Understanding the Transition to Menopause
Hot flushes? Irregular periods? Sleep problems? Anxiety? Weight gain? If you’re 40+ and experiencing these symptoms, thoughts of experiencing menopause may be setting in.
What is menopause?
Menopause is defined as the cessation of a woman’s ovarian function, with menstruation and ovulation coming to an end. During this process the body’s natural secretion of hormones is reduced with the ovarian production of oestrogen dropping up to 90%.
The hormonal changes leading up to menopause is also known as perimenopause and this transition can sneak up on you. Perimenopause is when a female’s menstrual period transitions to cessation and is classified as 12 ongoing months without a period along with consistently elevated serum follicle stimulating hormone (stimulating follicle development in the ovaries) levels and low serum oestradiol (the main oestrogen produced by the ovaries in response to follicle stimulating hormone).
Perimenopause can last from a couple of months to 12 years – the exact age and time of this transition is different for everyone. During this time a number of symptoms may arise due to hormonal fluctuations such as:
- Irregular periods
- Skin changes
- Mood changes
- Memory loss
- Vaginal dryness
- Libido changes
- Night sweats or hot flushes
Throughout this transition ovarian sex steroid syntheses decreases and ovulation fluctuates and as a result women experience irregular periods (shorter, longer, altering flow). Low progesterone and fluctuating estrogen marks the approach of menopause for women.
Menopause is defined by just one day. This one day marks 12 months since a woman’s last period. After this day, a woman is considered post-menopausal. Here a woman’s body learns to adapt to function on lower levels of hormones (estrogen and progesterone) and some symptoms (listed above) may still occur.
Dietary and lifestyle considerations to support the body through this transition.
Practice self care
Meditation, yin yoga, breathwork and slow movement help to nourish the nervous system, calm and reduce stress hormone output. This is important whilst supporting the endocrine system during this time. Relaxation techniques help to support menopausal symptoms.
Eat dark leafy green vegetables
Dark leafy green vegetables help to support hormonal balance in the body and provide the body with nutrients and phytochemicals needed for all processes in the body. Adequate fiber from adequate vegetable intake supports healthy blood sugar levels and bowel function.
Support your liver
The liver is constantly working to efficiently eliminate toxins and excess hormones from the body. A wholefoods diet full of an abundance of vegetables and adequate hydration will help support optimal liver function.
Regular weight-bearing and aerobic exercise helps to support fat burning, muscle strength, lean muscle mass and mineral density.
The Holistic Approach
This transition phase marks an important time to work closely with a holistic health practitioner. We choose to work closely with patients in order to manage symptoms and support hormonal changes during this time. Treatment is 100% personalised and through thorough investigation,
case taking and analysis of pathology and testing throughout treatment we will create your own individualised diet and lifestyle plan to support you the best we can. For further advice, speak with a practitioner here at Hills Natural Health Centre.
At the Hills Natural Health Centre, our experienced team of practitioners use a holistic approach paired with evidence-based medicine to help support you on your health journey.
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