Perimenopause and menopause a time of life that women often don’t look forward to. Mood swings, hot flashes, weight gain, sleep issues, and irregular periods. But it doesn’t have to be difficult to transition from your 40s to your 60s.
When women reach a certain age, menopause symptoms begin. According to the Women’s Mood and Hormone Clinic at the University of California, the time that women experience the most symptoms is during perimenopause. This is when estrogen and progesterone fluctuate the most in the female brain.
While not every woman experiences all the symptoms associated with perimenopause and menopause many do, and some to the degree that it makes life unbearable. The degree to which each woman struggles has to do with her personal medical history, genetics, what she eats, whether she smokes, her activity, and stress levels.
The process that people call menopause can be divided into three parts:
It usually begins during a woman’s mid-40s and can last for several years, even up to 10 years before menopause. It’s common to experience irregular periods and hormonal shifts during these years. Some woman enters into perimenopause in their late 30s due to a hysterectomy, or they may suffer from autoimmune or chronic health conditions.
In the last 1 to 2 years of perimenopause, the drop in estrogen quickens. At this stage, many women have menopause symptoms.
menstrual changes, weight gain, hair thinning, dry skin, hot flashes, decreased breast volume, disrupted sleep, vaginal dryness, and a lowered sex drive.
On average begins between the ages of 44-55. Once a woman has gone 12 full months of not having a period she has officially entered menopause. At this stage, the ovaries have stopped releasing eggs and making most of their estrogen.
Weight gain, night sweats, vaginal dryness, mood swings, changes in urination, the risk of other diseases.
The years following menopause. At this time most menopausal symptoms like hot flashes ease, yet health risks can rise at this time due to the loss of estrogen.
Education and proper nutrition are key for making “the change” easier.
If you’ve been stretching yourself with your career and family life as you approach forty you might just have a more difficult transition than if you are in a calmer more relaxed place.
So how do you do that you might ask?
Get more sleep
Yes, quality and quantity are important. If you’re experiencing insomnia, night sweats then your sleep is going to be disturbed resulting in your feeling tired throughout your day. Lack of sleep leads to poor memory, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and craving carbohydrates, caffeine and sugar to get yours through your day.
Feeling stressed is not going to help in any areas of your life. Chronic stress is toxic and leads to inflammation, insomnia and health issues. The best way to reduce stress is to have a daily meditation or mindfulness practice. It needn’t take a lot of time. Simply set aside 10-20 minutes a day for relaxation.
Whether it’s walking, cycling, swimming or yoga, find something you like to do and do it at least a few times a week, preferably daily. Exercise is a great way to blow off steam and take time for yourself. Make it a habit and your brain and body will love you for it.
Knowledge is key
Knowing your many options when entering perimenopause and menopause is so important. Is hormone replacement therapy bests for you, or are you more comfortable with natural alternatives?
Learn to listen
Hearing and tuning into the changing needs of your body is a super way to nurture and reclaim your health. Inner exploration exercises can provide you with the wisdom you need to transition with ease throughout your 40s,50s, and 60s.
Eating a whole real food diet is the only way to help your body with the changes it will experience during menopause. Sugar, caffeine, and pre-packaged foods are your enemy. Add more water, green vegetables, fruit, and healthy fats like avocados, nuts, seeds, and coconut oil to your menu planning. It needn’t be overwhelming, simply stick to the outside of the grocery store where you will find fresh foods in abundance.
Embrace this new season of life and get the knowledge you need to know how to manage your symptoms with ease.
Forewarned, forearmed; to be prepared is half the victory, especially when dealing with “the change”.