Peri-menopause refers to the transition of time between the reproductive years up to and beyond the last episode of menstrual bleeding, which is defined as menopause (1). For many women, there is a great struggle to embrace this big change in there life, resulting in exacerbation of the situation. The changes in estrogen levels and a decline in other hormone levels such as progesterone can have a great impact on our emotional health due to changes in neurotransmitter levels and ultimately bringing about poor tolerance of stressful situations and mood swings (1). Vis versa, anxiety can also cause a fluctuation of hormonal levels as our levels are compromised when we are stressed to further limiting the production of progesterone (1). It is no wonder many women feel overwhelmed during this time trying to juggle busy families, work and social lives, whilst trying to manage peri-menopausal symptoms at the same time! I have compiled some tips to ease you through this stage of you life.
- Acceptance – this is a time in a woman's life when self-care is vital. During this time you are allowed to say no to things and put yourself and your health first. As Naturopaths, something that we commonly see is women that cannot accept the transition into menopause. Those that do resist tend to struggle with menopause symptoms the most.
- Making time for yourself – What does self-care mean to you? At this point in your life, you know what relaxes you and keeps stress at bay. Make your own ‘self-care regime’ that consists of a regular exercise program with resistance and cardio, walking, yoga, meditation. Book yourself in for a massage.
- Remember that you’re not alone. Join the ‘Menopause & Peri-Menopause Support Group Australia’ Facebook group to share your questions, stories, advice and support other women going through this experience. Seek naturopathic support and don’t shy away from those awkward symptoms as there is so much that can be achieved through our treatments.
- Avoid triggers such as alcohol, spicy foods, fast food, and excessive amounts of caffeine. Alcohol disrupts the healthy metabolism of estrogen, increasing it further is the last thing that we want! (2).
- To improve your sleep try having a cup of chamomile tea an hour before bed. Increase your melatonin by dimming the lights in your house and avoiding exposure to blue light (phones, laptop, TV) and try become in tune with when you feel tired and head straight to sleep when you do!
1. Trickey, R. (2011). Women, hormones & the menstrual cycle (3rd ed.). Fairfield, Vic. Ruth Trickey/Trickey Enterprises (Victoria).
2. Briden, L. (2018). Period Repair Manual. Macmillan Publishers Aus.