Alternative & Complementary Treatments

Post image for Food as Medicine: Omega-3s & Zinc For Itchy Skin and Scalp in Perimenopause

This is the first post in a new series I’m entitling “Food as Medicine.”  After several years of reading and writing about perimenopause, I’ve come to the conclusion that food is as important in managing the symptoms of perimenopause, as I believe bioidentical hormones are.

In fact, I would likely say that food is even more important.

Now, I’m not about to tell anyone to throw out their hormones. I’m certainly not going to throw out mine. But, in the coming months – and perhaps even years, who knows  –  I plan to devote a significant amount of time researching the benefits of food as medicine as another way to treat the symptoms of perimenopause.

I have been astonished a lifetime by the fact that food is and continues to be grossly under-represented and under-emphasized in the education and training of our physicians and medical professionals.

Thirty years ago when I was studying to become an RN (a degree I never finished), I was gobsmacked to learn in one of my clinical classes that Florence Nightingale was considered “revolutionary” when she suggested that sunshine, fresh air, clean sheets, and healthy food were needed to help heal the sick. Incredible isn’t it? How can something so obvious elude so many?

And yet, not much has changed in the past thirty years.

I think a big part of this problem lies with the insidious creep of the pharmaceutical companies which continue to increase in prestige and power, not just within the medical community, but in our culture as well.

There is a pharmaceutical fix for every ache, pain, or discomfort we might experience. And with every new medical breakthrough and discovery, there is a corresponding drug, medical condition, and television advertising campaign to go along with it.

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For women in perimenopause, the pharmaceutical industry sees an absolute gold mine.  We are perhaps the most sought after demographic when it comes to peddling drugs, treatments, and your garden variety snake oils.

Again, I’m not advocating we all throw out our hormones or anything else you might take to relieve your hormonal suffering. I’m simply suggesting that we need to give food and the benefits of food for improving our health and alleviating symptoms, a long, hard look.

With all of that said let’s begin the series with Omega-3s and Zinc as a food remedy for itchy skin and itchy scalp in perimenopause.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Itchy Skin & Itchy Scalp in Perimenopause

Essential fatty acids such as Omega-3s can be found in salmon, walnuts, fortified eggs, or algae oils. Omega-3s  help produce an oil barrier for our skin, which aids in hydration.

Omega-3s also promote a healthy scalp, which reduces itch, which in turn promotes healthy hair, which also promotes a healthy scalp, and the healthy cycle continues.

I’m a personal fan of flaxseed oil for a source of Omega-3.  I love to add it to my green smoothies which I make with my Nutribullet.  Whole flaxseeds can be ground up in the Nutribullet for an added source of fiber as well.

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Other sources of Omega-3s are sardines, soybeans, soy products, shrimp, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and even beef.  Omega-3 fatty acids are easy for me to incorporate into my diet because I happen to love oily fish.

However, if you do not, these other sources are good as well. And of course, you an always use omega-3 supplements too. Barleen’s makes an organic soft-gel in 1000 mgs, Deva puts out an organic vegan Flaxseed cap, and New Chapter also puts out a good supplement.

Zinc for Itchy Skin & Itchy Scalp in Perimenopause

Zinc is an essential mineral in our diet for the maintenance of skin, hair and nails. A deficiency in Zinc contributes to both itchy skin and scalp, dandruff and eczema.

And here’s the great news: All of the foods which I have listed as an excellent sources of Omega-3 fatty acids are also excellent sources of Zinc as well.

For other sources of Zinc, you can eat lamb, oysters, wheat germ, spinach (which I also put in my Nutribullet green smoothies), pumpkin and squash seeds, and cashews.

Other Natural Remedies for Itchy Skin & Itchy Scalp in Perimenopause

DHSIn another post I listed some natural, non-food remedies for itchy scalp.  You can read that post here.

It includes a recommendation for a shampoo by a company called DHS.  They make an outstanding Zinc formula which I can’t say enough good things about.

It was recommended to me by my dermatologist and it is simply outstanding. I use it along with a baking soda/cider vinegar rinse that I discuss in the post.

And finally, in anther post I wrote on this topic a few years ago, I also make some recommendations on non-food solutions for itchy skin. However, rather than repeat myself,  I’ll direct you to that post right here.  

So that’s it, ladies!  My next post on “Food as Medicine” will be sources of food which can help with achy joints and muscles during perimenopause. Until then, don’t forget to join us at Facebook if you haven’t already!

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Hot Flashes & Stress in Perimenopause? Breathe Deep with Zenytime!

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If you’re looking for alternatives to hormone therapy to treat your symptoms of perimenopause, today’s sponsored post will be of great interest to you!   Read on to learn about an exciting new App for your phone which will help you manage hot flashes and stress during perimenopause!   “If you practice deep breathing exercises […]

October 13, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

Hormone Replacement Therapy isn’t as Scary as You Think

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In 2002, the Women’s Health Initiative study sent the medical professionals prescribing hormone replacement therapy to their patients into a bonafide tail spin. Terrified of putting women at risk for coronary heart disease, stroke or breast cancer, physicians abandoned HRT all together, advising their patients to do the same. Few would argue the value of the study. […]

October 1, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

Natural Remedies for Itchy Scalp in Perimenopause

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One of my more popular blogs here has been “Dry, Itchy Skin in Perimenopause.”  Apparently, we’re all itchy and scratchy when hormone imbalance hits. Go figure. For me, the biggest issue has been an itchy scalp. But, truth be told, I’ve always had issues with an itchy scalp.  As long as I can remember.  However, by the […]

July 17, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

AZO Bladder Control Product Giveaway – Winners Announced!

