into the Journey we Go
The very thought of peri menopause can be daunting and overwhelming for some women, especially those experiencing all of the crazy ups and downs that happen with our shifting hormones (I know it came fast and furious for me), but if we shift our approach and mindset the journey through menopause can be rewarding and enlightening. This is the next chapter of our life, a second spring (in traditional Chinese medicine terms) and one that we must be present for, through the good, bad and maybe at times a bit ugly.
Did you know that perimenopause can last for 10 years for some women?
What can you do to support your journey through menopause and be better beyond it? In this section I will touch upon some of the remarkable changes that happen to our body, so you can understand a bit of what is going on.
Let's define some of the Natural Stages of Our life
Perimenopause, It’s NORMAL
Perimenopause is natural part of our aging process, but the symptoms you begin to feel during this stage shouldn’t be so uncomfortable and overwhelming that it prevents you from sleeping, keeping active, and feeling your best. Nightsweats, mentrual irregularities, mood changes, insomnia, weight gain, thinning hair and fatigue are some of the wonderful features of perimenopause and menopause (just kidding), the good news is after a while our hormones should balance out and the symptoms reside.
I have clinical and personal experience using traditional Chinese medicine to reduce menopausal symptoms, but you can also find help via bioidentical hormones if needed. Don’t struggle with hormonal symptoms, talk to your alternative health practitioner or doctor for help.
how to support your journey through perimenopause and beyond
First of all this is a time of transition and the changes and shifting going on in your body should start to balance out soon, but there is work to be done. Commit to taking care of your whole body that includes your mind and spirit.
Get a bone density scan during this phase of your age to get a baseline reading of their density and health, especially if you have a family history of osteoporosis or have had to undergo cancer treatment.
Menopause – it’s here!
You have reached menopause when you haven’t had your period for at least 12 months consecutively. The average age of women transitioning into this is late 40’s to mid 50’s. Exercise, nutrition and self care is definitely a priority now to reduce any of those lingering symptoms typical with this time but it’s also important to set your body up for a better outcome as we age – seek some help with a professional if needed.
Some typical symptoms include:
Now that your period has stopped flowing for 12 months it is important to focus on your bones, brain, breasts and heart as the drop in estrogen affects these greatly! Check in with your doctor and health practitioner to see what tests you should do now like bone density scan, colon check and mammogram.
I’m sorry to say there is no time frame or quick answers to getting over the hump of menopause, as every woman is different, but the most important thing to think about during this time is how all of these shifts now play a large role in your health moving forward. The reduction of estrogen will have a profound affect on your body (physically and mentally) so the more you can do to support your journey through Perimenopause and beyond from a whole body perspective the better outcome you may have in your later years (see the list above). Conversations and education are valuable tools.
A little note to all women out there…
It’s never too late to think about ways to support your body, mind and spirit’s health, living a great quality of life and continuing to learn and grow as a valuable person within your family and society. Age is a number but it shouldn’t define what you can and can’t do. Yes, making choices to do an activity that may not be the best for your body’s current physical ability is very important because recovering from injury as we get older may not be as easy and if you have osteoporosis you may be more at risk for fractures. The other challenge many of us may face as we age is the greater chance of developing an illness or disease, so spending the time to take care of ourselves now is super important, and if we do come face to face with a serious illness we may have a chance at a better outcome and overall recovery.
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