For some women, the word perimenopause and menopause sounds biologically cataclysmic. Not to mention the fact that it’s a taboo subject. As a result, they prefer not to talk about it, opting to deal with this natural occurrence in silence and solitude, and furthermore, pretend that they are aye, ok. Granted some women are indeed ok.
We are all biologically unique, so not everyone suffers the same effects that are associated with this transitional period. In fact, some women have absolutely no adverse effects.
Perimenopause is the stage that leads up to menopause, and it can begin as early as the late twenties, bringing with it symptoms that can throw a woman into a tailspin. Much like every other transitional stage that our body goes through (puberty and pregnancy), the symptoms associated with perimenopause are a result of the changing role of the reproductive system (in this case, the diminishing role). It occurs as we age, as our estrogen levels decrease, as our eggs become less viable, as our ability to have children begin to wane. Like some of the old folks use to say, “We’re closing up shop.”
Know that perimenopause doesn’t have to be the bane of your existence. With proper nutritional support and a healthy lifestyle, you can alleviate a lot of the hormonal imbalances that cause these undesirable symptoms. Here are a few tips to help you make peace with perimenopause:
♦ If you don’t already, get to know your body. Understand the changes that are occurring so that you can deal with them effectively. No one knows or should know your body better than you. You can also talk to someone who can help you understand what’s going on, like your doctor, your health coach, your mother, your knowledgeable girlfriend, your older sister or anyone you feel is capable of providing answers.
♦ Take care of you. Self-care is extremely important. Breathe diaphragmatically. Exercise regularly. Consider yoga, Tai chi, walking, biking, swimming, whatever your fancy, as long as you move your body. Prayer or meditation works wonderfully to calm anxieties and will help mellow you out. Eat clean, well-balanced meals that provide your body with proper nutritional support. Adequate and appropriate nutrition will positively influence your hormones on a cellular level. Add fun to your life. Depression can be a side effect of waning hormones. So do things that bring you joy and ultimately, fulfillment. Do what you love to do. You’re worth the self-care investment.
♦ Communicate to your spouse what you’re going through. Explain, in depth the meaning of perimenopause. Explain the side effects and what you are experiencing. Tell him what he can do to provide support to help make you happier because ultimately, you’ll be making him happier as well. Also, if you have children, and depending on their ages, you can explain to them what you’re going through. The more support you have the better for your and everyone around you. You are confused, and it’s your body. Imagine how confused the people around you must be when they see the changes in you and can’t fathom why.
♦ Be patient with the process. Be kind and gentle with our body. Don’t fight what’s natural, because ultimately, your body will have its way. Understand that this too shall pass, like all the prior transitions. Hang in there, take good care of you, and be at peace with this place you’re in at this point in your life. You’re beautiful.
How do you deal with your premenopausal symptoms? Let us know in the comments below.
Dixie Lincoln- Nichols is a biological science educator, health and wellbeing consultant and Qigong instructor. Her work has been featured in media outlets like, Oprah Mag, SELF, Yahoo and more. She is the founder of Inside Outer Beauty Market, a multi-cultutal retailer curating and creating products to support the body inside and out. Visit the site at www.iobeautymarket.com