If you are wonderfully in your middle years, it’s likely you have experienced or understand some of the symptoms that come with perimenopause and menopause. My understanding of women’s health has changed a lot over the past few years, so I’m not going to say that everything bad you experience at this time is “normal” because it’s not. It’s important to have a good functional doctor who can help you wisely navigate perimenopause and menopause. This doctor will be able to help you be healthier in general.
One of the most common things that women complain about during this time of life is mood changes that include depression, anxiety, and the inability to handle stress. Yes, it’s true, these things happen when hormones shift during our cycles but can become worse when those shifts are more extreme. However, one thing to keep in mind is that there could be other underlying factors at play in your state of health.
Poor diet, lack of exercise, toxic load, prescription drugs, alcohol use, mental health, and genetic markers can all be culprits in making things a whole lot worse. Because we all are different, there is no one-size-fits-all plan to get through the various seasons of our lives as women. One thing I do know is that taking your health for granted is never OK. Consult with a quality healthcare professional to determine what your specific needs are. Also, here are some things I’ve done to wisely get through this time.
Understand the Complexity of Women’s Hormones
There aren’t many areas of health that compare to the complexity of women’s hormones. And, I say this with pure confidence even though I am not a doctor or scientist. I know because I’ve experienced the raging hell hormone imbalance can cause. I’ve also raised 5 daughters. Do the math…
It would do you some good to check out books about hormones, perimenopause, menopause, thyroid, and functional medicine as pertaining to women’s hormone health. The other thing is knowing that things aren’t always as they seem. In other words, don’t believe just because your mom told you that middle age was hell for her doesn’t mean it has to be for you. Do your research!
Strive for Greater Health
When I say this, I mean for you to take a good hard look at where your health is in all areas. Physical, mental, and emotional health all work together to create a beautiful and happy life. If just one of these areas is off, it can be as though you’re trying to keep from drowning in a muddy bog. Before I understood what was really going on in my body, this was my life.
Understand, however, true health takes time, energy, money, and dedication. It took me years to find the right healthcare team. I am still in a season of recovery and fine-tuning my hormones. Be diligent and don’t fall victim to doctors who simply want to shove a hormone pellet in your ass to solve all your problems. Trust me, it doesn’t and can even do more damage than good.
Keep a Health Journal
One of the things that I’ve done over the years is to record everything in a health journal. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve referred to it for inspiration and information. My doctors and healthcare team have also been quite grateful that I have kept impeccable records of symptoms, improvements, supplements, and dates. My current doctor is a stickler with specific questions, most of which I could never answer without my records.
I include things like what I eat and when, all of my other medical appointments and treatments, and mainly how I’m feeling. From this information, my doctor has been able to orchestrate my care with accuracy. He has also recommended other treatments like going to the best dental office and chiropractor to complement the plan we’ve put together.
Get Better Sleep
Unfortunately, during perimenopause/menopause, sleep disturbances can be common. Again, to simply chalk them up to age isn’t wise or fair. Hot flashes, night sweats, and anxiety can be symptoms of many illnesses and conditions. Sadly, if these things happen at middle-age, they get shoved into the menopause column without much investigation. This is where taking responsibility for your own health is crucial.
While you are working on discovering what is happening in your body, you can help yourself get a better night’s sleep. First of all, make your bedroom cooler at night by turning down the heat, using a fan, and opening windows. You can also change the fabric of your sheets and blankets for added control.
Additionally, do NOT use your phone and other electronics close to bedtime, as these excite your brain and can hinder the natural process of sleep. Try reading, meditating, or listening to music 30-min before bed.
Though these few things are just the tip of the iceberg as far as dealing with the symptoms that can come with perimenopause/menopause. As you navigate this time of your life, you will learn from experience what works for you. I can’t, however, stress enough the importance of finding a good doctor who knows how to treat women’s hormones and the cascade effect they can have on our systems. Be WELL, my friends!
**** This post is strictly informational and is not meant to replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Women’s lifelink, it’s owners, administrators, contributors, affiliates, vendors, authors, and editors do not claim that this information will diagnose, treat, or improve any condition or disease.