Out of control menopausal symptoms due to severely imbalanced hormones can wreck you life!
Hot flashes, night sweats, broken sleep and mood swings often arrived out of the blue and many of the women I consult with feel that they are approaching menopause way too early in their lives. In fact peri-menopausal symptoms can start from age 35 onwards when the ovaries begin their gradual and gentle retirement.
I want to are again what peri-menopause looks like in a graph form….
As I have said before and if you can pardon my French once more….it is a shit show.
For many women you can add in PMS symptoms, extreme tiredness from a low functioning thyroid or failing adrenal glands and symptoms of PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome).
No mother wants those emotional ups and downs with sudden bouts of the blues; and mother nature must have a sense of humour, putting pubescent teens and mood-swinging Mothers together in the same house.
No one wants to hide shamefully in their cubicle at work with a sudden hot flash, burning skin and a sweating as if they have just finished 2 hours of Zumba.
No one wants to feel tearful and unprofessional at work, experience breast pain or worry about uncontrolled weight gain that does not to respond to calorie counting, food restriction or an intense exercise regime in Soul Cycle.
It is no fun when your libido has hit rock bottom and sex is just another chore at the end of the day or after sleeping like a baby all your life you suddenly wake multiple times in the night feeling anxious or with a film of sweat across your face, neck and chest that leaves you feeling slick, drenched and uncomfortable.
Then there is the sudden irritation with family members and everyday life itself, fuzzy thinking and forgetfulness and a general feeling that you may be losing your mind.
Out of whack hormones can really rock your world during menopause……but never fear here are my top 5 tips to banish menopausal symptoms:
1. Cut back on sugar in your diet. Research shows that hot flashes occur more often when blood sugar levels spike and crash throughout the day and during the night for night sweats. Hot flashes are more likely to occur in between meals when blood sugar levels crash. Avoiding sugar and eating small meals that contain a health fat and protein every three hours will help to eliminate hot flashes.
Dormire S, Howharn C. The Effect of Dietary Intake on Hot Flashes in Menopausal Women. Journal of obstetric, gynecologic, and neonatal nursing : JOGNN / NAACOG. 2007;36(3):255-262. doi:10.1111/j.1552-6909.2007.00142.x.
2. Avoid coffee and other stimulants such as alcohol and spicy foods. Caffeine, alcohol and some spices have been show to increase the number of hot flashes as they are vasodilators and increase blood flow to the surface of the skin. Caffeine and alcohol also require heavy lifting work by the liver to be cleared from the body when the liver is best focussing on breaking down or de-conjugating excess hormone from the body to eliminate the symptoms of menopause. Alcohol also metabolizes as sugar in the body which increases the risk of hot flashes fuzzy thinking and mood swings.
3. A diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods help to reduce menopausal symptoms. Load your diet up with dark, leafy green vegetables, vegetable fibre rich salads, nutrient dense green smoothies and omega 3 fatty acid rich oils. Take 1000mg fish oil capsule daily and ditch all no-name processed vegetable oils, canola oil, sunflower and corn oil. re-stock your cupboards with coconut, avocado, extra virgin olive oil and refrigerated flax and walnut oils for dressings. Prepared, shop bought salad dressings also contain cheaper, highly processed oils that are rich in inflammatory omega 6 fatty acids, The fastest way to eliminate these inflammatory oils from the diet is to make your own salad dressing on a weekly basis. In this way you ditch hidden sugar and preservatives for the diet too.
4. Love and support you liver. Remember it is your liver that takes on the difficult task of de-conjugating excess hormones by breaking them down into manageable molecules that can be eliminated from the body in your stool. It is a little irony that the foods that support the liver and that are such a wonderful support to you during peri-menopause are also food that will help the young livers of the teens in your household who are also experiencing the excess hormones of puberty….you know, the teen mood swings and acne!? Indulge in dark leafy green vegetables and beets. Reduce the sugar in your diet and eliminate coffee and alcohol as they increase the workload of the liver. (Have you spotted the pattern that is forming here?)
5. Make fibre your friend during peri-menopause. When your liver has done the job of breaking down excess hormone in the body you need to ensure that it is eliminated from the body on the daily. It is important that you detox daily….that is poop on the regular so that hormones are removed from the body. In this respect fibre is your friend. Drink Chia Fresca for a liver flushing fibre rich hydrating beverage. Switch to a fibre rich smoothie rather than juicing. Eat a large salad with every meal or fill half of your plate with vegetables. Choose a fibre rich breakfast such as oatmeal, chia pudding or granola. Fibre has the added benefits of helping you to feel full for longer, slowing the release of sugar into the bloodstream, lowering cholesterol levels and helping to prevent colon cancer. Ground flax especially provides the perfect balance of soluble and insoluble fibre as well as continuing abundant omega 3 fatty acids (our anti-inflammatory fat) and lignans ( a plant based polyphenol that acts as an anti-oxidant and can also mimic estrogen in the body to support your gently retiring ovaries in their job.) which help to balance hormones. Sprinkle ground flax onto your breakfast oatmeal and into smoothies in abundance during peri-menopause.
Clean up your diet one step at a time and you will find your menopausal symptoms abating and life can get back to normal.
You can also build in this Hormone Helper Smoothie which is low sugar, packed with vegetable and ground flax fibre and healthy fat in the form of coconut oil. This high vitamin C smoothie is made with beets and lemon juice which support the liver in its detox process.
Supporting your body through all ages and stages never tasted so good.
- 1/2 avocado
- 1 red beet grated
- 1 handful parsley, spinach or even mixed salad greens
- 1/2 cup seedless red grapes
- 1/2 cup raspberries or blueberries
- 1tbsp coconut oil melted
- 1 tbsp ground flax
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- 1 cup wate
- Add all ingredients to a blender and whizz until liquified.
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