• How to use guided imagery for menopause and perimenopause?

    Did you know that you can use guided imagery during menopause and perimenopause to alleviate your symptoms and to be happier? Guided imagery can help us relax, promote healing, and manage stress and anxiety which are very common and very painful during this time.  Furthermore, stress and anxiety are the causes of other menopause symptoms.

    Stress, as I keep repeating in my articles and to my clients, is one of our biggest enemies during menopause and perimenopause. Stress causes hormonal imbalances and cellular inflammation. Stress is detrimental at any time, but during perimenopause and menopause when our hormones are already in disarray, stress is even more damaging.

    In addition to lowering stress, guided imagery is also wonderful to heal trauma, to overcome doubt and to discover ourselves, to get in touch with our inner child, and it can help us grow and be the best version of ourselves. These are also important emotional aspects during menopause and perimenopause and they also have an effect on symptoms like hot flashes, insomnia, fatigue, memory fog, and others.

    What is guided imagery?

    Guided imagery is a mind-body technique that has many therapeutic effects. Guided imagery normally uses your imagination to talk to your subconscious and communicate messages that will promote healing.
    Guided imagery has many uses including relaxation, personal growth, trauma healing, to overcome fears, and to heal physical and emotional illnesses.  It is widely used in professional sports to reach higher performance levels and in psychology.   

    Guided imagery involves using your imagination to visualize vivid scenarios in your mind. It is like running a movie in your mind or virtual reality in your mind. As the name indicates, it is guided by a script. Just like movies need a story, guided imagery also needs a story or script.

    Following is the Wikipedia definition of guided imagery.  Let me tell you it’s a mouthful; they didn’t make it easy for everybody to understand, but I already paraphrased it above for you.   “Guided imagery (also known as guided affective imagery, or katathym-imaginative psychotherapy) is a mind-body intervention by which a trained practitioner or teacher helps a participant or patient to evoke and generate mental images that simulate or recreate the sensory perception of sights, sounds, tastes, smells, movements, and images associated with touch, such as texture, temperature, and pressure, as well as imaginative or mental content that the participant or patient experiences as defying conventional sensory categories, and that may precipitate strong emotions or feelings in the absence of the stimuli to which correlating sensory receptors are receptive.”

    Why guided imagery in menopause and perimenopause?

    We kind of covered this above, but let’s discuss it a little bit further.  One of the goals of guided imagery is to create a mental state of peace and calm, which can help reduce stress, anxiety, depression, fear and other symptoms related to menopause. I find that guided imagery is very effective, especially for people who are afraid of menopause and perimenopause or when there are negative thoughts about these natural seasons in our lives.

    Research has shown that guided imagery can be effective in reducing stress, improving sleep, and reducing hot flashes and other symptoms associated with menopause and perimenopause. Guided imagery is also an effective tool for managing stress and anxiety in women who are undergoing other medical treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

    Guided imagery is a low-risk technique that can be easily practiced at home or in a therapeutic setting. People who suffer bipolar should consult an expert before using it

    How to do guided imagery?

    In guided imagery you use a script. The script guides you, and you play it in your mind, you imagine the story with all the details in your mind. The play in your mind has to be vivid, you have to smell, feel the temperature, appreciate textures, it has to be like you are really there in order to be effective.     

    You can do guided imagery by yourself or with someone. You can use your own script or other person’s script. If you use someone else’s script that person can guide you either in person, with audio or video or just with a written script that you will read and try to apply it (kind of memorizing it).

    You can also write your own script or modify someone else’s script.  In order to write guided imagery scripts you need to have some understanding of how the human mind works. The scripts use symbolic objects or situations that may or may not make sense to us, but that make sense to our subconscious.  

    How to do guided imagery for menopause and perimenopause?

    To improve menopause and perimenopause symptoms we can use scripts for healing, relaxation and better sleep or we can use specific scripts for menopause. Usually you will practice one script for a week or longer. You can do it every day or a few times a week, but you will use the same script. You can use the same script for as long as you want to. Try not to mix scripts; when you finish with one you can start with another script.

