What is Happening in Your Body?
1. You lose progesterone.
Perimenopause is known as the ‘second puberty’ due to the dramatic changes in reproductive hormones during this time. With the loss of regular cycles comes the loss of cyclic progesterone being created. Progesterone has many important functions, including assisting calm steady moods, nervous system reactions, stress response, immune system health, and the health of our skin and hair.
2. Oestrogen goes on a wild ride.
Oestrogen spikes are what contribute to heavy, flooding periods, insomnia, hot flushes and mood swings. Our body notices the lack of regular ovulation occurring and starts producing increased levels of Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) in order to stimulate oestrogen production, in an attempt to ovulate. This means that oestrogen can spike to 3 times higher than ever before, and crash lower than ever before.
3. Depression and anxiety can occur.
The exposure to fluctuating hormones during the perimenopausal period is associated with depression and depressive symptoms. Studies have shown that a shorter menopause transition may protect against perimenopausal depression.
4. You have the power to alter this course!
Symptoms during this time can include hot flushes, insomnia, weight gain, vaginal dryness, reduced libido, and weakened pelvic floor muscles. Thankfully, there are so many things you can do to have a smoother, shorter, perimenopausal transition. A smooth perimenopause usually means a smooth menopause, as the body adapts to a lower level of oestrogen with less fluctuations.
What Can You Do?
1. Supplement with magnesium.
This can be incredibly beneficial for helping with hot flushes, night sweats, insomnia, and mood swings.
2. Drink cool sage tea.
Fantastic for hot flushes. I recommend 1 – 2 teaspoons of dried sage per cup, pour over boiling water, and drink once at room temperature. Aim for 3 – 4 cups daily.
3. Use adaptogenic herbs.
Adaptogens are beneficial to normalise the physiological response in times of increased physical and emotional stress, as well as difficult periods of change. They help the body adapt to this time, and take some of the load off our adrenal glands.
4. Consider your alcohol intake.
It is worthwhile to decrease or give alcohol a break during this time. It impairs oestrogen metabolism and detoxification, reduces our ability to deal with stress, may increase frequency of hot flushes, and depletes glutathione which negatively impacts our immune system.
Thank you for reading!
Yours in good health,