Thriving in Peri-menopause and Menopause
Peri-menopause and menopause are another one of those fantastic transition points a woman faces, where she’s able to find empowerment and more excellent health in her own body.
Too often in the conventional medical realm with peri-menopause and menopause, a woman is gifted with anti-depressants and the same old adage” well, this is what getting older is, and you’ll just have to deal with it like everyone else.”
Most of my clients are not satisfied with this thought process and don’t want to take pills to to cover their symptoms or deal with getting fat, sick and dead. They want to feel their best and are willing to do what it takes to make things happen to support their optimal wellbeing.
So what about perimenopause? Can you adjust and support a smooth transition?
Changes with perimenopause usually begin around a woman’s fourth decade of life. Period changes are some of the first symptoms changes, periods can become more irregular, coming earlier or even later, and the heaviness often increases.
Other symptoms may include worsened PMS or period symptoms such as more painful cramps, digestive issues, irritability, or headaches. In essence, the effects of estrogen increase due to waning levels of the balancing and protective progesterone.
Low progesterone symptoms can develop, increased anxiety, tendency to worry, or reduced quality and duration of sleep, even insomnia.
Later stage symptoms happen when estrogen levels also start to decline. We see changes to cognition, absence of menses, increased chances of hot flashes, and night sweats. We also see at this stage the belly weight gain and changes to insulin sensitivity and metabolism. Usually, at this stage, women are actively seeking assistance for one or more of these symptoms and generally benefit from lifestyle changes to support this next stage of life.
In summary, the beginning is marked with raises and fluctuations of estrogen combined with low progesterone. In the later stages, as ovarian function declines, estrogen levels will come to a lower steady-state. There is, however, plenty we can do to support both of these stages.
With reduced levels of progesterone- supporting the body’s production of the hormone can be helpful. Using bio-identical progesterone hormone replacement therapy can make a huge difference in a women’s quality of life.
As the transition is happening, the ovary varies between responsive to the brain and less responsive. We see fluctuating levels of estrogen, high and then low. The highs and lows of estrogen give the roller coaster affected marked by this stage. Vitex or Chaste-tree is known to support the functioning and communication of the pituitary and ovaries, thus helping to support a more balanced transition.
Of course, other things provide optimization, such as detoxification support for estrogen, inflammation, and histamine balancing for digestive symptoms and aches and pains, and adrenal and thyroid support for those experiencing more fatigue and a sense of being rundown. These changes are all based on how the woman is uniquely moving through the transition.
is one step further, where the ovaries finally slow down and stop. Lower levels of estrogen impact brain function, memory, mood, libido, metabolism, and a whole host of other things.
Essentials for menopause include stress management. Stress is one of the biggest triggers for temperature changes associated with menopause. Stress management could consist of more regular self-care, exercise, or botanical medicines to support calm and relaxation.
Nutritional changes to manage weight balance and maintain active metabolism become essential for most to avoid accepting the 5-20 lb gain associated with the transition.
Supporting estrogen with botanicals, adrenal support, or bioidentical can help women stay active, healthy, and keep a fuller life longer into advanced age.
There are so many options to help make the transition gracefully with ease and even an improved sense of health.
If you or someone you love is in transition or soon to be transitioning please share this link to schedule a free 15- min consult to learn more about taking an active and empowered role in this phase of life.