Studio 696

Home » Blogs » Naturopathic Relief for Perimenopause by Anthia Koullouros, Naturopath

Naturopathic Relief for Perimenopause by Anthia Koullouros, Naturopath

Perimenopause is a natural and normal process that every woman goes through as they age. It typically begins in a woman’s late 30s or early 40s and can last for several years. During this time, a woman’s ovaries gradually produce less oestrogen and progesterone, leading to changes in her body and menstrual cycle. However, the signs and symptoms of perimenopause can vary widely from woman to woman, and some may not experience any symptoms at all. Perimenopause symptoms can persist for several years, and menopause is confirmed after 12 months without menstruation.

The key hormones involved:

  • Oestrogen: During perimenopause, oestrogen levels can spike up to three times normal levels, which can contribute to symptoms such as an irritable mood, breast pain, and heavy periods.
  • Progesterone: In the early phases of perimenopause, there is a decrease in progesterone due to shorter luteal phases and more anovulatory cycles. This decrease can lead to symptoms such as anxiety, breast pain, heart palpitations, night sweats, frequent migraines, and heavy periods.
  • Testosterone: Testosterone levels can also be affected during perimenopause, which can contribute to changes in libido or sex drive.
  • Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH): These hormones can also be affected during perimenopause and can contribute to symptoms such as mood swings and hot flashes.

It’s important to note that while oestrogen is often considered the primary hormone associated with menopause, losing progesterone is the main cause of early perimenopausal symptoms.

The signs of perimenopause can vary significantly from one person to another and may include:

  • Irregular menstrual cycles: During perimenopause, menstrual cycles can become irregular, meaning that periods may come more frequently or less frequently than usual. They may also be heavier or lighter than usual. This is due to fluctuations in hormone levels.
  • Hot flashes and night sweats: Many women experience hot flashes and night sweats during perimenopause. These are sudden feelings of heat, often accompanied by sweating, that can last for several minutes. They can be triggered by stress, alcohol, caffeine, and spicy foods.
  • Vaginal dryness and pain during sex: Declining oestrogen levels can cause vaginal dryness, which can lead to discomfort during sex. This can also increase the risk of vaginal infections.
  • Mood swings, irritability, and depression: Hormonal changes during perimenopause can affect neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin, which can contribute to mood swings, irritability, and depression.
  • Difficulty sleeping or insomnia: Hot flashes and night sweats can disrupt sleep, leading to difficulty falling or staying asleep. This can also lead to fatigue and lack of energy during the day.
  • Fatigue and lack of energy: Lack of sleep can lead to fatigue and lack of energy, but declining hormone levels can also contribute to these feelings.
  • Changes in libido or sex drive: Hormonal changes can also affect a woman’s libido or sex drive, leading to a decrease in sexual desire.
  • Weight gain, especially around the waist: Hormonal changes can also contribute to weight gain, particularly in the abdominal area.
  • Hair loss or thinning: Declining hormone levels can affect hair growth and lead to hair loss or thinning.
  • Changes in breast size or shape: Fluctuations in hormone levels can also lead to changes in breast size or shape.
  • Memory lapses or difficulty concentrating: Hormonal changes can also affect a woman’s ability to concentrate and remember things.
  • Joint pain: Hormonal changes during perimenopause can lead to joint pain and stiffness, particularly in the hands and wrists. This is due to the effect of declining oestrogen levels on joint and bone health.
  • Headaches and migraines: Some women may experience headaches or migraines during perimenopause, which may be due to hormonal changes, stress, or other factors.
  • Urinary tract infections: As oestrogen levels decline during perimenopause, the walls of the urinary tract may become thinner and less elastic, making it easier for bacteria to infect the bladder or urethra. This can lead to symptoms such as painful urination, frequent urination, and urgency.
  • Dry skin: Hormonal changes during perimenopause can also affect the skin, causing it to become dry, itchy, or flaky. This is due to a decrease in collagen production, which can lead to thinner, less elastic skin.

Naturopathic relief for perimenopause

Naturopathy is a form of complementary medicine that emphasises the use of natural remedies and therapies to promote healing and prevent disease. Naturopaths aim to address the root cause of a patient’s health issues by taking a holistic approach to healthcare, which considers the physical, emotional, and environmental factors that can affect a person’s health. Naturopathy treatments may include nutritional counselling, herbal medicine, homeopathy, and lifestyle modifications, such as exercise and stress management techniques. Naturopaths also typically encourage their patients to take an active role in their healthcare and to adopt healthy habits that promote overall wellness.

