We women often demand much of our bodies.
Too much sometimes.
We have demanding and stressful careers. Family responsibilities. Our spousal relationship may not be the best. Aging parents can add to the burden. It all adds up to a lot of stress, which takes its toll on the body.
What we find out too late though, is that stress can actually trigger early menopausal symptoms.
If your body is under even a moderate level of stress and over the age of thirty, it’s possible your stress is to blame for pre-menopause. Check out this list of symptoms to find out if it might be happening to you:
Do You Have These Pre-Menopausal Symptoms?
• Irregular menstrual cycles
• Light or heavy menstrual flow
• Lumpy or tender breasts
• Fibroid tumors
• Mood swings
• Water retention and bloating
• Sleep problems
• “Foggy, fuzzy” thinking and memory lapses
• Anxiety and depression
• Inability to handle stress
• Hot flashes and night sweats
• Vaginal dryness
• Weight gain
If so, you may be on the long (often more than ten years!) path to menopause.
(Quick pause here – menopause is the body’s cessation of the menstrual cycle. But it doesn’t happen overnight. Pre-menopause is the body’s long process of preparing. It slowly reduces the degree and frequency of ovulation until finally it does not happen anymore. The process results in hormonal imbalance, which produces many of the above symptoms.)
What most women don’t know is that we have the power to change it.
We can influence our hormonal balance.
But it’s going to take a bit of work. Because we’ve been wrecking our hormones for a while. Incrementally, every day, our habits actually work against us, pulling our hormones in directions they shouldn’t go.
Other ways we women ravage our hormonal balance include obesity, lack of exercise, poor nutrition, and excess caffeine and alcohol. These add to the problem instead of helping the body cope with what is demanded of it.
Effects of Hormone Imbalance:
- Low sex drive
- Weight gain
- Headaches before menstrual period
- Mood swings
- Irregular periods / excessive bleeding
When hormones are balanced, we tend to feel more alert, energetic, and ready to take on the challenges of life!
So how can we tell if the pre-menopausal symptoms are, in fact, happening because of hormone imbalance?
That’s an important question. Because stress, age, and lifestyle choices are not the only consideration. Some of the symptoms listed can be signs of other conditions. That’s why it’s important to consult a physician or nurse practitioner with knowledge and experience in the area of hormonal balance. (I’m one.)
How To Help Re-Balance Your Hormones:
Like I said, there is something you can do.
But I kind of don’t want to tell you. Because I’m afraid you’ll roll your eyes and say, “Pfft. I knew that.” But sometimes the most powerful truths are the ones you’ve heard a thousand times from a hundred different places … but you may have just preferred to keep your head in the sand.
Trust me, I know. I’ve been there, done that.
Okay, here’s the deal.
Rebalancing your hormones can be simple, but takes the work of doing these things:
- Reduce caffeine (did I lose you already? Come back! You can do it!!)
- Reduce alcohol (yes, you can do it.)
- Exercise regularly (If you hate exercise, you probably haven’t tried these fun programs)
- Eat clean. (If you’re really new at this, just start with eating some kind of vegetables every day. Or add one superfood shake a day….perhaps join a clean eating challenge to learn more)
- Reduce stress (Meditate, schedule some quiet time every day and every week, using that time to do something that recharges you.)
I’ve been where you are.
I’ve been fatigued, unbalanced, and unaware – and I’m a Nurse Practitioner!! So don’t feel bad. It happens to us all. At least you’re not stuck, right? There IS something you can do.
And I can help you through it.
Need a health or menopause coach, or some advice on which exercise program to try out? I’m your woman.
Have some questions you’d rather not post in the comment section? Contact me here.
Or, if you are having the pre-menopause symptoms above, some hot flashes and night sweats and are looking for some natural solutions, download this free PDF!