PERIMENOPAUSE DOESN’T MEAN YOU HAVE TO HIT THE ‘PAUSE’ BUTTON, ON YOUR LIFE
When we’re in the transition phase of perimenopause, there is no doubt that it can seem overwhelming at times. We start to experience symptoms that we may never have experienced before, and it can be a lot. It can be a lot to handle. Even if you are not in perimenopause, it is still helpful to understand the signs and symptoms you will eventually experience, and what options are available out there, as support.
What happens, when your ovaries stop producing your hormones?
This is when your adrenal glands kick into action. Your adrenals are often best known as being the glands that produce various hormones, including cortisol – your stress hormone. As you can imagine, if you’re someone who has lived a high-stress, high-cortisol life, your adrenal glands have probably been working at top capacity for quite some time.
And then all of sudden, your ovaries aren’t responding to the hormone signals as they previously did. Your adrenals are then called into action, to carry this load, and take more of the responsibility to produce those ‘female hormones’ like estrogen.
Prior to perimenopause, the adrenal glands are use to contributing around 30% of the female hormones. But once the ovaries stop responding, the adrenals are responsible for 100%.
When we think of hot flashes, we automatically think estrogen or progesterone must be off. And in some cases, that can certainly be it. But we must keep in mind, how much of a high-stress world we live in. If you’ve ever felt extremely anxious, followed by a sudden flush of heat – it may actually be your adrenal glands that are being taxed, due to long-term high-stress.
Let us wind back a little – here are a few signs, that tell us you may be in perimenopause
- you’re experiencing absent, or irregular periods
- sleepless nights, with difficultly maintaining your sleep
- worsening PMS, usually with heightened anxiety, irritability, sadness, anger or even rage
- periods are much heavier than previously, and you’re noticing spotting leading up to it
- periods are either much shorter than previously, or longer.
The reason for these symptoms, is usually due to the sudden drop in progesterone levels during perimenopause, while estrogen remains either higher, or the same.
So, this sound like you. Now what?
There are many lifestyle fundamentals we can start implementing today, that will be helpful.
Get your body moving, with an activity you enjoy. When we exercise, we’re supporting a slew of hormones, including insulin for blood sugar support, and estrogen. The ideal type of exercise, is the type you can see yourself implementing long term. If you hate going to the gym to lift weights – then don’t do that. Find a somewhat similar alternative that you actually enjoy doing. The goal is to implement lasting change; not a short-lived, quick fix.
8 hours of sleep each night. This is the best way to build resiliency, especially when it comes to the long-term implications of cortisol, our stress hormone, on our bodies.
Cruciferous vegetables at least 4 times in the week. This includes broccoli, cauliflower, kale, brussel sprouts, among some others. These hardy vegetables are particularly important, when it comes to estrogen breakdown. A component found in these vegetables encourages this estrogen metabolism; exceptionally important in cases with severely elevated estrogen.
Soluble fibre. Both insoluble and soluble fibre have their benefit, but we like to add in a little extra soluble fibre, to ensure our digestive system remains regular, and we are having at least once bowel movement every day.
Wherever you are in your stage of life, we likely have answers to your questions. Perimenopause can be an unsettling chapter of our lives, for the reason that the symptoms can be an annoyance, as well as the unknown of it all – not fully knowing what to expect.
We have launched programs like our three month program called The Hormone Code, designed to support women’s hormones. We also have both group and exclusive one-on-one programs with our Well Woman Assessments.
If you’re motivated to take the next step, book your strategy call today.
The Naturopathic Doctors at Health Over All