On Perimenopause

THE RUN UP to menopause can last for years; this is called the peri-menopause. It can be a very tricky period of our lives, which can start usually in our 40s, but some women can experience it in their 30s. The most obvious sign is that our periods go a little crazy. To clarify, we enter menopause when we haven’t had our periods for at least 12 months. But don’t worry, it is possible we can skilfully and successfully help to manage the process.

Oestrogen, the female sex hormone plays a role as it starts fluctuating and affects the length of the periods as well as the flow, which can be light or very heavy, and we can also experience other signs such as our weight creeping up, irritability, and food cravings. We can also experience symptoms associated with menopause like mood swings, night sweats, hot flushes, struggling energy levels. A tailored nutrition plan can really help, because it is not about the individual specific symptoms. In the human body everything is interconnected and the way forward is looking at the body as a whole. We are all individuals; therefore our approaches to health will be individual and different. It is not one-size-fits-all and giving general advice will often be limited in terms of positive results.

Having said that, here are just a very few general points to get you started. Maintaining stable blood sugar levels can be very beneficial, as well as reducing stress because high levels of cortisol can play havoc with our hormones.

  • Eat regularly to normalise blood sugar levels which will help to keep hormones in check and include protein with every meal, which will also help keeping your energy at constant level – oily fish (sardines, mackerel, salmon), eggs, pulses, quinoa, linseed/flaxseed, brown rice.
  • Eat brassica vegetables which help to keep oestrogen stable – broccoli, cabbage, kale, sprouts, cauliflower, Swiss chard
  • Generally up your vegetable intake, include some with every meal. Eat green and richly coloured fruit and veg, as it is rich in antioxidants and flavonoids
  • Avoid stimulants such as alcohol and caffeine as they will play havoc with blood sugar levels and, therefore, hormones.
  • Include exercise or movement such as yoga, and try to incorporate meditation into your routine which will all help with dispersing stress, calming your system down and maintaining your resilience.

Helena Taylor

Book a free 20-minute call to discuss stress, female health and hormonal balance and how I might support you on your journey to optimal health. Email: helena@nutritiouspantry.co.uk, www.nutritiouspantry.co.uk.

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