enopause or climacteric occurs in women usually in the age group of forty-nine to fifty-two years wherein there is a permanent stoppage of menstrual periods and they cannot bear kids anymore. A woman is said to have attained menopause when she has had no menstrual periods for past twelve months. It is a natural process occurring due to decreased synthesis of hormones estrogen and progesterone by the ovaries. In the years, preceding menopause certain changes in the menstrual periods occur which includes irregular periods i.e. either the duration increases or decreases and changes in the amount of blood flow i.e. it may increase or decrease. They may get hot flashes during this period along with redness of the skin, sweating and shivering. 
Causes of Menopause
Menopause mostly occurs naturally and at times is induced.
1. Medically induced menopause
This may occur due to medical remedies like radiotherapy, chemotherapy, complications associated with tubal ligation, oophorectomy, leuprorelin usage, and hysterectomy. Surgical menopause takes place when your ovaries are removed. There is a sudden reduction in hormone levels and severe withdrawal symptoms like hot flashes etc.
Last menstrual period of a majority of women is seen between 48 to 55 years of age. The time period of transition from perimenopause to menopause generally extends up to seven years and at times 14 years. Coeliac disease if not diagnosed and not taken care of at the right time can lead to early menopause. A diet free from gluten can cut down on the risk. Early detection and medical care can inhibit early menopause. Rarely i.e. in one to two percent of women, premature ovarian failure may occur by the age of 40 leading to early menopause. Hysterectomy, cigarette smoking, ethnic and racial factors, higher BMI and extremely thin physique can cause early menopause.
3. Premature ovarian failure
The ovaries stop functioning before 40 years of age due to various factors like thyroid disease, chemotherapy, an autoimmune disorder, diabetes mellitus etc. Functional disorders associated with the reproductive organs like cancer, polycystic ovary syndrome etc. also cause early menopause. Around 5% of fraternal and identical twins have also been found to reach menopause before 40 years of age.
Signs and Symptoms of Menopause
The symptoms seen during the transition or perimenopause phase include 
- Frequency of menstrual period goes down
- Your periods become either lighter or heavier as compared to what you normally had
- Hot flashes, sweating
- Other symptoms associated with menopause include:
- Dryness of vagina
- Anxiety, depression, memory issues
- Dryness of eyes, skin, and mouth
- Urinary tract infections increased urination
- Muscle mass reduction, pain, and stiffness in joints
- Soreness in breasts
- Thinning of hair
Complications associated with menopause include
The following are some major risks associated with menopause 
- Abrupt emotional and mood changes
- Weaker bones or osteoporosis
- Bladder becomes overactive
- Disease of heart and blood vessels
- Periodontal disease
- Slow metabolism
- Vaginal atrophy
- Painful intercourse
The Natural Home Remedies for Menopause Relief Include
- Natural home remedies for Menopause
1. Stress reduction and management
Experiencing stress, anxiety, depression and mood issues is common during menopause. Managing stress naturally helps decrease problems like stress or emotional eating, fatigue, increase in body weight, reduced libido, and sleep problems. This you can attain naturally through meditation, aromatherapy, exercise, having good relationships, acupuncture, being out in the nature, taking up spiritual activities etc.
2. Dietary Recommendations
Food items that can help you ease symptoms of menopause include:
- High fiber food items: High fiber diet is linked to balanced production of estrogen, improved digestive and cardiovascular health and better weight maintenance. Include seeds, nuts, legumes, leafy vegetables, fruits, whole grains etc. in your diet.
- Organic vegetables and fruits: As these have abundant dietary fibers they help in appropriate management of appetite. They have phytosterols for hormone balancing and antioxidants for reducing the pace of aging.
- Natto: Presence of a phytoestrogen in this fermented soy may help in balancing hormones. However, those who have had estrogen positive cancer of breast need to avoid it.
Vegetables belonging to the cruciferous family: Indole-3-carbinol present in cruciferous vegetables may help balance your estrogen levels naturally. These include cabbage, kale, broccoli etc. These are also good for your heart and blood pressure as they are good sources of Vitamin K, C, electrolytes and fiber.
