Curcumin for Menopause
Disclaimer: This content has been produced purely for informational and educational purposes only and is never intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical guidelines including diagnosis, advice, and treatment.
A woman’s body goes through many changes when she reaches puberty, becomes pregnant, or hits menopause. Among all these stages of life, menopause can be the most challenging one as it hits you when you are getting old.
There are medical therapies that can help you cope with the symptoms of menopause however they can be expensive and might have some side effects.
So, is there a natural remedy to deal with the symptoms of menopause? Yes. You can include curcumin extract supplements in your daily routine which will help you manage the natural effects of menopause on your body.
Below is a detailed description of what menopause is, what are its symptoms, and how curcumin is beneficial for coping with the effects of menopause.
WHAT IS MENOPAUSE?
Menopause is a stage of life where your menstrual cycles stop. Clinically it can be diagnosed when you don’t have menstrual periods for 12 months.
Women generally hit menopause during their late 40s or early 50s. However, sometimes they might experience menopause-like symptoms before actually reaching menopause. This phase is known as perimenopause and typically occurs when you’re about to hit menopause.
Perimenopause is marked by irregular or short periods. During perimenopause, menstrual cycles might also skip a month or two or sometimes a few months but then return back to regular monthly cycles.
SYMPTOMS OF MENOPAUSE
Most of the time first change that women notice when they are about to reach menopause is an irregular pattern of the menstrual cycles. Other than that, a woman’s body might experience a number of physical and psychological symptoms that are listed below:
PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS OF MENOPAUSE
Some of the common physical symptoms that women have during perimenopause and menopause are:
- Hot flashes
- Sleep problems
- Night sweats
- Headache and migraines
- Muscle and joint pain
- Weight gain
- Dry and itchy skin
- Loss of breast fullness
- Vaginal dryness
- Decreased libido
- Discomfort during sex
- Recurrent urinary tract infections
PSYCHOLOGICAL SYMPTOMS OF MENOPAUSE
Perimenopause and menopause may also take a toll on your mental health and may have a negative impact on your social life. The common psychological symptoms encountered by women during menopause include:
- Mood swings
- Low self-esteem
- Poor memory
- Lack of concentration
COMPLICATIONS OF MENOPAUSE
There is a marked shift in the levels of hormones when a woman hits menopause. This increases the risk of several medical conditions out of which the most common ones are described below:
When women reach menopause their rate of metabolism slows down. As a result, most women gain weight during menopause. Therefore, it is advised to eat in moderation and exercise more regularly at the time of menopausal transition.
The onset of menopause leads to the decline in estrogen levels putting women at an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.
To prevent heart disease during menopause, try to eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, and seek medical help if you have high cholesterol levels or high blood pressure.
In osteoporosis, bones become weak and brittle. As a result, you are prone to get fractures, especially of the spine, hips, and wrists.
During menopause, the bone density of women decreases at a rapid rate. This fast-paced reduction in bone density increases the risk of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.
Menopause causes vaginal and urethral tissues to lose their elasticity. This leads to frequent, sudden and strong urges to urinate followed by an involuntary loss of urine or loss of urine during laughing, coughing, or lifting.
Practicing kegel exercises to strengthen pelvic floor muscles may help relieve symptoms of urinary incontinence.
Due to the low levels of estrogen in postmenopausal women, the vagina becomes dry and loses its elasticity. This may lead to pain and bleeding during sexual intercourse.
The decreased levels of hormones also reduce a woman’s desire to have sex.
HOW CURCUMIN IS BENEFICIAL FOR POSTMENOPAUSAL WOMEN
Curcumin is a bright yellow chemical produced by turmeric plants. It is the main compound found in turmeric and is used as a herbal supplement, cosmetic agent, and food color.
Curcumin in turmeric may also act as a superfood for postmenopausal women which helps them manage their symptoms in an effective way.
