I see a lot of women in my Dartmouth-based practice who have entered their perimenopausal, or menopausal years. I’ve blogged before about perimenopause, and the “fun” symptoms that often accompany these transitional years.
Perimenopause is defined as the years leading up to true menopause, when a woman is still having (mostly) regular menstrual cycles. She may start to notice that her cycles are
shortening, or that she now experiences spotting for several days before her period starts. More often, women in the perimenopausal years come to me because they’ve noticed a worsening of PMS symptoms. These often include anger, irritability, sadness and anxiety. For many women, this is due to declining progesterone.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine. I know, not fun. But if you do nothing else you’ll likely see an improvement with this change alone.
- Exercise: Find time for 30-45 minutes 3-5 per week. Several studies have found that exercise reduces the severity and frequency of menopausal symptoms!
- Eat Plant Protein: Add beans, lentils and other legumes to your diet at least 3-5 times per week. These plant proteins contain phytoestrogens which act as estrogen modulators.
- Flax, every day!: 2 Tbsp of ground flax can go a long way towards fewer symptoms!
- Relax: Stress will not help anyone going through menopause, so do your best to manage it!
And, if you need more help give us a call. Most women I see report a significant improvement in their symptoms in as little as 3 weeks.