A natural decrease in hormone production causes the three phases of menopause (perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause). As hormone levels begin to decline, a variety of symptoms may present themselves. During the perimenopause stage, estrogen levels start to rise and fall at different rates, which may cause one of the following symptoms:
8 Symptoms of Perimenopause
1. Irregular Periods
Many report that the duration and regularity of periods may begin to change. As perimenopause progresses, periods may become further and further apart.
2. Decreased Bone Density
With declining estrogen levels, many women may begin to lose bone density.
3. Increased Cholesterol Levels
As estrogen levels decline, many patients may experience an increase in LDL, “the bad cholesterol” and a decrease of HDL “the good cholesterol.” This may increase the risk of heart disease.
4. Hot Flashes
Many women experience flushing of the skin and difficulty controlling their body temperature as metabolism changes occur.
5. Difficulty Sleeping
Many women report difficulty sleeping and lower energy levels, even after a good night’s sleep.
6. Vaginal Discomfort
As estrogen levels decrease, vaginal tissue may lose moisture and tone, contributing to discomfort. These symptoms may be most noticeable during sexual intercourse.
7. Loss of Libido
During perimenopause, sexual arousal and desire may change.
8. Low Mood
Low mood or mood fluctuations, including irritability, may be related to a hormone imbalance, and may also be caused by associated perimenopause symptoms like hot flashes and trouble sleeping.
6 Ways to Help Manage Perimenopause
1. Eat Healthy
Consuming healthy, nutrient-dense foods is essential to help the body get what it needs. Avoiding highly processed foods that are high in calories may also help manage weight, as many women report a drop in metabolism during perimenopause.
2. Fill the Gaps With Nutraceuticals
As the body is put under stress during perimenopause, it is vital to ensure that it receives all the nutrients it needs to function properly. Nutraceuticals, like ADK, can help fill nutritional gaps for patients, and may even promote bone strength.
3. Exercise Regularly
As muscle mass may decrease along with a slowed metabolism during perimenopause, regular exercise focused on aerobics and muscle building is essential to maintaining health.
4. Stop Smoking
Most patients are already aware of the dangers of smoking and its harmful effects on their health. These effects may be even more pronounced during perimenopause, as smoking may sap the body of vitamins and minerals that it needs to thrive.
5. Manage Stress
Unmitigated stress can exacerbate symptoms of perimenopause, including insomnia, hot flashes, and irritability. Activities like meditation and yoga that promote mindfulness can be a great resource. Talking to a mental health professional or family and friends can also help.
6. Get Better Sleep
Always be trying to get at least eight hours of sleep every night. Anyone experiencing difficulties falling or staying asleep should also avoid caffeine and alcohol.
Addressing Symptoms Through Hormone Optimization
Many of the changes that women experience during perimenopause are a result of decreasing estrogen. As a Lifestyle Medicine provider, we test for and treat hormone imbalance. By optimizing estrogen and progesterone levels, as well as testosterone, we are helping restore balance to several important biological systems.
By regularly testing and adjusting hormone levels, and addressing patient symptoms as they occur, we provide a personalized, compassionate level of care that is ideal for managing the symptoms associated with this substantial life change.
Call us today for your first consult that is covered by most all major insurances! 205-879-8206