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Good Monday morning, ladies!  I’m hosting a giveaway today with a bladder control product called AZO Bladder Control™ with Go-Less®.   Rather than do a regular sponsored post, I’m going to post the product information for you here which gives you all the information you need in terms of  product description, the ingredients, suggested use, and […]

July 14, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

DHEA: What is it & Why Should You Care?

If you’re anything like me, prior to perimenopause the only thing you knew about hormones was that you had them, and that about every 28 days or so, you had a deep and passionate longing for a luscious piece of chocolate and a high powered firearm with bulls-eye accuracy. In prior generations there wasn’t much talk about […]

July 9, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

Does Estrogen Cause Breast Cancer? Part III

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This is the final post in Dr. Joseph Mazzei’s series on the relationship between estrogen therapy and breast cancer.    If you wish to contact Dr. Mazzei or any of his colleagues in the Body Logic medical group, please see his byline at the end of the post.  As always, the views expressed in this post […]

July 2, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

Does Estrogen Cause Breast Cancer? Part II

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Today’s post is a continuation of  Dr. Joseph Mazzei’s post on the relationship between estrogen therapy and breast cancer.  The views expressed in this post are not necessarily the views held by The Perimenopause Blog and are for informational purposes only. Please see your physician or healthcare provider for personal medical evaluations.  Let us continue our conversation from […]

June 29, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

Does Estrogen Cause Breast Cancer? Part I

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Today’s post is a guest post by Dr. Joseph Mazzei, a Chicago based doctor for BodyLogicMD, a medical group which sponsors The Perimenopause Blog. I asked Dr. Mazzei if he could give his opinion on estrogen therapy since it is starting to make its way back into the news once again.  In this post, Dr. Mazzei […]

June 24, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

Dr. Weil’s Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid For Chronic Pain

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If you are a woman in menopause and suffer with generalized achy muscles, bones and joints, unless you’ve been diagnosed with some sort of arthritis, or perhaps even Lupus or MS, chances are the likely culprit is chronic inflammation in the body. Yes, it is true that arthritis, Lupus, and MS cause inflammation. But, there are other […]

April 10, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

Menopause is a Fact of Life, Treatment Options are a Choice

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It doesn’t matter where a woman lives. It doesn’t matter what language she speaks or how she spends her day. Menopause is a fact of her life. Every day, in the U.S. alone 6,000 women begin this mid-life adventure with hot flashes, a sudden mood swings, painful vaginal dryness, night sweats, and restless sleeping patterns. […]

April 7, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

Find Menopause Relief Through Lifestyle Changes

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One thing is certain–menopause is not a disease.  It’s a perfectly natural process that affects every woman once they reach a certain age. However, sometimes it can feel like a disease.  This is because menopause is the proverbial last straw; things add up unnoticed for years until menopause comes along and tips the balance over. […]

December 17, 2013 CONTINUE READING →

Politics, Healthcare & Women’s Health: Where Do We Go From Here?

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One of the hardest parts of this job is that I don’t have easy, fast, slam-dunk answers for women who are struggling with perimenopause symptoms. Hands down, the question I hear the most is: “How can I get my doctor to listen to me?”  And I just don’t have an easy answer to that question.  […]

November 19, 2013 CONTINUE READING →

We Have Winners!

I drew the names for five winners in the HPA Balance giveaway.  You can find Dr. Rawls’ post and description of the product here.  To find out the winners are watch the video below, and if you are one of the winners please contact me asap so I can provide your name and shipping details to […]

October 17, 2013 CONTINUE READING →

Natural Therapies for Menopause & Product Giveaway!

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Today’s post is a guest post from Dr. Rawls, co-founder of the company Vital Plan and the non-hormone product HPA Balance® to treat perimenopause and menopause symptoms.  To participate in the giveaway either leave a comment on this post in the comment section, or join us at Facebook.  Either “Like” the post, or leave a […]

October 14, 2013 CONTINUE READING →

Find Natural Relief of Menopause Symptoms

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Guest Post by Rebecca Hulem, a certified menopause clinician and widely known as “The Menopause Expert” When menopause starts, there are a variety of options for easing the common symptoms of menopause. While each woman can offer advice on relief, I’ve found that different treatments work for different women. One thing many women agree on […]

October 1, 2013 CONTINUE READING →

Estroven: “Menopause Awareness: The Good, the Bad, and the Sweaty”

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Greetings, Menopause Mavens! As you all know, September is “Menopause Awareness Month.” And as I announced on Facebook last week, I am teaming up again with one of my favorite sponsors, Estroven, to promote menopause awareness and to tell you about one of their new products, Estroven Weight Management and a giveaway! I know a lot of you ladies […]

September 15, 2013 CONTINUE READING →

Viniyoga for Anxiety in Perimenopause: The Jury is In

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Anxiety in perimenopause is a “biggie” for women. Probably the most complained about symptom of perimenopause.  Right up there with “I think I’m going crazy.” Trying to address these issues and help women with the symptoms is always a balancing act for me. On the one hand, I’ve come to believe that hormone therapy can really help […]

September 5, 2013 CONTINUE READING →

Viniyoga for Anxiety & Depression in Perimenopause

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This past weekend we had a lively discussion on Facebook on the topic of anxiety and depression in perimenopause. There’s a reason for that, too. It’s a huge problem for women in perimenopause. Right up there next to the, “I think I’m going crazy” symptom of perimenopause. Which is probably why the only solutions the medical community seems to have […]

August 28, 2013 CONTINUE READING →