Are you a woman experiencing physical or mental changes lately that you don’t understand or can’t explain? Entering into the phase in life known as peri-menopause (or pre-menopause) can be difficult. There are dozens of symptoms and signs that say you are now moving closer to the “Change”, or actual menopause.
Every wellness expert and article about the subject says that peri-menopause affects each individual woman differently, and some women don’t really have many signs or symptoms; how frustrating is that? To make matters worse, there isn’t a magical age when you begin experiencing changes. Some women suffer through peri-menopause for years. For others, it just takes a few months.
The effects of peri-menopause target women as early as their mid thirties, but don’t affect most women until they are in their forties. Fortunately, there are some natural ways to relieve some of those annoying symptoms.
We’ve compiled a list of five common signs of peri-menopause and ways to combat their discomforts. Of course, with all of these keep in mind that eating a well-balanced diet and exercising regularly will help keep your body in optimal overall condition.
Hot Flashes – These intense feelings of heat can be uncomfortable, as well as slightly embarrassing. They’re typically accompanied by sweating and rapid heartbeat and can last up to a few hours. Their duration, frequency and intensity all vary, but regardless of how long they last and how often they pop up, getting hot flashes is by no means a pleasant experience. Although there are prescriptions that can help with hot flashes, many women want a natural solution.
Some hot flashes have triggers. Try to avoid the triggers, and you might be able to avoid some of your hot flashes. Some common triggers are: alcohol, spicy foods, caffeine, stress, and smoking. To help relieve your symptoms, try drinking ice water when a hot flash starts. Also try dressing in layers whenever possible. That way, when you start to feel uncomfortably warm, you can adjust quickly. Black Cohosh (Actaea racemosa) is an herbal supplement that has received attention in relation to hot flashes in the past few years, but make sure not to take it if you have a history of liver issues.
Some women have also had success with acupuncture. Another Asian practice for treating peri-menopausal hot flashes is an herbal blend called keishi-bukuryo-gan, which can be drunk as tea. Try a few different options to see what works for you.
Night sweats – Although night sweats are a form of hot flashes, some women only experience that burst of intense temperature when they are trying to sleep. Try sleeping on cotton sheets and keep an ice pack at your night stand so that you can get cool relief without having to get out of bed and further disrupt your sleep. Maybe try a chilled pillow that has an insert for cold water, which can be found online and at drugstores. These pillows keep your head cool and help to regulate body temperature so you don’t wake up sweating.
Anxiety –Hormones can lead to stress and anxiety, and hormonal irregularities can make anxiety even more intense. Before looking to prescription medicines, try a few natural ways to reduce anxiety. Get a massage. The soothing touch of a masseuse a few times a month may be all you need to alleviate some of that anxiety. Another option is to try exercising both the mind and body at the same time through yoga or tai chi. Mindful meditation may calm your mind. If you find that your mind is drifting, try buying an audio or visual instructional piece.
Depression – A healthy diet full of needed nutrients and minerals is a good starting point for any healthy body. Exercise daily. Exercise temporarily boosts endorphins that make you feel good. If changing some of your lifestyle habits doesn’t help, try St. John’s wort. It’s an herbal supplement that has been in involved in many studies and has shown to be as effective as prescription medicines in some cases.
Low Libido – Because hormones are irregular during this time, your sex drive might be too. Try a supplement made from maca root or maca powder to help boost your libido. Also, examine other parts of your life. Stress is a major factor in a decreased sex drive, as is weight gain and depression. Make sure to develop a healthy lifestyle and exercise regularly to keep your heart healthy and your blood circulating to all parts of your body.