I know as well as anyone that the busyness of life can drive your body into chaos.
During my twenties and early thirties, I was going full steam all. the. time.
I thought I could earn my worth through my productivity. But guess what? It just left me worn out and sick.
Our society tells us we need to do everything for everyone perfectly. The stress this causes isn’t just psychological — it takes a toll on your body and hormones. It can contribute to perimenopause symptoms starting earlier and earlier because of the hormone chaos the stress is driving in your body.
Women come to me all the time wondering, “Does this thing I’m dealing with mean I’m in perimenopause?”
And it’s a hard question to answer because perimenopause hits so differently for everybody.
Here are some things that we know about perimenopause…
- It can hit between the ages of 35-50 (approximately).
- It lasts anywhere between a few months and 10+ years.
- Sex hormones start to decline and other vital hormones (like insulin and cortisol) are easily deregulated, leading to many uncomfortable symptoms.
- It will end. When menopause comes, the hormone flux you’re dealing with will settle down and you’ll find your new vibrant, healthy normal.
Perimenopause can be a hellish transition for lots of women. But by understanding what’s driving your symptoms and how to take back charge of your hormones, you CAN continue living with energy, ease, and grace through perimenopause!
While it hits differently for everybody, here are a few of the biggest indicators that you may be going through perimenopause (and tips for achieving a healthy body and balanced hormones, naturally):
#1 – HOT FLASHES AND NIGHT SWEATS
This is one of the symptoms that gets the most attention. We’ve heard our grandmothers and mothers talking about it for years, and now, here you are.
Sweating at the most inopportune moments.
Waking up at night wet, hot, and miserable.
You’re not alone! Up to 50% of women will suffer from hot flashes or night sweats during perimenopause and menopause. (1)
Conventional medicine tells us there is no known root cause of hot flashes, but recent research is indicating that it may be linked to insulin resistance. (2)
Basically, this means your body is not as efficient at delivering glucose (sugar) to your cells for them to use as energy, leading to spikes in the amount of glucose in your blood. This is responsible not only for hot flashes, but also can contribute to fatigue, pesky weight gain, and bleeding changes.
Here’s a post that breaks down 5 tried-and-true ways to stop hot flashes from ever coming back again!
Essential oils are a great tool in the “heat” of the moment to help you keep your cool. Here is my favorite recipe to have on hand when you feel hot flashes coming on:
Cool Your Hot Mess Spray
Add essential oils to 2 oz glass spray bottle. Top off with water or witch hazel. Spray on your neck, chest, and upper body at the start of a hot flash to instantly cool you down! If you want an extra cooling boost, just increase the number of drops of Peppermint.
#2 – MORE INTENSE PMS
A lot of women I talk to complain about severe PMS during perimenopause. Whether these symptoms are old hat for you and just increasing in severity, or if PMS is brand new to your body in this stage, it is all temporary. Once your cycles space out more and your hormones settle down in true menopause, these symptoms should dissipate.
One of the biggest causes of intensified PMS in perimenopause is a decrease in progesterone. Progesterone is one of your body’s main calming hormones, and as its levels decline naturally through your 30s and 40s, your mood stability, energy, and peace of mind pay the price (especially in the week leading up to your period).
One of the easiest ways to confront this change and get relief is by using a safe, natural bioidentical progesterone serum.
This is NOT the dangerous hormone replacement that you’ve heard causes cancer. Instead, it’s an easy way to boost progesterone levels in your body to safely ease your symptoms and take the edge off through this transition. Check out my custom-formulated Essentially Whole® ProgestRestore serum here >>
#3 – MENSTRUAL CYCLE AND UTERINE BLEEDING CHANGES
As your body transitions into perimenopause and menopause, it makes sense that you would experience changes in your period.
This is one area that really varies person-to-person — for some women, they will lose cycles for several months before they return to a regular pattern. For others, they may have more frequent periods for a while before they start to spread out. Some women have lighter flows than normal, while others experience particularly heavy bleeding.
Pretty much any pattern is fair game during perimenopause because of all the hormonal ups and downs during this phase. As your balance of estrogen and progesterone shift, excess estrogen can lead to heavier, longer periods while dips in estrogen mean lighter, shorter periods. Because your individual hormone balance can be so erratic during perimenopause, there is no prediction of what may happen.
Polyps, fibroids, and endometriosis are also in the picture more during perimenopause. Inflammation in your body — caused by stress and hormone imbalance — can make these more painful and prevalent, leading to more bleeding than just a normal period.
Don’t ignore it if your bleeding seems excessive. Talk to your doctor — don’t let yourself suffer! If your doctor recommends a hysterectomy or hormone replacement, however, don’t settle for those as your only options.
The bioidentical progesterone serum I mentioned above can also bring major relief to ease heavy periods and reduce the amount of pain you’re in each month (click here to check it out).
