You’ve heard about the obesity epidemic, but what about an epidemic of early perimenopause?
Over the last ten years we’ve noticed disturbing trends in perimenopause that aren’t being discussed in conventional doctors’ offices. More women are getting perimenopausal symptoms sooner, suffering more severely and enduring a longer transition to menopause. Yet many women don’t realize that their choices may actually be making things worse. During a time in life when they could be enjoying more freedom and better health, perimenopausal women are enduring unbearable sleep trouble, unsettling irritability, weight gain, anxiety, hot flashes, cravings and more.
Early perimenopause is part of a hormonal imbalance trend
Worsening perimenopause, polycystic ovarian syndrome, PMS — what do all of these prevalent issues have in common? Hormonal imbalance. Severe perimenopause falls under the much larger umbrella of hormonal imbalance that is affecting women of all ages. In all these conditions and more, we see wider numbers of women affected, with more severe symptoms, and at earlier ages.
Hormones begin shifting naturally around the age of 35 when estrogen and progesterone start to taper off very gradually prior to menopause. Because this is usually such a slow and incremental shift, the healthiest women may hardly feel this change happening in their bodies. They may notice small differences like more irritability or fatigue around the time of their periods, but many chalk these symptoms up to PMS. However, for the majority of women, these hormonal shifts overwhelm their bodies’ ability to maintain balance. The result is severe symptoms that can go on for years.
Why is hormonal imbalance on the rise?
Conventional doctors tend to oversimplify the menopause transition, and describe it to their patients as just a matter of declining estrogen. But our hormones are affected by much more than that. There are many factors that can affect hormonal balance — most of which we have control over. So, what’s changed about the way we live that contributes to this “epidemic” of hormonal imbalance?
- Stress — severe and unrelenting demands. There’s no denying that we live in a high-stress world. Technology has not only given us the ability to work more hours, it also drains our free time and cuts into our time outdoors. We’re juggling motherhood, fulltime work, household demands, and more. Cortisol, our major stress hormone, is released in the face of stress and has a huge impact on our sex hormone balance, making stress one of the key causes of perimenopause symptoms.
- Lack of nutrition. Our food is simply less nutritious than it used to be. It contains fewer nutrients, it’s often packaged in hormone-disrupting plastics, and we’re often eating unbalanced meals on the go. We’re making it very difficult for our bodies to balance our hormones and keep us energized and healthy.
- Lack of self-care. So many women push themselves to extremes every day, waking up early and staying up late, exercising too much and not making time to restore or connect with friends and family. We often give rest the lowest priority, putting everyone else’s needs first. Yet, sleep and down time are integral to our bodies’ health and hormonal balance.
- Xenoestrogens and other hormonal disruption. Bottled water, smartphones, vinyl flooring, children’s toys — we live in a world made of plastic. And these synthetic products contain PCB’s, BPA, phthalates and more, which can have estrogenic affects on the body. Though we need estrogen in our bodies, the ratio between estrogen and progesterone is very important, especially during perimenopause. The synthetic chemicals in our environment that mimic estrogen in our cells can tip the hormonal scales, leading to more severe symptoms sooner in life.
With symptoms starting sooner and the average age of menopause remaining the same (52 years old), perimenopause is longer for more women now than ever before.
Hormonal balance is in your hands
Symptoms of perimenopause aren’t just symptoms. They can change the way you interact at work, at home and with friends. And more important, they can affect your happiness and self-confidence. Not all of the factors listed above are within your control, but you can do enough about each of them to make your symptoms disappear and enjoy good health again.
For women who want a guided approach, we offer a Hormonal Health Packages that provides the support you need in a simple, proven approach. It targets hormonal imbalance directly with an exclusive herbal combination product; a high-quality multivitamin/mineral complex to fill in any nutritional gaps; suggestions on hormone-healthy eating with delicious recipes; and a guide to simple hormone-balancing changes you can make in your life. As a bonus, our supportive staff is experienced at helping you tailor your Health Package to fit your life.