Hear hear, ladies!
Is your menstrual cycle showing signs of coming to an end? Irregular periods and spotting? Or have hot flashes or night sweats been troubling you for a while?
You could be dealing with perimenopause.
The end of the reproductive cycle usually lasts a few years; these few years in a woman's life are called perimenopause. There are so many changes in the body and mind of a woman which need attention!
According to the Wellbeing of women survey in 2016, one in four women considered leaving their jobs due to perimenopausal symptoms.
Keep reading to discover the different symptoms of perimenopause and how to manage them naturally with Ayurveda!
Perimenopause is the transition period before menopause. This phase is filled with fluctuations in the levels of hormones in your body.
As you age, your ovaries begin to produce lesser amounts of estrogen (the female sex hormone). This is one of the main reasons for many changes in the female body during perimenopause. The reduction in the levels of progesterone and testosterone(sex hormones) also contributes to these changes in the female body.
If your periods are irregular and your cycles have started getting longer or shorter, you could be in your perimenopause phase.
This transition often begins between the age of 45-55 years.
However, irregular periods are also a symptom of many other health conditions like PCOS. So confirm with your doctor that you are in the perimenopausal stage!
Remember those days when your mom or grandmother started behaving 'weird' at a point in life? Ever wondered why they started changing all of a sudden?
That could make sense to you now. Various changes happen in your body - physiological and emotional.
Your bones start getting brittle and are easily prone to fractures. You start gaining weight without any particular reason. You could begin having high blood pressure and feel like your vagina is very dry.
Mood swings, anxiety, depression, irritability, and blackouts are some feelings you could face.
Hot flashes, night sweats, and sleeplessness can start troubling you at night.
Well, it was not their fault they behaved 'weird'. It was just menopause hitting them.
Remember that these symptoms need not occur together in the same person. For some, it could be mood swings. For others, hot flashes or sleeplessness.
Let's look at each of them to have a clear picture from an Ayurveda perspective.
Imagine that your chest and face start feeling like they are on fire all of a sudden. That is what hot flashes feel like. It is called night sweats if this occurs at night and does not let you sleep. These symptoms are due to an imbalance of Pitta bioenergy in your body.
Remember when we said your sex hormones have a mind of their own when you enter the perimenopause phase? This is why sleepless nights could become a daily occurrence for most women. Ayurveda says that your Vata bioenergy is in trouble if sleepless nights are becoming a routine for you!
"Menopausal transition is like hormonal chaos; this time, when estrogen level stabilises, they would be much lower than before." According to renowned gynaecologist Dr Jen Gunter in her TED talk, this change in oestrogen levels and other hormones come with irritability or depression.
Ayurvedic principles say that Vata and Pitta bioenergy are the culprits for your mood swings and irritability. Menopausal women tend to get depressed as well. This is due to an imbalance of the Kapha bioenergy in the body during the menopausal transition.
Wondering what it is? The reduction in estrogen level leads to excessive dryness in the area, which could make sex uncomfortable. Your vagina will also be prone to injuries or infections. Vaginal dryness is a consequence of imbalanced Vata bioenergy in the body.
The reduced estrogen levels can also cause a reduced interest in sex or a lack of libido. This could also be due to vaginal dryness, mood swings and other physical ailments. An increase in the Vata bioenergy is the reason for a reduction in your libido.
One of the primary reasons for hair fall is the imbalance of hormones in the body. This could result in the reduced water-retaining capacity of collagen (a protein that provides structure and support to your skin) and hair fall.
The testosterone hormone can contribute to hair thinning and receding hairline (androgenic alopecia) without appropriate levels of oestrogen to protect. Again, an increase in Vata bioenergy contributes to dry skin, and your hair fall is due to an increased Pitta dosha in your body.
|Hots flashes and night sweats||Pitta|
|Mood swings||Vata and Pitta|
|Disinterest in sex||Vata|
|Excessive hair fall||Pitta|
Keep reading to know the different ayurvedic herbs that can help balance these doshas.
Don’t think of perimenopause as a disease. It is just another normal phase of your life. Many ways are available to treat and manage the various symptom of perimenopause.
All of the above-listed problems can be managed by proper lifestyle and diet.
Ayurveda is all about natural and holistic healing.
Make sure that you are aware of the changes in your body, well informed of your condition, and comply with what is necessary wholeheartedly.
Diet correction is the first step in every ayurvedic management. You can find the key to balancing your imbalance of bioenergies in your food. Most of the symptoms of menopause are due to an imbalance in the Pitta and Vata bioenergies. Including more sweet and nourishing foods to balance the Vata and Pitta bioenergies is essential.
A diet that can balance Vata and Pitta bioenergies includes warm and well-cooked foods, with ample spices like fennel, cinnamon or cumin to aid digestion.
Include the following food in your diet to naturally manage your menopause.
1. Foods rich in Calcium and Vitamin D
2. Green leafy vegetables
Diet rich in fibre and micronutrients are necessary during the perimenopausal phase.
3. Fruits and vegetables
Fruits like gooseberries are antioxidant-rich and can help slow the progression of ageing.
Vegetables are rich in fibre and help to manage weight. Regular intake of vegetables as a part of your diet can also help prevent heart disease.
4. Foods rich in phytoestrogen
Phytoestrogens are naturally occurring hormones with a plant-based origin. They can help with managing the difficulties due to depleted estrogen.
These food items in your daily diet can help manage vaginal dryness and hot flashes!
5. Protein-rich foods
Do not forget to look out for allergic reactions and lactose intolerance
Ensuring regular protein intake slows the loss of lean muscle due to menopause.
Say NO to
1. Trigger foods
Keep a journal to identify the trigger factors that worsen your health and keep them at bay!
2. Skipping meals
Food must always be taken on time. Diet routines are essential to keep your body and mind healthy. So skipping meals randomly can worsen your perimenopausal symptoms.
This is not just for perimenopausal women but everyone.
Sufficient water intake is necessary to tackle the general dryness in your body during perimenopause.
Drinking 8-12 glasses of water daily can also help avoid weight gain, excess calorie intake and bloating due to hormonal variations.
Physical activity is paramount for healthy living and preventing many health conditions.
Regular exercise or physical activities like yoga postures for about 30 minutes daily can improve your metabolism and act as an anti-ageing tool.
Start doing these exercises at least thrice a week and see how your perimenopausal symptoms start getting scared of you!
Wondering how to get started with an exercise routine? Here are some quick tips.
Therapeutic yoga is one of the best ways to deal with perimenopausal symptoms. 'Therapeutic yoga can make your body physically healthy, manage stress, and balance hormonal variations. It helps manage hot flashes, irritability, tone pelvic floor muscles, and can help you sleep better!' says our therapeutic yoga expert Dr Niveditha.
The people around us significantly impact our mental and physical health. It is time to give yourself more time and care. Build new and healthy social relations and rediscover the already existing ones.
Focus and restructure your priorities.
But sometimes, your emotional baggage could be too much to handle. You could be depressed. Talk to a friend or a therapist, and take back control of your life.
You need to get out there and socialise for better mental health during your perimenopausal years. Here are some ways to improve your social life:
Support groups are some of the easiest ways to address the concern for lack of healthy social interaction in perimenopausal women.
Studies suggest that support groups can help with improving the quality of life of perimenopausal women and support them.
An already existing medical condition can make your perimenopausal phase difficult as well.
Ayurveda offers internal supplements and panchakarma therapies like oil massage, medicated enemas, and nasal drops that help detoxify and strengthen the body.
Here are a few ayurvedic herbs used as supplements to deal with perimenopausal symptoms.
This is the best herb to help you get comfortable with physical and mental changes. It can help promote body mass, build strength and improve your sleep and immunity.
