Natural Help with Perimenopause
Perimenopause is a subject that seems to remain a mystery to many. Advice (or lack of it) can leave women feeling confused, on (mis-diagnosed) antidepressants, and questioning themselves and who they are on a daily basis, often leaving them unsure of which way to turn. Ultimately this leads women onto a search for more natural help with the perimenopause.
Sadly, there is so much negative press surrounding the perimenopause - we’re treated almost like we have a disease and yet women have been going through this inevitable stage of their life cycle for millenia.
It is often considered that the problem lies simply with the changes going on inside our bodies! However our modern, fast paced society has created a huge lack of connection to our bodies and over the years we have lost touch with how to listen to the signals our body is giving us.
Turning toward a more natural path for help with perimenopause can actually be the key to unlocking this ‘mystery’ that affects 50% of the population, guiding us ladies through this stage of life with much greater ease.
Perimenopausal Women in the 21st Century
Many of us 21st Century women lead independent, fast paced, busy lives that mean we spend our 20s, 30s & 40s overriding our body’s communication with us.
We live lives that are filled with stress or anxiety, running on adrenaline, high cortisol, fluctuating blood sugar and dysregulation. But this is not our fault!
We are sold the lie that we can work all hours, raise families, drink at the weekends to ‘relax’, starve ourselves to stay thin, and intensively exercise to ‘stay healthy’.
Additionally, we may have deep rooted fears or insecurities at play that we work hard to suppress and inevitably this long term prolonged stress; physically and mentally, has a huge impact on our long term health.
Our body screams at us with all the signs, signals and symptoms it can, until we are prepared to slow down and start to listen.
The good news is there is so much that can be done through good nutrition and positive mindset - taking a step back, finally stopping to really listen and remaking the lost connection between our body and our mind. We can begin to embark on our natural journey through the perimenopause!
Symptoms of the perimenopause
First let’s strip it back and look at what happens during the perimenopause going into the menopause and what some of the more common symptoms of the perimenopause are.
On average, the perimenopause occurs between the ages of 45-55 but it can start from the age of 35, sometimes even earlier. It is NOT about ageing, it is about the hormonal system winding down.
During the perimenopause the depleting egg stores cause fluctuating hormones and a whole host of symptoms. This phase of a woman’s life can last up to 10 years when periods can change, the cycle might get shorter or longer, heavier or lighter, or more painful.
This in turn can have a worsening effect on moods and may cause an increase in anxiety, depression, brain fog, lack of sleep, weight gain & hot flushes.
Menopause is officially defined as a period of 12 months with no vaginal bleeding.The ovaries have now stopped producing oestrogen and progesterone and iIt is this loss of oestrogen that has profound effects on women’s health and weight.
Some of the more common symptoms that are experienced as women enter the perimenopause are:
Heavy & longer flow
Shorter cycles (<26 days)
Tender & sore breasts
Disturbed sleep / insomnia
Stronger period pains
Increased headaches or migraines
Lack of sex drive
Not all women have all or even some of these symptoms, some will experience them mildly, some will have them much worse. It’s a long and sliding scale of symptoms, and every woman’s experience as they enter and go through the perimenopause is different from the next.
But the support offered to women, whatever their experience, is patchy at best. Some are offered antidepressants, some the pill, antianxiety tablets or HRT. Some are offered nothing. Women are not always given the correct information about what is happening in their bodies and this lack of consistent support can leave women feeling very alone.
Now it’s very important to note that the pill, antidepressants and HRT can be lifesavers for some women, BUT there is so much that can also be addressed through more natural approaches to managing the perimenopause and its symptoms.
This is why it is so important to first slow down, look after ourselves and pay attention to exactly what we might need.
Exercise during the perimenopause
Exercise during the perimenopause is extremely important. As well as helping to keep our bodies healthy as we age, there is a much more specific aim, which is to strengthen and build muscle.
A very common consequence of the perimenopause is sarcopenia. Sarcopenia is the loss of muscle mass and occurs naturally in both men and women as we age but for perimenopausal women there is a rapid decline in muscle mass and this is caused by the depleting oestrogen.
So one of the best things women can do is resistance and strength training, as it’s a great way to naturally help keep us strong, reducing the loss of muscle mass as we enter the perimenopause!
Diet and Holistic Wellbeing During the Perimenopause
By addressing the diet, we can begin to calm down the nervous system through an anti-inflammatory, low glycemic load diet that is nutrient dense, alongside natural and holistic remedies. In this way we can give the body the best foundation as we enter and go through the perimenopause.
By contrast, alcohol and a high sugar, high carbohydrate diet can wreak havoc on the body during this life stage.
One aim is to balance blood sugar as the body becomes less able to process sugar & high carbohydrate food with the declining oestrogen stores.
When we eat whole grains and wholefoods, avoiding highly processed and toxic foods the body is supported and can come back to homeostasis.
Phytoestrogen (plant compounds) such as soybeans, legumes, flaxseed, wholegrains, fruits, and vegetables have a weak oestrogenic effect on the body. Studies have shown that Asian women who have a phytoestrogen rich diet have less hot flushes and night sweats.
The evidence is not fully conclusive but when looking at the data, phytoestrogens do seem to reduce frequency of hot flushes, it could also be due to the Asian diet being much more balanced by the consumption of wholefoods alongside oily fish & vegetables.
How I can offer YOU natural help during the perimenopause?
Despite the lack of knowledge, the conflicting messages and advice, the perimenopause doesn’t have to be a time in your life that comes hand in hand with fear, loneliness or confusion.
I will work very closely with you - we will dig deep and work together to help give you a different perspective on the way our minds work and the impact this has on our bodies and our health overall.
This is a different kind of help; a natural and holistic approach that will help you to think differently, to redress the balance and connection within your body & mind, ultimately giving you freedom from the fear, loneliness or confusion you may already be experiencing.
I combine transformational coaching as we shed light on our beliefs while being supported with a nutritious diet. My approach will guide you to more inner freedom without effort, willpower or grit.
Contact me today for your free 30 minute consultation I’d love to talk more with you about exactly how I can help you.
Prepare to feel energised, healthy & fit, and most importantly, let’s embrace this midlife awakening.