Hypothyroidism

Post image for Food as Medicine: Aloe Vera Gel for Joint Pain & Inflammation in Perimenopause

Seems I’m on a roll with posts on chronic joint and muscle pain in perimenopause.  But, it’s a big one.  And considering that I am suffering with it right a long with most of you, it’s a topic that I know a lot about.

I have, and still do take the occasional NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) to help with inflammation and pain of my joints and back.  But, at nearly 60 years of age and very mindful of the fact that I’m no longer a spry young woman, I’m far more interested in seeking out non-drug treatments for my chronic joint and muscle pain.

We are a highly medicated and drug-oriented society in Western culture.  And if the pharmaceutical industry has anything to say about it, we will only continue to grow more so.  However, I’m not anti-drugs.  I’m also not anti-Western medicine.  It just seems to me that the medical pendulum has swung way too far in one direction in my opinion, and frankly, I don’t think it’s good for any of us.

And that’s my rant for the day.  Let’s talk about aloe vera gel for internal consumption as a help for chronic joint and muscle pain in perimenopause, shall we?

Wait…..You Can Drink Aloe Vera?

Why, yes you can, ladies.  A little known fact that I did not know myself, until recently. Like most of you, I’m sure, I’ve known for most of my life that Aloe vera gel is a remarkable healer for the skin.  But, I had no idea that one could consume it until I began making my green smoothies with my Nutribullet.

For those of you who are new here, I’m a Nutribullet fan.  It’s a fabulous little device that provides a fast and easy Aloe-Vera-Juice_ (350x350)way to drink your fruits and vegetables.  You can find a review post I did on the gadget here. 

There’s not a lot of medical research (that I could find) on the benefits of internal consumption of Aloe vera gel.  There are scads of holistic and natural medicine sites as one would imagine.

But, if you’re looking for “official” FDA approved, scientific research on Aloe vera gel, you’re not going to find much.

So, everything I say in this article is going to be based on research I’ve found on sites such as Organic Facts.net, and one peer-reviewed, online academic journal, Natural Medicine Journal. 

Aloe Vera Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Like capsaicine, which I discussed in my last post,  Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties which helps reduce the pain and swelling associated with arthritis, and internal inflammation in the body associated with chronic joint and muscle pain and fatigue.

Also like capsaicine, it can be applied topically to the skin as a pain reliever, or consumed internally.  I do not know anything about the safety of cracking up an aloe vera leaf and consuming it straight from the plant.

So I’m not recommending that here. However, you can purchase Aloe vera gel for internal consumption.  The brand in the photo in this post is the brand that I personally use. It is marketed as an organic, whole leaf product with no preservatives.

It can be purchased at most grocery stores (my local Kroger carries it at an excellent price), organic food stores, and of course, always online.  If you wish to purchase online you can find this brand and many others at Amazon here at this link.

Organic Facts.net cites a study which reported that people who regularly consumed Aloe vera juice for at least two weeks experienced a significant improvement in inflammation.  I can personally attest to this, which is why I put it in my green smoothies daily.

In fact, to test my anecdotal hypotheses upon noticing a remarkable difference in my joint pain after drinking Aloe vera juice for a few weeks – I stopped. And as I expected, my pain and fatigue came back in spades.

I should also add, however, that I always include a generous splash of an organic chili pepper sauce (heavy with capsaicin) in my smoothies as well. So, I’m likely benefiting from the combined anti-inflammatory properties of both capsaicin and Aloe vera gel.

joint-painThe Organic Facts.net study also remarks that attention should also be paid to one’s over-all diet in terms of combating joint and muscle pain and inflammation.

Which is to say, monitoring one’s red meat intake (a known culprit in inflammation), along with sugar (another deadly agent), and white flour.

However, I suspect that my readers are savvy enough to know this.  So, I assume that you all are taking the necessary steps to not over-indulge on these things as well.

Holistic health is truly about balance in our lives, and that definitely includes diet.

