No one prepared me for the ‘rollercoaster’ of perimenopause. It’s just not something we talk about much in our culture. I wasn’t ready for all the shifts and changes; nor did I realize it would start as early as it did and last as long as it has. I have spent the past 10 years doing a lot of research on the different perimenopausal symptoms I was experiencing, all the while thinking how nice it would’ve been if I could have just found all this information in one place instead of having to spend so much time and effort researching it all myself--asking people questions, reading books, searching the Internet, listening to podcasts. The good news: all my time and effort has become your good fortune! I want to share with you the most important things I've learned--to save you a lot of time and energy, trial and error. Because if you have a better idea of what’s going to happen, you can make a plan to support your body—pro-actively—through nutrition, supplements, exercise and stress relief. And trust me, you're going to want a plan.
Doctors agree that some of the best ways to manage the symptoms of perimenopause and prepare for a smoother menopausal transition are health–supporting behaviors. For these to work, however, it’s important to start early. Once you’re dealing with full-fledged perimenopausal symptoms, it will take longer to restore the balance of your body. So thank yourself for taking the first step by purchasing this e-Guide. I hope that the information I provide will not only help facilitate a smoother transition, but lay the groundwork for better health in the years following menopause.
Peri-menopause is different for everyone. Some women have hardly any symptoms; others have all the symptoms. This material is purely based on my own research and experiences. I'm not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV, but after researching this topic for the past 10 years, I have learned A LOT. I have personally discussed this topic with two integrative MDs, an acupuncturist and a compounding pharmacist; read tons of books and articles by MDs, herbalists and holistic healers; talked to close friends about their experiences; and listened to more podcasts than I can count.
I was in my late 30s when perimenopause started for me. At least that's when I noticed for the first time EVER my period being irregular. (It came several days later than usual and let's just say that perimenopause was not the first conclusion I jumped to...) But it really started kicking in full-force by the time I reached my mid-40s. It also just so happened that, aside from going through a divorce in my 30s, my mid-40s were the most stressful time in my life to date. In the span of five years I sold a house, bought and remodeled a new house, moved and renovated my yoga studio, restructured my yoga business, created a new online class management system for students, re-designed my website (when the old one got hacked), dealt with dysfunctional family issues and, when I finally thought I was going to get a breather, was forced to do the 'pandemic pivot' with my yoga business in 2020. I was stressed out, overwhelmed and exhausted--and my hormones were paying the price.
Because I am a natural health nut, I've taken good care of my body for as long as I can remember, and it has shown its appreciation by taking good care of me back. I've never really had any serious health-related issues. But I am here to tell you: perimenopause can do a number on your body, and stress just makes it all the worse. If you aren't proactive in finding balance through lifestyle modifications, it's not going to be a fun ride. So let's not waste any time in delving into what perimenopause is exactly...
Perimenopause typically starts anywhere between your mid-30s and late-40s. It may surprise you that it can start in your 30s, but if you’re really paying attention you will probably notice some symptoms. This is the time when your progesterone levels are just beginning to drop. Progesterone is a calming hormone so as its levels decrease you’ll likely feel more on edge and irritable.
Some of the signs of early perimenopause include:
*Estrogen dominance (including severe PMS, fibroids, weight gain, and heavy bleeding)
As perimenopause progresses, you may experience a period free-for-all where your cycle changes month to month. One month you may have no period, the next you may bleed for more than a week. Your flow may change (becoming lighter OR heavier), the length may change, the time between cycles may change. This stage might last 1-4 years, and its symptoms are a sign that menopause is on the horizon. (The official start of menopause is when you have not had a period for one year. If you’re anything like me, you’ll get fooled a couple times by going 11 months without a period, thinking, ‘This is it!’ only to get one the next month and then have to start the counting all over again. And just FYI: there is no such thing as post-menopause. You are either in perimenopause or menopause.)
Some of the many symptoms of later perimenopause include:
*Shorter OR longer cycles and missed periods
*Periods that fluctuate between being light or heavy
*Heavy bleeding, accompanied by an increased risk of fibroids and polyps
*Brain fog/trouble concentrating/forgetfulness
*Hot flashes/night sweats
*Stubborn weight gain
*Bone density loss
*Vaginal dryness/itchiness/loss of elasticity
*Decreased sex drive
*Can you relate to any of the life experiences I mentioned above? What kind of stressful issues have you been dealing with lately in your personal life, work, family, etc? You may want to write them out so you can actually see how long the list is.
*Have you already been noticing any of the symptoms of early or late perimenopause that I mentioned above? Which ones? The first part of creating your perimenopause plan is being more aware of what's going on in your body.