From night sweats to hot flashes, loss of libido, reduced fertility, low mood, anxiety and an overall sense of ageing, many women really dread this time of life.
It is true that your body changes during this time, but it is not true that it is something to be worried about. Nutrition, herbs and exercise can provide support as can a positive mental attitude.
If you’re burnt out, stressed out or just exhausted your body’s ability to cope with change will be limited. So the first step is to prepare your body for this change. Given that the menopause occurs between 48 and 55, there are a number of steps you need to take from your mid 40’s, so that when you get to peri-menopause, you’re in the best possible state to deal with it.
1. Exercise has a positive effect in peri-menopause. It can make us feel more optimistic. A good walk, a run, yoga, t’ai chi, cycling can all benefit.
Helps with stress: Stress is not good for menopause, exercise can help to relieve stress.
Supports the liver: Vigorous exercise, such as running, walking at a fast pace, cycling – anything that makes you pant has a positive impact on the liver. The liver works hard managing hormones and in the peri-menopause phase, there can be more of these than normal. Vigorous exercise helps move the liver, which helps in clearing these hormones.
2. Reduce stress – Stress has a big effect in peri-menopause. Studies have shown those with higher stress levels have worse symptoms and also that the higher the stress, the earlier the menopause.
3. Weight lifting/gym work – yes I know everyone says it is boring, but weight lifting is also important for us women. Weight lifting helps to encourage human growth hormone. Human growth hormone is important for bone building and helps reduce cortisol – a hormone released in response to stress. Cortisol lowers immunity, stimulates the adrenals and ultimately leading to exhaustion if left unchecked.
4. Manage your diet: Prior to peri-menopause it is important that you review your diet. Reduce chicken, which can have high hormone levels and red meat, increase fresh fruit and vegetables and remove sugar from your diet. You need good quality proteins, fruit and vegetables so that your body is in the best health.
Also consider foods, which help to clear the liver such as broccoli, kale, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and cabbage.
5. Manage anxiety: Heightened anxiety can also be a feature in peri-menopause and has been linked to hot flashes. Similar to stress, anxiety can be managed through mindfulness, positive action, exercise and sleep.
6. Get enough sleep: If you are tired, or running on empty coming up to the menopause, symptoms may be more severe. The hormonal changes will have a greater impact on a weakened body. Sleep is important at this time.
7. Think positively. Menopause is the start of a new phase in your life – for many it means a new freedom. It doesn’t mean you are any less feminine. It does mean you are older, wiser and a mentor and leader for young women and men, just starting off.
8. Consult your naturopath: There are different herbal formulations which can help in the peri-menopause. Such formulations can help with sleep, anxiety, hormone levels and support to your liver and adrenals. Call us now now an appointment – firstname.lastname@example.org or 087 813 8500.