Signs of Menopause start as early as the Perimenopausal period. Here, menopause expert, Lovina Gidwani, talks about what happens to women just before hitting Menopause and how to handle this stage with poise.
Most women are aware that Menopause happens to them with advancing age and, most of the time, women are prepared for this transition in their lives. But how many of them are aware of Perimenopause? Sadly, not too many.
To put it simply, this is a phase that begins for most women around the age 35-40. It begins with them noticing that ‘something is changing’ in their bodies. They experience mood swings, sudden weight gain and probably become aware, without understanding why, that the current strategies of diet, exercise and stress management are no longer working.
Perimenopause happens when the ovaries start to run out of ripe eggs and progesterone levels tend to drop, making it more difficult for women to stay calm in the face of stress. Sometimes there is also a decline in the thyroid function, which usually starts in the early forties. The most common symptoms are weight gain, chronic fatigue, mood swings, dry skin and hair and, may be, acute hair loss too.
Hence, Perimenopause can sometimes be very tough. It is a time when hormone imbalances are acute and can disrupt a woman’s balance, happiness and confidence.
However, it doesn’t have to be this bad. In the ten years or more before a woman’s final menstrual period which is defined as menopause, there are a lot of natural ways that can re-balance hormones and save women from this much feared hormonal hell.
Here are the top 6 tips to manage Perimenopause:
- Mindful eating for hormonal health
One of the best ways to reset the imbalanced hormones is by becoming mindful about how and what is eaten. It is best to avoid food containing too many refined carbohydrates and grains that often cause hormonal havoc. Instead, a diet with loads of low-starch vegetables, increased fiber and clean protein is recommended. The right food can reduce cortisol (stress-hormone), regulate blood sugar and insulin, and also lower bad estrogens.
- Movement to defeat physical problems
All through life, movement is known to be important for good health and, during perimenopause and menopause years, it becomes even more important. Michele Olson, PhD, professor of exercise science at Auburn University in Montgomery, AL, says, “When estrogen dips, belly fat accumulates, heart attack risk rises, bone loss occurs and muscle atrophy accelerates.” A workout plan that combines cardiovascular fitness with strength training is crucial.
- Sleep for better mental health
Due to hormonal shifts, it is common for some women to experience trouble falling or staying asleep during the perimenopause and menopausal years. There is also an increased risk of mood swings and depression. To have optimal sleep, it is best to avoid alcohol or tobacco close to bedtime. Some winding down and relaxing activities such as listening to music, reading a book, lighting aroma candles and taking a bath or meditating can be very helpful.
- Reduce toxic overload on the endocrine system
In today’s world, a woman’s delicate endocrine system is under constant assault by endocrine disruptors – synthetic chemicals that can be found in cosmetics, plastic materials, household cleaning materials, and other products that are commonly used daily. These chemicals can seriously disrupt the production and metabolism of most of the hormones in the body. Their negative effects can be controlled by adopting simple tips like: eating clean, drinking clean water, taking appropriate nutrient supplements and becoming conscious about using safe products.
- Yoga and deep breathing for staying calm
Perimenopause is recognized as a phase in a woman’s life where she goes through some serious mood swings. This can be easily tackled by practicing yoga regularly. Consistent yoga practice can greatly transform their thoughts and attitude and thus get them grounded, confident and happy, and help them accept these biological changes in their lives.
There are specific yoga poses that can create a mental state that can positively affect the mood. Some poses can even help stimulate the exhausted adrenals and massage them back into hormonal balancing action. Many yoga poses such as Sarvangasana (Shoulder stand), is proven to improve a depressed mood. When it comes to breathing, paced breathing may cut hot flashes by 44%. It is simple, just breathe deeply for twenty minutes, twice a day with a five-second inhale, a ten-second hold, and a five-second exhale.
- “Tiara Time” – to become the queen of the moment
This is a great concept by Dr Sarah Gottfried who talks about how women never take time out for themselves. So, making “Tiara time” gives women a space to hit their reset buttons, thus helping them relax and allow the brain ease back on the stress hormone – cortisol, that is constantly overworked. Yoga, meditation, or simply deep breathing, are all excellent and proven ways to de-stress quickly during this time. It is all about creating a sacred space where women can find time to do things that they really enjoy and bring ‘on’ their happiness quotient.
Let’s admit it right now – women are multitaskers and that gives them more responsibilities and pressures than men. A woman’s hormones are also super complicated. Also, women prioritize everyone’s needs over their own. The downside of this is that they stop listening to their bodies. Perimenopause is a time when women have to be ‘tuned-into’ their bodies. It is only then that they can address their symptoms and balance their hormones naturally. A woman will then rediscover her vitality, make a smooth transition into menopause and find herself at the start of a very exciting phase of her life.
This is a time of unlimited opportunities and power. Go claim it!
Luck & Light – Lovina
Lovina Gidwani is a Menopause and Ageless Lifestyle Coach. Follow her facebook page www.facebook.com/specialistinagelesslifestyle and on instagram @specialisinagelesslifestyle for many natural tips on staying #HappyHeartyHealthy