- Omega 3 fats: These are present in foods like salmon that are wild-caught, sardines, halibut, anchovies, mackerel, flaxseed etc. and may help ease menopausal symptoms like depression, osteoporosis that follows menopause, complications of heart, breast cancer, inflammation, skin problems etc.
- Foods rich in phytoestrogen: The plant-based estrogen, phytoestrogen can be beneficial for some women as it may help reduce night flashes, promote heart health, lower risk of cancer and make you feel less drastic when your estrogen level goes down.
- Probiotics: These healthy bacteria can help better regulate and synthesize hormones like leptin, ghrelin, and insulin. They can also improve the brain and immune system’s functioning. Kimchi, yogurt, kombucha, kefir, and other fermented food items are rich in probiotics.
- Cold pressed oils and healthy fats: Fats are required for the production of hormones, improved metabolism and decreased inflammation. Healthy fats by satiating you help inhibit weight gain. Vitamin E present in unrefined oils helps regulate the production of estrogen. Oils like flaxseed oil, palm oil, coconut oil, and extra virgin olive oil should be used. Wild seafood, avocados, seeds, nuts etc. are good sources of healthy fats.
- Hydration: Drink at least eight glasses of water to reduce bloating and compensate for a loss of fluids during hot flash.
3. Consume the following supplements
- Red clover: Isoflavones present in red clover can ease various menopause related symptoms like hot flashes, increase in weight, osteoporosis, sleeping problems, joint inflammation and heart problems.
- Black cohosh: When taken in the dose of 80 milligrams once or twice a day, it can take care of menopausal symptoms like sweating at night, hot flashes, improper sleep, hormonal imbalance and improve fertility before menopause.
- Chasteberry or vitex: It works by easing hot flashes, balancing hormones, regulating hormones that are linked to fibroids, sleep issues, irregularity in periods and changes in the skin. It balances the ratio of progesterone to estrogen by helping in inhibiting the release of follicle stimulating hormone, raising luteinizing hormone and modulating prolactin. Daily dose is 160 to 240 milligrams.
- St. John’s Wort: It can relieve you from depression, mood problems, inflammation and improve sleep while your body is going through a transition during menopause.
- Adaptogen herbs: These include holy basil, Ashwagandha, Rhodiola and medicinal mushrooms. These help by enhancing the functioning of the thyroid, lowering depression and anxiety, managing cholesterol levels, reducing degeneration of brain cells etc.
- Maca root: Taken in the dose of 1000 to 2000 milligrams daily, this herb may help ease fatigue, hot flashes, restlessness, inhibit weight gain and enhance libido.
- American ginseng: Studies have suggested its role in relieving depression, fatigue, vaginal dryness and hot flashes. It should be taken in the dose of 600 to 1200 milligrams a day.
- Progesterone cream: Topical application of progesterone cream on forearms and skin two to three times daily can help deal with menopause symptoms like dryness of vagina, bone density loss, and fibroids. You can use a quarter teaspoon or twenty milligrams per application. Women going through perimenopause can even benefit from the cream as it can protect them from PMS, endometriosis, and infertility. Other herbs like a chaste tree, licorice root, red raspberry leaves, evening primrose oil, wild yam, and sarsaparilla are also beneficial for the purpose.
4. Proper sleep is a must
Poor sleep is linked to poor immunity, increased levels of cortisol in the morning, higher chances of anxiety, depression, weight increase, and poor work performance. Seven to nine hours of sleep every night is must for good energy levels, managing stress and appetite.
5. Manage menopause symptoms using essential oils
- Clary sage oil: It is considered to be most effective for hormone balancing. It has a positive impact on hot flashes and anxiety.
- Peppermint oil: This can have a cooling effect on the body and relieve you from hot flashes.
- Roman chamomile oil: This helps manage stress. You need to buy a pure or therapeutic grade of these essential oils and rub 3 drops of the oil on the back of your neck and top of your feet one to three times a day on a daily basis. Dilution with a carrier oil helps inhibit skin reaction.
