush to take the edge off.
If I find anything else of use I will share...but for the moment it is a bit of a learning curve, a bit scary and all very new with that fearful feeling of "OK what happens next and how do I deal with it" but as many women have dealt with it before and many will continue to deal with it after I shall do the same...I will let you know if I start shop lifting...
Sage Complex contains:
Wild Yam - provides diosgenin, a precursor for female hormones.
Dong Quai - the most widely used female hormonal tonic, dong quai also has hormone mimicing action and may regulate uterine function.
Red Clover - rich source of isoflavones (water soluble chemicals that act like oestrogen), some studies suggest that it may boost bone density.
Chaste Berry- acts on the pituitary and hypothalamus helping the body to manufacture more progesterone and hence alleviate hot flushes.
Sage Leaf Powder - aside from its rich content of hormone mimicing compounds, sage also works on the hypothalamus, the temperature regulating gland, thus alleviating hot flushes and night sweats.
Siberian Ginseng - stimulates the adrenals to help energy and stress reduction.
Pomegranate Extract - nature's richest source of plant oestrogens, it is also a powerful antioxidant and may help to protect against some of the concerns associated with midlife concerns.
Hops Powder - aside from their anti-anxiety properties, hops also provide compounds that have been shown to help reduce hot flushing.
Kudzu - displays a variety of phyto-oestrogens and has been used historically to relieve common menopausal complaints.
Fenugreek - a tonic for the reproductive system used for PMS and menopause
Available from www.victoriahealth.com