We sit down with BePure's Lead Researcher and Clinic Manager, Lisa Walker to discuss hormonal health and strategies for dealing with change.
How much of a role do hormonal fluctuations play in our mental and emotional wellbeing?
Our sex and adrenal hormones impact numerous aspects of our wellbeing and can significantly impact daily life. These hormones have receptors in many parts of our body and because of this have the ability to influence many aspects of health, including our mental and emotional wellbeing.
Studies show that our sex and adrenal hormones can influence brain areas that regulate mood, behaviour, and cognitive abilities. These hormones have a direct effect on serotonin and dopamine - our mood altering neurochemicals that are associated with happiness and reward, respectively. One of our sex hormones, progesterone, also has the ability to influence levels of our calming neurochemical, GABA which helps to aid relaxation and our sense of inner calm.
Our adrenal hormones; cortisol and adrenaline, also play a crucial role in our ability to relax, get up in the morning, cope with stress and achieve deep restorative sleep. Changes in our adrenal and sex hormone levels can lead to challenges with sleep and mental wellbeing and alter our sense of resilience in times of change.
What 5 strategies could we put in place to help ourselves deal with change? Specifically in regards to menopause.
- Opt for wholefoods When it comes to food - stick to the basics that work for most. Focus on eating mostly wholefoods and balance your meal plate with quality carbohydrates, fats and proteins that will provide your body with nourishment and sustenance.
- Ditch the stimulants & sedatives Both caffeine and alcohol can have a negative impact on our hormonal health, emotional wellbeing and sleep, especially during times of hormonal change. For many, caffeine and alcohol can make hormonal symptoms worse especially during perimenopause and menopause.
- Lift like a girl Nothing combats the metabolic changes of perimenopause and menopause like lifting heavy stuff. Resistance-based training helps to promote bone and brain health, maintains muscle mass, and counterbalances the metabolic changes that lead to weight gain during this hormonal transition.
- Build a restorative lifestyle When the body is already trying to cope with the stress of the significant hormone changes that occur during perimenopause and menopause, it is important to support our nervous system by engaging in restorative practices like mindfulness, meditation and yoga. If this all sounds beyond your reach, simply take 10 deep and slow breaths to help turn on your inner calm and reduce your stress levels.
- Focus on restorative sleep It is during sleep that we repair and rejuvenate. Sleep is crucial to hormonal balance and without enough sleep maintaining our emotional, physical and mental wellbeing can be very challenging. Aim to make sleep top of your priority list. Build an evening wind down routine, use candles at night-time, keep your room dark and temperature low, and turn off all screens two hours before bedtime to help your body prepare for a deep slumber.
We’re excited about your BePure supplements specifically for menopause. Can you tell our audience a little about MenoCalm?
For many, ‘menopause’ is anything but a smooth ride to a period free life. We formulated BePure MenoCalm to change that. MenoCalm provides the right combination of herbal and nutritional support to ease the transition. It contains Sage and Black Cohosh, two well-researched herbs that help to ameliorate menopausal hot flashes, mood swings, night sweats, and sleep challenges.
Menopausal symptoms are vastly worsened by stress and those who experience more severe menopausal symptoms tend to find it hard to relax. This is why BePure Menocalm also contains Ashwagandha - to help to calm the mind, relax the body, ease brain fog and soothe feelings of overwhelm. We have also added chromium and choline to support blood sugar regulation, mood stability, brain health and liver function. Many women will experience blood sugar issues, weight gain, cognitive decline and brain fog during menopause due to the loss of the positive effects of oestrogen and progesterone on insulin sensitivity and cognitive health. Combined, chromium and choline play critical roles in blood sugar management, brain health, cognition and aid in fat, carbohydrate and protein metabolism. Choline also helps to protect against age-related cognitive decline and can help to protect against age-related cognitive deterioration.