Chaos to Calm

The Oestrogen Rollercoaster: How To Smooth the Wild Ride

April 09, 2023 Sarah McLachlan Episode 3
The Oestrogen Rollercoaster: How To Smooth the Wild Ride
Chaos to Calm
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Chaos to Calm
The Oestrogen Rollercoaster: How To Smooth the Wild Ride
Apr 09, 2023 Episode 3
Sarah McLachlan

Join us as Sarah takes us on an eye-opening journey through fluctuating oestrogen levels during perimenopause and the symptoms that women experience during this transitional phase. While exploring these hormonal changes, Sarah provides lots of helpful and practical advice to help you navigate this phase of life with confidence and smooth out those fluctuations.

Tune in to find out about:
•  Symptoms you may feel with oestrogen fluctuations
•  What a healthy period should feel like
•  The importance of smoothing out the fluctuations
•  What happens when your cells are lacking energy
•  Simple tips to help your transition through perimenopause
•  Nutrition to support your liver function
•  Easy changes to make around the home to decrease your liver load


Find my blog about the oestrogen rollercoaster here:
www.akesohealthcare.com.au/oestrogen-rollercoaster


Send us a question for the FAQs segment or your feedback, we’d love to hear from you.

Find out more about Sarah, her services and the Freebies mentioned in this episode at https://www.ThePerimenopauseNaturopath.com.au

  • COMING SOON: Discover how to use food as your most powerful medicine, smoothing hormonal fluctuations and easing perimenopause symptoms naturally. (Yes, you have more options than hormone therapy!) Say goodbye to feeling out of control and hello to feeling more like your old self every day, with PerimenoPOWER (because who wants to pause anyway?!)
  • The Perimenopause Decoder is the ultimate guide to understanding if perimenopause hormone fluctuations are behind your changing mood, metabolism and energy after 40, what phase of perimenopause you're in and how much longer you may be on this roller coaster for.
  • Been told your blood test results are "normal" or "fine" while you feel far from your best? Discover the power of optimal blood test analysis with The Blood Test Decoder: Optimal Ranges for Women Over 40.
  • For more, follow on Instagram at @theperimenopausenaturopath.
Show Notes Transcript

Join us as Sarah takes us on an eye-opening journey through fluctuating oestrogen levels during perimenopause and the symptoms that women experience during this transitional phase. While exploring these hormonal changes, Sarah provides lots of helpful and practical advice to help you navigate this phase of life with confidence and smooth out those fluctuations.

Tune in to find out about:
•  Symptoms you may feel with oestrogen fluctuations
•  What a healthy period should feel like
•  The importance of smoothing out the fluctuations
•  What happens when your cells are lacking energy
•  Simple tips to help your transition through perimenopause
•  Nutrition to support your liver function
•  Easy changes to make around the home to decrease your liver load


Find my blog about the oestrogen rollercoaster here:
www.akesohealthcare.com.au/oestrogen-rollercoaster


Send us a question for the FAQs segment or your feedback, we’d love to hear from you.

Find out more about Sarah, her services and the Freebies mentioned in this episode at https://www.ThePerimenopauseNaturopath.com.au

  • COMING SOON: Discover how to use food as your most powerful medicine, smoothing hormonal fluctuations and easing perimenopause symptoms naturally. (Yes, you have more options than hormone therapy!) Say goodbye to feeling out of control and hello to feeling more like your old self every day, with PerimenoPOWER (because who wants to pause anyway?!)
  • The Perimenopause Decoder is the ultimate guide to understanding if perimenopause hormone fluctuations are behind your changing mood, metabolism and energy after 40, what phase of perimenopause you're in and how much longer you may be on this roller coaster for.
  • Been told your blood test results are "normal" or "fine" while you feel far from your best? Discover the power of optimal blood test analysis with The Blood Test Decoder: Optimal Ranges for Women Over 40.
  • For more, follow on Instagram at @theperimenopausenaturopath.

