Did you know peri-menopause is considered a time of metabolic upheaval, akin to puberty and pregnancy? This makes it a tricky time when women are at an increased risk of developing unwanted health conditions like insulin resistance, thyroid disorders and autoimmune conditions.
For women over 40 (sometimes even younger), hormone fluctuations can affect every system of your body. That’s because your body starts changing up to 10 years before you enter into menopause. Typically, menopause will begin around 49-50 years of age, however, it can start younger in some women, from 45 years of age.
If you are over 40 years of age you may experience new or worsening symptoms such as:
- Reduced ability to cope with stress
- Breast pain
- Weight gain
- Heavy periods
- Night sweats
- Insulin resistance
Of course, much of this is how your body reacts to changes in your hormones. However, there are some common dietary and lifestyle triggers that could be making these symptoms worse. This includes:
- High alcohol consumption
- Toxin and chemical exposure
- Diet and nutritional deficiencies
- Poor gut and microbiome health
- Disrupted sleep and irregular circadian rhythm
- Lack of movement and exercise
So, What’s A Girl To Do To Get On Top Of Your Hormones?
Here’s My Top Tips:
Cut Your Sugar Intake
I know, it’s hard! However, you need to look further into why you are craving sugary or starchy foods and address that. Is it emotional? Are you stressed? Do you eat sufficient protein? Are you tired and looking for an energy hit? Whatever it may be, address that first and you will find cutting out sugar far easier.
Support Your Circadian Rhythm
You can do this by creating a regular sleep routine. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Ensure you are getting enough sleep, that is, 7-8 hours a night. If you are struggling to get to sleep at night or find your sleep is not refreshing, then you need to look into why and work on it. Even eating at the same time each day can help your body’s natural circadian rhythm.
Exercise or movement has got to become part of your life. Walking out in the sunshine (bonus vitamin D exposure), strength training, swimming; find what you enjoy and make it a regular part of your week.
Tackle The Gut
Your gut microbiome plays a huge role in your health. It affects hormones, immunity, mood, brain function and so much more. Make sure you are regularly moving your bowels, support your digestion and of course eat for a healthier gut with lots of fibre and veggies.
Get Enough Protein
Your body will keep seeking food until its protein requirements are met. So, eat protein first and include it in every meal.
Herbs And Nutrients
There are a number of herbs and nutrients I use to help balance hormones and support overall health during perimenopause and menopause. This includes:
Nutrients – magnesium, taurine, vitamin D, inositol, B vitamins.
Herbs – vitex, black cohosh, dong quai, schisandra, saffron, milk thistle.
Go Low Tox
We are exposed to many toxins in our environment and in our food supply. Make a conscious effort to avoid these. Overhaul your skin care products, reduce plastics in your home, opt for eco cleaning products and of course reduce intake of alcohol and highly processed foods.
My best advice is to start with one step at a time. Get to the root cause and the rest will fall into place. If you are nearing 40 then you want to start prioritising your health to set yourself up for a healthier life and less health issues post menopause.
Have you noticed changes during your 40’s and did you realise
they were the start of peri-menopause?
Leave me a comment to let me know your experience.
About The Author
Jillian Foster is a degree qualified Naturopath and has worked in the health and wellness industry for over 12 years. As the founder of Better Balanced Mums, her passion is in clinical practice, providing women with the tools to reach optimal health. She has a love for the synergy of herbal medicine and combines this with nutrition, movement and mindset to help women reach their health goals.
Jillian loves working with mums and, as a mother of two, has some insight into the obstacles they face. Jillian has extensive experience working with women managing stress and burnout, infertility and hormonal imbalances. She loves helping women increase their energy, improve their mood and take back control of their health.
When Jillian is not in clinical practice, she writes educational content for health professionals. She regularly writes blogs with articles that empower her patients to learn more about how they can improve their health and wellness.
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