During perimenopause, the adrenal glands take over some of the hormone production work of the ovaries and produce small amounts of progesterone and oestrogen. But the adrenal glands cannot produce these female hormones properly if they are constantly pumping out stress hormones. The body will always prioritize survival over fertility.
When we get stressed, the body is primed to protect us, and the adrenal glands produce cortisol and adrenaline instead of oestrogen and progesterone. This is bad news for perimenopausal women, as we need these hormones for our health and emotional well-being.
When the stress is chronic, whether it’s from a high-sugar diet, a bad relationship or from feeling overwhelmed, it pushes the adrenal glands to produce high levels of cortisol. This could also lead to adrenal fatigue, sometimes known as ‘burn out’, which can lead to depression, weight gain, exhaustion, insomnia, and brain fog.
Hormones and stress
Progesterone and oestrogen naturally counteract the impact cortisol has on our body. So our body can buffer stress before perimenopause because we have optimal levels of progesterone. Once those levels start to drop, the buffering effect weakens.
High cortisol can cause a bunch of symptoms, which are also symptoms of perimenopause: Insomnia, low energy, frequent colds, cravings for unhealthy foods, digestion problems like bloating, weight gain, low sex drive, aches and pains, and low mood.
What to do?
Rather than try to address each of the symptoms individually, a better approach is to use lifestyle approaches. They work very effectively to offset the effects of stress. Things like:
- Eating a lot of vegetables, clean protein and good fats like extra virgin olive oil.
- Practising sleep hygiene to get 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep.
- Working within a hormone appropriate exercise program doing mild aerobic work and low-level strength training.
- Using mindset to calm the anxiety and practise meditation to focus the mind
All these lifestyle approaches are integrated into my 8-week program called “Holistic Health Blueprint for Ladies in Perimenopause”. DM me if you’d like more information.
#holistichealth #Hormones #stressrelief
The holidays can be wonderful, but they can also be full of stress and exhaustion. Stress can cause both emotional and physical responses. Emotional responses can be caused by how we think, perceive, and respond to a situation. For example, we might feel overwhelmed or anxious. The body can also have a physical response, such as a raised heart rate, sweaty palms, and diarrhea.