Are you starting to feel a little overwhelmed as the second half of your cycle approaches? From dealing with hormonal changes, having less energy, and feeling moody, it can be easy to get bogged down in the transition period. But don’t worry—you’re not alone! In fact, many women in their 40s and beyond experience a variety of symptoms during this time of life. Fortunately, there are ways to make the most of these inevitable changes so you can come out on top no matter what comes your way. In this blog post, we’ll explore how to navigate these symptoms both efficiently and effectively so that you can welcome the second half of your cycle like an old friend! Let’s begin!
Running on Empty, more often than not?
As a functional medicine practitioner, I have a passion for helping women just like you achieve optimal health and well-being. If you’re experiencing symptoms of hormone imbalance and you’re between the ages of 35 and 55 (or just outside of that range), I want you to know that you’re not alone.
In fact, I’ve been there myself. I’ve suffered from hormone imbalances on and off since I got my period at the age of 12, and I know firsthand how debilitating it can be. But the good news is that there is hope.
I may have suffered from many different symptoms throughout the years of hormone imbalance, but I know now that I am feeling a lot better that many of the things that were in my blind spot before are now there. Now that I do, I really want to share how you can help yourself get balanced as well.
Fatigue can be a real struggle for many women, especially leading up to the start of their menstrual cycle. You might feel like you’re running on empty, with low energy, a low mood, brain fog, and a lack of motivation. It can be hard to get through your day-to-day tasks, let alone take on anything extra. You may even have to take time off work, and it can impact your productivity and your overall quality of life.
As you approach your mid to late 40s and early 50s, your estrogen levels can decrease rapidly, faster than in your 30s or early 40s. This drop accelerates as you transition into menopause, which is when you stop having periods. So, even though estrogen gradually drops over time, it’s important to be aware of these changes as you get closer to menopause.
Menopause is like graduation day for your menstrual cycle—after 12 consecutive months of no period, you’ve officially made it. But let’s be real; the journey there can be rough. If you’re feeling drained and down in the dumps leading up to it, know that you’re not alone. It’s a rocky road, but that diploma (or lack thereof) is worth celebrating.
This decrease in estrogen levels as women approach menopause can have a negative impact on our brain function, energy levels, and overall well-being. But here’s the secret: There are things we can do to maximize our estrogen production and maintain our health. By taking action now, we can ensure a better quality of life during this transition.
Sunshine in your Window
Here’s something that you may want to do.
As our seasons change from winter to spring, most of us living in the northern hemisphere experience vitamin D deficiency. The reason behind this is simple: we don’t get enough exposure to sunlight during this time of year compared to the summer months.
When you have a vitamin D deficiency (it’s estimated that up to 80% of our population has a vitamin D deficiency), it impacts your ability to produce estrogen, Estradiol, our main estrogen, to be more precise. This hormone helps us feel emotionally and physically well. If we have deficient vitamin D, the solution can be as simple as just bringing in a little bit of extra vitamin D, especially in these winter months.
But here’s the clue for you as well: You may or may not know what your Vitamin D levels are, so it’s always important to get your vitamin D levels checked before you start supplementing.
For example, some of us may need more supplementation than others, especially during those long, dark winter months when sunlight is scarce. If you’re really deficient, it’s important to prioritize topping up your levels. But even if you don’t fall into that category, a little extra support can still make a big difference. So it’s always important for us to understand and check our levels to make sure that if were supplementing, we’re dosing appropriately.
A Balanced Gut Health
Here’s another important piece of information about vitamin D: It’s a fat-soluble vitamin, which means it can be difficult for some people to absorb properly. If you have digestive issues or struggle to break down fats and nutrients, you may not be getting the full benefits of vitamin D. Plus, taking too much vitamin D can be hard on your kidneys and other organs. It’s crucial to be mindful of these potential risks and to speak with someone who understands them fully if you have any concerns.
