Vegetarian diet, proper supplements and appropriate exercise can ease the transition

By Devananda Tandavan

One of the most alarming consequences of meno-pause is the loss of calcium from the bones, leading to weakening of the skeleton and possibly an increase in fractures. The solution to this is a correct meat-free diet high in calcium and other nutrients, at least beginning in one’s mid-thirties, for this is when the problem of osteoporosis really begins, accelerated by the lack of estrogen at menopause.

A high-protein diet is acidic, causing calcium to be leached from the bones. A high-fat diet decreases absorption of calcium from ingested food. Smoking, alcohol, colas containing phosphates, and chronic stress all add to this condition. Low magnesium levels due to too much refined grain (flours) and lack of green, leafy vegetables contribute to calcium deficiency. Thus we see that a well-balanced diet high in calcium-rich foods such as kale, chard, turnip greens, Chinese cabbage and other green, leafy vegetables is desirable. The average woman needs adequate magnesium and exposure to sunshine to help metabolize at least 1,500 mg. of calcium daily. This may require some supplementation to the diet, especially if dairy products are not consumed. Exercise is absolutely essential to maintain bone strength. Weight-bearing forms of exercise, such as dancing, walking, golf, swimming, cycling and Tai Chi are not too strenuous and will help to maintain strength and decrease chronic tension. The possible cardiovascular complications during menopause can be kept at a minimum by following an ayurvedic diet that balances the doshas. Unsettling emotional swings will be lessened by an exercise program of hatha yoga and aerobics and helped a great deal by the stress reduction of regular meditation.

One of the common effects of the decrease in production of estrogen during the period called menopause is the thinning of the mucosa of the female organs and a decrease in mucus and other secretions, leading to dryness. This causes discomfort and susceptibility to frequent infections. The use of synthetic hormones is not suggested for treatment of this condition. Symptoms can be alleviated by a diet high in vitamin E, grains, nuts and cold-pressed oils from fruit and nuts. Plenty of liquids and fluid foods, such as melons, greens and other moist vegetables, are recom-mended. The organs can be lubricated with cocoa butter, vegetable and fruit oils such as sesame, coconut, almond and cold-pressed castor oil. In spite of this dryness there can be bloating from water retention as well as tenderness of the tissues and even emotional depression. The necessary diuresis can be assured by the use of the homeopathic cell salt Natrum Sulphurica taken in four to eight daily doses. Frequent sips of warm water throughout the day and teas made of green tea, corn silk or dandelion greens may also naturally stimulate the diuresis so that harsh and mineral-depleting drugs will not be necessary. Cranberry and watermelon juices are also very good and have a tendency to decrease possible urinary tract infections. 

Menopause is a normal, natural event in life. It is not a disease and should not be treated as a disease with harmful hormone-replacement treatments which use strong, synthetic and dangerous drugs.

dr. tandavan, 76, retired nuclear physician and hospital staff president, lives in Chicago, where he specializes in alternative healing arts. Visit his home page at the Hinduism Today Website.