Did you think cardamoms are all about imparting flavours to your dishes? Nope! Cardamoms have excellent therapeutic actions in your body and can balance the vata bioenergy in your body. An imbalance of vata bioenergy is responsible for most of the agony you experience during the perimenopausal stage.
Garlic also helps with promoting your metabolism and helps to balance the Vata bioenergy. It also contains phytoestrogens
Are you having trouble with burning sensations and dryness in your body? Better stock some sandalwood powder in your home! Using sandalwood paste on your body can cool you down from anything!
The next time you go shopping, get some Indian gooseberry in your cart because it's loaded with antioxidants, vitamin C and macronutrients and is a fruit that can be included in your daily diet.
Phytoestrogens mimic the actions of oestrogen in the body but are found in plants.
The roots of the Shatavari plant are rich in phytoestrogen and can also improve your WBC count, which contributes to improved immunity.
These tiny seeds had phytoestrogens as well. They can help balance the hormonal variations during the perimenopausal stage!
|Ashwagandha||Vata and Kapha||Mood swings, sleeplessness|
|Cardamom||Vata||Balances hormones, improves mood|
|Sandal wood||Pitta||Hot Flashes|
|Gooseberry||Vata, Pitta and Kapha||Hot Flashes, sleeplessness|
|Shatavari||Vata and Pitta||Mood swings, loss of libido|
|Sesame||Vata||Vaginal dryness, sleeplessness|
Other systems of medicine have a different approach to managing perimenopause.
They mainly aim at managing just your symptoms and not the root cause.
Antidepressants, hormone pills, moisturisers, antibacterials, antiseptics, and hormonal therapy are common alternate management methods.
Communication is key
Most of the time, lack of communication and misunderstanding among partners at this phase can compromise a healthy relationship. Persistent conflicts at home only aggravate the situation and make it worse for the person going through perimenopause.
Your family is your anchor while sailing through turbulent waters. Try out the following to help your family understand you better.
Perimenopause is a phase of significant change- physical, mental, social and emotional. Embrace it gracefully. Ayurveda emphasises adopting a healthy diet and routine to overcome this phase.
It’s time to boost up your knowledge by taking a simple quizBook Workshop
A typical menstrual flow lasts 4-6 days. Periods during perimenopause are irregular. You could bleed for 2 or 3 days and get your subsequent periods within 2 or 3 weeks. Sometimes you may experience spotting in between periods as well. But it is time to consult your doctor if your bleeding soaks through a tampon or a pad within an hour or two or if it interrupts your sleep to change the pad or tampon.
Menopause is the stage in a woman’s life when the reproductive cycle ends, and she is no longer menstruating. Perimenopause is the phase which denotes your transition from the reproductive phase to menopause. It is the phase between your reproductive stage and menopause.
No. Irregular periods mark the beginning of this stage. Menopause is the ending of the menstrual cycle once and for all.
Hormonal variation is the reason for weight gain during perimenopause. But weight gain is not always associated with perimenopause.
The earliest signs are menstrual irregularities along with increased instances of clots in your menstrual discharge. Hot flashes, night sweats, and palpitations are also experienced at the beginning of the perimenopausal phase
The perimenopausal stage can last for years. But towards the end of it, as you near menopause, your periods would become less frequent, and the length of your cycle can increase to more than a month and finally stop bleeding altogether. The severity of your perimenopausal symptoms would also wean off in the late perimenopausal phase before you hit menopause.
Menopause is a natural phase in a woman's life. Most of the symptoms of this stage can be managed by natural methods using Ayurveda and Yoga. Though, if you are suffering from other health issues that need attention, or if these natural remedies are not relieving your symptoms, it is best to consult your doctor. If you notice spotting after your period and if you have bleeding after sex, make sure to consult a doctor.
Our blog article focuses on bringing high-quality, scientifically accurate content and staying true to Ayurveda's principles. All of our articles are written by Licensed Ayurveda professionals after extensive research and are medically reviewed by our Expert Ayurvedic doctors who have over 10+ Years of Experience