00:03

Hey there. I'm Sarah McLachlan. Thanks for joining me on the Chaos To Calm podcast, a podcast designed for women over 40 who think that changing hormones might be messing with their mood, metabolism and energy and want to change that in a healthy, sustainable and permanent way. Each episode we'll explore topics related to health and wellness for women in their 40s like what the heck is happening to your hormones, what to do about it with nutrition, lifestyle and stress management, and inspiring conversations with guests sharing their insights and tips on how to live your best life in your 40s and beyond. So if you're feeling like you're in the midst of a hormonal storm, and don't want perimenopause to be horrific, then join me on chaos to calm as I share with you how to make it to menopause without it wrecking your relationships and life. 

 00:59

Welcome to the Chaos To Calm podcast episode number three. I am your host Sarah McLachlan, the perimenopause naturopath. And today I want to talk to you all about our beautiful hormone estrogen and the wild roller coaster that it can take in the perimenopause on its way to menopause. So often one of the first things that might change when you're starting to go through perimenopause and maybe not realizing that you're in perimenopause is you might find that your mood your energy is really fluctuating wildly. And I would like to say welcome aboard the estrogen roller coaster, I hope you enjoy your ride. It can be a nightmare. But remember, common doesn't have to be normal. Always keep me saying that in the back of your mind as I'm talking here today.

 01:57

 The thing with estrogen is that while our hormones do decline, in perimenopause, it's like puberty, but in reverse. So in puberty, when you're 18, your estrogen, progesterone, your testosterone, your main sex hormones are all starting to increase your body starts making them and increasing the quantities and over a period of years it works out what works, what is the right amount for you and your body. Well, in a second puberty or puberty in reverse, unfortunately, estrogen doesn't follow that slow, gradual, gentle decline. I've talked to mentioned before it does not go down without a fight. Instead, it likes to spike up to really high levels higher than ever before, and then can suddenly crashed down to nothing or lower than low before. And yeah, if in case that wasn't enough for you, you get to do it over and over again. So you can see why I call it the estrogen roller coaster, it really can be a chaotic and hectic ride. 

 03:02

And when I think of estrogen or when I talk about estrogen, I like to describe it as the hormone that gives us that, you know, bolshie is the word that's coming to mind. It gives us that assertiveness that you know, upfront and, and even bordering on aggression sometimes as well when it's in those large quantities. So it's quite stimulating. And when things are going well for us when we've got it at that Goldilocks amount, you know, not too much, not too little bit, just right. We've got good mojo, we're feeling great about ourselves and you know, we move through life with confidence and feeling great. So when estrogen is swinging wildly between really high and really low. We can feel lots of symptoms and this is often you know how perimenopause is relates to the estrogen rollercoaster or what you're feeling in perimenopause relates to that roller coaster. So some of those perimenopause symptoms that I talked about in episode two, if you haven't listened to it, you know, listen to it afterwards. And the phases of perimenopause, sorry that I was talking about and describing some of the symptoms there as well. And some of the classic early perimenopausal symptoms that I see with many of my clients are things like breast pain, fluid retention, irritability, and heavy or painful periods. They're really caused by that elevated estrogen level in the body. And sometimes it's actually more to do with lowering progesterone as well. Don't worry, I'll talk about progesterone in the next episode, but for now, sometimes that estrogen elevation is actually exacerbated by lowering progesterone it makes for a really big gap there. 

 04:57

And then also things slight depression, night sweats, heart palpitations, hot flushes, there can be caused by sudden drops in estrogen. So, you know, you might be feeling a lot of those, maybe you're not in perimenopause, maybe you're quite young, or you or your daughter or nieces or someone you know, is experiencing some of those symptoms, and they'll give you an idea of where their estrogen levels are at, to, ideally, a healthy normal period is one where you don't have any of those symptoms, like your period will just come. And it'll just go. No way, no flagging or big signs or symptoms that it's coming. So you know, no PMS, and certainly no pain. So obviously, please keep that in mind as well. So a lot of those early classic Peri menopausal symptoms that people can get are more about that higher estrogen level or at fluctuating in that way, or a bigger gap being created by the decrease in estrogen. So, yeah, with these fluctuations, often, what makes people take action and come to see me is that rage and irritation. And, you know, it's understandable because they get sick of not knowing what they're gonna say next, what's gonna come out of my mouth? I don't know. And I'm pretty sure your workmates aren't gonna take it as well as what your family might do there. But your experience of these hormonal shifts and fluctuation depends on how well your body is adapting to them. And this current state or phase of, there. So the good news is, though, that even if you are struggling with it, or there's lots we can do to help support and improve how your body handles these fluctuations, normal natural fluctuations of perimenopause there as well. So it's not necessarily about wanting to balance our hormones, but more about smoothing those fluctuations and helping reduce those really high highs and the low lows there as well. 

