7 Lifestyle Changes To Combat Your Perimenopause Symptoms

Hormone levels are knocked out of balance during perimenopause, which contributes to the symptoms that you may be experiencing. While hormone replacement therapy is one potential treatment option, it is not without side effects. Many women can successfully restore hormonal balance by making a few key lifestyle changes. Before you turn to hormone replacement therapy, try these seven tips to help you alleviate your symptoms of perimenopause naturally.

1. Cut Back Caffeine

Excess caffeine consumption elevates your body's production of stress hormones, including cortisol, adrenaline and norepinephrine, which can then affect your estrogen and progesterone levels. Savor your first cup of morning java, but switch to herbal tea and water as your beverages of choice for the remainder of the day. If you are confident that you can abolish caffeine entirely from your diet, be sure to eliminate it gradually in order to avoid caffeine withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches. You can accomplish this by initially swapping out your morning coffee for green tea, which is lower in caffeine. Alternately, make a half and half combination of caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee. Remember to avoid colas and limit your intake of chocolate.

2. Omit Excess Omega-6

Omega-6, or linoleic acid, is an essential polyunsaturated fatty acid that your body does not produce. Like omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids are necessary and must be obtained from food. However, unlike omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids are abundant in many processed and fried foods, which means that it is easy to consume a diet that is too high in omega-6 fatty acids. When the level of omega-6 far exceeds the level of omega-3, then the beneficial effects of the omega-3 are decreased. To avoid taking in too much omega-6, read the ingredient labels on all processed foods, avoiding those that contain the following:

  • Corn oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Cottonseed oil
  • Vegetable oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Shortening

Steer clear of anything labeled with the word "hydrogenated" on the ingredient list.

3. Opt for Omega-3

Omega-3, or linolenic acid, is an essential fatty acid that is only found in a few foods, but offers great health benefits. Reap those benefits by boosting your intake of the following foods:

  • Oily fish, such as salmon and tuna
  • Avocados
  • Coconut Oil
  • Nuts, such as walnuts and almonds
  • Pumpkin Seeds

4. Seize the Slumber

With hormonal imbalance comes disrupted sleep, and inadequate rest results in diminished mental acuity, forgetfulness and irritability. Combat these effects by trying the following natural sleep aids:

  • Schedule a set routine of sleep and wake times, aiming for 8 full hours of sleep.
  • Schedule a one-hour duration before your sleep time, during which you engage in something relaxing, such as meditate, take a bath, listen to soothing music or read a book.
  • Keep your bedroom at a cool temperature.
  • Consider taking over-the-counter melatonin, a natural supplement that aids in sleep.
  • Turn off the television and put away all mobile devices during your pre-sleep time.

5. Embrace Exercise

Exercising five days each week for 30 minutes on each of those days is a helpful step toward improving your hormone balance as well as maintaining your mobility, strength, endurance and cardiovascular health. Engage in a combination of the following exercises each week:

  • Aerobic exercise, which may include swimming, cycling and power walking for low impact workouts
  • Calisthenics, which include crunches, sit-ups, pushups, squats and pull-ups
  • Weight training

6. Soothe Your Stress

With today's overburdened schedules, few people are excluded from being besieged with life's stresses. The added emotional stress of going through menopause can be enough to push you beyond your limits of coping. Now may be the perfect time to take on one or more of the following stress-relief therapies:

  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Breathing exercises
  • Relaxing hobbies, such as jigsaw puzzles or adult coloring books

7. Toss Out the Toxins

Some toxins that are found in household items, cleaners and foods can alter hormone levels by mimicking and disrupting estrogen in your body. Reduce your toxin exposure by making the following changes:

  • Swap out nonstick cookware for glass and stainless steel variations.
  • Choose fresh foods instead of canned foods.
  • Do not store or heat edibles in plastic containers.
  • Purchase organic foods.
  • Purchase environmentally friendly household cleaners and detergents.

If making these healthy changes in your lifestyle does not improve some of your symptoms, speak to your primary care physician or gynecologist about additional treatment options that may be available.

Talk to a center like Contemporary Women's Health Care to learn more.