    The duration of a guided imagery session is from 5 to 20 minutes. You can tailor the duration to the time you can devote to it. You can find a lot of scripts through Google searches and I am giving one of my scripts at the end of this article.  

    Is guided imagery similar to hypnosis?

    Guided imagery and hypnosis are similar in that they both involve using the power of imagination to create a state of deep relaxation and calm. However, there are some differences between the two.

    Guided imagery, as previously stated, is a visualization technique in which a person is guided to imagine scenarios in her mind.  Hypnosis, on the other hand, is a trance-like state in which a person is highly suggestible and open to suggestion. During hypnosis, a person may be guided to imagine scenarios or experiences that can help to alter their thoughts, behaviors, or emotions.

    Both guided imagery and hypnosis are very beneficial during menopause and perimenopause to alleviate symptoms and improving overall well-being. Both guided imagery and hypnosis can be effective in reducing stress and anxiety, releasing hidden emotions, healing trauma, but the approaches may be different. Some people may find guided imagery to be more relaxing and accessible, while others may prefer hypnosis. I think both of them are wonderful, but guided imagery is easier for beginners.

    What can you expect during a guided imagery session?

    Guided imagery is a type of meditation. It is easy to follow and very relaxing. Although it is easier to focus and keep focused in a guided session, the mind can start to wonder, if that does happen, gently try to bring your attention back to the imagination. You can also feel sleepy – that is ok – but try to finish the session. In general, during the session and after the session, you will feel more relaxed and joyful.

    Note: On some occasions, people can also have vivid dreams when doing guided imagery, if this is your case, try to analyze what the dreams are telling you.  

    Guided imagery script for menopause and perimenopause: The menopause garden

    • Try to sit or lie down in a comfortable position, but try to observe good posture.       
    • Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Inhale through your nose and then exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat this deep breathing several times, allowing yourself to relax more with each breath.
    • Now, imagine yourself in a peaceful place, surrounded by Nature. It might be a beach, a forest, a mountain, or any place that feels calm and serene to you.
    • Take in the sights, listen to the sounds, smell the aromas of this place, feel the temperature, it is perfect. You are there. Let yourself feel the peace and calmness of this environment. Take a couple of deep breaths as you take in the beauty and peace that surrounds you.
    • Now you see a path in front of you. Walk on this path, breath and relax as you walk. See beautiful flowers and scenery. You feel safe here and you like being here. Keep walking on the path.  
    • Now you see a door. You feel safe, the place is breathtakingly beautiful and calm. Slowly approach the door, take a deep breath as you reach out and turn the handle, you feel safe and happy.
    • Open the door and step through the door.
    • As you step through the door a warm and comforting light comes to welcome you. The light makes you feel happy and safe.  You feel welcome and happy. As you walk, the light surrounds you and fills you.   
    • Take a moment to reflect on your body, and imagine that each cell and organ is receiving the warm and comforting light. Feel the light calming and healing every cell of your body. You feel strong, empowered and happy.
    • Imagine that you open your arms and take more of the light and hug yourself with the light. You feel joyful and light.   
    • You continue walking and you see a river. You walk to the river. The river flows calmly and peacefully. Notice the water, the peace and the ease of the water just flowing.     
    • Suddenly you see a small boat painted in your favorite color.
    • You step into the boat, and allow yourself to be carried by the flow of the peaceful river.
    • As you float down the river, imagine yourself feeling peaceful, calm, happy, healthy and confident. The water is calm and it is very nice to be there.  
    • The boat stops at a beautiful garden. Smell the flowers; you are safe and happy.
    • You get out of the boat. You can stay a few minutes in this garden and smell different flowers and admire their colors and beauty. You feel happy here.  
    • When you’re ready, take a deep breath, and slowly open your eyes. Remember the peaceful and calm feeling that you experienced during this journey.

    Repeat this meditation three or more times a week, for a week or longer.


    • The first path symbolizes your life path, the normal path that we all take.
      This door symbolizes the beginning of your journey through menopause or perimenopause.
    • The light represents your inner strength and wisdom, and it will guide and protect you as you navigate through menopause. Your body knows menopause is normal and it is looking for balance. 
    • The river symbolizes the journey of menopause, and it flows towards its destination, which is health and balance.
    • This garden symbolizes the completion of your journey through menopause, and it represents the growth, wisdom, resilience, strength and beauty that you will gain along the way.

    Have you tried guided imagery? Tell in the comments how was your experience.

  • What are the early symptoms of menopause and perimenopause

    With so much talk about “the change,” many woman are wondering what are the early symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. This is a loaded question because there are a lot of potential symptoms, but those symptoms could also be symptoms of something else. We will take a look at the most common early symptoms of menopause and perimenopause and some of the less common ones.

    How to eliminate menopause brain fog

    As you know menopause marks the end of a woman’s reproductive time and is a natural biological process. Menopause is not an illness and nothing to be afraid of. Menopause typically occurs between the ages of 45 and 55, but can occur earlier or later.

    Perimenopause is the time prior to menopause when the estrogen levels start to fluctuate more drastically than before. Menopause is only one day, the one year anniversary of no periods. After that day women are postmenopausal.     


    I have noticed that many people keep saying that perimenopause can start in the early thirties. This could be the case, but we have to be careful about thinking that some changes in our health and body are the result of perimenopause; those changes can be an indication of other health problems. Many issues attributed to perimenopause or early menopause symptoms can simply be thyroid imbalances, or instance or nutritional deficiencies. We cannot discard other health conditions.  

    Early symptoms of menopause and perimenopause

    Irregular periods
    This is the most obvious early symptom of perimenopause and menopause for most women. Menstrual cycles become less predictable and eventually stop. They can be shorter, longer, heavier or lighter, and they may come at less predictable times. Menstrual cycles can be one month very heavy and the next month you may even wonder if that was a cycle.

    Weight gain
    Yes, it is a lovely symptom (add sarcastic smile). Some women eat the same way, workout the same way and without adding more calories or lowering physical activity, the weight keeps climbing. As the hormones decrease further, the shape of the body can change to a larger tummy. Metabolic changes are a result of hormonal fluctuation or high stress levels. This is stubborn weight and in many cases what worked before to manage the weight doesn’t work anymore.  A few lucky women have the reverse of this and they lose weight and keep it off.       

    Mood swings
    Hormonal changes during menopause and perimenopause can lead to mood swings, irritability, and depression. Many women get very emotional and cry without a reason. It is a time of higher sensitivity.  

    Vaginal dryness
    During perimenopause and menopause the body has fluctuating and decreasing estrogen levels. This can lead to vaginal dryness and discomfort during intercourse. Many women use over the counter products such as vaginal moisturizers and lubricants. Low-dose vaginal estrogen can help relieve vaginal dryness and discomfort and they tend to be very safe in the vagina, because the vagina is like Vegas, what happens there stays there; that estrogen cream only affects the vagina.

    Hot flashes
    A hot flash is a sudden feeling of heat that spreads over the body and is often accompanied by sweating and a rapid heartbeat. This is one of the more clear symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. It is a feared symptom because it can present itself at very inappropriate moments, for example, during a work meeting.   

    Night sweats
    They are similar to hot flashes, but they are always at night and they bring a lot of sweat. Night sweats can cause drenching sweat and discomfort while sleeping. In extreme cases some women have to change sheets in the middle of the night.

    Sleep disturbances
    Hot flashes and night sweats can cause sleep disturbances and lead to fatigue and reduced energy levels. Many women cannot sleep through the night or have difficulty sleeping.    

    Reduced libido
    A decrease in estrogen levels can also lead to a reduction in sexual desire.

    Cognitive and mental changes
    Some women may experience memory problems, difficulty concentrating, and other mental changes during menopause. Sometimes this is the result of lack of good or sufficient sleep other times it is the result of hormonal imbalance.  

    Less energy and fatigue
    This can be the result of lack of sleep or low estrogen but sometimes it also has other causes such too much stress, loss of muscle mass, and poor diet.    

    It’s important to note that most women can manage these symptoms with lifestyle changes and/or hormone replacement therapy. My program BLISS in Menopause teaches you how to manage and lower the symptoms in a natural and easy way. 

    The first step to manage the symptoms is to track them and identify triggers. I invite you to download my free tracker; it has instruction on how to use it.   

    Get your free menopause symptoms tracker
  • How to improve memory during menopause and perimenopause part 2

    Do you want to improve your memory in menopause and perimenopause? Let me tell you, improving memory during menopause and perimenopause can be fun and the way to attain it benefits all other aspects of our health. This is the second part of this article, you can read the first part here.

    These are more tips to improve your memory

    Good foods to improve memory in menopause and perimenopause

    In general, a healthy diet with a variety of natural foods is always great for your health, and it also benefits your memory. A healthy diet includes minimal amount of processed foods and uses good quality ingredients.

    There are several foods that are believed to help improve memory and cognitive function. These include:

    • Fish: Fish, particularly fatty fish such as salmon and tuna, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which have been found to help improve memory. Look for fish with low levels of toxins.
    • Berries: Berries, particularly blueberries, are rich in antioxidants that can help protect the brain
    • Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds, such as almonds, walnuts, and chia seeds, are rich in healthy fats and antioxidants that can help support brain health.
    • Leafy greens: Leafy greens, such as spinach and kale, are rich in nutrients that can improve memory.
    • Whole grains: Whole grains, such as oats, quinoa, and brown rice, are rich in vitamins and minerals that can help support brain health and improve memory.
    • Dark chocolate: Finally, one that we love, dark chocolate contains flavanols which have been found to improve blood flow to the brain and improve cognitive function. Be careful because it can have a lot of sugar and sugar is bad for memory.
    • Turmeric: This spice contains curcumin, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and may help improve memory and cognitive function.
    • Tomatoes: Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, an antioxidant that has been found to improve cognitive function.
    • Water. Dehydration causes confusion and makes it more difficult to focus and remember.

    Essential oils to improve memory during menopause and perimenopause

    I love aromatherapy, but there is limited scientific evidence on its effectiveness. I think it works because I have seen its effects on clients and on myself. There are some preliminary studies and anecdotal reports that suggest that certain essential oils may improve memory during menopause, but they are preliminary.

    There are promising studies on the following essential oils: Rosemary oil, peppermint oil, lemon oil, sage, and lavender oil. Some of these oils are calming and relaxing and they have been found to improve cognitive function, memory and concentration in some studies. If you use essential oils, always try to use high quality essential oils (they don’t have to be expensive).

    For memory improvement, you can use these oils in diffusers either one oil or a mix of a few of them. You can also use a roll-on applicator and smell it frequently.

    Do memory exercises work during menopause or perimenopause?

    Are you curious about memory exercises to improve memory? Some evidence suggests that memory exercises can help improve memory during menopause. However these findings are not solid, and memory exercises should used together with other techniques.

    You don’t need to spend a lot of money on exercises or apps, simple techniques that you can find from a Google search can help you. Remember, that there are proven things such as exercise and healthy diet that help more than memory exercises.

    Some activities to improve memory

    Some of my favorite memory exercises that I recommend to clients are not exercises but new activities to awaken other areas of the brain such as, if you don’t sing or play a musical instrument maybe take it as a hobby, or language learning, dance, bird watching, using your non-dominant hand for some tasks, paying attention to small things, etc.

    I also recommend simple techniques to lower stress and manage memory issues such as writing things down, simplifying things and using apps to remember important data. There is no reason to try to remember everything; you can develop lists and write things down. Don’t beat yourself up if you forget something. The following are some other activities that are good for memory.

    • Nature walks and hiking: Walking in nature, particularly in green spaces such as parks or forests, has been found to improve memory, as well as to reduce stress.
    • Gardening: Gardening has also been found to improve memory and reduce stress. Gardening combines some physical activity, exposes us to nature, and it is almost a form of meditation.
    • Forest Bathing: a fancy term to spend mindful time among trees. Forest bathing, also known by its Japanese name shinrin-yoku, is a practice that involves spending time in nature, focusing on the five senses.
    • Natural light exposure: Spending time outdoors in natural light is very good for memory. It is also critical to regulate the body’s internal clock (circadian rhythms) and that improves sleep quality.
    • Stress management. As I said previously, stress causes a lot of memory problems. It makes it difficult to concentrate, remember and even think straight. Any activity that lowers your stress can help you improve your memory. In my program BLISS in Menopause, I teach many easy and effective stress management techniques. If you are interested visit this page for more information.

    Difference between memory problems and dementia

    This is a delicate topic. One example given by doctors is that if you forgot where you left your keys it is just normal forgetfulness. If you forget what the keys are and what is their function that may indicate more serious problems, but not necessary terrible problems; however the person needs to go to the doctor and be evaluated.

    Other controversial aids to improve memory during menopause and perimenopause

    I hang out a lot in menopause forums and there are many discussions about Cannabis and CBD to improve menopause symptoms. These substances can be beneficial to lower anxiety, and in some cases, depression and they lower stress, all of this can help alleviate some menopause symptoms. CBD is considered safe. Cannabis is controversial, illegal in some places, and it can also cause other issues to some people. So be mindful of that. There is no solid evidence that they help to improve memory. But in general, they don’t solve the problems that are causing memory issues and it is always better to find the root of a problem and correct it.

    Find the root of the problem

    If you are experiencing memory issues during menopause or perimenopause try to find out what is causing them and this needs to be resolved. As I said before (part one) hormonal fluctuations are part of the problem but there are other things making it worse. You need to find what those other things are and manage them. My program Bliss in Menopause includes many therapies to improve memory. You got this, girl. Leave me a comment.

  • How to improve memory during menopause and perimenopause

    How to improve memory during perimenopause or menopause is one of the most asked questions by woman going though this season of our lives. The reason for that is that many women experience memory issues during menopause and perimenopause. The most common memory issues include general forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating, confusion, slow thinking, getting easily distracted, among others.

    Can you improve memory during menopause or perimenopause?

    Yes you can (but I forgot how to do it, (bad joke!)). We will discuss here what causes memory problems during menopause and perimenopause and the options we have improve them.


    What causes memory problems during menopause and perimenopause?

    Common memory problems are a result of many factors. Let’s review some of them:
    Hormonal changes: As you know, menopause is characterized by a decline in estrogen and progesterone levels. Both hormones have a role in memory, and therefore, a reduction can affect memory and cognitive function. But normally this is not the only cause or the main cause. The changes in memory due to hormonal fluctuation can be small or even non-existing. However, when we combine the hormonal deficiencies with some of the other causes discussed here, the memory problems can become more intense.

    Insufficient sleep:
    Many women experience sleep disturbances during perimenopause and menopause. As you know lack of sleep is terrible for memory and concentration.

    Stress: Stress is one of the biggest villains during menopause. Stress, as we know, can have a terrible effect on memory. Many women experience increased stress during menopause and perimenopause due to the physical and emotional changes they are experiencing.

    Nutrient deficiencies: Nutrient deficiencies, particularly in vitamins B6, B12, folate, iron, and vitamin D, have been linked to memory problems.

    : Chronic inflammation in the body can affect memory and cognitive function.

    Genetics: Some studies suggest that certain genetic factors may make some women more susceptible to memory problems during menopause.

    Emotional problems: Such as depression and anxiety.

    Thyroid disorders. The thyroid is a very sensitive gland that is affected by stress, liver problems, adrenal problems, and hormonal fluctuations. Many women have thyroid issues during menopause and perimenopause.

    Life. By life I mean, in midlife, we have many emotional problems in our careers as well as personal lives. This is going to create stress and affect our memory.

    How can you improve memory during menopause and perimenopause?

    You have many options to improve your memory. From the previous list, evaluate what do you think is affecting you the most. For example, are you a vegan and maybe you have B12 deficiency? How is your sleep; are you under stress?

    Let’s discuss some of the potential solutions. Before we talk about each activity let me say that the best solution normally is a combination of activities.

    • Stay physically active. Regular exercise can help improve blood flow to the brain and increase the production of brain-protective chemicals. In addition, it lowers stress and inflammation and helps to regulate hormones.
    • Eat a healthy diet. Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, good fats including omega 3 oils, and good proteins can help support brain health. Make sure you are having all the nutrients that you need.
    • Get enough sleep: During menopause, many women may experience sleep disturbances, such as night sweats and difficulty sleeping the whole night, which can affect memory. Aim for at least 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night. This can be difficult and we will discuss it in another article. In my online program, BLISS in Menopause, we have specific techniques to sleep better because lack of sleep aggravate almost all other menopausal symptoms.
    • Manage stress: Stress can greatly affect memory. It’s important to find ways to manage stress such as prayer, meditation, and other relaxation techniques. My favorite is to spend time in nature.
    • Good hormones. Activate your “feel good hormones” dopamine, endorphins, and oxytocin. To have more of these hormones is easy for example hug people and pets, smile and laugh. Think happy thoughts and watch funny movies. Anything that makes you happy makes more of these good hormones. These hormones eliminate stress.
    • Illnesses. If you have anxiety or feel depressed, look for professional help, why suffer more.
    • Drink water. Dehydration is terrible for brain function.

    Supplements to improve memory during menopause and perimenopause

    There are several supplements that are believed to help improve memory and cognitive function. There is no definitive proof that they work. Also the effectiveness of these supplements can vary from person to person. Some of the most commonly used supplements for memory and cognitive function include:
    Omega-3 fatty acids: These are found in fish oil and have been found to help improve memory and cognitive function in some studies. Look for good quality supplements.

    • Ginkgo biloba: This is an herb that is believed to improve blood flow to the brain and may help improve memory and cognitive function.
    • Bacopa monnieri: This is a commonly used herb in Ayurvedic medicine to help improve memory.
    • Phosphatidylserine: This is a chemical that is found in cell membranes and is thought to help improve memory.
    • Vitamins. Vitamin E, D, all the vitamins B, particularly B6, B12, and folic acid.
    • Medical treatments to improve memory during menopause and perimenopause
      In medicine there are limited options to improve memory during menopause and perimenopause, but the one available is very effective, hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) or its more “natural” cousin bio identical hormonal replacement therapy (BHRT). You can read here which one is better in this article. The doctors will also try to find out if the patient has other conditions, such as depression. It is always a good idea to consult with the doctor to rule out other causes, even though most doctors tend to just tell women in menopause that “it is normal.” I believe only being healthy is normal, don’t accept this answer and look for a solution for you.

    Improving memory during menopause with functional medicine

    Functional medicine is a holistic approach to healthcare that focuses on identifying and addressing the underlying causes of disease, instead of treating just the symptoms. In functional medicine, in addition to the tips above, the practitioners may also recommend:

    • Bio identical hormonal replacement therapy (BHRT). Many practitioners of functional medicine love to prescribe BHRT and one of the reasons could be financial; keep this in mind.
    • Nutritional therapy: Functional medicine practitioners may recommend specific nutrient-dense diets. Some of these practitioners use Paleo or Keto, Vegan diets and others.
    • Detoxification: Many functional medicine practitioners believe that some symptoms are caused by toxins in the body and they use different methods to remove them.
    • Other treatments: Some practitioners may recommend thyroid, adrenal or liver treatments as these organs may have an impact in memory and other menopause symptoms.

    Activities to improve memory during menopause and perimenopause

    Activities that reduce stress and challenge your brain and body are good for your memory. Among these are:

    • Yoga: Yoga has been found to help reduce stress and improve memory.
    • Tai chi: Tai chi is a form of martial arts that has been found to improve memory, particularly in older adults. Qi Gong is similar and equally beneficial.
    • Dance: Dance is a fun way to improve memory, as it involves learning and performing choreographed movements. I recommend dancing to my clients because it helps in many other areas, such as self-esteem and feeling sensual.
    • Being in nature has been found to have a positive effect on overall health and well-being, and some research suggests that it may also help improve memory. Become a green goddess.


    Memory issues are common during menopause and perimenopause, but remember common doesn’t mean healthy. Not every woman in this stage of their life has them, I don’t have any issues and I have many clients who don’t have them either. You can improve your memory and you have many options to do it. If you want to explore a natural, holistic way, I invite you to consider my program BLISS in Menopause. Leave me a comment and tell me is you are using any supplement to improve memory.

  • Herbs and supplements to increase libido after menopause naturally

    How to increase your libido during menopause naturally? Are there any herbs or supplements? These are common questions. Menopause and perimenopause bring a lot of changes to the body and one of them is low libido. Lower libido during perimenopause and menopause is in part the result of hormonal imbalance and there are supplements and herbs that can help.

    How to increase your libido during menopause naturally

    One of the ways to increase libido during menopause and perimenopause is to use aphrodisiacs, another is to work on its causes and mindset. Our intimate life is not only physical it is also emotional. Ideally if you are experiencing low libido, you should work on all these aspects.

    Supplements and Herbs to increase libido in menopause and perimenopause

    In this article I am bringing you some of the most promising aphrodisiacs from nature. Herbs and supplements to increase libido for women during the time of perimenopause and menopause. As you know, aphrodisiacs (from Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of sexuality, beauty and love) are substances that stimulate sexual desire. All forms of natural medicine have these substances and there can be a lot of myth around them; the ones I present you here are those with scientific research behind them.

    1- Horny Goat Weed (Epimedium)

    This is a Chinese medicine herb. Another name it Goat Sex Herb. Both men and women can use it. It increases testosterone, blood flow, and helps balance hormones.

    2- Avena Sativa (Wild Oats)

    Just as the prior herb, this one is also use by breeders to help boost animal fertility. Avena Sativa is also used to help combat the effects of stress.

    3- Brazilian Catuaba Bark

    This plant comes from the Amazon rainforest. They use it to increase libido in men and women. They also use Catuaba to treat obesity and memory problems.

    4- Maca Root

    Maca has an effect on hormones. In Peru, it is a popular food as it is a cruciferous vegetable related to broccoli and kale. There are some small studies that suggests that it can increase libido, boost energy and endurance, increase fertility, and it may lower some menopause and perimenopause symptoms.

    How to increase your libido during menopause naturally with supplements and herbs.

    5- Mucuna Pruriens Extract

    In Ayurveda we use this plant in many remedies. It helps reduce stress and anxiety, improves focus, among many other benefits. It may also boost libido and orgasms. One of its common names is velvet bean.

    6- Red Ginseng

    Among the many benefits of red ginseng is to increase libido. The reason it helps is that it increases blood circulation in the body, including the genitals.

    7- Fenugreek

    This seed has many benefits including increasing testosterone in men and women. The research indicates that men who take this herb see an increase in libido and in erections. In women, we need more research, but lower testosterone levels is one of the causes of low libido in perimenopause and menopause. You can buy the seeds in an Indian store, in India they use them as a condiment, or you can buy supplements.

    Other plants that may increase libido

    There are many other plants that promise to increase libido during perimenopause and menopause. Some of these plants are: tribulus, saffron, gingko biloba, L-citrulline, Yohimbine and Muira Puama. We need more research, but preliminary studies indicate positive results.


    These aphrodisiac herbs and supplements to increase libido during menopause and perimenopause are promising. Most of them don’t have side effects, but it is wise to always check for side effects, especially if you take any medication. Although these plants promise to increase libido during perimenopause and menopause, we need more studies, but they may be worth trying.

    Other considerations

    Besides hormonal imbalance there are many causes of low libido including illnesses, medicines’ side effects, stress and emotional issues. Some depression and anxiety medicines are some of the worst offenders. A positive mindset is as important as having the right hormones. Read How to stop hot flashes naturally

  • 7 Supplements to eliminate brain fog during menopause

    During menopause and perimenopause almost 60% of women report brain fog and memory issues. If you are part of this group don’t worry; there are great foods and supplements to improve or eliminate menopause brain fog.

    eliminate menopause brain fog

    According to a University of Vermont study, brain fog and memory issues may be linked to lower levels of estrogen, especially estradiol. However, the million dollar question is why 40% of post-menopause and perimenopause women don’t experience brain fog and memory issues.              

    Hormonal balance and brain power 

    According to that study, the women who don’t experience these issues may be getting estrogen from other sources. In other words, they have hormonal balance. Hormonal balance is the key to eliminate or lower all perimenopause and menopause symptoms including brain fog and memory problems.    

    Before we jump to the supplements, let’s take a moment to talk about some important factors to keep our brain healthy:

    Exercise to eliminate mental fog

    Physical exercise is one of the brain’s biggest allies, especially when you have menopause or perimenopause mental fog. Exercise brings more oxygen to the brain and it helps it eliminate stress and toxins. You don’t need a full workout program to improve brain function. You only need constant movement, such as walking and a 30 minutes workout three or more times a week. If you work out outdoors, even better.

    Stress reduction

    Stress is one of the worst enemies for your brain and for hormonal balance. Excessive, chronic stress is a big hormonal disruptor and inflammation producer. Also, stress makes you fat and makes your tummy grow. If you can do one thing to balance your hormones and improve brain fog in menopause, try to reduce or manage stress.      

    supplements to eliminate mental or brain fog in menopause and perimenopause


    Sleep is fundamental to our health including mental health. There have been many studies showing the importance of sleep to be more focused, remember more and learn better.  It is very important to sleep enough hours during time of hormonal changes. In many cases, brain fog during menopause and perimenopause is directly related to lack of sleep.

    7 powerful supplements to improve brain fog during menopause and perimenopause

    Natural supplements for the brain are also called nootropics, but we can get some of the active substances by drinking infusions and adding some herbs to our food.   Although just popping a pill won’t solve hormonal imbalance and menopause, mental fog together with small changes in your lifestyle can help you improve brain fog.

    Ginkgo Biloba

    There are many studies pointing that ginkgo biloba helps improve cognitive function. This herb has been used in Chinese medicine for millennia. It helps the brains get more oxygen and eliminate toxins. To see results takes weeks; consult with your doctor if you like to try it.

    Vitamin B

    The vitamin B complex is very important for brain health.  Lower levels of B12 are associated with short term memory problems and lack of concentration as well as depression. Most people who eat animal products have the right levels of B12; vegans and vegetarians can have lower levels. B6 is important to carry oxygen to the brain. B6 is found in salmon and other fish and in some fortified milk products.       


    The most important antioxidants are vitamin C, E, and beta-carotene but there are many more such as: selenium, other carotenoids, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin.  They help protect your body’s cells (including brain cells from damage), and help in hormonal production. Fruits and veggies also are very rich in antioxidants. Fruits and veggies are full with important nutrients that can help you combat brain fog in menopause or perimenopause.

    green and black tea to eliminate brain fog

    Green and Black Tea

    These fantastic drinks have an ingredient called L-Theanine that has shown good results to improve concentration and lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. You can take the supplement or try to include more tea, especially green tea in your normal day. Green tea is a wonderful drink for women with hormonal imbalance.

    supplements and food to eliminate menopause brain fog

    Iron for the brain

    Iron is a very important nutrient to provide oxygen to the brain and all cells in the body. The deficiency of iron is linked to lower concentration, lower focused capacity and even diminished intelligence. Next time you go the doctor ask for an iron test. Iron is very common in many foods like read meat, some beans, and some green leaves.  It is important to make sure you have enough iron during the time of menopause and perimenopause.


    Dehydration makes you more likely to suffer brain fog and lack of concentration during menopause and perimenopause. If possible try to consume from ¾ to one gallon of water a day. It is a lot of water, but in the beginning you need a lot of water to see if it will help you. Check out some recipes for infused water.

    Turmeric powder

    Turmeric powder is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Inflammation is the root of many diseases. You may include turmeric powder in recipes (such as they do in India and other countries), drink golden milk or take supplements.  

  • Types of belly fat in midlife

    Belly fat reaches a new high during midlife, it even gets its own name, midlife spread. For most women in midlife one of the most traumatic changes is the change in body shape. The tummy starts growing out of the blue and the waist line becomes a distant memory. Pear and upper triangles body types become apples. There are different types of belly fat. If you are asking why does this happens and what can one do about it, keep reading.

    How to stop belly fat accumulation in midlife

    We can blame it all on hormones and certainly they play a role, but there can be many other causes or contributing factors. