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Peri Menopause: Dealing With It Naturally

April 01, 2011 | Comments: 0 | Views: 194

Peri menopause is kind of like the biological threshold of menopause. Think of it as your body preparing itself for its official entry into menopause, signaled by the total cessation of menstruation after at least twelve months. Peri menopausal symptoms can be felt as early as ten years prior to actual menopause, which means women as young as 40 years old can already experience hot flashes, irregular menstrual periods, vaginal dryness, mood swings, and other common indicators.

Most typical peri menopause symptoms, both physical and emotional, are caused by fluctuating hormone levels. Hot flashes, for one, are primarily the results of lowered estrogen which directly affects the hypothalamus (the part of your brain controlling your body's response to sex hormones, sleep cycles, appetite, and temperature). A significant number of peri menopausal women go through hot flashes in varying intensities: in the United States alone, around 80% experience it. The good news is that hot flashes decrease with time. Up until their inevitable disappearance, however, this symptom can get pretty uncomfortable and inconvenient.

Hot flashes can be addressed naturally. There are medications and even hormone replacement therapy (HRT) that a woman in the peri menopause phase can go for, but these pose risky possibilities like developing certain types of cancer. They are also quite expensive in the long run. The best, safest, and most effective natural solution is to avoid triggers when you can. Stress and anxiety are some of the biggest ones, so steer clear of situations that can cause these (and hot flashes in turn). Other triggers to watch out for include alcoholic beverages, spicy food, smoking, caffeinated drinks, and hot weather. Be practical when dressing up for the day. Dress in layers of clothes made of lightweight, natural fabric (which allows the skin to breathe and won't stick to your skin) so you can peel them off one at a time when you start feeling the heat. Always bring a bottle of cold water and a hand fan everywhere you go. Try your best to keep a serene and calm frame of mind at all times.

Vaginal dryness is also a huge peri menopause indicator that is not just bothersome, but can take its toll on a peri menopausal woman's sex life, as well. Again, it is typically caused by declining estrogen levels leading to the thinning and drying of vaginal walls. In the case of vaginal dryness, HRT may even be the culprit, especially during the period of being weaned from it. Combat vaginal dryness the natural way. Boost your daily water intake, for one. Go on healthy diet that addresses hormonal balance. This can include such food as soy and flax seeds which are proven excellent sources of phytoestrogens (natural chemicals in plants that mimic estrogen). During sex, it is recommended that a scent-free, water based lubricant be used. You can also opt to break open a Vitamin E capsule and use it as a lubricant. Not only will it do the job well, but Vitamin E can actually help restore some of the vagina's elasticity and address the dryness.

Peri menopause may signal the end of one phase in a woman's life, but it can also be considered as the entry into a new and exciting one that totally does away with issues of unplanned pregnancy and birth control. In fact, women who have gone through peri menopause, menopause, and even post menopause can attest that living, loving, and laughing through these phases are the best natural treatments for all the symptoms they bring with them.

Laura Ramirez is a health writer and parenting author. For more information on going through midlife transition with grace and ease, go to www.mojomenopause.com.

Source: EzineArticles
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