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Perimenopause...what you can do (Posted On: Sunday, October 14, 2007)

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Perimenopause snuck up on me at the age of 43—I remember the time like it was yesterday, even though it is more than 10 years ago. I was unaware of the changes in hormones that it brought and how the delicate balance of estrogen and progesterone is the factor to which we are either healthy or dis-eased. Because of this lack of knowledge I spent the next 5 years in unnecessary pain and discomfort and missed many important events in my family’s lives.

My first symptoms of indigestion, heartburn, flatulence and bloating, not to mention the weight gain was annoying but not dis-abilitating like that which was to come. Since I was not yet a Nutritionist I didn’t understand how the proper functioning of the Digestive System is the key to the health of the whole body. I also didn’t know that after the age of 40 our bodies don’t produce the necessary amount of HCl (Hydrochloric Acid) in order to break down our food properly into the components of their nutrients.

After the indigestion came the most painful time of my life—the constant headaches - mostly sinus, the auto-immune disorders such as Reynauds and Rosacea; I was even given the label of Lupus and told I was depressed and needed to go on anti-depressants along with all other kinds of drugs. These remedies I now realized added to the already dehydrated situation I had put my body into.

At this time I worked each summer in a health food store and this eventually saved my quality of life. At the age of 50, tired, scared, frustrated by doctors’ comments of “it was all in my head”, I quit a wonderful job of teaching at Pretty River Academy and spent thousands of dollars and two years of driving to Toronto to become a Nutritionist (for more details please see my bio).

So now, healthy and symptom-free I have gone through even Menopause naturally and feel I don’t want any women to endure what I did –so here is what I have learned at the most cutting -edge school of nutritional knowledge, the Institute of Holistic Nutrition.

Perimenopause 101

  • Start each day with warm water & lemon so you can tell your intelligent body to rev up your metabolism naturally and cleanse the liver. Our bodies are more than ¾ water and it is essential to keep good quality water (2 quarts daily) coming in.
  • Have a breakfast that includes good quality Fibre so you can keep down hypoglaecemic problems that occur especially during Perimenopause
  • Take a good quality Multi Vitamin and Mineral as it is the only way to get the necessary nutrients needed to unlock the cells membranes for energy
  • Take Digestive Enzymes with every meal that needs help breaking down—anything other than fruit ---in order to avoid digestive difficulties so common with the onset of Perimenopause
  • Around mid morning have a good quality Soy Protein shake –Organic soy is a phyto-estrogen along with tofu, miso, flaxseeds, pomegranates, and dates - which help the body produce the necessary estrogen. Protein is the building block of all cells and is necessary for the synthesis of hormones.
  • Get a good quality progesterone cream to apply each day as necessary for the proper balance of hormones (this does not always apply to everyone—but it worked for me).
  • Take either flaxseed or primrose oil in order to get the very necessary omega 3-6 needed for production of estrogen, reducing inflammation (the cause of many Perimenopausal complaints ) and very good for hot flash (power surge) reduction.
  • Look into testing your thyroid (BTT) by finding your temperature first thing in the morning for 5 days away from your period and see if it is lower than normal. Taking Thyrosense by Lorna Vander Haeghe was the answer to my hot flashes & mood swings. It is wonderful for dealing with adrenal exhaustion as well which is directly connected to hormones. Hypothyroidism is prevalent in Perimenopausal women.
  • Other important supplements to take during this trying time for your body are Vit. D, Vit. C, Vit. E, and of course Calcium/Magnesium.

There are some wonderful women’s formulas of herbs to be found at your local health food stores such as NAKA’s Women’s Formula with Dong Quai, Wild Yam Root etc. etc. Some work for certain people while some may feel they don’t. We are all unique and therefore need different combinations of these herbs.

To test if you are in Perimenopause have your Dr. check your FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) to see if it is elevated which means that estrogen levels are down. e-mail me for more info nutribarb@hotmail.com regarding anything that you might be confused about since there is so much more to tell you.

Everyone needs to do two things for sure --- that is to increase moderate exercise and reduce the amount of stress—by finding that balance that is necessary to start each day with a smile, grateful for the gifts we are given. Work should be something you look forward to and not dread especially at this time of life. When your adrenals have to work harder they produce smaller amounts of the necessary hormones to keep the effects of Perimenopause reduced.

In conclusion I would recommend using the following affirmation by Louise Hay as often as possible---

“I am balanced and peaceful in all changes of cycles, and I bless my body with love”
You may not believe it at first but what you say affects how you are—this my friends is the Law of Attraction.

I will follow soon with an article on natural Menopause.

Best wishes,

Barb
nutribarb@hotmail.com

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