Perimenopause (aka menopausal transition), the transition phase leading to menopause, is a natural biological process experienced by most women in their 40s or early 50s 1. During this phase, the ovaries start producing less estrogen, leading to a variety of symptoms such as irregular periods, hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and vaginal dryness.1 While some women prefer to use hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to manage their perimenopausal symptoms, others seek natural alternatives.2 In this blog post, we will explore various strategies for managing perimenopause symptoms to alleviate discomfort and enhance the overall well-being of women going through this phase.
Research shows that exercise can help relieve symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, and sleep disturbances in perimenopausal women.3
A study published in the Journal of Women's Health found that women who engaged in moderate to vigorous exercise for at least 150 minutes per week had fewer hot flashes and better sleep quality than those who did not exercise 3. Thus, incorporating regular exercise into your daily routine is a powerful and effective approach towards managing perimenopause symptoms. Additionally, exercise also helps maintain bone density, which tends to decline during perimenopause.3
A healthy diet can also help manage perimenopausal symptoms. Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats can help reduce the risk of heart disease, which increases after menopause.4 Certain foods such as soy products, flaxseed, and legumes contain phytoestrogens, which may further help alleviate hot flashes and vaginal dryness.5
Throughout history, herbal remedies have played a significant role in managing perimenopause symptoms naturally. The efficacy of these herbs have also been in many scientific research.
For example, Black cohosh is one of the most popular herbs used for menopause and has shown promising results in reducing hot flashes and night sweats, as demonstrated in several studies.6 Another herb, red clover, contains phytoestrogens that have been found to improve vaginal dryness and enhance bone density in perimenopausal women.7 Additional herbs like kudzu, licorice, and dong quai have also undergone research to explore their potential benefits in managing perimenopausal symptoms.8
However, it's important to note that herbal remedies are not regulated by the FDA, and it's thus essential to talk to a healthcare professional before starting any new herbal treatment, especially if you have underlying medical conditions.
Stress can worsen perimenopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and mood swings.9 Practicing relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing can help reduce stress, while also improving the overall well-being of women going through menopausal transition.10 According to a study in the Journal of Women's Health, mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), is an evidence-based program that combines mindfulness meditation, yoga, and body awareness techniques. This has shown to improve the quality of life, reduce stress, and alleviate anxiety in perimenopausal women.11
Sleep disturbances are common during the perimenopausal phase, and they can greatly impact mood swings, irritability, and fatigue experienced by women.12 Thus, managing perimenopause symptoms is crucial, and incorporating good sleep hygiene practices into daily routines is essential. This includes avoiding caffeine and alcohol consumption before bedtime, establishing a consistent sleep schedule, and creating a serene sleep environment.13 It is also recommended to minimize short daytime naps to preserve uninterrupted nighttime sleep.
In conclusion, perimenopause can be effectively managed through lifestyle changes and natural remedies. Regular exercise, a healthy diet, stress-relieving techniques, herbal remedies, and good sleep hygiene are all effective measures for managing perimenopause symptoms and promoting overall well-being. It is important to consult a healthcare professional before trying any new treatments, especially if you have underlying medical conditions. With accurate testing and the implementation of natural remedies, women can navigate this challenging phase of life with more confidence and ease.
Thanks to advances in medical technology, women can now conveniently assess their hormonal levels from the comfort and privacy of their homes with the help of tests like LifeCell Perimenopause Test. This test analyzes three essential female hormones - AMH, TSH, and fT4 - and can provide women with valuable insights into their hormonal status, allowing them to make informed decisions about their health. By identifying whether symptoms are due to perimenopause or an underlying thyroid condition, women can take appropriate measures to manage their symptoms and seek timely medical help if needed.