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Women first

From teens to retirement, Rude Health looks at the major health issues that affect women at different stages in their life and natural help for every step of the way

Health issues: skin problems, hormonal acne, PMS and painful periods

Expert advice: Rosemarie Bennis of Sonas in Newscastle West, Limerick: “We’d highly recommend agnus castus for the above conditions, a magnesium supplement for cramping as well as vitamin B6 and omega 3, 6 and 9. During exam time omega fish oils, L-theanine and rhodiola can help concentration and energy levels.”

Hannah Dare of Organico in Bantry: “For teenage acne we suggest cleaning up their diet - cutting back on sugars, fried foods, processed foods in general and increasing fresh fruit and vegetables, wholegrains and good quality proteins. Then we suggest a supplement that contains probiotics, herbs, vitamins and minerals that support clear skin, as well as essential fatty acids and a natural skincare routine involving high quality, pure, gentle products. This should be kept up for three months in order to see the full benefits.”

Health issues: bad lifestyle habits, breakout skin, haywire hormones

Many young women in their 20s experience similar issues to their teenage sisters and health stores would recommend the same lifestyle changes and supplements as mentioned left.

Expert advice: Rosemarie Bennis: “We find many girls in their 20s read food and nutritional blogs so they come in and ask for superfoods, proteins and greens. We recommend wheatgrass and spirulina to add to smoothies and juices, nuts, seeds, nut butters as well as cacao powder and coconut oil for making their own protein balls. Foodwise we would sell native live bacteria (probiotics) for gut health and coconut water and powergreens for active lifestyles.”

Health issues: fertility and pre-natal health

Expert advice: Hannah Dare: “Fertility can become an issue at this stage for many women. Depending on their circumstances, after discussing diet and stress management, we suggest a good fertility support which includes high dose fish oil, and a range of minerals and vitamins to support fertility. We suggest their partner also goes on a similar programme. Maca can be very helpful, certainly worth trying as it doesn’t seem to disagree with anyone. We suggest adding as much superfood such as Irish seaweed and spirulina as possible to both partners’ diets. We also suggest acupuncture.”

Health issues: insomnia, too much stress, busy lifestyles

Expert advice: Hannah Dare: “PMT can become an issue for some women, and it can worsen as they get older. We suggest the same dietary changes as recommended for younger women as well as encouraging a reduction in alcohol and coffee intake. Then we suggest a good vitamin B complex with high B6, a magnesium supplement, good quality essential fatty acids and agnus castus tincture. We also suggest consulting an acupuncturist if the problems persist after three months on a good routine.”

Rosemarie Bennis: “For women who are under stress, too busy and not getting enough sleep we recommend Siberian ginseng, B vitamins, magnesium, L-theanine and Melissa Dream.”

Health issues: heading towards menopause and major changes to a woman’s body, weight gain, heart health

Expert advice: Hannah Dare: “For women in their 50s the focus shifts onto the menopause, which brings a lot of women into Organico looking for natural options to help ease symptoms such as hot flashes, changes in libido, mood swings and disturbed sleep. We find sage and vitamin E can be very helpful for hot flashes; and there are some good natural libido supports on the market now for women. It’s a delicate area but a well-informed health store staff member can be of great assistance; dietary changes can go a long way to ease the change and so can finding the right emotional support whether that is a councillor or a yoga class.”

Rosemarie Bennis: “Sage is good for sweating, a herbal support to balance hormones is important at this stage in life and we would recommend taking a supplement specifically designed for this age group.”

Other aids for surviving the menopause include sage tincture to aid sleep, herbal teas such as lemon balm as well as regular exercise.

60s plus
Health issues: less oestrogen post-menopause can lead to osteoporosis and aching bones, heart health

Expert advice: Hannah Dare: “At this stage we find the questions are mostly about bone and joint health, as well as cardio health and maintaining energy levels. We find turmeric very useful for inflamed joints. For cardio health the focus is on amino acids such as arginine and CoQ10 as well as exercise and a high fibre diet. Overall there is a great interest in healthy fats, especially coconut oil and its many benefits.”

Rosemarie Bennis: “Joint and heart health are big issues for this age group. We recommend joint support complex, multivitamin supports for this age group, CoQ10, lecithin and a diet rich in fish oil.”

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