Both perimenopause and menopause are normal events in a woman’s life. Relentless and unpleasant symptoms, however, are not normal. Statistically normal perhaps, but not the way you were designed to function as a woman.
The average age of menopause onset is 51 years, but the best predictor women can use is their mother’s menopausal age as a good indicator of their own. If you haven’t had a period for one year, you’re officially post-menopause. There really is no other way to know, nor is it important (unless you are trying to get pregnant).
Although symptoms like weight gain, brain fog and hot flashes are often referred to as “menopausal” in nature, the perimenopausal years are typically rockier than actual menopause, and it’s in these years (usually the 40s and 50s) that too many women start to see their health decline.
This time, when a woman starts to feel a subtle shift in her mood and health presents the perfect opportunity to take stock of her life and attend to her needs. Although that can be difficult when women find themselves wedged between their children, job or aging parents, it’s crucial to evaluate one’s lifestyle in order to prevent becoming a grim statistic of poor aging.
Unfortunately, the majority of women enter this phase of life with some degree of adrenal dysfunction and low thyroid function – even subclinical low thyroid function (not revealed on standard lab results) – and thus will experience unpleasant symptoms.
Symptoms are signals that the body hasn’t received the needed nutritional, lifestyle, supplemental, and sometimes even spiritual support.
The important thing is to recognize that symptoms, at any age, are the body’s way of telling you that it is not getting what it needs for optimal function. These are not things that can be permanently cured by popping a pill or exercising harder. They are clarion calls to look deeper .
One key place that you can start is your adrenal glands. These glands are the shape of a walnut and are the glands of stress. They produce cortisol which helps maintain blood pressure and blood sugar and modulates the immune system.
Healthy adrenal glands are vital for women who are peri- and post-menopausal. The adrenals take over for sex hormone production in a menopausal woman once the ovaries go into retirement. And yes, you still need some sex hormones, even if you are post menopause.
If the adrenal glands are fatigued and not ready for menopause, there will be an exaggeration of symptoms such as hot flashes, weight gain, sleep problems, bone loss, mood swings, depression, anxiety, loss of sex drive, and vaginal dryness. Healthy adrenals ensure an easy transition into menopause and beyond, so it is crucial to make sure you nourish and nurture them.
Here are my top 10 tips to managing middle age well:
- Balance blood sugar by balancing macronutrients at every meal, e.g. protein, fats, and fibrous carbohydrates.
- Get your Omega 3 fatty acids – fatty fish, walnuts, flax and chia are great sources
- Watch the sugar and caffeine intake, carefully.
- Keep constipation at bay by getting lots of fiber and water.
- Support the liver by doing a gentle detox yearly and be sure to include milk thistle for its liver loving properties
- Ensure that your Vitamin D levels are not less than 50 ng/mL.
- Educate yourself about endocrine disruptors in skin care, cosmetics, and household cleaners.
- Pursue something you feel passionately about.
- Find movement you love and try to practice it daily
- Above all these, practice stress management
If you would like to find out more about how you can age well, and not be fat, fatigued and frumpy, go ahead and book a 20 minute discovery call with me right here. We’ll discuss what you’re doing to age happy and healthy and I will give you a few tips on balancing your hormones. Book a free call and be ready to learn and grow!