For women experiencing perimenopause, the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, navigating the transition can be daunting.
Symptoms that occur through the transition include irregular periods, hot flashes and sleep problems, mood changes, vaginal and bladder problems, decreasing fertility, changes in sexual function, loss of bone, and changing cholesterol levels.
Women start perimenopause at different ages. Signs of progression toward menopause can start sometime in their 40s, but some women notice changes as early as their mid-30s.
While what your body needs from year to year can change dramatically, the good news is that it’s up to you to decide what actions you want to take in order to be the best you, at any stage of life.
With a little help from two WellnessFX practitioners that specialize in women’s health, – Denine Rogers and Andrea McDaniel – we’ve pulled together a list of tips to help navigate perimenopause and maintain a healthy lifestyle to avoid hormone imbalances.
5 Tips for Navigating Perimenopause
1. Monitor Smart.
Routinely assessing your biomarkers, blood cells, and essential nutrient levels via a blood draw can keep you updated on how you’re progressing through the transition and can help you catch hormone imbalances that affect sleep, energy, longevity, and mood.
Try starting with a focus on thyroid function, because it can affect hormone levels: TSH, Free T3, and Free T4.
Beyond thyroid function, consider monitoring:
- Vitamin D
- Complete Blood Count with differential
- Ferritin, serum
- Vitamin B12
- RBC Magnesium
- Testosterone + Free Testosterone
- Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
- Complete Metabolic Panel
2. Eat Well – Eat For Your Goals
Denine Rogers, MS, RDN, LD, FAND and an Integrative Registered Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist, recommends eating a healthy diet that has fruits, vegetables, whole grains and less processed food, sugar, fat, and caffeine. “For women, I favor beans and legumes which are high in potassium and magnesium.”
For useful info on understanding how your body absorbs your vitamins, visit the blog post “The Best Way to Eat Your Vitamins”
3. Get Moving
Denine also recommends starting exercising with lower intensity cardio, such as walking for 40 minutes a day, and including meditation and deep breathing. And above all, “never stress on the small stuff!”
Only have 10-15 minutes a day? Try starting with “How to Make the Most of Your Workout Time.”
4. Get Rest.
Andrea McDaniel, a registered dietitian who focuses on a real food & integrated approach, recommends aiming for 8 hours of sleep/night. “Consider environment – including light, temperature, electronics – to promote optimal sleep along with supplements such as magnesium.”
Want to dig in hard on sleep? Visit WellnessFX practitioner Ben Greenfield’s guest blog post on “5 Quick Tips for Proper Sleep”
5. Manage Your Stress
We often talk about how to #OwnYourHealth as it relates to nutrition and fitness, your metabolism or heart health – but owning your mental health is just as important, as your body is a system of many parts working together.
Andrea recommends daily stress management techniques, intentionally working to put a pause on the sympathetic nervous system, one of the two main divisions of the nervous system that prepares the body for stressful or emergency situations—think fight or flight. The sympathetic nervous system increases blood pressure, causes the body to release stored energy and increase muscle strength. This division also causes palms to sweat, pupils to dilate, and hair to stand on end.
Instead, Andrea recommends managing stress to turn on the parasympathetic nervous system, which controls body process during ordinary situations, and decreases blood pressure and slows the heart rate, stimulates the digestive tract to process food and eliminate wastes.
Visit our blog post on “How to Own Your Stress” for some tools that can help with stress management, via Marc Fernandez, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.
How WellnessFX Can Help
The benefits of a consultation with any of our nutritionists, registered dietitians or physicians are getting recommendations based on your unique biomarkers.
Consultations can be purchased as part of select bundled packages or on their own. If you’re not sure if you want one, you can always wait until you get your results to decide. Still overwhelmed? Don’t forget, we understand it can be hard to make changes, so our practitioners work with you to create realistic recommendations that fit your lifestyle.
We believe in the power in a drop of blood. Regularly testing your biomarkers will give you an accurate assessment of where you are now while starting the process of regularly monitoring your health to see how much you might need to improve. We offer a Women’s Health panel, which is an in-depth look at hormone and nutrient levels. This extensive package of biomarkers is available outside of a doctor’s office for less than you’d pay at a specialty clinic. Our Baseline panel includes some of the markers mentioned above (TSH, vitamin D), in addition to advanced cardiovascular and lipid panels, liver and kidney health, inflammation, and more.
The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.