Perimenopause occurs as the production of reproductive hormones slows in a woman’s body. The 10 to 15 years before actual menopause is usually described as the perimenopause stage. Woman may experience various symptoms such as hot flashes, loss of concentration, sporadic periods, insomnia, decreased hair production on legs and underarms, mood swings, night sweats, heart palpitations and migraine headaches. A few lifestyle changes in diet and exercise habits, as well as the addition of few vitamins and herbs, can make the transition from perimenopause to menopause much easier.
Raw Fruits and Vegetables
A good idea in any healthy diet, the addition or increase in consumption of raw fruits and vegetables stabilizes blood sugar levels. In turn, better sleep, fewer mood swings, and increased concentration may result.
By consuming food high in phytoestrogens (natural plant estrogens), estrogen levels that have been on the wane begin to rise. Fewer hot flashes, slower hair loss, and an increase in libido may be experienced. Phytoestrogens are found in soy products, legumes and dark leafy vegetables.
As women age, they are less able to absorb calcium, which results in brittle bones. As perimenopause begins, a good addition to lifestyle habits is weight-bearing exercises. Light hand weights, walking and the postural balances of yoga add good resistance for the bones and slow calcium loss. According to Duke University studies, there is no need to begin an aggressive exercise plan because moderate exercise is frequently of greater value to your overall health. Rigorous exercise can stress the body causing pain and injury, thereby discouraging one’s desire to exercise.
Valerian to induce sleep; lady’s mantle for heavy periods; Siberian ginseng to relieve depression and increase estrogen production—these are a few herbs that are beneficial to women in perimenopause. Essential fatty acids such as evening primrose oil and black currant seed act as sedatives and reduce the incidence of hot flashes.
What to Avoid
Consuming dairy and red meat products often increases the frequency of hot flashes. Avoid or limit these foods. Also avoid or limit alcohol, caffeine, white sugar and spicy foods. These products increase the acidity of the blood, which results in the release of calcium from the bones. Avoiding stress helps promote better sleep and reduces irritability.