Other Health Benefits of Aloe Vera Gel for Perimenopause Symptoms

  • Menstrual Issues: Aloe vera has been shown to stimulate the uterus which proves to be beneficial during painful menstruation.  If you are still cycling in perimenopause and having painful cramps, Aloe vera may be able to provide relief.
  • Prevents Oxidative Stress: Excuse me?  But, stress is HUGE for women in perimenopause.  Oxidative stress is essentially cell damage (VERY simple definition) which can result in many patho-physiological conditions in the body such as degenerative diseases, in addition to chronic fatigue and inflammatory diseases. Aloe vera is rich in Vitamins B12, B1, B2, B6, A, E, and C, niacin and folic acid.  All which help the body fight oxidative stress and cell damage.
  • Improves Cardiovascular Function: Heart health is perhaps one of the most often cited reason that
    synthetic hormone pill pushers believe women should take hormones. I’m not slamming hormone therapy, as I personally use bioidentical hormones.  However, if we can drink a naturally occurring substance which will improve our heart health as we age?  Sign me up!
  • Reduces Blood Sugar Levels: As one who struggles with blood sugar issues, this one is rather huge for me. Fluctuating blood sugar levels are common for women struggling with hormone imbalance, which can contribute to mood swings, weight gain, and high blood pressure in perimenopause.  Three very good reasons to consider Aloe vera gel as a health tonic.
  • Delays Aging Process: Let’s face it, none of us are escaping this place alive.  However, I’m personally of the opinion that anything we can do to improve the quality of our life as we age, we should do it.  Aloe vera nurtures and rejuvenates skin cells.

Aloe Vera Soothes IBS Issues

A lot of women suffer with digestive issues and full blown Irritable Bowel Syndrome.  I have suffered with IBS my Ibsentire life.  And it definitely seemed to flair up and get worse when I was going through perimenopause.

Given that inflammation of the digestive system is an issue in IBS, it seems to make logical sense that anything with anti-inflammatory properties can help with IBS.  And Aloe vera does.

In fact, next to the anti-inflammatory properties, it’s ability to heal gut issues is perhaps one of its most touted benefits. So drink up ladies!

Not only can you find some much needed relief of joint and muscle pain from consuming Aloe vera gel, but you can also help heal your gut if you’re suffering with digestion or IBS issues!

Remember……please join us at Facebook!  We’ve got a wholelotta conversation going on there and a vibrant community to offer much needed social and emotional support!  Don’t suffer alone!

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Dear Magnolia……Not Every Woman Hates Their Husband in Perimenopause

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Today’s “Dear Magnolia” post is featuring a comment by a reader named Julie.  Julie left her comment in response to the post “Why Do Women Hate Their Husbands in Perimenopause: A Wife’s Perspective”  A post which featured another reader’s story where she explained why she decided to leave her marriage once she had started going […]

August 30, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

Hypothyroidism, Health & Happiness: The Riddle of Illness Revealed

Thumbnail image for Hypothyroidism, Health & Happiness: The Riddle of Illness Revealed

It’s been hard for me to move away from this topic. Primarily because physicians like Dr. Hotze, and other healthcare providers, whom I respect, continue to address it. But, also because I think they are shining a necessary light on the issue of faulty testing procedures for hypothyroidism. Of course, the baby-boomer-rebel in me is […]

August 16, 2013 CONTINUE READING →

Hypothyroidism, Health & Happiness

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Just when I thought it was safe to move onto another topic, one of my favorite go-to physicians for women’s health issues published another book on the subject of hypothyroidism.  Dr. Steven F. Hotze, MD, author of Hormones, Health, and Happiness (a book I’ve reviewed and cited often),and founder of the Hotze Health and Wellness Clinic in Houston, […]

July 14, 2013 CONTINUE READING →

Dizziness & Vertigo in Perimenopause

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I used to think that dizziness and vertigo in perimenopause were obscure symptoms. But I don’t think that anymore.  In fact, in the past 15 years, I’ve changed my mind about a lot of things regarding perimenopause. Much of that is simply due to the fact that until you walk a mile in those shoes, as they say, you […]

February 7, 2013 CONTINUE READING →

35 Symptoms of Perimenopause: Dizziness & Vertigo

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Unlike hot flashes, night sweats and mood swings, dizziness and vertigo are two symptoms of perimenopause which are not discussed very often, although many women, myself included, suffer horribly with it. During my years of perimenopause, I had several episodes of dizziness and vertigo.  One of the more memorable episodes occurred one day when my son and I […]

February 4, 2013 CONTINUE READING →

35 Symptoms of Perimenopause – Hypothyroidism

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One of the more eye-opening revelations I’ve had in my quest to understand and cope with my hormonal issues has been the link between perimenopause and hypothyroidism.¹ Though I had certainly heard of hypothyroidism, it never occurred to me that I would or even could have issues with it.  I had always associated hypothyroidism with […]

April 28, 2010 CONTINUE READING →

Perimenopause: Yes, it’s Real and No, You’re Not Going Crazy!

Thumbnail image for Perimenopause: Yes, it’s Real and No, You’re Not Going Crazy!

Feel better?  I could have used someone telling me that about 10 years ago when I walked right into one of the fiercest hormonal battles of my life. First of all, I had never heard of peri-anything.  Menopause?  Yeah.  I had heard of that.  My mom called it “the change,” and I knew that sooner […]

March 22, 2008 CONTINUE READING →