6. Avoid certain foods that can worsen your menopause
- Farm-raised meat and poultry: You need to avoid these as they may have been injected with hormones that could aggravate your symptoms. Choose grass fed, free from hormones and pasture raised animal meat. Organic eggs, meat, poultry and milk products also cut down on your risk of consuming added hormones and antibiotics.
- Packaged foods: During menopause, you must avoid packaged foods as these are full of chemicals, excessive sodium, artificial additives, extra sugar, liver harming GMO ingredients and hormone imbalance excessive carbohydrates.
- Carbonated beverages: These may deplete body’s calcium, aggravate osteoporosis, and dental issues.
- Excessive sugar: High intake of sugar can lead to digestive problems, excessive weight gain, raise hot flashes and deteriorate hormone imbalances.
- Alcoholic drinks: Drinking in moderate amounts may be fine but beyond that, it can lead to an unnecessary increase in weight and worsen hot flashes.
- Fried foods and refined oils: These tend to increase the levels of omega 6 fatty acid which in turn can cause weight gain, inflammation, cognitive issues.
7. Exercise regularly
Many complications related to menopause can be handled through regular exercising. These including inhibiting excessive weight gain, getting proper sleep, reducing inflammation, cutting down on muscular wastage, bone loss and managing prolonged stress. Strength training exercises and aerobic activity done thrice a week for 3 months have been found to be related to better quality of sleep and reduced depression. Aerobic activity done for ten minutes to half an hour daily can help cut down on the risk of osteoporosis by increasing bone strength and preserving the mass of lean muscles. It can also inhibit you from gaining weight.
These two along with proper sleep, exercise, healthy diet and relaxation have a combined positive effect on symptoms of menopause.
Some other natural remedies that you can adopt to ease symptoms of menopause include
- Consume flaxseeds daily: Lignans present in flax are similar to estrogens present in plants that help in moderation of hormone metabolism. It may help ease hot flashes. Just grind them and add one to two tablespoons in your daily meal. 
- Inculcate tryptophan-rich food items in your diet: This amino acid is required by the brain to synthesize serotonin which helps in managing your mood, appetite and sleep. Oats, legumes, cottage cheese, turkey and other protein-rich foods are its good sources.
- Include soy in your diet: Isoflavones are the plant estrogens present in soy. They may help ease symptoms related to menopause. Consume tempeh, tofu, roasted soy nuts etc.
- Take Vitamin E supplements: Natural Vitamin E supplements providing you with tocotrienols and tocopherols taken in the dose of 400 IU a day may help reduce the number of hot flashes you have in a day. Topical remedy wherein Vitamin E is a component has been found to be effective in reducing dryness of vagina.
- Use dong quai: Traditionally used in Chinese medicine, this herb is associated with relieving menopause symptoms by regulating the hormones. Tinctures, powder, capsules and tablets of dong quai can be used.
- Get a weekly body massage: This would help you relax your body, improve your mood and calm your mind. Proper massaging of the abdomen region and the lower back can ease menopause symptoms. Combined with aromatherapy it can enhance relaxation.
- Stop smoking: Excessive smoking can not only induce early menopause and but can also worsen symptoms when you are going through it. Smoking during menopause make women gain weight rapidly on the belly region. It further reduces the already lowering levels of estrogen. Menopausal women are vulnerable to many diseases like stroke, heart problems, diabetes and cancer of breasts. Smoking can increase the risks of these all the more. Quit and make the natural process of menopause easier.
- Do not take any stimulant before going to bed: These include alcohol, spicy foods, chocolate and coffee. These may set off night sweats, hot flashes and dehydrate you all the more.
- Consult a physician for antidepressants: Depression, mood swings etc. are commonly seen during menopause. Those who already suffer from depression or anxiety and are about to start with menopause can consult a physician regarding taking any low-dose antidepressant. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors can help manage your mood and hot flashes.