Have you been wondering what the symptoms of perimenopause are?
Most women start to report symptomatic changes of perimenopause during their ’40s. Although the level and consistency of estrogen and progesterone generally begins to become more irregular in a woman’s early to mid-30s. While women of all ages should take care of their health, it is vital for women to make healthy lifestyles and dietary changes to reduce symptoms associated with perimenopause.
Symptoms may include:
- hot flushes
- night sweats
- lower libido
- vaginal dryness
- weight gain (especially around the middle)
- hair loss or thinning
- insomnia, weird sleep disturbances
- worsening PMS
- breast tenderness
- changes menstrual cycles, flooding, more frequent especially in the beginning, then changing to far apart and much lighter
- urinary incontinence and frequency
- mood swings
- coming to tears easily
- skin issues (not as toned as well as episodes of feeling electric shocks and tingling)
- changes in nails, brittle
- memory lapses
- more difficulty recovering after exercise
- increased gas and bloating
- bleeding gums
Well, that all sounds like fun, right! So you now are wondering what can you do?
The hormonal fluctuations in perimenopause can cause a metabolic imbalance in our body, leading to unwanted weight gain, especially around the abdomen and hips. Therefore, one of the most important things a woman can do during perimenopause is to optimise her health through diet. I’ve found that the Metabolic Balance® program provides the best way to fine-tune exactly what your body’s diet requirements are during this time to help you feel your best and reach optimal health.
- eating a balanced whole food diet, with lots of dark leafy green vegetables and healthy sources of protein and fats
- staying well-hydrated
- maximising sleep before midnight and not sacrificing a good night’s rest to get something else done
- managing stress
Also, when I work with women going through perimenopause, I first look at the whole person and address those areas that need attention, whether it’s diet, lifestyle, gastrointestinal issues, thyroid issues, nutrient deficiencies, or any lab abnormalities. Then, I make recommendations based on overall health and symptom presentation that are a mix of strategies listed below.
Metabolic Balance®– personalised nutrition plan using the right whole foods that balance your “hormones, enzymes and body chemistry” and create the lifestyle you need to know for balance, well-being, and long-term health.
Probiotic: To help rebalance the intestinal flora, support gastrointestinal and immune health functions, and enhance digestion.
Digestive Enzymes: Vegetarian enzymes that help digest food and support gut health.
Adrenal Support: Herbs including Rhodiola, eleuthero, ashwagandha, American ginseng, schizandra, and vitamins and minerals such as B vitamins, magnesium, taurine and vitamin C.
Other Herbal Support: I have found that often a combination of herbs is most successful in addressing perimenopausal symptoms. Some of these may include Rehmannia, Maca, Chinese yam, Ziziphus, Black Cohosh, and Dong Quai.
Liver Supportive Herbs: Milk thistle, Burdock, Dandelion Root, Sulfphorane
Heart Support: COQ10, Magnesium
Bone Support: Calcium, Magnesium, Vitamin D
Brain Health: Fish oil, NAC, B Vitamins
Vaginal Dryness: Veeforme Smooth and sometimes Vitamin E oil can be helpful.
Thyroid: Zinc, Selenium, B Vitamins
Sleep Support: 5 HTP, Chamomile, Hops, Glycine, magnesium and, if cortisol is elevated at night time (which can happen with high stress and low estrogen), phosphatidylserine
Hair: biotin, silica, copper, zinc, manganese
So how do our hormones affect our metabolism and what can you do?
Have you finally hit 40 and all of a sudden you are craving sweets and starchy treats?
Fluctuating levels of hormones (mainly estrogen and progesterone) can cause a metabolic imbalance in the body as hormones decline, neurotransmitters, cortisol, and insulin change to lower our metabolism and contribute to weight gain (and difficulty losing weight unless our stressful lifestyle and hormones are addressed).
For example, as estrogen levels decline, cortisol levels increase. Cortisol is a stress hormone that contributes to midsection weight gain. To counter this, eat clean, whole foods (if you’re not sure which foods will be beneficial for you, then the Metabolic Balance®program is perfect for YOU, as it’s a hormone balancing program that helps you lose weight and help to keep it off naturally. Limited processed foods (if any), little sugar—and focus on exercise, sleep, hydrating, stress management, and supporting the gut, liver, and adrenals.
Getting professional help and support will also make the most significant difference in helping YOU to achieve optimal health through this transition.
So, now is the time to start taking care of YOU!