I am a 47-year-old female and my menopause started about six months ago. Since I am trying to avoid any kind of hormone therapy, could you suggest ayurvedic treatments for excessive sweating, hair loss and mood swings?

Technically, you don’t actually hit menopause until it’s been one year since your final menstrual period. Because this process takes place over years, menopause is commonly divided into two stages: Perimenopause (begin experiencing menopausal signs and symptoms, even though you still menstruate; may last four to five years) and Postmenopause (once 12 months have passed since your last period; your ovaries produce much less estrogen and no progesterone, and they don’t release eggs).

The signs and symptoms of menopause include irregular periods, decreased fertility, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, sleep disturbances, mood swings, increased abdominal fat, thinning hair, loss of breast fullness, among others. Though menopause is not an illness, you should not hesitate to get treatment or lifestyle adjustments if you’re having severe symptoms. Hypothyroidism and mood disorders have to be ruled out in the differential diagnosis. Monitor blood pressure, lipid profile and renal functions.

Vata Pitta balancing is the Ayurveda guideline for the menopausal period. Herbs of sweet tastes are commonly used; there are a few medicines that work very effective.

Reduce spicy, sour and salty tastes. Application of Ksheerabala as nasyam (nasal drops) and Sirodhara with milk are effective in resistant cases.

✱ Try to pinpoint what triggers your hot flashes. For many women, triggers may include hot beverages, spicy foods, hot weather.

✱ Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, yoga, meditation are helpful.

✱ Eat a balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. 
Include calcium, Vitamin D and/or Vitamin E supplements as per your doctor’s advice. Dietary supplements, such as licorice, evening primrose oil and wild yam may also help.

✱ Get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity

✱ Schedule regular checkups (mammograms, Pap tests, lipid level)

✱ Phytoestrogens occur naturally in certain foods like soybeans, chickpeas and other legumes, asparagus, flaxseed, whole grains and some fruits and vegetables. Include these in your diet.

Include coconut water, raisins, ghee and asparagus in your diet.

Dr VL Shyam is a Dubai-based Ayurveda practitioner