Is it hot in here, or is it just YOU?
They say (those in the ‘know’) that these are the best years of your life – the kids are gone, you’re old enough to know what you want, and you still have the energy to get it all done! Then why do women’s bodies play this cruel or awkward joke on them just as the going gets good?
Hot flashes, weight gain, mood swings, headaches, water retention, breast tenderness, osteoporosis, and to top it off, potential increased risk of breast cancer! Ah, the joys of peri/menopause.
But the transition from child-bearing years to a new period of personal fulfillment doesn’t have to be rough. Let’s take a closer look at what causes it and what you can do about it.
Why is menopause so “bad”?
1. Decreased progesterone/estrogen levels:
This is normal. A woman’s body announces it’s ready to stop making babies by shifting these hormone levels. However, decreasing the level of estrogen in the body does result in many of the symptoms listed above.
2. High levels of xenoestrogens:
These are man-made compounds that act like estrogen in the body but block natural estrogen from functioning properly. Often, meat and dairy products contain xenoestrogens as a result of hormones given to the animals, but they can come from everyday industrial products (eg. cleaning products, pesticides) as well in many personal care products (eg. shampoos, conditioners, lotions, deodorants). As levels of natural estrogen drop, the effects of xenoestrogens become even MORE prevalent in the body .
So what are your options?
1. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT):
Taking what is called “bio-identical” hormones to replace what you’ve lost is NOT SUGGESTED! Studies, such as the ‘Million Woman Study’, have shown that HRT increases risks of breast cancer, stroke, and heart attack, and that longer treatments produced higher risks.
Essential oils can be a great alternative to balancing the hormonal fluxes. Smells are one of the most powerful ways to relieve symptoms as they cause specific physical and psychological reactions by stimulating the release of neurotransmitters in the brain to balance hormones and increase feelings of well-being. Skin is the largest organ of the human body so applying essential oils through your skin is also a tremendous way to effect relief.
(NOTE: I suggest using doTERRA essential oils which are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade. Follow all warning labels carefully when using any essential oils.)
2. Cleanse the body of Xenoestrogens:
Removing xenoestrogens from the body will help improve symptoms to a more natural state.
Suggestions: doTERRA’s LifeLong Vitality PackTM; doTERRA’s ZendocrineTM;milk thistle; lots of soluble dietary fiber (to help cleanse the body)
3. Take Phytoestrogens:
Phytoestrogens are plant-based compounds that are adaptogenic regulators of estrogen function (ie. they help to regulate estrogen in the body). That means it will increase estrogen function if it is low or decrease function if it is high! And….therefore ….NO MORE HORMONE SWINGS! Phytoestrogens also protect the body from the effects of xenoestrogens.
Suggestions: flax seed oil; soy (in moderation); doTERRA’s Phytoestrogen Lifetime ComplexTM, essential oils of Clary Sage, Geranium, Lavender, and Basil; doTERRA’s SolaceTM essential oil blend (I have seen this one stop hot flashes FAST!!)
4. Take supplements to support healthy bones:
Strong, healthy bones are important for all of the activities you’ll be doing in this time of your life. You don’t want to break a hip so stay active and take care of your bones!
Suggestions: supplements high in Calcium, Magnesium, and D vitamins; doTERRA’s Bone Nutrient Lifetime ComplexTM; regular exercise including strength bearing exercise as your body allows.
As you transition through this period in your life, do it with the grace and style that befits your magnificence! Reduce your stress, limit your sources of toxicity, eat whole foods, develop healthy lifestyle habits, and take care of your symptoms. And don’t forget to be the goddess you are meant to be! It really can be some of the best years of your life.
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