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Embrace Menopause with These 6 Holistic Tips

I’m sure you all know by now that graceful aging is my jam (and if you didn’t know, now you do!). I love showing other women that there is so much beauty to reveal with each new fine line and gray. However, some elements of aging can still seem far less glamorous than others. Among my friends and clients, I can tell you that one of those elements is menopause. Menopause tends to be one of everyone’s least favorite parts about getting older, and I totally get it. It’s almost always associated with a slew of unpleasantries, from hot flashes to a lower libido. But that’s what this post is for: to show you that your menopause era doesn’t have to be filled with suffering and can actually be an extremely empowering phase in life.

Menopause comes from the Greek words men meaning “month,” and pausis, meaning “pause.” So, it literally means your monthly cycle has stopped. A more technical definition is the point at which 12 months have passed since your last menstrual cycle, which, on average, happens at around 51 years of age. And the period leading up to this point is actually referred to as perimenopause, which is when we often experience those irregular periods, night sweats, and hormone changes. These symptoms are definitely undesirable and cause most of us to dread even just the idea of menopause, let alone the actual process. However, from a holistic standpoint, there are plenty of ways to manage menopause that don’t involve harsh drugs or questionable methods. Here are six of my top tips to help you continue to feel your best as you age with grace.

1. Work with a Provider Who Prioritizes Hormone Lab Work

How your body feels and functions is a revealing measure of your health. However, it’s hard to tell what’s really going on inside – especially during key transitory phases of life like menopause – without proper lab testing. Doing lab work at least twice a year can help you check in on markers of your blood sugar, nutritional status, and hormones, helping you stay in control of your health. Assessing hormone levels such as estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and thyroid can reveal the root cause of imbalances contributing to menopausal symptoms. 

I love running extensive blood work for my clients, including tests for pregnenolone and DHEA, which contribute to hormonal balance during menopause. Pregnenolone is a precursor for DHEA, which is then converted into estrogen and testosterone. Low levels of DHEA and pregnenolone may suggest adrenal fatigue or dysfunction, which can worsen menopausal symptoms. By measuring these hormone levels, we can help you identify potential imbalances to resolve to support your journey through perimenopause.

Here’s a list of lab tests I recommend getting done regularly but especially as you start to approach perimenopause/ menopause:

  • Hemoglobin A1c
  • Fasting insulin
  • Fasting blood sugar
  • hs-CRP 
  • Vitamin D
  • Thyroid panel that includes TSH, free T3, free T4, total T3, total T4, thyroglobulin (TG) antibodies, and TPO antibodies 
  • FSH, LH, estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, and DHEA

2. Balance Your Blood Sugars

Balancing blood sugar levels is important at every stage of life but becomes even more critical during perimenopause, as fluctuating hormones can affect insulin sensitivity. Women experiencing menopause may be more prone to insulin resistance, which can exacerbate unwanted symptoms. To manage blood sugars effectively, focus on consuming whole, nutrient-dense foods and avoid processed sugars and refined carbohydrates. Incorporating plenty of fiber, healthy fats, and lean proteins into meals can help stabilize blood sugar levels and reduce menopausal symptoms. I have an entire guide for you right here if you want to learn more about optimizing your blood sugar levels.

3. Try Intermittent Fasting

When done correctly, intermittent fasting can be a powerful tool for managing menopause symptoms and supporting overall health. Research suggests that intermittent fasting can improve insulin sensitivity, promote weight loss, and reduce inflammation, which can benefit women going through menopause. However, it’s essential to approach fasting with caution and consult with a healthcare professional, especially for women with underlying health conditions or hormonal imbalances.

4. Build a Strong Nutritional Base

Nutrition plays a significant role in easing menopausal symptoms and supporting hormonal balance. A diet rich in plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds, provides essential vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that support overall health. Additionally, incorporating phytoestrogens in foods like soy, flaxseeds, and legumes can help alleviate menopausal symptoms by acting as natural estrogen in the body. Avoiding processed foods, alcohol, caffeine, and excess sugar can also help minimize symptoms and support hormonal balance.

5. Keep Your Body Moving

Regular physical activity is crucial for managing menopause symptoms and supporting overall well-being. Exercise helps maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and alleviate menopausal symptoms by managing insulin sensitivity and other natural metabolic changes. Aim for a combination of aerobic exercise, strength training, and flexibility exercises to reap the full benefits. Find activities your body enjoys, whether walking, cycling, yoga, or dancing, and make them a regular part of your routine.

6. Seek Out Community and Support

Going through perimenopause can be challenging, but you don’t have to do it alone. Building a strong support network of friends, family, and like-minded individuals can provide encouragement, understanding, and practical advice. Without this support, we may experience an increase in our stress hormone cortisol, which decreases sex hormone production and causes inflammation. So, surrounding yourself with supportive people who uplift and empower you can make a massive difference in navigating this phase of life – both mentally and physically.

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Menopause is a natural and inevitable transition that every woman will eventually experience. Instead of fighting it, we might as well learn to be at peace with it – and maybe even welcome it!  By approaching it holistically, we can navigate this life phase with greater ease and grace. If you’re currently in perimenopause or want to start taking action early on, I’m here to help you. Book a one-on-one session with me to get started on creating an individualized plan for your unique health journey.

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