It’s a biologically chaotic phase, that time women endure leading up to menopause, called perimenopause – with such varied and intrusive symptoms, women want natural solutions.
More than 60% of women surveyed do not feel well-informed about menopause.
Luckily, even small, healthy adjustments in your lifestyle can help. That’s right, ladies! It’s not just about what you eat – research has found a number of things that might help alleviate some symptoms of perimenopause.
Can You Reduce Perimenopause Symptoms, Naturally?
The best way to reduce hot flashes, belly fat, and other symptoms of perimenopause come with a holistic approach: more focus on movement, good food, mental health, and sleep. But, where should you start?
9 Symptoms of Perimenopause a Holistic Lifestyle May Help Reduce Naturally
- Belly fat
- Brain fog
- Joint & muscle aches
- Trouble sleeping
- Vaginal dryness
What is Perimenopause?
Perimenopause is when your body starts to experience more of a sputtering of hormones. This is the lead up to menopause, when the ovaries stop making estrogen. It’s these sputters of hormones that are driving many of the symptoms of perimenopause. Luckily, there are some things you can do to have a bit more control of how you are feeling.
Natural Ways to Helps Sore Joints & Muscles in Menopause
The changes that occur in your body during perimenopause drive up inflammation in your body, shows research. Add inflammation with the impact of low estrogen levels on joints (bones benefit from estrogen’s presence), it’s easy to see why sore joints or muscles can occur during perimenopause and menopause. (Don’t forget about the importance of calcium for bone health as you age.)
- Movement – can improve muscle stiffness & some joint pain
- Magnesium – required for muscles to relax
- Heat – sooths muscles and promotes relaxation
- Anti-inflammatory nutrient-rich foods – help mitigate inflammation
Best Foods to Fight Inflammation during Perimenopause
There are many ways to naturally fight inflammation – including eating so-called anti-inflammatory foods, such as:
- Green tea
- Omega-3 rich fish
- Cruciferous vegetables
How to Naturally Reduce Stress during Perimenopause
The hormonal ups and downs during perimenopause are stressful on your body, impacting cortisol levels (your stress hormone). Usually, the rise and fall of estrogen during your typical cycle is buffered by progesterone, the so-called “feel-good” hormone. However, during perimenopause, progesterone levels decrease, meaning there is less of a stress buffer.
Prescribing yourself a little bit of nature may be a solution, suggests research.
Your stress levels naturally decline when you spend time in nature. Scientists found when urban-dwellers spent more than 10 minutes in contact with nature, three times per week, their saliva levels of cortisol dropped. There are more things you can do to manage anxiety naturally, such as making exercise a priority or looking into your vitamin D levels.
Natural Solutions for Anxiety during Perimenopause
With perimenopause comes lower progesterone levels which can lower your emotional resilience, according to researchers. This may contribute to the anxiety a significant amount of perimenopausal women experience. Depression can also occur. If you are struggling, you don’t need too. Reach out for help – you aren’t alone.
Fatigue During Perimenopause
Many women struggle with fatigue during perimenopause and menopause. The hormonal swings can impact your thyroid, leaving you feeling sluggish and fatigued. Low iron and vitamin B12 can sometimes be culprits in a fatigue during perimenopause. Also, chronic stress from family, careers. and environmental/chemical toxins can be factors causing fatigue. Natural options for fatigue, beyond rebuilding your iron and B12 status, include adaptogens, such as Ashwagandha. Some studies suggest Ashwagandha may be helpful for anxiety and stress, while other research suggest more long-term safety studies are needed.
Why Belly Fat Accumulates During Perimenopause & What You Can Do About It
Experts suggest exercise and diet can stop the lower belly bulge that happens in perimenopause. However true to some degree, you’re eating and workout routines are not always to blame for accumulating belly fat. Your elevated stress is impacting your body’s ability to use insulin, and drives belly fat accumulation. Reducing stress with nature, exercise, mindfulness practices, proper sleep, and nutritious foods can help. In particular, perimenopausal women may want to add some phytoestrogen foods into their meal plans.
Phytoestrogens may help with belly fat. As estrogen levels naturally fall with menopause, their deficiency causes unfavourable changes in body composition, particularly belly fat. Phytoestrogens are natural plant-derived compounds that resemble the estrogen your body used to make regularly before menopause. Phytoestrogens might improve the way fat accumulates in the female body, particularly if paired with exercise and an eating plan that promotes good gut microbial health.
Foods High in Phytoestrogen to Help You During Perimenopause
- Flax seeds
- Purple grapes, plums, berries
How to Battle Hot Flashes Naturally
The hormonal changes that occur during perimenopause and menopause can produce symptoms, that are both varied and intrusive in your life. If your symptoms are mild to moderate, these natural solutions may sufficiently alleviate them.
Exercise can reduce the frequency of hot flashes, says science. After 4 months of adding in a regular exercise routine, women struggling with hot flashes reported significant improvements.
Reducing alcohol consumption may also be helpful – studies suggest alcohol can lead to early and more severe hot flashes and sweating during perimenopause.
Add a few seeds to your next salad, yogurt, or snack as vitamin E can have beneficial influences on hot flashes and sweats, as well as vaginal dryness and cholesterol.
For more support with developing a lifestyle to help relieve your perimenopausal symptoms, consider working with a Registered Holistic Nutritionist or Certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant.
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