Featuring: Perimenopause Supplement of the Month: Ashwadghanda, Alcohol and the Perimenopause by Rachel Boon (Naturopath & Herbalist), Dr Libby Weaver and Sitting With Strong Emotions
Let's face it. The perimenopausal period is often referred to as a physical and emotional roller coaster as our hormones can be all over the place, our period is missing in action (or showing up twice in a month!) and we can experience anxiety for no apparent reason, completely out of the blue. It's fair to say that some of us are regularly experiencing a full spectrum of strong emotions. We are often 'taught' that any negative feeling is wrong, yet emotions are a vital part of our human experience. If we try to AVOID feeling these strong feelings, via numbing behaviours, we can often create more problems than the actual emotion in the first place. Eg drinking alcohol to numb pain = extra guilt and shame when hungover the next day. Dr Libby discusses some simple strategies to help us ALL sit with strong emotions, whenever they come up.
In the interests of providing useful newsletter content for my women's health-curious readers, I was trying to find an article that summarised the multiple effects of alcohol during perimenopause. Unfortunately I couldn't find one that pulled together all the factors I wanted to discuss and that affect most of my friends and perimenopausal patients. Far be it for me to piss on anyones chips where a drink is concerned, (absolutely no judgement here!) but if you're going to drink during your perimenopause, I think it's important to have it eyes wide-open, knowing the potential symptoms that might be affecting you now or in the near future. It's a short 5 minute clip which I shot in one foul swoop after a morning dog walk (thank God for filters!) so I hope you get something from it.
WHO SAYS HERBS DON'T WORK?!
Here's a small but encouraging 8 week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study on the affects of Ashwaghanda root on perimenopausal women. Compared with the placebo, Ashwagandha supplementation was associated with: - Reduction in psychological symptoms - Reduction in somato-vegetative symptoms (hot flushes, palpitations, joint pains, disturbed sleep etc)
- Reduction in urogenital symptoms (perimenopausal women often suffer from recurrent UTIs, vaginal atrophy and dryness) - A statistically significant increase in serum oestradiol (*that's our main and most potent oestrogen, otherwise known as E2) - A significant reduction in serum FSH AND serum LH compared with the placebo (*FSH and LH are pituitary hormones that signal to our ovaries to develop follicles, which go on to become 'eggs' and then to release the egg(s) at ovulation) - There was no significant between the group differences in the serum testosterone level. If you want to geek out with the full study details, here you go
If you just want to start feeling the benefits and fast, here's the Ashwaghanda brand I most often recommend from Wild Nutrition. Don't forget to use discount code RBOON15 for 15% off RRP and free P&P when you order from The Natural Dispensary here.