Welcome, wonderful readers, to another exciting blog post by Dr. Kathleen and the team! Today, we’re embarking on a journey through the intriguing landscape of perimenopause, a phase in a woman’s life that often remains shrouded in mystery. We’ll explore what perimenopause is, who it typically affects, the hormonal changes to watch out for, and how it differs from menopause. But that’s not all—stay tuned as we delve into botanical remedies, nutritional supplements, self-care strategies, and the magic of the DUTCH hormonal test. Let’s get started!
What Is Perimenopause?
Perimenopause is like the prologue to menopause—a transitional phase leading up to the grand finale. It usually begins in the late 30s or early 40s but can start earlier or later and can last anywhere from a few months to several years. During this time, your body is gradually preparing to bid farewell to its reproductive years.
Changes in Perimenopause
Perimenopause can feel like a hormonal rollercoaster. Here are some common changes to keep an eye out for:
- Irregular periods, heavy or lighter periods
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- Mood swings and irritability
- Breast tenderness
- Joint aches and pains that feel like out of nowhere
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Vaginal dryness
- Decreased libido
- Weight gain
Perimenopause vs. Menopause
Perimenopause often gets confused with menopause, but they’re not the same. While perimenopause is the lead-up, menopause is the grand finale—the point when you’ve gone a full year without a menstrual period. Perimenopause is marked by irregular periods and fluctuating hormone levels, while menopause signifies the end of your reproductive years.
Natural Hormonal Support
Now, let’s talk about some botanical remedies and nutritional supplements that can help you sail through perimenopause more smoothly:
- Black Cohosh: Known for reducing hot flashes and mood swings.
- Chaste Tree Berry (Vitex): Known to help regulate periods and naturally increase progesterone production without the use of external/exogenous hormones.
- Maca Root: Can help balance hormones and boost energy.
- Evening Primrose Oil: May alleviate breast tenderness and mood swings.
- 5-HTP or St. John’s Wort: May help alleviate nervous tension, sleep disturbance, headaches, and mood swings (avoid these if taking any prescription anti-depressant (SSRI) medications – always consult with your doctor before taking new remedies). Use with caution while operating a vehicle or heavy machinery. We recommend you consult with us about dosing during daytime vs evening.
- Vitamin D combined with K2 and sulforaphane: Essential for bone health during this phase.
- Pre and probiotics: May help to alleviate irritable bowel sensitivities.
- Curcumin & Boswellia: May help to alleviate joint aches associated with hormonal changes.
Embracing self-care can make a world of difference during perimenopause. Here are some tips to consider:
- Prioritise sleep for hormonal balance, getting to bed around 9 pm (take advantage of the added melatonin benefits if you can sleep before midnight).
- Incorporate various regular exercises to alleviate mood swings and counteract weight gain.
- Mindfulness practices like yoga or meditation can help manage stress.
- Maintain a balanced diet rich in whole foods and try to avoid alcohol due to its effects on the metabolism, blood sugar fluctuations resulting in cravings and sleep disturbances, sterilisation of beneficial gut flora and promotion of intestinal permeability (leaky gut).
Comprehensive Hormonal Testing with DUTCH Profile
At Dr Kathleen & Team, we’re excited to offer comprehensive hormonal testing through the DUTCH profile. Unlike standard blood tests, the DUTCH profile measures hormone metabolites, offering a more in-depth look at your hormonal balance. Metabolites are critical to ensure that your oestrogen is metabolising down safer pathways rather than pathways that can damage DNA. This detailed information allows us to customise recommendations for natural hormonal support, ensuring you get the care you deserve.
Perimenopause is an incredible chapter in a woman’s life journey. While it may come with its fair share of challenges, it also offers an opportunity for growth and transformation. With the right knowledge, self-care, and support from Dr Kathleen & Team, you can navigate this transitional phase with grace and embrace the beauty of hormonal harmony (or as close to it as we can get!).
Stay tuned for more exciting insights and tips from our team of experts. Remember, you’re never alone on this journey—we’re here to guide you every step of the way!
Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is for educational purposes only and should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult with a healthcare provider for personalised recommendations.