Peri-menopause: could this be you?

I’m a little embarrassed to tell you that I get goop in my inbox.
That is not a metaphor.
I am referring to a blog/newsletter put together by Gwyneth Paltrow that covers many fascinating aspects of denim choice, lobster roll preparation, guidance on ear piercing and other similar women’s issues. It comes to me as an email about once every two weeks, and I like it. I mostly like the articles on health, since you know I just wear jeans and t-shirts, and my ears are already pierced.

Recently I got a goop that had a perimenopause article. This attracted me more than the article competing for my attention in the other cleanly designed and modern column: “Meet the Sweater Whisperer” (seriously). A link to the (perimenopause) article is here. I really appreciated it. It has a thoughtful Q & A with a naturopath about how to identify and manage symptoms of perimenopause. Just in case you don’t know what it is, perimenopause is the period of time during which your body is slowly moving into menopause. This could last years or months, and is characterized by certain symptoms.

Identifying these symptoms as part of an legitimate physical trend can help relieve a woman of what she may be sure are signs that she is losing her mind, since many perimenopause symptoms resemble the symptoms of losing your mind, such as waking up in the middle of the night unable to go back to sleep, forgetfulness and extreme and sudden irrational irritability –known to outside observers (aka: family members) as “moodiness”.

Relief from suffering can be found with many things. Among the most helpful can be lifestyle changes that we all know about, think about, plan to execute and then procrastinate about. I am talking about eating clean, eating less, exercising more, getting to bed earlier and getting more hours of sleep. Bla bla bla. You know all this already. If you don’t, please read the article from goop – it is very instructive. The naturopath in the goop article also describes a wealth of natural supplements, which are a wonderful addition to and alternative to medical options, since each supplement can target specific problems. Goop’s only failure is not mentioning homeopathic remedies. (And, of course, the sweater article.) Homeopathic remedies can be a tremendous help in relieving the suffering of perimenopause. 236 remedies are listed in my books for aggravation from menopause. This highlights the fact that there are so many remedies that can help. I have chosen a few to highlight below, but there are many more remedies, each with their own unique constellation of symptoms – one to match each of you.

These are descriptions of three remedies frequently used to survive and thrive though menopause:

Are you suddenly (or not so suddenly) really angry with your family? Do you find yourself making mean comments, and you hardly know how to stop yourself? Do you wish everyone would just stop imposing on you, and asking you to do things for them? Do you crave time alone, like, a lot? Does vigorous exercise improve your mental health? Do you have zero libido? These attributes, among others, fit a remedy picture called Sepia. Sepia is a sensitive woman who is very strongly affected by hormonal changes. She feels burdened and overwhelmed by the needs of others. She is empathetic, and it’s hard to block out other people’s emotions, so she craves time alone to feel at peace. It’s hard to be in this state and be caring for a family and a primary relationship. Sepia is a wonderful remedy to bring balance back during perimenopause, among many other things.

Are you crying for no reason? Feeling emotional and vulnerable without warning? Must you always carry tissues wherever you go? When you get hot flashes, do you feel cooped up inside, and better outdoors or with all the windows open? Do your moods change suddenly? Pulsatilla is a remedy whose hallmark is changeability; which can mean a swing from mild and yielding to touchy and easily offended. Pulsatilla is better from company, affection and consolation, as her deepest fear is to be unloved and abandoned. Pulsatilla is also a remedy that is affected by hormonal shifts, so things get worse as those hormone levels change with puberty, pregnancy, menses and perimenopause.

Are you experiencing hot flashes, palpitations and burning headaches? Do you feel spiteful and malicious? Are you inexplicably jealous? Have you never been the same since menopause or perimenopause? Are you wondering when you will ever feel normal again? Lachesis is a remedy that is very useful for a perimenopausal state.  Like the other remedies I wrote about, it is a remedy that can be completely thrown out of equilibrium by fluctuating hormones; whether it is pregnancy, puberty or menopause. No wonder that Lachesis is a big helper of PMS as well. In a Lachesis state, you can feel depressed, revengeful, and easily angered. It’s a hot remedy, with hot flushes during sleep, and often feeling worse upon awakening than before sleep. Lachesis is loquacious. Maybe you don’t know this about yourself, but you might ask your friends if you talk a lot. If yes, then Lachesis may be a bullseye for you.

A complete list of perimenopausal symptoms can be found online in many places, including my favorite goop article. Here is a short list:
•    hot flashes
•    night sweats
•    lower libido
•    vaginal dryness
•    weight gain
•    hair loss or thinning
•    anxiety
•    insomnia
•    worsening PMS
•    breast tenderness
•    fatigue
•    mood swings
•    coming to tears easily
•    memory lapses

To be truly healthy is to live fully and vibrantly, fulfilling your potential in every way. Health is a constellation made up of many choices. Homeopathy is a choice that brings deep, meaningful, positive change to your state of health, whether it is physical, mental or spiritual. If you feel you could use some support homeopathically for your mental/emotional or physical symptoms, I encourage you to contact a certified classical homeopath for a consultation. To treat perimenopause is to treat the whole person in a chronic state, and requires the time and expertise of a professional homeopath. Don’t attempt this at home!!

Practice note: Upcoming classes at Pediatric Alternatives

• October 5: Introduction to Homeopathy If you are interested in attending one of these classes, please email me directly and I will give you the date and time. [email protected]. An rsvp is required!

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