Beat perimenopause symptoms with these tips
By Fred Pescatore, MD, MPH, CCN
One of the most common questions I get from Women who have reached Menopause is, “what can I do to stop hot flashes?” Even as one of the most well-known Symptoms of menopause, most people don’t realize how disruptive or even debilitating hot flashes can be. Too many women feel embarrassed because they may have been in the middle of a grocery store or a business meeting while experiencing a hot flash, and they lose sleep thinking about when they might have the next one!
What’s it to you
Statistics Canada reports that women between the ages of 45 and 54 make up one of the largest age groups in the country—which also happens to be around the average age of menopause. In addition to hot flashes, women at this stage can experience mood swings, sleeplessness, loss of libido, fatigue, dizziness, weight gain, and memory lapses as the body adjusts to changing estrogen levels.
Perimenopause—the time of transition to menopause—and menopause can present more than 30 different symptoms, and can last for several years. The symptoms and time span vary. Some women may have few or no symptoms at all throughout perimenopause and menopause, while others may experience severe symptoms. This variance can be attributed to a variety of factors like genetics, lifestyle, and diet.
There are a number of treatment options such as hormone replacement therapy. Yet, new research has shown that replacing estrogen with this option can present other issues, including increased risk of breast cancer. If you are one of the many women who experience troublesome symptoms, there are steps you can take to try to naturally reduce the severity of your symptoms—without the need of hormone replacement therapy.
Feeding the body
Diet plays a role in most aspects of our health, and it’s no different for perimenopause. I recommend a diet of whole foods, lean grass-fed protein, healthy fats and organic vegetables. For women in perimenopause, particularly, try incorporating foods like kale, avocado, Brazil nuts and sunflower seeds. Hormones fluctuate quite a bit during the stage before menopause, so a balanced and nutritious diet becomes even more important.
Exercise is also key role in the body’s adjustment during the menopause transition period. Exercise may not completely alleviate your symptoms, but it can help to reduce stress and manage weight—which are common concerns for women in menopause transition. Adding physical activity into your routine doesn’t have to mean spending hours at the gym—try taking a bike ride or a brisk walk for at least 30 minutes of cardio daily.
A little something extra
More than ever, women are seeking natural alternatives to promote better health. If you’re looking into treatment options for menopause symptoms, research the options available to make sure they are right for your needs. I recommend holistic options to help reduce symptoms with minimal side effects.
What many women may not know is that your risk of developing heart disease significantly increases as you approach menopause. Lower hormone levels play a large role in this increased risk. As estrogen levels decrease, so do the heart-protective effects of this hormone. More motivation to explore a natural option.
While traditional treatment options are also available, natural options show very few risks associated with them so they are a safe way to manage troublesome perimenopause symptoms.
Whether your main concern is hot flashes, heart health, or mood swings taking additional steps like regular exercise, a healthy diet, and adding a supplement to your regimen are crucial for promoting overall wellness during menopause transition.
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