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Why would you see a Holistic Nutritionist for Perimenopause?

Perimenopause is such a critical window for our future health and longevity. While it is a completely normal phase of life and not the medical condition or hormone deficiency some would have us believe, we are more vulnerable during perimenopause as we are more vulnerable during hormonal transitions. Just like we were during puberty and pregnancy.

Many may think that perimenopause symptoms are a given, yet there are cultures around the world like the modern-day forager Women of Tanzania – the Hazda, who do not suffer from Perimenopause symptoms except some reports of vaginal dryness post menopause. They tend to go through menopause at 45-50 with no other symptoms (hot flushes, menstrual issues etc) and generally perceive menopause as a positive thing – they don’t even have a word for it. 

Just like acne can be seen as a normal part of being a teenager, perimenopausal symptoms are often seen as a normal part of being a midlife Woman. Yet those of us who are interested in health and wellness (by choice or not) know that nutrition & lifestyle choices, at a hormonally sensitive time (puberty) can manifest as acne and our perimenopausal symptoms can also be symptoms of deeper imbalance. 

The symptoms of the imbalance may not have manifested when we were less sensitive or they may have worsened. When we are ready we can even use the symptoms we experience as clues to what our body’s need. 

Are you ready?

So, yes there are physical changes going on that predispose us to symptoms and my job is not to convince you that these could be alleviated by nutrition and lifestyle change. I am simply here to present what I know and to be there to guide the way for those who are ready and open to going deeper and exploring what it is their bodies are communicating.

I firmly believe that it is critically important to stay as healthy and in balance as possible during the perimenopausal recalibration period. While most perimenopause symptoms are temporary, it is a time when we do reach a tipping point. The symptoms and risks that occur during Perimenopause are real, they are however not inevitable due to standard hormonal changes. This means – symptoms come from our inability to adapt to the normal physical recalibration of the body and brain.

Some of my mentors refer to what is going on to cause this, as an evolutionary mismatch. This means we experience “Symptoms and disease risk from living in an environment that differs substantially from that in which it evolved”. So, our modern lives are indeed playing a role here. Think modern food, stress, toxin exposure, alcohol, genetics, autoimmune disease etc. 

So, what can help support us during this time?

As most symptoms are neurological, we can provide our bodies with enough of the right vitamins and minerals to support our nervous system and nourish our brains during the inevitable loss of progesterone (which is calming and stabilising to our brains and nervous system) and of course all the lifestyle factors to help minimise the effects of stress while our brain recalibrates. There is a lot we can do here.

This also helps to support secondary production of sex hormones from the adrenal glands. The same glands that produce stress hormones can give us a nice buffer of progesterone and estrogen to help soften the blow from the ovarian decline – if they are able to that is, and how many Women are at their most stressed during this time?

We can support estrogen clearance and stabilise mast cells to help prevent the irritability, insomnia, headaches, fluid retention and breast pain of high fluctuating estrogen during the early stages.

We can ensure we are metabolically flexible, to support our brain and cardiovascular health and to keep our body fat in check as estrogen drops, and we consequently experience a decline in glucose metabolism. This helps relieve many perimenopausal symptoms and helps eliminate disease risk (we have increased risk of dementia and cardiovascular disease) during this period and why I refer to a tipping point.

We can support muscle and bone mass to counteract what is lost naturally from aging and from estrogen decline.

We can fix and support the gut to help all the above and to help reduce general and chronic inflammation to alleviate joint pain and brain fog. We can also support sleep which can enhance our general wellness and make us less susceptible to pain.

We can also address any individual factors that interfere with any of the above or make any of the above worse like thyroid disease for example.

If ever there is a time to focus on your health, it is during perimenopause.

So, when you look at that list you will see that there is actually so much you can do via Nutrition and Lifestyle. These are the foundations of good health. Sure you can add in more pillars (HRT, Herbs etc) if you really need to but it is always best to make sure you have strong foundations in place first. For many, this is what is really needed to not only have relief during this period, but to ensure long term health.

So as you can see it makes perfect sense that a Holistic Nutritionist like me can help guide you through the recalibration process. Every plan I give or offer I create is designed to do exactly these things. I just make it simple by suggesting simple changes. Our bodies are amazing give them the right materials and they will bring themselves into balance. During Perimenopause they really are adapting to support a lower hormone state, but it takes time, and we need to support our bodies more than ever. 

Think of it as an investment in your future health as this time is when that investment you will cash in on later is made x

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Julie McGill

Perimenopausal mother to 4 and holistic clinical nutritionist helping women thrive through perimenopause, naturally.

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Image of Julie McGill Holistic Nutritionist
Hi, I'm Julie

I help Women thrive through perimenopause, naturally.  I’m a qualified & holistic clinical nutritionist, mum to 4 and also navigating my way through second puberty.

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