 07:13

I did mention in the previous podcast as well how, in perimenopause, we get to see how so many of our cells and our tissues and organs really rely on estrogen for their optimal function. And this is where, you know, get lots of sense, you might be getting lots of symptoms, or you see those symptoms as messages from your body that it is struggling to adapt to the level of estrogen at that time. Our cells really love estrogen, like literally addicted to it often, particularly our brain cells. And so this is part of the reason why you can get really bad brain fog, especially in the later stages of perimenopause when your estrogen starting to get quite low. Because when that estrogen is low, your insulin sensitivity drops. So estrogen impacts your cells, insulin sensitivity. And your sensitivity is how responsive your cells are to the insulin a whether your body needs to shout, your pancreas needs to shout by making lots of insulin for your cells to unlock the channels that let glucose into the cells. 

 08:27

So when estrogen is low, that sensitivity to insulin drops, and it means that more of those channels that would let glucose into the cell remain locked. So you end up with plenty of glucose in your bloodstream. But your brain cells are literally starving. They don't have the energy, the glucose that they need to make energy and function, I think and remember people's names and why the heck did I come into this room? So yeah, when they can't do what they need to, well, you can't remember stuff. You know, all those things that you need every day to function. So that's why you really want estrogen to be like Goldilocks porridge, not too much, not too little, kind of just right. 

 09:17

So the flow on effect, it's never just sort of one thing that happens there. We have those estrogen addicted cells when the estrogen slow insulin sensitivity declines and the amount of insulin in your bloodstream increases, putting you into that fat storage mode, and your blood glucose level is elevated as well. Your body doesn't like that. It will do what it needs to do. remove some of that glucose, turn it into your fat cells and wrap it around your abdomen. So you can see that yeah, it's never simple. It's never just oh, this is happening. So we do that but when one thing is happening, the flow on effect, it's it goes through our body right through our body and our different systems. So it is important to work on calming that estrogen rollercoaster. Smoothing those fluctuations. So it isn't my the terror of terror. Anyone else been to Disney left? My favorite, favorite favorite ride. Also, I think in Queensland, one of the Theme Parks has it that lots of fun adrenaline rush. And you know, you don't necessarily want to have that happening in your body day in day out. So we do want to smooth it make it more like I know the roller coaster in the in the kiddie section of the theme park. We want to smooth that out so this fewer skyrockets and death drops on the journey there. 

 10:50

So here's some of my simple tips to help smooth those fluctuations of estrogen and make it an easier transition or time through perimenopause to menopause. So, first up, we want to focus on our elimination of estrogen. We don't want to leave too much of it hanging around for too long making mischief. So one of the ways that we do that is looking after our liver. Because our livers really important in that it is the first line of of the process in eliminating excess estrogen from our body. And it packages the estrogen up and it just has to goes at it and the first time it's not quite ready to be eliminated the second time around, it's all packaged up ready to go and be eliminated via the boughs which we'll talk about in a minute. So, but your liver is busy, it's got lots going on in terms of managing your hormones, especially when estrogen is high. So we want to support it and ease its burden. And wondering if you can guess where I'm going with this. And I know it's not going to be popular. I'm sorry, I really, I do love coffee and tea. And I like to have a gin every now and again too. But you do need to decrease the liver loaders. If you're in the thick of things and you're really feeling those symptoms of perimenopause and the fluctuations of estrogen. You need to ease up my friend on the caffeinated beverages, the alcohol and the added sugars. 

 12:33

You can also add in bitter greens like rocket and mustard Lay's mizuna, that kind of thing. radicchio to support your liver function, but also sour taste as well use a bit of vinegar, apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar that doesn't have sugar in it. Those things are beautiful for helping support your liver function. 

