I’m just going to be real here and tell you that, just like every woman before me, I am in the perimenopausal stage of my life. What is messed up is that I hesitated to write that- thinking that it is too private and slightly embarrassing, which is awful, because literally EVERY woman goes through it. Why is it shameful? Why are we afraid to discuss it? Why shouldn’t we reach out to each other for support and advice? I want to encourage all of us women to be more open and ask for more help. Let’s stop feeling ashamed and embarrassed about our bodies!

OK- off my soap box and on to the content…

Perimenopause is defined as the transitional time between regular menstruation and menopause and typically occurs 4-10 years prior to menopause. The avergae age of menopause is 51. Menopause occurs when a woman has gone an entire year without a period.

While some women sail through this period without any issues, many women struggle with a plethora of uncomfortable symptoms including hot flashes, night sweats, depression, anxiety, decreased sex drive, hair loss, vaginal dryness, difficulties sleeping, and changes in body weight and composition.

It is during perimenopause that the ovaries stop releasing an egg every month (ovulation), causing a gradual decline in the production of hormones then the menstrual cycle becomes irregular. In the absence of ovulation, the ovaries produce less progesterone and estrogen leaving women with declining hormone levels which can, in turn, cause a myriad of symptoms.

These symptoms, however, are not a given. Some women simply stop having periods and don’t experience any of these dreaded complications. There is a neuroinflammatory component of perimenopause and menopause. This means that when there is inflammation in the body, the brain, which controls the orchestra of hormonal release in the ovaries and adrenals, reacts poorly, resulting in the typical symptoms we all dread.

Keeping inflammation low is key to a healthy transition into menopause.

You have a tremendous amount of control when it comes to your health. You can be one of the women without any symptoms of perimenopause. Following the principles of a healthy lifestyle, and possibly adding in selective nutrients and herbs, can make a TREMENDOUS difference in disease prevention and treatment.

Unfortunately, so many people are resistant to making the necessary changes to their diet and lifestyle habits. There is a lot of fear of missing out on certain foods or “living”, but I argue that you are actually gaining so much health!

Getting enough sleep, managing your stress, exercising regularly, and eating healthy foods is not a punishment. It is actually self-love. I know I am worth it- do you know that you are too?

Continuing to eat whatever you want, deprive yourself of sleep, and be sedentary are actually habits that are damaging your body and CAUSING you to miss out on living, because you feel too tired, depressed, and achey to participate in everything you want to do.

The two simplest changes that you can make to your diet to reduce inflammatory and help you coast through menopause are:

Avoid all industrial seeds oils (canola, cottonseed, corn, soy, sunflower, safflower, grapeseed, and rice bran oils). Ask your server when you eat out at restaurants what oil they use, and check all your labels on baked goods, crackers, chips, snack foods, cereals, dressings, frozen foods, sauces, etc.

Instead, use coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, butter, ghee, and traditional cooking fats like lard and shmaltz.

Avoid sugars. Again, check all your labels.

Instead use honey, maple syrup, stevia, monk fruit, and sugar alcohols (if tolerated).

In addition to lifestyle and dietary changes, there are also herbs that are helpful in controlling inflammation (such as Curcumin and Fish Oil) supporting the waning ovarian function (such as Black Cohosh and Maca), and building up the endothelial glycocalyx (blood vessel health and one of my new favorite supplements for any person of the age of 35- Arterosil).

You can find quality, pharmaceutical-grade supplements by visiting the Vail Valley Pharmacy in Edwards, CO or ordering online at: https://vailvalleypharmacy.com/shop-supplements

If you are struggling your way through perimenopause, please don’t hesitate to reach out and schedule an appointment with me. This is a time of life when loss of fertility, in combination with feeling terrible, can cause for a very difficult and uncomfortable transition.

It does not have to be this way!

Dr. Eliza

Give me a call and let’s start working together to minimize your perimenopause symptoms.

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