Following is a detailed explanation of how incorporating curcumin extract supplements into your daily routine can help you cope with different symptoms of menopause:
Testosterone is an important sex hormone that increases dopamine levels in the central nervous system causing men and women to be sexually aroused.
During menopause, testosterone levels go down leading to decreased libido and vaginal dryness.
Consumption of curcumin extract supplements regularly may increase testosterone levels and gradually boost libido.
IMPROVES BRAIN HEALTH AND ELEVATES MOOD
Menopause can cause a variety of psychological symptoms such as low mood, anxiety, and sometimes even depression. This can also lead to fatigue and irritability.
Poor memory and lack of concentration are also common symptoms among postmenopausal women.
Curcumin extract may help to balance dopamine, serotonin, and noradrenaline levels in the brain. As a result, it elevates your mood and fights off anxiety.
Curcumin also raises the level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor which acts as a nerve growth factor. It fights brain fog and improves memory and concentration.
EASES JOINT PAIN AND STIFFNESS
Low levels of estrogen in postmenopausal women can cause joint pain and stiffness. Curcumin can fight off inflammation owing to its strong anti-inflammatory properties and consequently may relieve joint pain and stiffness.
Many of the postmenopausal symptoms such as mood swings, hot flashes, and thinning of hair are caused by low levels of hormones, especially estrogen and testosterone.
The powerful antioxidant properties of curcumin help the liver to metabolize estrogen and maintain its levels in the body. This then leads to a reduction in the severity of symptoms caused by hormonal imbalance.
SIDE EFFECTS OF CURCUMIN
Curcumin extract supplement is safe to use but sometimes it can lead to mild side effects when used in excess quantity.
The common side effects of curcumin supplements are:
- Upset stomach
Curcumin supplements have no such adverse effects but they should be used with great care in the following conditions:
- Bleeding disorders – Curcumin can inhibit blood clotting and increases the risk of bruising and bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.
- Hormone-sensitive conditions – Curcumin has the ability to affect the metabolism of estrogen and consequently affect its levels in the body. This property of curcumin can cause hormone-sensitive conditions such as breast cancer, uterine fibroids, uterine cancer, endometriosis, and ovarian cancer to worsen.
- Surgery – Curcumin may negatively impact the blood's ability to clot. This increases the risk of bleeding during and after the surgery. Hence, it is recommended to stop using curcumin extract supplements at least two weeks before the surgery.
INTERACTION OF CURCUMIN WITH MEDICINES
Curcumin is a naturally extracted chemical that can interact with different drugs you might take for medicinal purposes. As a result, it can hamper the therapeutic effects of drugs and can also increase the risk of side effects.
The common interactions of curcumin with medicinal drugs are described below:
CURCUMIN AND ANTIDIABETIC DRUGS
Curcumin and antidiabetic drugs have the same effect on blood sugar levels i.e. they decrease the levels of sugar within your blood.
If you use curcumin and antidiabetic drugs in combination then it might cause your blood sugar levels to drop significantly.
Hence it is advised to speak to your doctor about taking curcumin supplements along with antidiabetic drugs and closely monitor your blood sugar levels.
CURCUMIN AND ANTIPLATELET DRUGS
Antiplatelets or anticoagulants are used to slow down the clotting of blood. Curcumin has a similar effect on blood clotting.
Consuming antiplatelet drugs with curcumin extract supplements puts you at an increased risk of bruising and bleeding.
If you are taking antiplatelet drugs for any medical conditions then do speak with your physician before starting curcumin extract supplements on a daily basis.
When women go through menopause, they encounter several physical and psychological symptoms that can affect their daily life. This transition can be difficult for women especially because they are in their late 40s to early 50s when they hit menopause.
Hormone replacement therapies to manage postmenopausal symptoms may not be financially feasible for everyone and can also cause some side effects.
In contrast to medical therapies, curcumin is a naturally extracted chemical from the turmeric plant and can help cope with physical and psychological symptoms of menopause with little to no side effects.
It is advised to speak to your doctor before starting curcumin extract supplements especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications for any underlying health conditions.
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