The process of menopause can be divided into three different parts: perimenopause, menopause and postmenopause. Perimenopause refers to the time period before menopause actually starts. For some women, periomenopause can occur gradually, with little to no symptoms. For others, perimenopause symptoms are more noticeable. Perimenopause causes are natural and coincide with the aging process. (1) Natural perimenopause treatment includes a healthy diet and lifestyle along with herbal supplements and treatments to help remedy unwanted symptoms.
The major hormones that are involved in perimenopause, menopause and postmenopause are estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. During perimenopause, ovarian function and estrogen production begin to become erratic. Perimenopause causes a woman’s cycle to become unpredictable. Women may start noticing perimenopause symptoms in their early 40’s. When the ovaries stop making a high percentage of the body’s estrogen, a woman enters menopause. (2)
- Irregular periods
- High flashes and night sweats
- Insomnia and changes in sleep quality
- Gradual weight gain and increased abdominal fat
- Changes in sex drive
- Vaginal dryness
- Thinning hair and dry skin
- Changes in breast tissue
- Mood swings
- Heart palpitations
- Migraines and frequent headaches
- Poor concentration
1. Eat a Healthy Diet
Perimenopause treatment includes eating a healthy diet full of fresh, whole foods. Processed foods are often full of hormones and additives that can wreak havoc on your body. Foods that are helpful during perimenopause and menopause include organic fruits and vegetables, high-fiber foods like nuts and seeds probiotics, omega-3 foods and lean proteins.
2. Use Supplements and Herbal Treatments
Certain herbs and supplements can help reduce the severity of symptoms associated with perimenopause, including hot flashes, insomnia and anxiety. Adaptogen herbs can help balance your hormone levels and help your body better deal with stress. Try maca or American ginseng, black cohosh, red clover, raspberry leaf and St. John’s wort. (3)
Exercising on a regular basis can help manage perimenopause symptoms by lowering stress levels, boosting mood, balancing hormones and helping you maintain a healthy weight. Aim for aerobic and strength-training exercises at least three times per week to improve sleep quality and reduce inflammation. (4)
4. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is an important part of perimenopause treatment. Your body needs sleep to restore energy, balance hormones and keep cortisol levels under control. Aim for 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. If you suffer from insomnia or other sleep problems, try using lavender essential oil, writing in a journal or taking a warm bath before bed to help prepare your body for a peaceful night’s rest. (5)
5. Lower Stress Levels
Perimenopause can cause sleep problems, anxiety, fatigue and depression. Manage your stress levels to help beat unwanted symptoms. Try natural stress-relievers such as exercise, meditation, reading, volunteering or taking a walk in nature. Spend time doing things you enjoy to help keep your stress levels low and naturally boost your mood.