It can start as early as your late 30's or early 40's.
Suddenly, you find yourself snappy, irritable and ready to bite someone's head off. Sleep isn't feeling as restorative and PMS symptoms seem to last the whole month.
Hot flashes happen here and there and your energy just isn't what it used to be.
Our transition into the hormonal changes that happen YEARS before menopause are not spoken about often, but can have devastating consequences on our quality of life. The fact that we don't give this transition time it's full respect is a big part of the problem.
You may wonder what is wrong with you, why are you losing your temper or having such strange menstrual irregularities. When you aren't expecting or prepared for the transition of perimenopause, it can take you off guard and make you feel like it's just you who is suffering.
After 15 years of treating women in my Naturopathic Practice, I have come to understand we all experience this transition and how much we suffer with it depends on 5 main factors.
Nervous system health
Mental/emotional beliefs and mindset
Generalized inflammation can cause you to feel exhausted, puffy, painful and stop you from feeling really comfortable in your skin. Some of the causes of generalized inflammation are poor gut health, nutrition, stress, bacterial/yeast overgrowth in the digestive tract and immune system issues.
If your body needs to over-secrete insulin in order to keep your blood sugar stable, you will find that your blood sugar (energy) goes directly into fat storage versus into your cells for energy. This is a frustrating experience and can cause symptoms of PMS, mood swings, food cravings and a very real weight-release resistance.
Nervous system health
The hormonal changes in perimenopause relies on our nervous system, adrenal glands, to help secrete estrogen, progesterone and testosterone to buffer the loss of these hormones being secreted by our ovaries. When our nervous system has been taxed from chronic stress, trauma or lifestyle choices, we need to nourish this system. If we don't, it can feel like such a shock when our ovaries are no longer working optimally to produce estrogen and progesterone.
You might think your hormones cause the most problems in Perimenopause but it's actually a perfect storm of how the other systems (digestive, immune, nervous system) interact with our hormones. Supporting your ovaries to slowly ramp down their activity instead of a drastic nose-dive can help ease the shift, but ultimately, our ovaries won't ovulate forever.
Mental/Emotional beliefs and mindset
Perimenopause is a good time to reassess your beliefs about who you are and what makes you worthy. So many people only feel ok if they look young or if they are fitting into a certain size that our toxic beauty standards decided was appropriate. This is a good time to work on your relationship with yourself, your body and cultivate self-love, acceptance and compassion.
I am so passionate about helping women feel like a goddess in their own lives and their bodies. If you would like to get a solid plan put together to help ease your Perimenopause transition, reach out! I work with clients 1:1 as well as in an online group format for added accountability, education and support when implementing changes.
Dr. Jada ND