You’re in your mid-30s. Suddenly, you notice changes in your menstrual cycle. Lately, you’ve been experiencing hot flashes, too. And as if these are not enough, there seems to be something off with your libido.
Of course, this causes you to worry because these are signs of menopause. But did you know that there is also such a thing as perimenopause, which may have the same symptoms?
The simplest explanation of what perimenopause is is this: a transition to menopause. It marks the period wherein you’re not menopausal yet, but you are making the natural transition to get there. It’s usually experienced by women in their 40s, but there are those who experience it early in their mid-30s.
Perimenopause should also be part of the reproductive health discussion because it affects women in many ways. Here are some quick facts about it:
- Also known as menopause transition
- The time when it transitions to menopause or the end of your reproductive years
- Typically begins in your 40s but can also start as early as your mid-30s
- When estrogen levels may have uneven spikes and declines
- There’s also a decrease in the levels of progesterone, the hormone that promotes GABA receptors in the brain to help us calm down
You’ll find out that some perimenopause symptoms may be similar to what you would experience during menopause. These symptoms include the following:
- Bone loss due to low estrogen levels
- Changes in sexual arousal and desire
- Decreasing fertility
- Hot flashes
- Irregular periods
- Mood swings
- Sleep concerns
- Vaginal and bladder issues (painful intercourse, infections, incontinence)
- Weight issues
Like menopause symptoms, it can wreak havoc on your body and you may feel overwhelmed trying to get everything under control. The Root Cause Medicine approach can help with that.
Perimenopause and hormonal changes
Many of the symptoms that women go through at this stage are rooted in hormonal fluctuations. That’s why it’s important to understand what’s happening to and in your body when you’re undergoing menopause transition. Let us discuss the different hormones at work in the body.
- The level of circulating estrogen changes at perimenopause. During a woman’s reproductive years, the amount of estrogen rises and falls predictably depending on her menstrual cycle. But when you get into perimenopause, this changes. In perimenopause, there may be estrogen dominance giving you symptoms such as heavy periods, breast tenderness, sleep problems, low libido, hot flashes, and foggy thinking, among others.
- Estrogen dominance may mean low or high estrogen but still more than the level of progesterone in your body. And so you can have symptoms of low estrogen or high estrogen.
- When you enter perimenopause, progesterone production starts to slow down. One of the functions of progesterone is as a relaxant, so with low progesterone, you can have problems sleeping, anxiety, nervousness, fluid retention, and irregular menses.
4 nutrition tips for women going through perimenopause
By now you know that perimenopause is the transition to the menopausal stage. You also know that hormonal fluctuations are affected by inflammation and sugar imbalance. Therefore, an anti-inflammatory diet helps promote hormonal and sugar balance during this time. Check out some nutrition tips below.
Do note that for targeted plans, it’s best to consult with your doctor and nutritionist-dietitian.
Eat calcium-rich foods
These are necessary for the maintenance of your bone health. Examples of these are nuts and seeds, beans, and green leafy vegetables.
Incorporate foods rich in magnesium and iron into your diet
Magnesium helps in relieving symptoms like cramps, hot flashes, insomnia, and irritability while iron addresses heavy menstrual bleeding. Some iron-rich foods are lean meat, egg, spinach, and seeds. You can find magnesium in green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, and legumes.
Consider vitamin D supplementation
Women in the perimenopausal stage are prone to vitamin D deficiency. Aside from eating foods packed in vitamin D like salmon, sardines, and egg yolks, consider taking vitamin D supplements depending on your condition. Your LifeScience Center doctor can help determine the right dosage of vitamin D for you. You can also get vitamin D through sun exposure so don’t forget to soak up the sun.
Avoid consuming spicy food, alcohol, and caffeine
Avoiding these inflammatory foods will help you find relief from symptoms like hot flashes.
How the Root Cause Medicine approach can help
With perimenopause, it’s important to understand the relationship between too much inflammation and blood sugar imbalance in relation to your hormones. In fact, the severity of your symptoms depends on your hormone balance.
Our unique genetic makeup, plus how these have been expressed over time with our lifestyle and other existing conditions, contribute to how our body handles perimenopause. Taking all of these into account gives a clearer picture of how we can address inflammation and blood sugar imbalance in relation to our hormones.
We tackle these through the Root Cause Medicine approach that utilizes hormone testing, advanced diagnostics, stress management, movement, and targeted nutritional plan.
Furthermore, Root Cause Medicine approach goes beyond the hormone levels and the function of the organs. We look at the hormone levels in relation to the woman’s cycle and the factors that affect the production, transport, sensitivity, and detox of these hormones. This holistic approach also takes into account the five modifiable lifestyle factors:
- Stress management
Hormonal changes vary from one woman to another. Therefore, it’s important to take a personalized approach to address hormonal fluctuations.
At LifeScience Center, we don’t just put out the fire at the moment. We find out where it’s coming from so we can help you find sustainable solutions.
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