#4 – VAGINAL DRYNESS
Once again, declining hormone levels are to blame here.
As estrogen levels fall during late perimenopause, the tissue in your vagina becomes thinner and loses its ability to lubricate itself. This can be a source of pain during intercourse, which can lead to a decline in sexual desire and enjoyment.
You don’t need to resign yourself to feeling this way. If you are uncomfortable or your libido is suffering, there are things you can do to help yourself!
Read this post today to learn natural and empowering steps you can take to reduce dryness and restore your inner power (plus you’ll get my favorite DIY lubricant recipe, too!) >>
#5 – SLEEP PROBLEMS
Not getting a good night’s sleep leaves you feeling miserable.
I’ve been there — I know how the fatigue, brain fog, irritability, and other issues can be a struggle after a night of no rest. Unfortunately, many women experience sleep problems as they enter perimenopause, which can compound many of the other issues you are facing at this time.
Whether you are waking up because of night sweats, or having trouble falling asleep because your mind just won’t stop spinning, or you just don’t feel rested, your hormones may be to blame.
You may be surprised to hear that progesterone and estrogen are key players in ensuring a good night’s sleep. So as your levels of these hormones change, so will your sleep patterns.
Read this post now for sleep tips designed for women over 40 to not only help you rest but also support optimal hormone health, energy, and more.
#6 – MOOD SWINGS, ANXIETY, AND DEPRESSION
This is another highly individual symptom of perimenopause. Every woman experiences this time in her life differently, and everyone handles the stress of the change in their own way.
It’s ok if you struggle. It’s ok if you are sad about moving into the next stage of your life. It’s good to acknowledge what you are feeling and the fears you may be facing.
You aren’t in this alone.
It’s so important to surround yourself with loving, supportive people to help you walk through life. Don’t let yourself get buried by the weight of your stress and obligations. Take time to acknowledge what you’re feeling. Give it the time of day it deserves so you can get the help you need.
This is especially important if you are more vulnerable to anxiety and depression. Know that it’s normal, but you don’t need to let yourself suffer and stay in that state. Seek out a confidante, pastor, counselor, or professional help before it gets too bad—that way you’ll have a plan in place no matter what comes your way.
Your hormones play a major role in your mood, so if you’re taking steps to support your whole body through this transition, you will likely also experience relief from many of your mood swings, too!
#7 – BRAIN FOG
What do you get when you combine hormone chaos with stress and a lack of sleep?
This is a top concern for many women. You feel like you’re going crazy:
You forget why you walked into a room.
You find yourself zoning out during meetings or important conversations.
What was that person’s name again?
Typically, brain fog is connected with inflammation in the body that spreads to the brain. It’s no wonder that the stress of this transition in your life coupled with chaotic hormones is leaving you feeling this way!
Lowering your overall inflammation is going to make the biggest difference in reducing your brain fog AND protecting your brain from damage or degeneration in the decades ahead. And the best place to start is by 1. Reducing stress with self-care (because stress is like pouring gasoline on the wildfire of inflammation that’s already raging) and 2. Supporting your body with anti-inflammatory foods.
#8 – STUBBORN BELLY FAT
Do you suddenly have a ring around your midsection that makes your jeans suddenly not button anymore? It’s easy to wonder if you’ve just been overindulging, or if you need to work out more, or if (like our culture likes to tell us) weight gain is really just inevitable so it’s time for a new wardrobe.
This is one of the biggest myths that women believe about menopause. You are NOT destined to live in elastic waist pants with a body that doesn’t feel like you once you hit 50, 60, and beyond.
You DO get to control your hormones and your body—you just need the right tools.
And the things that worked for weight loss in your 20s and 30s are just not going to work for this stage of life…
For starters, high-intensity workouts actually put more stress on your body once you’re in perimenopause, leading your body to hold onto fat more stubbornly because it feels threatened. Gentle workouts like resistance training, walking, and yoga is going to do more than your intense cross-training.
Plus, your metabolism is slowing so accommodating your eating practices and food choices to fit this new normal is the KEY to losing weight and staying fit and healthy through this transition.
IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THIS…
This was A LOT of information, and I applaud you for wanting to understand what’s happening in your body and how to keep living the life of your dreams in a body you love through this life transition.
THIS is the most important piece: You need to take care of yourself. Make yourself a priority.
The things you are experiencing may be making you feel like you’re not you anymore, but that’s not true.
Own this stage of your life as the powerful, sexy woman you are. Take control of your health and don’t settle for anything less.
My newest book The Essential Oils Menopause Solution is packed with so many easy-to-follow protocols and plans to relieve your biggest symptoms, including going into much more detail on the ones I’ve mentioned today.
PLUS Part III is an all-inclusive, transformative program that has been PROVEN to help women lose weight, have more energy, sleep better, and feel like themselves through menopause and beyond!
Click here to pre-order this life-changing book today!
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