Hormone Balance: Peri-menopause –a personal experience from one woman to another
Health tips: Hormone Balance
Hormone Balance: Peri-menopause –
a personal experience from one woman
I’ve never really heard other women openly discuss their symptoms of peri-menopause and menopause. I wonder why? I believe menopause is a part of a woman’s evolution, like a bravery medal to say “hey, we made it and now it’s our time. Our time to take a step back and take stock of our lives and the direction we want to take in life”.
Here I sit today writing this blog feeling bloody exhausted! Every night it’s blanket on, blanket off, blanket on, blanket off! I’ve not been sleeping well for a while now with night sweats. And to mix it up a little, I have daytime hot flushes as well. Yep, you are on the button, I’ve entered that next beautiful evolutionary phase of a women’s life – menopause. Or rather, peri-menopause and all her fine glory. I welcome you, with arms open wide. Greetings I say.
I’ve let the symptoms continue without any intervention because I like to experience everything once, for the first time. I guess, I was secretly hoping they would eventually fizzle out. Who was I kidding, right?
Peri-menopausal symptoms do vary from woman to woman, as we are all beautiful unique individuals. You might be experiencing some or more than one of:
Irregular menses – have a period twice in one month, or go without your period for 3-4 months. (I remember back in April I had a 2 x week period with very heavy bleeding and ever since then, my periods have been irregular and unpredictable. So that was the beginning for me).
Day-time hot flushes – feeling slightly warm to feeling uncomfortably hot, sweaty and red in the face. Sometimes with heart palpitations.
Night-time sweats – similar to day-time hot flushes, and some women can drench their night wear and bedding from sweating.
(N.B. hot flushes are generally more severe when a women is very thin because her body fat is another source of oestrone converted from androgen hormones in the fat and muscle tissue. I can testify that after I had a severe virus and was unwell, I lost a lot of weight and shortly afterwards the day and night time flushes began).
Insomnia and consequently exhaustion, leading to an over-consumption of false stimulants to get you through the day e.g. coffee, tea, milo, energy drinks which then overload the body with caffeine leading to a double whammy of insomnia!
Weight gain – lack of sleep plays havoc with appetite hormones and can lead to a continual hunger and a failure to recognise when you feel full. (This is true for me, all of a sudden I’m ravenous all the time!)
Mood changes e.g. depression, anxiety, extremely irritable, low self-esteem and poor memory all can be contributed to a fluctuating oestrogen hormone level which affects the brain’s neurotransmitters for the hormone’s serotonin and dopamine. Exercise may help to turn your sad face into a happy face.
Menopause reduces our BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) leaving women with a lower energy output, loss of their muscle mass and weight gain. Fluctuating or low oestrogen hormone may decrease how much insulin is released from the pancreas, which affects weight gain.
Bone density or loss can occur with the decrease in oestrogen hormone levels which may lead to osteoporosis. Joint pain and osteoarthritis can also develop – some experience mild symptoms. Feeding your body the correct nutrition will help here.
Whew! I’m having a hot cuppa tea whilst writing and here comes another hot flush. Yes, what we eat and drink does influence the severity and length of hot flushes. Nutrition plays such a big part of your holistic wellbeing to ease symptoms.
So how do you go about balancing your peri-menopausal symptoms?
Herbal medicine is a wonderful tool to balance hormones. I have a liquid herbal dispensary (click here for more info on herbal medicine) where I match the perfect herbs to balance your hormones. Herbal medicine is safe and I always check any contra-indications with medications.
Calming the Nervous System – Stress can contribute to hot flushes and moods. Bach Flowers, vitamins and minerals may be suggested and there are some lovely calming herbs for stress, sleep and adrenal health as well.
Nutrition Healthy food choices play a huge part in reducing peri-menopausal symptoms.
Stress affects the Gut and Bowel functions as well as Sleep and Adrenal health. Again correct nutrition, plus herbs and nutrients help here.
Reflexology is a perfect tool for creating such a deep state of relaxation that it’s ripple on effect reduces stress, calms the nervous system therefore helping with sleep and moods, relieves tight muscle tension and balances the hormonal (endocrine) system. (click here for more info on reflexology).
Bach Flowers provide that subtle shift in your emotions and moods bringing you back into a more balanced state of mind. Easy to use, non-addictive and has no interactions with medications (click here for more info on Bach Flowers).
Exercise is vital for good health and can help with peri-menopausal symptoms and hormone balance. Getting your heart rate up for at least a half hour every day helps boost oestrogen levels.
At least a 20-minute walk 3 times a week and strength/flexibility exercise 2 times a week.
Muscle mass declines as we age. Strength training also lowers your risk of osteoporosis.
Check out the Body Balance classes at Bay City Gym, 129 Latham Street, Napier. These classes combine a “Yoga, Tai Chi, and Pilates workout that along with breath, concentration and a quiet strength, will leave you feeling centred and calm”. To find out more information and to collect your 1 x free Body Balance session contact Chrissie Newall on 06 8437478 or go to Body Balance Classes.