In this episode, we discuss what perimenopause is, how it can impact your life, and some steps to start to address hormone imbalances. 

We are two Naturopathic Doctors and moms to toddlers. Dr. Lisa Weeks, ND, practices in Toronto and has a son named Stuart. Dr. Toni Reid, ND, birth doula and HypnoBirthing Childbirth Educator practices in Calgary and has a daughter named Frankie.

We are perimenopausal mamas!

Our Mission (should you choose to accept it) is to:

  • Educate you on your hormones and empower you to take control of your own (and your kids’) health
  • Share our own tips, tricks and useful tools as perimenopausal moms and Naturopathic Doctors
  • Provide cutting-edge info from experts in the health and parenting worlds

We want to keep things simple, inspire you, and add some fun into your day, without any judgement or overwhelm.

So, what is perimenopause all about?

Perimenopause is the transition period you can experience for years (and years!) before your period stops and you reach menopause. You can start to have symptoms as early as your late 30’s or early 40’s.

Common symptoms include:

  • More unpredictable and irregular periods – coming several days early or late, heavy flow, spotting before or between periods
  • Worsening of PMS and the appearance of mood swings – including depression, anxiety, racing thoughts, being short tempered and snapping at your partner or kids
  • Temperature fluctuations – going to bed cold, overheating/sweating in the middle of the night, or hot flashes during the day
  • Insomnia and restless sleep – due to difficulty turning off your brain or due to night sweats
  • Metabolism woes – uncontrollable food cravings, weight gain, the appearance of a muffin top and flabby belly no matter what you try: with diet and exercise
  • Poor sex life – tanked sex drive, low libido, unpleasurable sex
  • Brain fog – becoming more forgetful, needing to use sticky notes and reminder lists because you don’t trust your memory
  • Fatigue – falling asleep on the couch or dragging yourself around, feeling like things you used to enjoy are now a chore

WTF is happening? Hormones (such as estrogen, progesterone, cortisol and thyroid) fluctuate and can become imbalanced, leading to undesirable symptoms.

And no, It is not just in your head!

Common hormonal imbalances with perimenopause include:

  • Relative progesterone deficiency (compared to estrogen)
  • High or low cortisol (stress hormones)
  • Low thyroid hormones and sluggish thyroid function

What can you do about it? To start:

1. Get your Hormones Tested (saliva, urine and/or blood)!
o Including female hormones, stress hormones, and full thyroid panel blood test (TSH, free T4, free T3, thyroid perioxidase and thyroglobulin antibodies)

2. Liver support for estrogen detoxification with nutrients and herbs
o Including microbiome support and gut healing to treat leaky gut

3. Stress-hormone balancing and adrenal gland support
o Put yourself first: self care breaks, do things that spark joy, ask for help!
o Consider herbs like ashwagandha, shatavari, tulsi/holy basil, maca (always consult with your healthcare practitioner first!)

Today’s tip:

What are you doing for yourself every day?

Get in at least 5 minutes daily to fill up your own cup, giving yourself time to focus on you as a person, away from being a mom. Dr. Lisa starts her day with deep breathing and yoga and Dr. Toni loves to get outside for a walk to spend time in nature.

Today’s Mama Must Haves:

Dr. Lisa recommends the Instant Pot for quick, healthy meals. Here’s one of her favourite recipes (aim to buy pasture-raised, organic pork such as DuBreton brand; get tomato sauce in a jar to avoid BPA from the lining of cans): Instant Pot Pork Chops

Get the Instant Pot on Amazon.

As an Amazon Associate, Dr. Toni earns from qualifying purchases, which helps to keep this podcast up and running!

Thank you for listening to our first episode!

Have any comments, suggestions or burning questions?

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Please tell your perimenopausal mama friends about us, too!