"What the heck is going on with me? One moment I'm perfectly fine and the next moment I am feeling emotional for no reason"
This was a question I had begun asking myself around the age of 45. Even most doctors are unaware of symptoms associated with menopause and perimenopause. Some doctors may even prescribe you an antidepressant thinking it's emotional vs. physiological. This is why it's important to know your body and research natural remedies instead of subjecting your system to unnecessary chemicals. Here, we are going to take a look at menopause and how it affects half of the population -- and usually those who have to live with us :)
How to Navigate Menopause as Painlessly as Possible
It’s time to stop dreading menopause. Menopause and perimenopause is significant change to your body, but we should avoid framing those changes as a “loss of youth.” Rather, you are coming into your own again–and need to be equipped with all of the proper tools for a smooth transition and restoring hormonal balance.
That said, the hormonal imbalance of menopause can come with a range of troublesome symptoms. You may experience irregularity in your menstrual cycle, such as unpredictably skipping months or shorter cycles. You may undergo mood changes and symptoms such as hot flashes, trouble sleeping, and chills. Many women see changes throughout their body, such as slowed metabolism (and resultant weight gain), dry skin, and thinning hair. The symptomatic period leading up to menopause is known as perimenopause, but PMS can bring hot flashes, insomnia, and more as well.
Nobody looks forward to any of that; we’re not going to tell you it’s all sunshine and roses. However, these things are also not the end of the world. Understanding that changes come as the balance of your hormones shift allows us to address potential symptoms with treatment such as hormone replacement therapy, as recommended by leading experts in menopause.
Nothing is a replacement for a healthy outlook, however. While stress is a natural and healthy way our bodies respond to change, excess stress or acute anxiety works against us. If you find yourself overly stressed by menopause, learn to approach life mindfully. Recognize when stress is getting the better of you, and relieve that stress through a healthy outlet such as meditation, journaling, or your favorite artistic activity.
Leading a Healthier Lifestyle
Besides managing stress and how we view menopause, there are a few other ways we can work to mitigate symptoms. In general, the healthier lifestyle you lead, the less impact a change in your hormonal balance should have–and it’s never too late to start!
Alcohol, caffeine, and spicy food all exacerbate menopausal symptoms and should be limited where possible. Keeping active and maintaining a healthy diet are also effective methods of weathering changes to your body. Try stocking your kitchen with nutrient-dense foods like vegetables, nuts, and seeds as well as eating small, frequent meals. This will subdue your appetite while keeping energy levels high, to help counteract the slower metabolism common with perimenopause and PMS.
Comorbidities like poor sleep habits, smoking, and anxiety are hard to change overnight, but every step towards better health makes a difference and will help you beat symptoms like hot flashes and insomnia. Don’t forget about your social health, too; make time to hang out with friends, and don’t let menopause interrupt your sex life.
Sometimes, what can make the most difference is a relaxing cup of tea. Blends for menopause relief are particularly helpful, with ingredients such as lemon balm to curb insomnia and anxiety, and red clover to soothe hot flashes and mood swings. Check out the link above for tea that customers are calling “the best tea for menopause symptoms.”
Other natural supplements that may help are fish oil and soy. Fish oil with its treasure of omega-3 has been found to ease common mental health symptoms of perimenopause such as depression and anxiety. Additionally, soy foods contain phytoestrogens that may help with menopausal symptoms, as well as lower cholesterol levels and increase bone density to support heart and bone health at a crucial time for both. However, be extra cautious with soy products, as they can adversely affect your hormone levels. Read more about it here - https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/soy/
Find Your Hormonal Balance
Whether it’s meditation, clean eating, or a tasty cup of tea, hopefully you’ll walk away from this article with a better game plan for menopause. Although the symptoms are nothing to sneeze at, there are plenty of natural remedies to help you through this transition smoothly.