Updated: Apr 7
#perimenopause #menopausesymptoms #weightgain #insomnia #insulinresistance #inflammation #sleepdisturbances #stress #stressmanagement #highcortisol #hormonebalance #exerciseafter40 #exerciseinperimenopause
There are 3 key factors that can trigger or worsen (peri)menopausal symptoms that you should pay particular attention to:
Your biggest enemy in perimenopause is sugar and processed carbs. That also includes drinks like fruit juices, sodas, sugary lattes, smoothies and alcohol. These kinds of foods lead to blood sugar fluctuations, insulin resistance, intestinal problems, chronic inflammation, hot flashes, insomnia, weight gain, autoimmune diseases, joint pain or depressive moods. And I hear this all the time from my clients how much better they feel when they eat well!
Many women experience weight gain during perimenopause. The average weight gain is 7 kgs!!! With a slowed down metabolism, increased insulin sensitivity and inflammation, we unfortunately can’t cut corners anymore: Eating well, moving your body and bioidentical hormone therapy are key for keeping off the extra weight.
A whole foods diet can also help stabilize your mood and reduce the risk of mood swings. Some studies have found that omega-3 fatty acids from fatty fish may help reduce depression and anxiety symptoms.
Sleep disturbances are a common annoyance during perimenopause. Avoiding caffeine and alcohol, especially in the evenings, can help improve sleep quality. Often though, the culprit is your blood sugar that’s continuing the roller coaster from the day during the night robbing you of your precious sleep. So keeping your blood sugar stable is one of the key aspects to getting a good night’s sleep. Read more here.
This is probably not new to you, but stress is the biggest hormone balance killer! Nonetheless, it’s the day to day of most women: kids, parents in need of care, full-time job, household chores, lack of sleep, trying to be the perfect mom, spouse and friend…. This is not good news for your adrenal glands that are constantly being triggered to produce your stress hormone cortisol. And the release of cortisol suppresses the production of your other sex hormones. Constant stress leads to digestive problems, sleep disorders, thyroid problems, chronic inflammation, weight gain, cravings, exhaustion and lack of motivation or drive. Even if it’s hard to admit - you are no longer as stress-resistant as you used to be in your 20s or early 30s. That's why stress reduction is the number 1 thing that you can do to improve your hormone balance.
Download my adrenal guide to get started on supporting your adrenals.
Exercise needs to change as we transition to menopause - research shows that it’s best to move away from intense cardio workouts to weight and resistance training.
The right amount of exercise and targeted training can prevent and significantly reduce menopausal symptoms. With the right amount of exercise, you can reduce stress, boost metabolism, burn fat and build muscle, aid digestion, improve sleep, stabilize blood sugar and prevent cravings, hot flashes and depressed moods. You don't have to be an athlete or go to the gym to get moving every day.
Ride your bike to work, go for a walk during your lunch break, don't take the elevator but always take the stairs, go hiking with your friends or meet up for a walk instead of a coffee gossip or a wine evening.
Do you already know all this? Ok, but do you do it too?
I want to invite you to a challenge: keep a daily journal in the coming weeks, writing down the following:
what you eat & drink
how much exercise & movement
did you have a bowl movement
what are your symptoms or feeling states
how did you sleep
You'll see that this will help you to reflect on your eating habits, your stress level or your exercise behavior. If you integrate relaxation techniques, a hormone-friendly diet and regular exercise into your everyday life step by step, you will notice a significant improvement in your symptoms.