Let’s talk about the importance of synthesizing vitamin D. This is where our bodies absorb and utilize this essential nutrient to support brain function, mood, and energy levels. As women, we particularly rely on optimizing our estrogen production during the latter half of our menstrual cycle, as estrogen levels tend to decrease. However, even if we take vitamin D supplements, we may not be getting the full benefits if our bodies aren’t synthesizing it effectively. So, how can we improve our synthesis?
The key to this is, as mentioned, making sure you’re digesting properly. If you are vitamin D deficient, we typically have to work on balancing your gut health. It’s usually not as simple as just taking a vitamin D supplement.
Did you know that the balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut plays a crucial role in synthesizing and utilizing vitamin D? If your gut microbiome is out of balance, it can make it harder for your body to absorb this essential nutrient. That’s why it’s important to take steps to promote gut health, such as eating a balanced diet rich in fiber and fermented foods, managing stress, and avoiding antibiotics unless absolutely necessary. By prioritizing our gut health, we can optimize our vitamin D levels and support our overall well-being.
Here are some signs that your gut may be slightly out of balance
You may or may not know this; check if you:
- have any belching or gas after you eat a meal or even just more generally throughout the day.
- Do you ever get bloated?
- Do you have bowel movements that are unfavorable?
If you do, it’s quite possible that you may not have the optimal balance in your gut and your gut microbiome. When there are imbalances in the good bacteria relative to the bad bacteria (meaning there’s too much bad stuff and not enough good stuff), It’s very common that you can get some of those digestive symptoms.
Quick and Easy Tips to Get the Balance Back
- Make sure that you’re chewing your food really well before you swallow it.
Don’t wolf your meals down in a hurry. Don’t drink fluids with your meal, as this will water down the digestive enzymes that are produced in your mouth and travel all the way down into the stomach and the pancreas, which actually help break down food particles. If proper break down of food doesn’t happen, it can create some unfavorable fermentation and bacteria forming in the gut, causing some of these imbalances.
- Work with a functional practitioner like me.
As a functional medicine practitioner, I promote and support gut health as it plays a significant role in your overall wellbeing. A healthy gut microbiome, which is the balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut, is important to maintain. To understand the status of your gut health, a simple stool sample test can be done. This test helps identify if there’s an overgrowth of bad bacteria in your gut. With the right diet and lifestyle changes, you can get your gut microbiome back in balance.
When your gut is in balance, you’ll absorb vitamin D better, produce more balanced estrogen levels throughout the month, and have more energy. You’ll also experience a stable mood and feel better overall throughout the month. This is unlike having big peaks and valleys with how you’re feeling at certain points in your cycle. So, taking care of your gut health is important for your physical and emotional health.
Again, it’s not always as simple as just putting a vitamin in and hoping for the best because someone said that this was good for women, especially as they get closer to the transitional time towards menopause.
Everything works together as a unit. It either works or starts to break down in several different areas. So we’ve got to piece it all together and get you feeling better.
To sum up the main points of this post, if you’re having trouble keeping your motivation levels high and feel like you’re running on empty, chances are your estrogen levels may be out of whack. We discussed that adding some sunshine to your window can help, as can having a balanced gut. There are quick and easy tips to get the balance back, with specific advice as far as proper chewing and working with a functional practitioner. Now that you have all the facts at your fingertips, it is time to take action and transition into the second half of your cycle with ease and even more efficiency than before. What better way to make sure you’re on the right path than by scheduling a discovery call? Taking ownership of your own health destiny is exciting—here’s to taking that first step towards reducing stress levels, improving energy production, creating overall balance in your life, and feeling fantastic!
Are you constantly feeling tired and fatigued and want to get to the root cause of it? We’re here to help! Let’s schedule a free discovery call where you can share with us your symptoms, and we can come up with a personalized plan tailored to your needs.
Join our Private Facebook Group for even more support and resources that can help you manage your symptoms. Don’t wait any longer, take the first step towards feeling like your best self today!
DISCLAIMER: The information in this email is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content is for general informational purposes only and does not replace a consultation with your own doctor/health professional