Menopause joint pain can be caused by several different health issues. There are many natural remedies you can use, from herbs and supplements, to diet and exercise.
Many women going through menopause or after menopause begin to notice pain and/or stiffness in their joints. Shortly after my last period, I started having low back pain and stiffness. Others may have pain or stiffness in their shoulders, hips, hands and fingers. Some of these issues may be caused by fluctuating hormones or low estrogen, but there could be other causes as well.
Two common causes of menopause joint pain, or menopausal arthritis, are thyroid issues and food allergies or sensitivities. Even if you have not had problems with food in the past, as we age our bad habits catch up with us, and also as we age, our digestion becomes less effective than it once was. Joint pain may also be part of general inflammation in your body, due to any number of reasons.
Low estrogen can cause small joint pain, such as in your fingers. Estrogen rises just before menopause, and drops after menopause
Food allergies or sensitivities create many symptoms, one of which is joint pain or arthritis. Food sensitivities can develop at any time. According to Dr. Elson Haas, the three most common foods for allergic reactions are wheat, milk and sugar. Eggs, corn, soy and peanuts follow right behind the top three.
If you suspect any foods may be a problem for you, I highly recommend Dr. Haas's book, The False Fat Diet. It covers food allergies and sensitivities in depth, the myriad of symptoms they create, how to find out which foods are a problem for you, and how to avoid those foods in your diet (some of them are called by many different names in processed foods).
Menopause and joint pain may also be a symptom of thyroid imbalance, which becomes more frequent as women age. It is estimated that around 28 million Americans have a thyroid disorder, and half of those 28 million are undiagnosed.
Women are 4 times more likely to get thyroid disease than men. The most common age range for onset is 35 to 40 years old. See thyroid and menopause for more information.
Natural Remedies for Menopause Joint Pain
Herbs and other supplements
White birch tincture, 30 – 60 drops, 1 – 3 times per day.
Wild yam is a strong anti-inflammatory, as well as a female hormone balancer. For more on this herb, see wild yam.
White willow can also help with inflammation.
You can use arnica oil or St john's wort oil topically for pain relief.
Try glucosamine sulfate. Glucosamine is a substance that many older people need to reduce or eliminate menopause joint pain. You will need to try it for one month, without missing a dose, to see if it makes any difference.
Healthy Fats to reduce Menopause Joint Pain
Evening primrose oil, borage oil, and cod liver oil all contain healthy fats, that most of us do not get nearly enough of. I have been using borage oil lately for many reasons, and it keeps my low back from getting stiff and sore. For more information about borage oil and evening primrose oil, see evening primrose oil.
Most vegetable oils contain Omega 6 fatty acids. Too many of these in your diet will cause inflammation (one cause of joint pain). Most of us get way too many of these fats in our diets. To cut back, stop using vegetable oils to cook. You can use olive oil occasionally. Best would be butter or coconut oil. If you eat many processed foods, you will definitely be getting too much bad fat.
Other natural remedies for menopause joint pain
Exercise, even a short walk, can get your blood moving and help eliminate toxins that may contribute to joint stiffness.
Yoga is excellent for relieving joint stiffness and pain. There are many other benefits from yoga, including gaining strength, flexibility and better physical and emotional health. It is great for stress relief. If you can't find a class in your area, you can get some help from watching videos such as this one on YouTube.
Acupuncture can also help with joint pain, and is covered by many insurance companies.
Get your thyroid checked. Check for food sensitivities.
Menopause joint pain can be frustrating and debilitating. Fortunately, there are many natural remedies available that work just as well as aspirin or other drugs. If you have food sensitivities and you eliminate the cause, you will feel younger immediately!