 12:55

So continuing on with estrogen elimination, we also want to make sure that you're able to eliminate it once it's all packaged up and sent to the bowel. So daily bowel motion please. I want you to eat more plant foods and high fiber foods I think pulses legumes, awesome for hormone balance in perimenopause as well the pulses, drink plenty of filtered water. I have a whole blog on water and how important it is and how to calculate what is effective for you. So go check out my blog. And in the show notes is where you'll find the link to go and see my blog and avoid any foods that you know contribute to constipation. Sometimes in perimenopause, food intolerances and sensitivities can arise, there is a lot that we can do about that to help nourish and support your gut health. But in the short term, to help you use your bowels, you need to avoid those foods that you know are triggers. And sleep and stress management really important for estrogen elimination and supporting your bowels there as well. 

 14:07

So the second or third thing that we're going to do is thinking about xenoestrogens, these are fake estrogens, and they're adding more of a burden into your body and exacerbate that roller coaster making the high even higher. So thinking about decluttering the house going through the kitchen particularly and switching out the products that include plastics, fragrances, synthetic fragrances, please please please get rid of those auto spray, fly spray and scent things in the sticks with the scent. I don't even know what they're called. But please get them out of your house all of those synthetic fragrances perfumes, overloading your liver and making it really hard to focus on what it needs to do, which is your hormones. So if you find that you're not tolerating fragrances and perfumes and things like that. Or you get a stuffy nose or you start sneezing, you know, and get in the office and there's someone that's got not maybe not even a strong scent on. That's your livers message to stop using them and reduce the burden of those in your life. So we're switching out BPA plastics, when you know, if you're reheating food in plastic, please stop. Switch over to glass, because all of those products contain lots of xenoestrogens which are just adding to that estrogen load and to that liver load. 

 15:37

Now, another thing that we can do is actually think about our belly fat, because fat mass is actually an endocrine organ, they used to think that fat didn't do anything, it was inert, you know, it was just there, we're lugging it around, but fat around the belly actually can increase your estrogen, particularly that bad estrogen. So there's a few different flavors of estrogen in your body. And, yeah, the belly fat particularly can increase bad or mischief making estrogen that can do things like increase your risk of breast cancer. There. So I know it's hard to lose weight in peri, perimenopause and in part that's because of the change in estrogen and how it impacts your insulin sensitivity. And all the things that you thought or that have worked in the past for you may no longer be working. But there is a lot that can be done. And if you know a bit about my story, I managed to shed 20 kilos using personalized nutrition and in perimenopause, or despite perimenopause. And you can do it to all my clients do it there as well. 

 16:57

So summarizing what we've talked about here today, estrogen, at the end goal for estrogen in menopause is it has declined, it has decreased. But it doesn't go down without a fight. It is up and down all over the place, especially in the early phases of perimenopause. So very early, early, and even to mid menopause before it starts declining or those fluctuations start getting. Although there's fluctuations with high and low they are generally lower than what they were before. And that those fluctuations in estrogen contribute to a lot of the symptoms that women will have in the early phases of perimenopause and late phases to and can impact things like weight gain, so it's really widely affected. So you know that many cells in your body have estrogen receptors and really rely on it for their optimal function. But, like I always say those common symptoms and impacts do not have to be your normal. There is a lot that you can do with food as medicine, and to help support your body through perimenopause so that you can make it to menopause without it wrecking your life or relationships. 

 18:17

So thank you again for joining me today. I hope you're feeling more understanding of what's going on in your body. Instead of thinking what the heck hormones you're like, Alright, I know what's happening here now. Don't forget that you can subscribe to this podcast, wherever you listen to your podcasts and please do share with a friend so that they can understand too that perimenopause does not have to be horrific, and that you can make it to menopause without it wrecking your life.

 18:53

It's really common for women over 40 to experience the chaos of changing hormones, mood, metabolism and energy. But I hope you know now that common doesn't have to equal normal for you or them. You can help others understand that aren't alone in feeling this way. And that perimenopause doesn't have to be horrific by subscribing, leaving a review and sharing this podcast with other women in their 40s and beyond. Thanks so much for listening and sharing your time with me today in this chaos to calm conversation.