Updated: Oct 15, 2020
Peri-menopause is that forever changing time before menopause.
It can be a quick and painless time for some women, though for others, it can be an emotional, crazy, long- winded period, that may cause much stress and anxiety. Peri-menopause has been known to cause divorce!
Menopause is a term used when there has been no period for one year. The time before this, when the menstrual cycle is erratic, emotions are crazy and bodily changes occur, is classified as the peri-menopause peroid.
Determining peri-menopause is best through a symptom checker, rather than hormone testing.
Some of the symptoms of peri-menopause include:
Crawling feeling on the skin
Central adiposity / weight gain
Loss of sex drive
Early peri-menopause symptoms often are due to excess in oestrogen production (heavy periods, headaches), however in later peri-menopause stages, it is a reduction in oestrogen that causes hot flushes and vaginal dryness (although hot flushes may be seen in both early and late stages).
Nutrition during this life stage can play a very important role in controlling symptoms, with herbal support utilised for centuries, often treating symptoms that modern medicine has no answer for.
Phytoestrogens are plant-based oestrogens, and are commonly used in treating menstrual and reproductive issues.
These little seeds contain lignans that are a form of plant based oestrogens and have been used to improve vaginal dryness. The whole seed (not oil or ground) should be used to receive the phytoestrogenic power of this food. They are also high in fibre and Omega 3 fatty acids.
Use in baking, or sprinkle on your cereal/salads, with 2 tablespoons /day the required therapeutic dose.
High in omega 3 fatty acids and Vitamin D, this powerhouse healthy food, improves memory, dryness and improves bone strength with its high calcium content. Bone density becomes an issue as oestrogen is lost, giving rise to osteoporosis possibility.
Oats are an all round good guy for peri-menopause symptoms. This phytoestrogen also benefits cardiovascular health, important when oestrogen imbalance increases cardiovascular risks.
These are just some foods to include into your regular diet when symptoms of peri-menopause are getting you down.
A naturopath has many available strategies to improve your transition into menopause and boost your health, over this often unknown, confusing and challenging time.