Perimenopause can be a shock. Seemingly arriving overnight you’re suddenly flung into mood swings, forgetfulness and blasts of heat. Nothing else has changed – you’re eating the same as before and exercising as much (or as little) as you’ve always done.
Here’s the thing,
the hormonal changes that are going on internally such as dropping progesterone and oestrogen levels create stress on your internal systems. This leads to an increase in the production of cortisol your main stress hormone. Cortisol dominates all your other hormones and if it rises too high it becomes toxic and that toxicity throws your other hormones out of alignment creating further hormone imbalance.
So what’s the answer?
Well, if you feel like your body’s turning against you it’s time to make a few changes to address your hormone imbalance. Here’s what you need to do:
- If your energy’s fading mid morning but you’ve never eaten breakfast before, start to eat breakfast! A protein rich meal is the ideal start to the day as it will fill you up, balance your blood sugars and ensure an even level of energy throughout the morning.
- If your memory’s not what it used to be you’re probably not getting enough omegas in your diet. Eat plenty of salmon, tuna and avocado.
- If you’re energy’s fading in the afternoon and you always have a sandwich for lunch, eat something different. Foods that cause an insulin release like whole grain breads, sweet fruits and dairy will perk you up briefly but then send your energy levels crashing.
- If you’re struggling to shift that muffin top despite all the exercise you do, it’s time to exercise in a different way. Avoid long slow cardio workouts of 20 minutes or more. They put a stress on the system that means your body will not burn fat. Instead it will use glycogen from your muscles that will lead to an increase in your appetite.
- If you can’t sleep but you’re still drinking coffee cut back. If you still can’t sleep cut it out completely. There’s a whole range of herbal infusions available – eventually you’ll find one you like!
Finally, calm down!
Easier said than done I know but more often than not, it’s not the situation that’s stressing you out but the way you react to it.
We can’t avoid life’s pressures but we can change our reaction to them.
Simply taking three deep breaths can be an extremely effective tool to reign in your temper, recall where you left your keys and even to lessen the impact of a hot flush.