First things first…
What is perimenopause?
Perimenopause happens as your body transitions into menopause and is marked by a decline of progesterone and estrogen production. Usually it begins in your late 40’s but some women experience symptoms in their 30’s. The hormonal changes that occur can last anywhere from a few months to four years. It ends one year after your final menstrual period.
Pretty straightforward, right?
In medical school, I learned perimenopause occurs 3-5 years before menopause and the average age of menopause was 51. However, as time has gone on, younger and younger women are experiencing symptoms.
These symptoms are normal if you are approaching the end of your 40’s. BUT! If you are in your 20’s, 30’s or even early 40’s, experiencing symptoms like these, then this is your sign to get your hormones checked. Hormonal imbalances in women are becoming more and more common. However, just because something is common does not mean it is normal.
Hormonal imbalances in women usually stem from “outside turmoil”. This outside turmoil could be the foods you are consuming, the environment you are surrounded by, toxins you are exposed to, nutritional deficiencies, physical, mental and emotional stressors, etc. So, for functional doctors like myself, our goal would be to find the “root cause” of your hormonal imbalances.
DID YOU KNOW MOST WOMEN START EXPERIENCING SYMPTOMS AS EARLY AS THEIR 20’S AND 30’S?
LADIES, THIS IS NOT NORMAL!
This is where functional medicine comes in to play. Instead of prescribing a bunch of medications that you may not need, functional medicine asks for more; A full blood work up, look for signs of inflammation, allergies, autoimmune diseases, and the presence of toxins or other disrupters. The truth is, most medications are only supposed to be a temporary solution until the real problem or the “root cause” is identified. A lot of conventional doctors treat medication as the end-all-be-all and it’s not. That way of thinking provides a bandaid fix for something MUCH BIGGER going on.
HERE’S THE GOOD NEWS:
You have control over how you feel and you can do something about it! Almost all hormonal issues can be fixed or helped by improving your diet and lifestyle. Let’s take a look at how!
Avoid eating foods that cause inflammation.
- Gluten and sugar are the main culprits here as they contribute to brain fog, weight gain, and lack of energy
- Eat more protein from grass-fed beef and free-range chicken
- Choose cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, etc.
- Minimize caffeine and alcohol consumption
Manage your stress
- Start journaling to help you process your feelings and emotions
- Meditate with a guided meditation app
- Practice gratitude by writing down things you are grateful for
- Try deep breathing techniques when you feel a panic attack coming on
Support progesterone and estrogen production by taking it in supplement form
- Try my progesterone supplement here
- If pills aren’t your thing, try my progesterone oil
- Estrogen tends to fluctuate so it’s important to keep an eye on it
- If your estrogen is too low, try taking Estrolift
- If your estrogen is too high, supplement with Estrotame to get it down and focus on those cruciferous veggies
- Just remember that estrogen fluctuates naturally so once you get your stress and progesterone in check, your estrogen levels SHOULD follow suit.
If you want to learn more, listen to my podcast:
IN THE END
I hope you feel empowered. I want you to realize that this transition shouldn’t be crazy or super long. If it is that’s indicative of a hormone imbalance and there are many things that you can do to get back into balance. I really want you to focus on getting the vitamins and minerals you need for your body to do its daily processes to make, metabolize, and excrete your hormones. I want you to lay off on things that are causing inflammation and driving all of this dysfunction.
We need to support each other and lift each other up. It’s a sisterhood, not a competition. We’re all in this together. That’s why I do this. I want you to live your best life. I know that you can feel amazing, have amazing health, and vitality, and be balanced. You don’t have to be struggling and you shouldn’t be dragging through the day having those issues.
In health and love,