By Functional Habits Coach, Bonnie Rogers
I took an interest in female hormones after pregnancy when mine took me on a wild ride! I couldn’t put my finger on it at first -- it wasn’t post-natal depression, but I also felt so far away from myself. Conversations with friends and clients revealed that I wasn’t alone: Women in their late 30s and early 40s may start going through a shift in hormones. We are not thinking in terms of peri-menopause (many see it as something that happens to older women and involves being hot - try making sense of that symptom when you practically live on the equator). We often have no idea why or what we can do about it.
My personal experience shows that even articulating that this may be happening is an important first step. We often seek help only when we feel so bad or our symptoms are so out of control and we’re ready to just about do anything to feel ‘ourselves’ again.
So how exactly do we define peri-menopause?
It’s a word used to describe the transition period between your first symptoms and the onset of menopause, which is technically marked by 12 consecutive months without a period.
How did I approach hormonal changes post-pregnancy?
I went back to my functional medicine toolkit. We view the body as an integrated system, rather than isolating symptoms and parts of the body. I intuitively knew my mood and ‘off’ feeling were linked to nutritional deficiencies and testing confirmed that. I know my ability to detox is a little sluggish so I went back to the foundation of food and lifestyle shifts to support these body systems. I started using my cycle as a way to support how I wanted to feel -- not force it, fasting at the right times of my cycle so I don’t put my hormones under more duress, and doing the right workouts at the right time of these hormonal shifts so I didn’t tank my energy further.
By building back my foundation, step by step, and using my hormones to help rather than be frustrated by them, I slowly started to feel like myself again and all the undesirable symptoms I had experienced, like weight I couldn’t shift, low moods and energy started to improve.
This is why Pooja and I created Stronga, to help stop the cycle of frustration women experience when they’re stuck in the revolving door of confusion and shifting symptoms of any hormonal changes.
It starts with getting your foundation right and understanding what we need at different stages of life. This also includes how we approach aging. Is it something to hide, deny, or cover-up? Or one that acknowledges that change always brings to the surface uncomfortable feelings along with the opportunity to grow from it.
At the foundation of how we age is health, strength, and vibrancy. When we truly know how to support the body through the changes that are going to happen (like it or not), we unlock the power of deep well-being that goes beyond the surface.
Feel like you could be experiencing changes? There are over 85 symptoms linked to peri-menopause but these are the most common:
In wellness, and getting you (safely and happily) to the other side.