Maryon Stewart Teaches How to Manage Menopause Naturally
Expert Teams with Santa Barbara’s OsteoStrong to Help Women Balance the Change
By Sarah Sinclair | January 27, 2022
Aches and pains, brain fog, depression, irritability, and insomnia are just some of the symptoms of menopause. Add in the associated stigmas of aging and loss of femininity, and it’s no wonder no one wants to talk about “the change.” Menopause affects every woman, but most of us aren’t ready for it.
Having recently turned 60, I’m happy to leave that chapter in the rearview mirror. But post-menopause is no picnic either. I wish I had met Maryon Stewart 20 years ago.
The researcher and author, who has led a 28-year campaign to address menopause without drugs or hormones, recently published Manage Your Menopause Naturally. The book outlines a six-week program that incorporates diet, exercise, and lifestyle choices to help balance estrogen levels and minimize the symptoms of menopause. Now working with OsteoStrong to bring her program to as many women as possible, Stewart shared more of her wisdom with me.
Why are diet and sleep such big parts of your program?
Billions of women have nutritional deficiencies, which get worse as we age. Good levels of nutrients, including magnesium, calcium, zinc, essential fatty acids, vitamin D, and iron, are important for normal brain chemistry and hormone function. When we are firing on two cylinders instead of four, we go into what I call “economy mode,” making us much more likely to experience mood swings, irritability, fatigue, and brain fog, as well as insomnia, especially when many of us turn to caffeine to rev ourselves up.
Can younger women benefit from your information? How about those who have already gone through menopause?
Our bone mass reaches its peak by the age of 35, so it’s never too early to begin preventing decline. Keeping our nutrients in an optimum range and topping up on naturally occurring estrogen in food can fool the brain into thinking we have normal levels of hormones. Post-menopause, we need natural estrogen in our diet to prevent osteoporosis, heart disease, and dementia, debilitating conditions which research shows are all preventable. We also need to learn to get back into good nutritional shape to feel like the best version of ourselves in our mature years.
Any quick tips?
Consume a nutritious diet, especially rich in naturally occurring estrogen to fool the brain into believing we have normal circulating levels of hormones. Regular exercise helps to speed our metabolic rate, which helps give us clarity of mind, releases the feel-good endorphins hormones, and burns up unwanted fat. Half an hour of formal relaxation each day helps reduce flushes by more than 50 percent as well as helps us to rest and recharge. Finally, a weekly session at OsteoStrong has been shown to build new bones as well as improve strength and balance, allowing us to age confidently.