Q: What Ayurvedic therapies do you recommend for menopause and the symptoms related to it, such as hot flashes and weight gain?

Menopause is a biological process with the natural decline of reproductive hormones oestrogen and progesterone. The menopausal transition often begins between ages 45 and 55. The process is gradual and has three stages:

• Perimenopause – begins several years before menopause, when the ovaries gradually make less oestrogen. Perimenopause lasts up until menopause, the point when the ovaries stop releasing eggs.

• Menopause. At this stage, the ovaries stop releasing eggs. In the months or years leading up to menopause from perimenopause, you might experience irregular periods, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, night sweats, sleep problems, mood changes, weight gain, thinning hair, dry skin etc.

• Postmenopause. During this stage, menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes reduce for most women; but the low oestrogen leads to health risks such as osteoporosis, urinary incontinence, weight gain and cardiovascular diseases.

[Smoking is bad, but it’s even worse during menopause]

There are different groups of Ayurvedic preparations that can be consumed internally as well as a few oils for external applications for the three stages of menopause. These can help you cope during this important phase of life.

Consult an Ayurvedic practitioner who will be able to do a complete check of your system before prescribing the appropriate therapies.

Dr VL Shyam is a Dubai-based Ayurveda practitioner. Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to friday@gulfnews.com.