HomeBlogPerimenopause: Steps for Natural Menopause Relief

Perimenopause: Steps for Natural Menopause Relief

During your 40s you are most likely to experience the symptoms of perimenopause. This occurs when your ovaries have reduced egg supply and they gradually cease to produce the female hormone oestrogen. Perimenopause can occur as early as five to ten years before the actual menopause, which is most likely to occur in your early 50s. The symptoms of perimenopause can include irregular periods, hot flushes, mood swings, weight gain and insomnia.

If you’re experiencing hot flushes, avoid clothes made from synthetic fabrics and wear layers instead to keep warm. Use bedclothes made from cotton and layers rather than a big duvet. And watch what you eat and drink. A hot drink before bedtime can often trigger night sweats or make them worse. Other triggers include caffeine, alcohol and spicy foods. And although it may make you feel hotter and sweatier in the short term women who exercise regularly seem to have fewer flushes.

Sleep problems

Sleeplessness is more likely to occur in your 40s when the hormonal changes of the menopause approach and this can increase your risk of stress, anxiety and fatigue. Along with a healthy diet and regular exercise studies have shown that a quality night’s sleep is essential for weight management, hormone balance and good health in general.

To encourage a good night’s sleep boost your calcium and magnesium intake by eating more green leafy vegetables, whole grains and nuts and seeds during the day. Calcium and magnesium work together and are often described as ‘nature’s tranquilisers.’ You may also want to try a little herbal help with valerian, which along with passion flower and hops, is known for its sleep inducing and calming qualities.

Try to get at least 30 minutes exercise in the fresh air as natural daylight and activity can result in 50 percent improvement in sleep patterns. It can also help to make sure your bedtime routine is relaxing. Have a warm bath with aromatherapy oils to wind down and avoid drinking caffeine during the afternoon and evening. Don’t take your worries to bed. Make a list of things you need to think about tomorrow. If you still can’t get to sleep don’t lie there tossing and turning and clock watching – get up and do something relaxing such as listening to calming music, until you feel sleepy.

Lack of energy

Many women over the age of 45 say they suffer from tiredness and as you enter your 40s you may start to find your energy levels dropping. As we age, metabolic and physiological changes can impact on your body’s energy levels, causing fatigue but this doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it. With the right diet and exercise plan and a positive mind set many women in their 40s and beyond feel more energetic than ever.

The most important things you can do is to exercise more and cut down on caffeine and sugar. Regular exercise is essential for keeping your energy levels up. Caffeine and sugar may give you an instant hit but they’ll leave you feeling tired and depleted in the long run. A healthy, balanced diet is crucial as nutritional deficiencies can trigger fatigue and you could also benefit from supplementing with a daily multivitamin and mineral, especially one that contains vitamin B12 which is known to boost energy.

Choose a good multivitamin and mineral that is designed for leading up to and through the menopause. Herb wise, ginseng is the ultimate energy booster. Several trials have shown it to be effective in alleviating the symptoms of low energy but for women it is better to use Siberian ginseng rather than any other kind of ginseng otherwise the effects can be too strong and some women found they were having palpitations.

There are a number of natural therapies to choose from if you are in the early stages of peri-menopause. Phytoestrogens are hormone like substances that act like a weaker version of oestrogen and can help balance fluctuating hormones. They are present in foods like soya, legumes and flaxseeds. The herb sage is known to be helpful at the menopause and black cohosh has shown to be effective for the hot flushes and night sweats. The ancient Chinese herb dong quai can also help balance hormones.

Dry and aging skin

Signs of an Omega 3 deficiency are dry skin, lifeless hair, cracked nails, fatigue depression, dry eyes, lack of motivation, aching joint, difficulty in losing weight, forgetfulness, breast pain – all symptoms that could be ‘blamed’ on the menopause. Essential fats ‘oil’ your body by lubricating your joints, skin and vagina as well as keeping your brain functioning well and they help you maintain a good metabolism. There can be a tendency to gain weight at the menopause, especially around the middle, because this is your body’s protective mechanism to increase the amount of oestrogen circulating in your blood stream by producing it from your fat cells.

Essential fatty acids can increase your metabolic rate which means that you will burn up more fat and store less fat as you go through the menopause. Some weight problems can simply be due to water retention and Omega 3 oils can help your body produce a hormone-like regulating substance which enables your kidneys eliminate excess water. These same substances can help keep your blood pressure normal and decrease inflammation in your joints.

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