*Editor’s Note: No website is designed to, and can not be construed to, provide actual medical advice, professional diagnosis or treatment to you or anyone. Elephant is not intended as a substitute for medical or professional advice, care and treatment.
Women begin perimenopause at different ages.
There is never one-size-fits-all we’re told. We may notice signs at age 40, with menstrual irregularity and night sweats, or as early as the mid-30s. But do you know why hormones can be changing at such an early age?
Socioeconomic conditions across a lifespan may be associated with an increased rate of entry into perimenopause. Conditions include weight and household income.
My condition was a pregnancy and healthy delivery of a baby girl, then complications with blood loss and an emergency hysterectomy. I was only 31 years old. My moods and sleeping habits negatively changed for several years before I had them under control.
Early on, we may experience changes in emotions, weight, skin, eating, and sleeping habits. So, if you notice you don’t feel like yourself, there’s a reason why. A healthy elimination system is key to everyday life, and especially when we’re going through the change. Why? This is because the gut, immune system and the liver are involved in a healthy brain, healthy moods, hormones, and a good nights sleep.
I had an unhealthy elimination system. I suffered with ulcerative colitis for many years and took medication that not only didn’t help relieve my pain, it came with severe side-effects.
Imbalances in the hormones Leptin & Ghrelin are observed in gut disorders such as IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome,) bloating, Colitis, and Leaky gut syndrome, that may interfere with a good nights sleep and exacerbate perimenopause symptoms.
Additionally, without proper sleep, we can be affected by unwanted weight changes leading to obesity. Again, there is bio-individuality, and I suffered from weight loss.
Facts are, when we don’t sleep well the body holds onto toxins. If this is you—avoid stimulants, sugar, coffee, junk, and fiberless foods. What worked for me is I stopped living on coffee and increased fermented foods for healthy gut microbiome.
It also helps to schedule time for exercise that can be done daily. Why? Because exercise is proven beneficial for a healthy brain, digestive system, sleep, and happy hormones.
Changing hormones and sleep disruption can increase brain fog. I thought is was normal to suffer from brain fog.
Brain fog and/or dementia doesn’t necessarily have to occur when going through perimenopause or menopause. We can change this with a low-toxin indoor and outdoor environment. Toxins can increase stress in all bodily systems, and we definitely do not need additional stress when hormones are changing.
So if you smoke—stop. Avoid the liberal use of pesticides and toxic hair dyes. Being a spa girl, I noticed my brain fog lifted after changing to a non-toxic hair color. To improve cognitive function, it also helps to avoid dehydration.
Proper sleeping habits help build a strong immune system. Sleep disorders are associated with a higher risk of developing autoimmune diseases. (Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory and autoimmune condition.)
Do you find yourself more susceptible to infection, allergies, or inflammatory conditions? One way to improve sleep and build immunity is to make your bedroom a place for rest. This means removing wi-fi or EMF (electromagnetic field) frequencies.
Long term insomnia increases the risk for imbalances in glucose metabolism and increases insulin levels, which could lead to the development of diabetes. Constipation is a common problem and can affect up to 60% of people with diabetes.
Because I suffered from insomnia, high-stress levels, and poor bowel habits, my endocrinologist prescribed thyroid medications. I refused. Eventually, he came to realized I was making lifestyle changes and didn’t need these drugs.
Going full circle, an impaired elimination system, poor gut bacteria, and insomnia can mean toxins recycle and perimenopause symptoms can increase. It may be time for new lifestyle habits with the help and support from a health coach.
Primary care physicians may ignore our concerns, or they may be quick to prescribe medications that are only a band-aid fix. My doctor, at the time, never gave me any information on how I could make myself feel better.
Remember, our bodies aren’t meant to feel bad or age faster than normal.
As women, we can turn these statistics around by making simple healthy changes just in time for the change.
Author: Connie Rogers
Image: Susana Fernandez/Flickr
Editor: Lieselle Davidson