8 Hormone Free Ways To Reduce Perimenopause Symptoms

perimenopause

Hard to believe that I’m old enough to be talking about this, but I’m coming to terms with it. And, I have to say that I’m loving how many women in my generation are starting to talk about perimenopause and all the of the symptoms that go along with it. As uncomfortable as they are, at the end of the day, it’s a privilege to get older and I try to remind myself of that when I look in the mirror, lol.

But, that doesn’t mean we have to just live with perimenopause and all of its not-so-wonderful symptoms. There are natural remedies and supplements that we can take advantage of to feel better, reduce aches and pains, help with the hormonal highs and lows, and support our bodies as we get older. I’ve been trying out lots of different things over the last year and have stumbled on some that actually make a noticeable difference. I’ve never been one to gatekeep, so I’m going to share with you what has been working for me.

Keep in mind, though, that we are all different and I hope this encourages you to try new things and see what really works for you. Listen to your body and stop anything that simply isn’t making you feel better. You are your own best advocate. And, if you’re new to this conversation, let’s talk a little bit about what perimenopause is first.

What is Perimenopause?

All women of a certain age are going to go through menopause. The average age for menopause is around 52, give or take. However, our bodies start preparing for that for up to a decade or more before that age and that’s what we call perimenopause. For perimenopause, symptoms can even start in our late 30s, definitely in our 40s, and continue until we are in full blown menopause and our periods stop. This is a natural part of biological aging that occurs when our ovaries stop releasing eggs and estrogen levels decline. It’s the decrease in estrogen that is responsible for so many of the changes that we experience. There’s nothing we can do to stop the menopause process altogether, but we can do things that will ease the transition. Here’s some of the perimenopause symptoms that you might be experiencing, and by the way, when I first saw this list, my jaw dropped:

  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats (this seems to be a very common one)
  • Headaches
  • Dryness – skin, everything
  • Aches and pains
  • Frozen shoulder or chronic pain concentrated in the shoulder
  • Irregular periods
  • Trouble concentrating (boy howdy)
  • Insomnia (it’s not easy to sleep through night sweats, am I right?)
  • Changes in libido
  • Mood changes (more so than usual, like a literal emotional roller coaster)
  • Bladder problems
  • Stubborn weight gain (especially in the belly – meno belly is real!)
  • Quicker loss of bone or muscle (declining estrogen levels, y’all)
  • Hair Loss (this seems to be another one that a lot of my friends are experiencing)

I’m sure there’s more than this, but these are the most common symptoms. So, if you’ve been experiencing any number of these and wondering if your body is falling apart and you’re losing your mind – have no fear, perimenopause is here!

Ways To Help Perimenopause Symptoms:

perimenopause

Now let’s get to the good stuff. What can you do to help yourself feel better? The good news is there are more options than ever, thanks to growing research on perimenopause and doctors who are bravely sharing on social media. But, since women tend to suffer in silence and take care of themselves last, it’s easy to think you’re the only one going through this. Trust me, you are not. And once I start talking about these things, the women around me all pipe in with their own stories. Sure, it’s a little embarrassing and scary to talk about this stuff, but we need to. We can’t just talk about the phases of life that are exciting and fun. There’s a lot more to our journey as women, and we shouldn’t feel like we have to navigate it alone.

1. Start Following Menopause Experts:

It’s time to get as much positive info on this as you can. I know so many women that have gone to their doctors out of desperation with symptoms and all they are told is that this is normal or that they just need to diet and lose weight. This is so cruel to women, because even if we are able to lose weight with enough diet and exercise, it wouldn’t stop all of these symptoms. If you’d like to follow a menopause expert OBGYN who is really changing the game when it comes to educating women and the medical community, check out Dr. Mary Claire Haver. I love her. There are more accounts you can follow, too, but this has been a great resource for me. Her Instagram is packed full of great info. By giving yourself access to this huge community of women who are also going through this and doctors who are listening, researching, and sharing what’s working, you will definitely feel less alone.

2. Try Perimenopause Supplements:

menopause supplement

I’ve been trying out different perimenopause and menopause supplements to find ones that work best for me and I have noticed a real difference with this one right here. I don’t love the taste of the gummies, so I might try the pill form next, but it’s affordable, available at normal stores, and has a lot of great ingredients in it. The active ingredients include black cohosh, Vitamins D3 and B6, Ashwagandha KSM-66, and chasteberry. Specific symptoms I feel it has helped with are night sweats, aches and pains, focus, and more. I’ve been very happy with it and it’s the best one I’ve personally tried yet.

Check out MENO supplement here

*Affiliate links are used here for products I buy with my own money and love. If you choose to make a purchase through my links, I may receive a commission at no cost to you. Thank you!

3. Try Hair/Skin/Nails Supplements:

hair supplement

For someone who takes a lot of supplements, I’ve been surprised that I still needed a separate one for my hair. But, when I kept noticing more and more thinning in patches around my hairline, I knew I needed to try something. I added this hair gummy to my HUM Nutrition order and I notice a remarkable difference around my hairline in a few months time. I’ve recommended it to a few friends and they’ve all come back to tell me they like it, too. It’s not the only one out there, but it’s the one I personally take and feel comfortable sharing with you. I get it in a monthly subscription that saves me 25% and I don’t have to remember to buy more. Win win.

Check out Hum Hair Strong Gummies here

4. Use Magnesium:

magnesium supplement

Magnesium is a must-have nutrient that our bodies need to stay healthy. It’s responsible for many processes in the body and most of us are deficient because we are not swimming in salty ocean water and eating fresh fish. You can try to get enough through your diet, but it’s difficult, so I supplement and have for years. It’s been a key player in my supplements to reduce inflammation from autoimmune diseases. I use a lotion at night and take a supplement. It helps me with anxiety, aches and pains, insomnia, restless legs, and much more. I take this supplement (2 pills at night) and I use this lotion at night – two pumps spread out on my upper arms and lower legs/calves only. You can also use a magnesium spray on the bottoms of your feet before going to bed. It’s safe for kids as well. Another option is to take a magnesium salt bath – such as epsom salts. Get the good, pure kind and soak it up for about 20 minutes. You’ll notice a difference with consistent use.

