For women in their perimenopause years, there may be a worsening of health symptoms as the transition into menopause begins. Ayurveda, the traditional medical system of India, provides a unique vantage point for understanding women’s health and the natural changes women experience which can sometimes intensify health symptoms.
If you follow these Ayurvedic perimenopause tips, you may find that they assist in establishing a greater sense of harmony and wholeness during this transitional time. If these tips are not enough to create a change in your experience of health, check in with an Ayurvedic practitioner for an assessment. You may need Ayurvedic formulations or a specific health protocol for additional support.
The Natural Changes of Life
Why do women experience worse health problems as they get closer to menopause? According to Ayurveda, the traditional medical system of India, the natural cycles of aging give way to a change in how the body is functioning. For both men and women, the reproductive years are dominated by heat, or pitta, which intensifies in women as they approach menopause. Pitta can also intensify early on in life leading to early diagnosis of perimenopause.
Post-menopause, and for the rest of a woman’s life, there is a diminishment to the body’s tissues and an increase in dry and rough qualities, or vata, within the body.
Simply put, reestablishing harmony with Ayurveda involves reducing the amount of excess heat in the body and moistening the tissues, as needed. You can begin with appropriate diet and lifestyle habits that minimize exposure to inappropriate foods, beverages and activities.
Consult with a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner for specific guidance for your unique symptoms.
The Rise of Perimenopause
Perimenopause symptoms flare up when poor lifestyle habits intersect with the increase in heat that results from these natural transitional cycles. Breast tenderness, hot flashes, intensified PMS, fatigue, mood swings, low libido and trouble sleeping are the most common perimenopause symptoms. However, any number of health issues can be exacerbated during this time.
What can you do to feel better?
- Check in with your primary care provider to keep a check on your health.
- Adopt these three perimenopause tips from Ayurveda as preventative health guidelines.
- If changes to your diet and lifestyle do not help, check in with a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner for assistance.
3 Perimenopause Tips from Ayurveda
- Reduce alcohol and other pitta-aggravating foods in your diet.
When heat is intensified in the body it’s important to avoid foods and beverages that also heat up the body. Alcohol, fermented foods and hot spices all warm the body intensely and this can aggravate symptoms of heat creating burning sensations, fatigue, rashes, anger and irritability.
Adopt the middle road and choose moderation, especially during the two weeks before your period starts. At this time of the month, heat is building up in your body before the menstrual fluid is released from the uterus.
Certain tastes will also give rise to an increase in heat or pitta. Those include foods, beverages and spices with a pungent, salty, or sour taste. Minimize these foods to maintain healthy levels of pitta.
- Don’t overdo exercise.
Exercise is essential for healthy living, however, there are some guidelines that should be followed. Too much exercise can intensify heat. Exercise according to your Ayurvedic body type to the point of breaking a sweat. Once breath becomes labored, exercise should be stopped.
Avoid exercising during your period. Your period is a time when all doshas are aggravated and the body is naturally weaker. Allow yourself time to rest and resume exercise once your period has stopped.
Exercise on an empty stomach. Exercising after eating aggravates the doshas and may lead to indigestion. Ensure your stomach is empty when exercising or engaging in activity to the point of breaking a sweat.
Exercise in the morning during the coolest part of the day. Exercising at night can aggravate pitta dosha.
- Adopt a cooling diet and routine.
As part of your Ayurvedic protocol, you may need to introduce some cooling foods and activities into your life. Cooling foods include Basmati rice, wheat, barley and oats, along with all kinds of sweet and bitter vegetables.
Sweet potato, carrots and winter squashes can lend a sweet taste to your meals. Dark and leafy greens, cilantro, and bitter melon can provide a bitter taste. Sweet fruits, melons, mung beans, lentils, ghee, soft cheeses, milk, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and coconut are all suitable and beneficial for pitta dosha.
More Holistic Tips for Perimenopause
Speak with a qualified practitioner to learn which doshas need attention and which regimen and formulations will best support you during perimenopause. While pitta dosha is usually aggravating women’s health during perimenopause, other doshas may also be involved. To establish health, a proper assessment is needed.
With Ayurveda, there are many factors that affect one’s state of health including your health history, the current season, your diet, eating routine, food combinations, daily activities, exercise routine and more. Though there is a wealth of information online about the doshas, identifying the root cause of health problems is difficult to do on your own.
When you work with a practitioner, you learn about the factors that influence your current state of health. You get support for changing poor habits into good habits and you adopt a new approach to health that supports body positivity. You are a completely unique individual and your approach to health should be, too.
Kottakkal Products to Support Pitta Dosha During Perimenopause
To learn more about women’s health from the same author, read 12 Period Health Tips from Ayurveda: Do’s and Don’ts for a Healthy Menstrual Cycle.
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