While a natural and normal part of the aging process, navigating perimenopause can feel tricky and overwhelming for some. It is a time of massive change for your body. Naturopathic support in this time involves adopting an holistic approach to support your body through this natural transition.

Perimenopause is the stage before menopause - when menstrual cycles start to change and in flow and regularity, leading to the complete cessation of meses that is menopause. The hormonal changes leading us to menopause typically start around at 40-45 yrs but there is much variation in duration, onset and symptom picture. This is often an age of busyness and stress in itself, which makes it is especially important to begin (or continue) nurturing your mind and body during this time of change. While consulting with a Naturopath is the best step toward creating a personalised treatment plan to manage your symptoms, here are some general guidelines:

Start early! Working proactively to be in the best health you can before perimenopause will help set you up for easier management of any symptoms. Checking your diet, lifestyle, exercise, stress management and emotional health now and create healthy habits before perimenopause and your future self will thank you!

Adjust your diet– focus should be on a well-balanced diet including a wide variety of whole foods and little processed foods. Aiming for a low carb, high fibre Mediterranean style diet helps support your body in managing hormonal fluctuations.

Consuming plenty of fibre via vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes helps create a happy gut microbiome, which impacts mood, energy, hormone metabolism, and so much more.

It is also important to manage blood sugar during this time, one tip is to ensure you are consuming protein (like red meat, chicken, nuts, fish, cheese, eggs, tofu, chickpeas and lentils) with every meal - so a sweet snack of apple slices with the protein of nut butter.

Regular exercise – can help manage weight, improve mood, and promote overall wellbeing. A well-balanced mix of cardio, strength training and flexibility exercise is ideal, but most important is daily movement- even a simple 1/2hr daily walk will be beneficial.

Stress reduction strategies – including techniques like yoga, meditation, breathwork, journalling help manage stress and support your nervous system. For additional support Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil can help stabilise mood, as can Magnesium and a wide range of targeted herbal therapies.

Sleep – prioritising good sleep hygiene by maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, creating a relaxing bedtime and ensuring your sleep environment is comfortable can help with any night sweats - sipping on sage tea and adding magnesium into your routine - via supplementation or a nightly Epsom salt foot bath can also help.

Herbal medicine can provide beautiful support in this time. Herbs have a place in supporting good sleep, blood sugar balance and help stabilise mood and hormonal fluctuations.

Remember, Perimenopause is a unique experience for everyone, which is where naturopathic treatment can really help to guide you through the process and create a personalised plan that aligns with your health goals.

By Katie Harvison