5. Up Your Fiber:

perimenopause fiber supplement

The number one thing I’ve gotten out of following Dr. Mary is to UP MY FIBER! More than you ever thought you could possibly eat, lol. I’m serious, though. More fiber = feel better. When I actually started calculating how much fiber I was really eating, it wasn’t enough, especially by Dr. Mary’s standards. You can get more fiber by increasing certain foods, or adding a fiber supplement. Realistically, you need to do both to get enough fiber, because the target is 25 or more grams of fiber per day, with over 30 grams the ideal number. I’m not sure if I ever hit 30, but I try. If you google the importance of fiber for menopausal women – you’ll see a bunch of articles that will further convince you to up that fiber. I take a fiber supplement every day. I just add it to my water and it dissolves. I can’t taste it at all. If you add it to iced water, it won’t mix in as well, so add it to room temperature or hot water or any other drink that you like. You can even put a spoonful in your coffee.

Click here to see the fiber supplement I take

6. Strength Train:

pilates reformer

Are you working those muscles? It’s not enough to do cardio, especially with declining estrogen causing your body to lose muscle at a much faster rate. In fact, if you want more proof of what a difference it can make to incorporate strength training, go to my post where I review Club Pilates and scroll down to the comments. You’ll see so many women age 40 and above sharing their experiences with adding reformer pilates. The reformer uses weighted cables and a carriage that moves to strengthen and tone the body with less pressure on your joints. Highly recommend it.

7. Walk More:

standing desk and walking pad

I’ve noticed big differences when I get my steps in. And, let me tell you, track your steps before you shake your head and say you get plenty of steps. I’m chasing kids and dogs around all day and I still was surprised at the number when I was tracking my steps. The ideal number is around 10,000 a day, but I don’t hit that every day, and occasionally, I get more. It’s about consistency and balance over time. One way I’ve snuck in more steps is getting a walking pad. Sometimes at night when I’m watching a show, I’ll set it up on my laptop and walk while I watch one episode. Or, most of the time, I get the steps during the day when I’m working and I just walk while I work. There are some things that are easier to walk during than others, so I choose what works for me. And, there are days when it just doesn’t happen, too, and that’s life. But, when I am consistent with it, I do see changes in my mood, my anxiety, my inflammation, my puffiness, my monthly cycle, everything – so I know it’s impacting my hormones.

Check out this detailed post where I share how I get more steps

8. Do Castor Oil Packs:

castor oil packs

If you’ve been hanging out here for awhile, you already know how much I love castor oil packs. Why? Because they’re easy, they’re comforting, and they WORK! They work for so many things! I love using them around my stomach and liver area to detox. Here’s some of the many benefits:

  • Shrinking uterine fibroids
  • Shrinking and reducing ovarian cysts
  • Reducing symptoms of PCOS
  • Relaxing the digestive system and improving constipation (see my whole post on 5 natural remedies for stomach pain and bloating, too)
  • Improving lymphatic drainage
  • Reducing gut inflammation
  • Shrinking cysts in breast tissue
  • Detoxifying the liver – for liver castor oil pack tips, check out this post.
  • Shrinking thyroid cysts and nodules
  • Reducing painful menstrual cramps
  • Shortening periods and regulating cycles

Basically, it’s like a super cleanse for your body – and encourages your body to do a better job of what it should be doing already. And, castor oil packs can have a subtle shrinking effect on the midsection, too. Not a bad deal, especially if you’re getting hormone belly.

To do them, here’s the steps:

  1. Set up your relaxing area with a towel underneath where you will lay and change into clothes that you don’t care about. Castor oil stains.
  2. Plug in your heat pad or microwave your pad and put them where you will lay.
  3. Make sure you have your TV remote or book and something to drink nearby as well.
  4. Put your small piece of flannel or cloth in a jar or glass container (some even use a large mason jar) and drizzle some of the castor oil over it until it is moist, but isn’t dripping wet. If you use a jar or glass container, you can store the flannel in the container after, too. **If you decide to reuse the material with the castor oil on it, store it in the refrigerator so it doesn’t go rancid. 
  5. Alternative: Use a wrap. Pour the castor oil in the middle, dab it in until it’s not dripping and then fix the wrap about your midsection or the area you’re using it on and secure it with the straps.
  6. If you are dripping the castor oil on your body, rub it around and then put a cloth on top. You can use an old burp cloth, receiving blanket folded, cotton hand towel, etc. This will protect the heat pad from getting stained.
  7. Place heat pad on top of the area with the castor oil.
  8. Relax for up to an hour, preferably with your legs elevated comfortably. You can stop the heat after 20-30 minutes.
  9. Time is up! Time to gently remove the heat pad and flannel and wipe the excess castor oil off with wipes.
  10. Make sure to wipe off any excess castor oil before getting dressed and going to bed.

Learn how to do a castor oil pack here

*****
I hope you found something here that inspires you to try something new. As always, listen to your body. I am not a doctor, I’m just a normal woman who is willing to be the guinea pig to find solutions that work for me, and then I’m always willing to share them. Always know that you assume any risk associated with trying something new.

I have some other supplements and therapies I’m going to try soon and if they work for me, I’ll add those to this post. If you have your own tips/tricks for finding relief from perimenopause symptoms, feel free to share them below!

Have a fabulous day,

E

 

 

 

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