The first sign is that you have abnormal menstrual cycles; and the most obvious sign is when you don't have your menstrual cycle at all.
There is a difference between perimenopause and actual menopause. Perimenopause the process in which your body is starting to decline in estrogen and progesterone production. But menopause is complete - your body is not producing estrogen and progesterone.
There are a lot of symptoms of menopause and perimenopause, including hot flashes, fatigue, foggy brain, and moodiness similar to when you are having premenstrual syndrome (but just a little bit different).
So what are some natural remedies for perimenopause symptoms such as hot flashes. There are a couple ways to answer that. First, if you are going to do herbal remedies, you want to focus on phytoestrogen or plant based estrogen, such as black cohosh or soybean-type. I recommend using your food as medicine first. So look for things that have phytoestrogens naturally. My favorite - edamame. You can go to any Japanese restaurant, farmer's market or grocery store and buy it frozen. All you need to do is steam it, add a little sea salt and you can eat them right out of the pods.
Now if you want a supplement, black cohosh, red clover and evening primrose are some great natural supplements that you can use to combat hot flashes. I personally prefer evening primrose oil or you can do red clover tea.
You want to be careful about supplementing too many estrogens because they can actually have a negative effect. If you happen to have a history of breast cancer, or a family history of breast cancer, I'd highly recommend against too much phytoestrogen.
The other thing you might want to take a look at is going to your local integrative medicine, or holistic doctor, and getting a full panel of your hormones done - because it's not just estrogen and progesterone that contribute to hot flashes, but also testosterone. So go and get a full panel of blood tests including your thyroid, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and have them check on your adrenal glands. That way, they can look at a 3D view of you and not just assume that it's your estrogen and progesterone that's low and causing your hot flashes.
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