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Natural Remedies for Perimenopause

written by: Diana Cooper • edited by: BStone • updated: 6/27/2010

Natural remedies for perimenopause are a safer alternative to hormone replacement therapy. Learn how you can treat signs of perimenopause safely with foods, herbs, and supplements.

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    Signs of Perimenopause

    Natural Remedies for Perimenopause - photo by Diana Perimenopause (when estrogen levels begin to decline) occurs several years before a woman begins menopause (12 months without menstruation). Normally, it starts in the 40s but can start as early as the 30s.

    Normally, signs appear 1-2 years before menopause when estrogen levels begin to decline at a faster pace. Both mental and physical signs can occur.

    Abnormal periods are usually the first sign. You may experience shorter or longer periods or you may have lighter or heavier bleeding. Your periods my come more frequently or you may miss a period or two.

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    Other signs of perimenopause can include:

    • Mood swings, irritability, and depression.
    • Anxiety and panic attacks.
    • Difficulty sleeping and fatigue.
    • Headaches, fuzzy thinking, and memory problems.
    • Acne, facial hair, thinning hair, and dry skin.
    • Hot flashes and night sweats.
    • Low libido, vaginal dryness, and painful sex.
    • Urinary incontinence.
    • Breast tenderness and water retention.
    • Cravings for sweet foods and weight gain (especially around the waist).
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    Natural Remedies for Perimenopause

    Phytoestrogens

    Phytoestrogens (Isoflavones) are believed to relieve perimenopause signs by blocking estrogen receptors.

    The following plant foods and herbs are rich in phytoestrogens:

    • soy
    • whole grains
    • nuts
    • apples
    • celery
    • pomegranate
    • dates
    • flaxseed
    • black cohosh
    • dong quai
    • chasteberry
    • licorice
    • false unicorn
    • fenugreek
    • fennel
    • passion flower
    • sassafras.

    Herbs

    Other herbal remedies for perimenopause include:

    • marshmallow
    • St. John's wort
    • evening primrose
    • ginger
    • dandelion
    • sage
    • gotu kola
    • thyme
    • rosemary
    • motherwort
    • peppermint.

    Diet

    To help relieve many signs of perimenopause, avoid alcohol, caffeine, high-glycemic carbohydrates, and too much salt. With each meal, include protein, healthy fats, and slow-acting carbohydrates.

    Besides eating a healthy diet, avoid smoking and exercise regularly.

    Supplements

    Important supplements include:

    • vitamin B6 (with a B-complex vitamin)
    • vitamin C
    • vitamin E
    • magnesium
    • manganese
    • zinc
    • chromium.

    For more information on natural remedies for perimenopause, visit:

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    Disclaimer

    Please read this disclaimer regarding the information contained within this article.