Specific supplements for for perimenopause

  1. Magnesium glycinate: This form of magnesium is highly bioavailable and easily absorbed by the body. Magnesium is important for many bodily functions, including regulating heart rhythm, maintaining healthy bones, and supporting nerve and muscle function. It also plays a role in reducing stress and promoting relaxation, which can help alleviate perimenopause symptoms such as anxiety and sleep disturbances. Additionally, magnesium has been shown to help with hot flashes, night sweats, and other symptoms related to hormone imbalances.
  2. Activated B vitamins: B vitamins are essential for energy production, metabolism, and maintaining a healthy nervous system. During perimenopause, hormone imbalances can impact the body’s ability to absorb and utilize B vitamins. Taking activated B vitamins in their most bioavailable form can help ensure the body is getting the nutrients it needs to function optimally. B vitamins can also help with mood regulation, memory, and cognitive function, which can be affected during perimenopause.
  3. Taurine: Taurine is an amino acid that is involved in many physiological processes in the body, including regulating neurotransmitters and supporting cardiovascular health. It also has a calming effect on the nervous system and may help reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality. Taurine has also been shown to have antioxidant properties, which can help protect the body from oxidative stress and inflammation, both of which can be increased during perimenopause.
  4. Vitamin D: Low levels of vitamin D are common in women going through perimenopause, and supplementing with this nutrient may help alleviate symptoms such as mood swings and fatigue. Aim for 1000 IU per day, although dosages may vary based on individual needs and blood levels.
  5. Omega-3 fatty acids: These healthy fats found in fish oil and other sources may help reduce inflammation and improve mood, both of which can be beneficial during perimenopause. Aim for 1000-2000 mg of EPA and DHA combined per day.
  6. Probiotics: Gut health is important for overall well-being, and research suggests that probiotics may help alleviate certain perimenopause symptoms such as vaginal dryness and mood swings. Look for a high-quality probiotic supplement with a variety of strains.
  7. Herbal medicines for perimenopause depend on the symptoms experienced. For instance, passionflower, hops, lavender, saffron, ashwagandha, and chamomile can be effective for managing stress and poor sleep, while bacopa, rosemary, and ginkgo are suitable for addressing poor cognition. Black cohosh, shatavari, and muira puama are known to be beneficial for general symptoms associated with perimenopause. However, it’s important to remember that herbal medicines should be prescribed by a naturopath or herbalist to avoid drug herb interaction and to make sure they are the best herbs for your constitution.

Diet & Lifestyle support for perimenopause

A balanced and healthy diet that includes the right amount of macronutrients can help alleviate some of these symptoms and improve overall health and well-being. Macronutrients are the three primary nutrients required for the human diet, which include carbohydrates, fats, and protein. The ideal macronutrient ratio depends on factors such as constitution, health status, activity levels, age, genetics, and personal goals. The quality of macronutrients and their processing is the most important consideration.

Protein is important during perimenopause as it helps build and repair tissues and supports hormone production. Eating adequate amounts of protein can also help maintain muscle mass and prevent age-related muscle loss. Healthy sources of protein include organic, grass-fed, or pastured animals, including beef, lamb, poultry, eggs, wild and sustainable fish, and seafood. It is recommended to eat a palm-full of protein two to three times per day, including one to two eggs daily, and to avoid processed deli meats and factory-farmed, grain-fed animals.

Healthy fats are also important during perimenopause as they can help reduce inflammation and support hormonal balance. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to help reduce hot flashes and improve mood. Healthy fats are also important and have a role in supporting immune function, insulating internal organs, regulating body temperature, maintaining healthy skin, hair, and nails, and aiding in the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins. Sources of healthy fats include grass-fed animal fats, wild fish and seafood, organic activated nuts, and seeds, fresh homemade or fresh nut milk, coconut milk, extra virgin olive oil, and avocados. It is best to avoid hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils, industrially processed vegetable oils and margarines, and excessive intake of omega-6 fats from vegetable oils.

Carbohydrates are also important during perimenopause as they provide energy for the body and can help regulate mood and sleep. They are important sources of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other important nutrients. Sources of healthy carbohydrates include vegetables, fruits, grains, pseudo-cereals, legumes, dairy, and sugar in moderation. Choose organic and seasonal produce.

Overall, a balanced and healthy diet that includes a variety of macronutrients from healthy sources can be beneficial for managing perimenopause symptoms and supporting overall health during this transition.

Exercise, good sleep, and meditation can be important for managing perimenopause symptoms because they can help reduce stress, balance hormones, improve mood, and promote overall health and well-being

Regular exercise can help improve sleep, boost mood, and reduce stress, all of which can be beneficial for women experiencing perimenopause symptoms. Exercise can also help maintain healthy bone density, which can be important during this time when the risk of osteoporosis may increase

Getting good quality sleep is essential for overall health and well-being. It can help regulate hormone levels and reduce stress, which can in turn help manage perimenopause symptoms. Sleep hygiene practices such as establishing a consistent sleep schedule, creating a relaxing bedtime routine, and avoiding screens before bedtime can be helpful for improving sleep quality.

Meditation and other relaxation techniques can help reduce stress and anxiety, which can be beneficial for managing perimenopause symptoms such as hot flashes and mood swings. Meditation can also help promote emotional balance and improve overall well-being.

It’s essential to keep in mind that each woman’s experience with perimenopause is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to managing symptoms. It’s crucial to collaborate with a healthcare provider to develop a personalised plan that addresses individual needs and concerns. It’s important to note that perimenopause is a natural part of the aging process and not a medical condition that needs to be “cured.”

Visit my website at and also you can follow me on Instagram.

Scroll to Top