4 Oestrogen-Boosting Lifestyle Tips for Menopause Joint Pain
Updated March 23, 2023.
During menopause, there is a drop in the female sex hormone, oestrogen, which triggers numerous menopausal symptoms (1). Oestrogen is important for maintaining bone and joint health in women, while low oestrogen reduces natural bone density, muscle strength, and tendon health. Joint lubrication is also affected, resulting in joint pain and inflammation.
Increasing your oestrogen levels may help overcome some menopausal symptoms, such as joint pain. That being said, here are our top 4 ways to boost oestrogen naturally.
» Read more: Menopause Joint Pain Natural Remedies
1. Consume Phytoestrogen-Rich Foods
Consuming phytoestrogen-rich foods helps reduce the severity and frequency of menopause side effects such as hot flashes, mood swings, and joint pain.
Phytoestrogens are naturally occurring compounds found in plants that have estrogen-like effects on the body (2). They mimic the function of estrogen and can provide relief from menopausal discomforts.
Foods that are high in phytoestrogen include the following:
- Flax seeds These are the highest in phytoestrogen.
- Soy foods Try foods such as tofu, tempeh, miso, and soymilk.
- Fruits Some great fruit choices include oranges, cherries, or blueberries.
- Vegetables Our top vegetable picks are carrots and broccoli.
- Legumes Healthy all round, incorporate some lentils, alfalfa sprouts, or mung beans into your diet.
- Nuts The best choices are pistachios, cashews, and almonds.
2. Ensure You Are Getting the Right Vitamins and Minerals
Certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies can lower oestrogen. Supplementing with the right vitamins and minerals should improve estrogen levels. Consider the following vitamins and minerals and where you can find them:
- Vitamin D Found in oily fish, red meat, and egg yolks, vitamin D is essential for bone and muscle function. It has potent anti-inflammatory properties that help in relieving joint pain and inflammation.
- Vitamin B complex Found in broccoli, Brussels sprouts, chickpeas, and leafy green vegetables like cabbage, kale, and spinach, vitamins B2, B6, folate, and B12 are important for bone health. They help in maintaining bone structure, quality, and bone mass, while reducing pain and the risk of fractures.
- Boron Found in milk, apples, beans, and potatoes, this mineral helps in vitamin D metabolism, which, in turn, helps maintain bone health. Boron also helps in calcium and magnesium absorption, which are crucial in joint and bone formation. Boron influences estrogen receptors and allows the body to use estrogen better (3).
- Omega-3 Found primarily in fish and nuts, omega-3 can help reduce inflammation and provide relief to joint pain. In fact, it is as efficient as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in reducing inflammatory pain (4).
- DHEA Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a hormone that is naturally produced by the body that can easily convert into estrogen and testosterone (5). DHEA can be obtained over the counter in capsule or tablet form, and the recommended dose is 25-50 mg per day. Additionally, there are herbal supplements and teas that will naturally help increase your DHEA levels, though it can also be obtained from certain vegetables like wild yams.
3. Take an Herbal Supplement
Herbal supplements have been used for centuries to treat hormone imbalances. Popular herbs for increasing oestrogen include:
- Ashwagandha This is commonly used in traditional Indian medicines. It can increase oestrogen levels and help provide relief from menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, depression, and joint pain.
- Chasteberry and Red Clover Chasteberry and Red Clover contain isoflavones that mimic oestrogen and help reduce menopausal symptoms such as joint pain.
- Dong Quai This has been in use for centuries in China and Korea due to its medicinal benefits related to women's health issues. It contains phytoestrogens that act similarly to oestrogen in the human body.
- Pueraria Mirifica This is a herb endogenous to Thailand that contains phytoestrogens which support bone health during menopause.
- Black Cohosh Black Cohosh contains a compound called fukinolic acid that works like oestrogen and can thus ease menopause symptoms.
You can take these herbs in supplement form as pills, herbal teas, or even mixed into food as you cook.
4. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
Though cultivating a healthy lifestyle is easier said than done, here are some basic ways you can start.
Regular exercise for at least half an hour helps boost oestrogen levels in the body, though anaerobic exercise (short bursts of high intensity) is more effective than aerobic exercise (continuous movement).
Anaerobic exercise for 12 weeks was found to be greatly effective in increasing estradiol levels in postmenopausal osteoporotic women (6).
Improve Your Sleeping Schedule
A poor sleep schedule can increase cortisol levels, which, in turn, disrupts the delicate balance between oestrogen and progesterone in the body. By improving your sleep schedule, you can increase your estrogen levels.
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Practice Stress Management and Reduction
Stress at any age can lead to the depletion of oestrogen stores in the body (7), and this effect is enhanced during menopause as the ovaries stop producing oestrogen.
Practicing yoga, meditation, connecting with friends, listening to music, and taking time to unwind can help reduce stress and maintain healthy oestrogen levels.
The Bottom Line
The side effects associated with menopause may be reduced by boosting oestrogen levels in your body, and there are many natural ways to do so. Adaptogens such as medicinal mushrooms can help reduce stress and pain, while herbs such as lemon balm and chamomile may help you relax and sleep better. There's no need to keep dealing with uncomfortable symptoms as much as you do while there are simple lifestyle changes you can make at home.