Perimenopause is the transitional period leading up to menopause when a woman’s hormone centre (the hypothalamus) begins to decrease certain activity triggering a cascade effect that ultimately leads to a reduction in oestrogen. This can cause a range of symptoms, including hot flushes, night sweats, mood changes including anxiety, sleep issues and vaginal dryness.
Several herbal remedies, such as black cohosh, dong quai, and red clover, have been shown to help alleviate symptoms of perimenopause. We also consider herbs to support your adrenals and reduce stress, support sleep and reduce anxiety, as the adrenals are the next best place to store oestrogen. And if they aren’t up to the task…..hello belly fat!!! Another place that oestrogen loves to accumulate. Hence why when you hit your 40’s and onwards it’s so hard to lose belly fat when you are under stress and exhausted. Yet it moves so quickly once you have those factors under control.
We also support the liver with herbs as it has the important role of clearing old and excess hormones.
Considering the side effects of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), it is certainly worth consulting a naturopath or herbalist when investigating your options so that your symptoms are managed with as little side effects as possible and results are long lasting rather than a short term fix.
Once you hit menopause, we continue the work, but also consider the impact of less oestrogen in the body.
Here is a recipe for a gluten-free and refined sugar-free snack that can support you at this stage:
Chia Seed Pudding
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tsp maple or rice syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup fresh berries
In a small bowl, mix together chia seeds, almond milk, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and cinnamon.
Stir the mixture well to ensure the chia seeds are fully coated.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
When ready to serve, top with fresh berries and enjoy!
Chia seeds are a great source of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and calcium, which can help support bone health during menopause which can reduce due to the reduction in oestrogen. A good quality or home made almond milk is also rich in calcium and vitamin D. The natural sweetness of the berries and the small amount of maple syrup provide a delicious flavor without refined sugar, and cinnamon supports your blood sugar so that you don’t get the sugar cravings in the first place!
If you are struggling with symptoms or are wanting to figure out the right supplements consider working with one of our naturopaths to support you as an individual.