In today’s episode, Dr. Lisa and Dr. Toni are answering listener questions on how to: get a good night’s sleep in perimenopause; reduce irritability (and stop snapping at your partner or kids!); deal with headaches/migraines; manage reflux and bloating (from overindulging) and help your little ones sleep better.

What can you do to get a better sleep, especially if you’re experiencing hot flashes and night sweats?

  • Pay attention to triggers eg. alcohol intake, eating too close to bedtime, certain foods like garlic and spicy foods
  • Support your liver function with antioxidants
    • Cruciferous veggies like cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, kale
    • Supplements like N-acetyl cysteine, green tea extract, alpha lipoic acid, resveratrol
  • Support proper hormone balance and estrogen detoxification
    • Foods providing phytoestrogens and fibre like ground flaxseed
    • Herbs like black cohosh, maca, vitex
    • Bio-identical progesterone cream
  • Staying cool at night
    • Cool room
    • Little or no pajamas
    • Cooling weighted blanket like Zonli
    • L-glycine amino acid supplementation 
  • For more info, see Episode 32

What can you do to manage mood swings and irritability, especially with extra stress, uncertainty and changes around the pandemic?

  • Get stuff out of your head
    • Talking to friends, family or professional counselor 
    • Journaling, such as gratitude journal or bullet journaling – see Episode 11
  • Get the best sleep possible
  • Address your liver function and hormone balance if mood swings and emotions are flaring a week or so before your period
  • Get out of the house and take time for yourself
  • Consider adaptogenic herbs to increase your resilience and reduce the physical and emotional impact of stress, such as ashwagandha, rhodiola, siberian ginseng/eleuthro, holy basil, schisandra, shatavari

What can I do about my frequent headaches and migraines?

  • For more info, see Episode 20
  • Consider increasing your magnesium intake – it’s an essential mineral and natural muscle relaxant
  • Assessing and avoiding food sensitivities to reduce pro-inflammatory and histamine responses – common ones are gluten and dairy!
  • Get some body work to reduce muscle tension and support proper structural alignment such as massage, acupuncture, chiropractic, osteopathic
  • Watch your posture, especially if you’re working at a desk for long periods of time
  • Stay hydrated!

What can I do about my heavy periods?

  • Get your ferritin iron storage levels checked and consider iron supplementation if you have low or low normal iron levels
  • Get your thyroid hormones tested – full thyroid panel of TSH, free T4 and free T3 – and consider thyroid support if you have low or low normal thyroid function
  • Get your estrogen levels tested to see if you have estrogen dominance contributing to heavy periods
  • Astringent herbs like yarrow
  • For more info, see Episodes 21, Episode 22, Episode 48

I just started getting heartburn and bloating…what’s going on and what can I do about it?

  • Watch for triggers like food sensitivities, eating too late at night or overeating
  • Lower your stress response before eating and shut off screens to support proper digestive function and stomach acid production
  • Consider betaine HCl, apple cider vinegar or bitter herbs like gentian before food
  • Watch for peppermint tea worsening reflux from esophageal sphincter laxity 

I struggle getting my kids to wind down and go to bed at night…what can I do?

Something about kids – supporting sleep?

  • Watch your kids’ bedtime routine 
    • Reduce screen time and shut off screens earlier in the day
    • Avoid sugar after dinner
    • Hot bath or shower (even if not washing)
    • Reading and cuddle time
    • Herbal tea like chamomile or lemon balm in tea form, fruit ice pop or in their bath
  • Consider calming nutrients and other supplements like magnesium, L-theanine, inositol, homeopathic or Bach Flower remedies

This Week’s Mama Must Have:

Dr. Toni’s favourite digestive supports are Canadian Bitters and an essential oil blend with ginger, peppermint and fennel to use topically.

Dr. Lisa loves her tulsi tea with or without lavender to relax at night and get a good night’s sleep.

Thank you for joining us today! 

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Stay safe and healthy everyone!