Learning December 16, 2019

Supplements + Perimenopause.

Supplements + Perimenopause.

Let’s start here: most menopause supplements are not suited for perimenopause.

tl;dr: menopause supplements are designed for estrogen deficiency and one of the key hormonal characteristics (and the root cause of major symptoms) of perimenopause is excess estrogen. So, the last thing a women needs (in general) is more estrogen or estrogen-like effects.

Before going any further, I will say that these statements are general statements regarding the phases and the hormonal profile of perimenopause and menopause. It is important to emphasize that all women will experience symptoms differently and self-awareness is key. However, there is a general understanding of fundamentals that is imperative. This is what I endeavor to share.

Here’s how estrogen and progesterone levels evolve as women age.

Notice that at the beginning of perimenopause estrogen reaches levels HIGHER than during the prior years (in the chart it’s described a pre-menopause; in reality, it is the reproductive years). This is in the research but not widely understood. And this is the crux of the matter. This is why menopause supplements are not suitable for perimenopause.

Let’s get into it.

Menopause is a state of estrogen deficiency (as shown on the far right of the chart above). Menopause supplements are designed for this and use ingredients like soy. Soy is a phytoestrogen and acts like estrogen which makes sense if you are already in menopause.

Perimenopause is different.

The perimenopause hormone profile can be described by three things: High estrogen. Fluctuating estrogen. Low progesterone.

These three states are tied to the most common perimenopause symptoms: Heavy bleeding. Anxiety and hot flashes. PMS and shortened cycles.

Cause and effect. Why and what to do about it.

  • Cause: excess estrogen. Effect: Heavy bleeding (they call it “flooding” for a reason). Estrogen is responsible for triggering growth of the endometrial lining so lots of estrogen means lots of lining. Action: get rid of excess estrogen.
  • Cause: falling levels of estrogen are tied to feelings of anxiety. Effect: high anxiety. Women in perimenopause report very high levels of anxiety. Like crazy high. Without even know the neurochemistry, just looking at the chart above mighty give you anxiety feelings. Action: lower volatility by getting rid of excess estrogen.
  • Cause: falling levels of estrogen are tied to vasomotor and thermoregulation issues. Effects: unpredictable hot flashes and night sweats. Action: lower volatility by getting rid of excess estrogen.
  • Cause: lower levels of progesterone. Effect: increased PMS and shortened cycles. Women report having very long periods (10+ days) and shorter cycles (<21 days). Not fun. Action: boost progesterone production.

How to do the “what to do about it”.

All of the above can be done naturally, without synthetic hormones or other pharmaceuticals. None of it is rocket science or proprietary knowledge. Some of it comes from traditional plant medicine practices. Some of it comes from modern science. #everybodylovesscience #everybodylovesnaturalremedies

To get rid of estrogen, try Diindolylmethane (aka DIM). It is a phytochemical found in Brussel sprouts, kale and cauliflower that has shown in research to metabolize estrogen. Or if you’d rather, you can either add a ton of kale to your diet. It might be on sale at Whole Foods this week so you could be in luck.

To boost progesterone production, try Chasteberry (or vitex agnus castus). It has a long history in traditional plant medicine. Many women report symptoms relief regarding PMS and irregular cycles when using it. Clinical research shows efficacy in normalizing menstrual cycles.

Try our specialized perimenopause supplement, Formula 4|5.

What not to do.

My advice is not to take any menopause supplement blindly. Especially if you are in perimenopause, i.e., you are experiencing any of the symptoms above. Read the labels, do your research on the ingredients, know your symptoms and what’s causing them. And find the best remedies for you. //

 

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