During my time as an OBGYN nurse, one of the funniest things I heard was “Menopause is just puberty’s evil older sister.” Looking back to the hormonal changes I experienced in my teenage years I found this statement to be very true. I remember thinking, “thank goodness I am not on that roller coaster!” Well at least for the time being. To truly understand menopause we need to appreciate the various stages leading up to this transitional event.
Pre and perimenopause often are used interchangeably but technically have two very different meanings.
Premenopause is when you have no symptoms. Your periods are regular and you are in your reproductive years. You may be having some slight hormonal changes but not enough to feel the changes in your body. This is considered the first stage.
Stage two is perimenopause. This stage can start in your early 40’s and last up to a decade. Yes ladies, you heard me right! Hormones start to shift considerably more as you get older and you can experience irregular periods, trouble sleeping, mood swings, and night sweats. Nutrients and minerals start to deplete. I encourage you to pay attention to how you are feeling physically and mentally. I have personally started a journal to write down my symptoms, track my cycle, and help with emotional support. You may want to forget these facts, but they are important to remember!
Menopause, stage three is marked with the absence of your period for 12 months. In addition to the symptoms you may be experiencing in perimenopause you may notice cognitive changes, decreased libido, acne, weight gain, and fatigue. The hormonal roller coaster has begun and you may feel like you are losing your mind, but you are not! Menopause is a normal natural event that affects every woman at some point in life.
It is time to let go of the negative stigma associated with the “M” word. Sure our skin may start to sag a little, osteoporosis becomes relevant and our cardiovascular risk increases but these are preventable with little lifestyle changes.
Approaching this transition with a positive attitude and a bit of humor can really help us get through it. Do not suffer! Manage symptoms and menopause-related conditions with these tips.
Address mental health!
Estrogen and progesterone decline significantly causing all sorts of unwelcomed symptoms like anxiety and depression. Confide in a close friend that understands what you are going through. You may find yourself ready to snap off one minute and cry the next. Confide in a close friend that understands what you are going through. A nice dinner with good company is sure to boost your mood and help with your mindset!
Be physically active.
Find activities that you find fun and practice them consistently. A brisk walk, yoga, resistance bands, and even dancing can make a world of difference. Exercise helps to strengthen lost muscle mass, slow down mineral loss and density loss in bones, improve mood, and reduces stress.
You are what you eat!
Making sure to load up on a diet full of leafy green vegetables, low glycemic fruits, whole grains, quality proteins and healthy fats are all good choices to help balance hormones and feed your body with the nutrients it needs.
Start studying up on supplements!
If you are not on a supplement program already, now is the time to really start learning more about what your body needs. Everyone’s needs are different but using natural supplements to help manage your oncoming symptoms is a no brainer. Research brands for safety, efficacy and specific supplements that can really help manage your symptoms.
Control the temperature
A lot of peri-menopausal people suffer hot flashes. When possible and dress in layers so you can address the change in temperature. Combating hot flashes can be difficult and unpredictable so why not plan ahead! Avoid spicy foods, caffeine, and smoking. They can amplify the symptoms. Sleep with the widow open or air conditioning on.
Re-evaluate your skincare regime
During this time skin can become more sensitive and you may experience eruptions or pimple clusters on the face and back, and you hair can become more dry and brittle. Choose skincare products that are clean, chemical free, and won’t clog pores. Adjusting your diet will also support the changes in skin and hair.
Vaginal dryness can put a damper on intimacy. There are lots of natural products that contain ingredients that not only provide support with lubrication, but also serve to bring increased blood flow to the pelvic region. Spice up the bedroom with a vaginal moisturizer/ lubricant. Extended foreplay can help with secretions and generate more lubrication. Sexual intimacy is important during this time and is encouraged to help ease symptoms, like mood swings.
Bernadette Judge, RN serves as Operations Manager and advisor for Nupeutics Health, helping to ensure that every step of your experience with our brand is simple and smooth. She worked as a Medical Researcher at the University of California, San Diego, before becoming licensed as a Vocational Nurse (LVN) and, shortly afterward, as a Registered Nurse (RN). She served as Lead Nurse for a California-based OBGYN practice before taking the role of Lead Pre-Op Nurse. After caring for both her best friend and her father during their battles with longterm illnesses, Bernadette is more passionate than ever about working to diagnose conditions as early as possible and finding holistic treatments that reduce the risk of side effects and complications. Bernadette joined our team to help bring about a revolution in holistic health and patient-focused care. An avid Steelers fan and travel enthusiast, she lives with her family in San Diego.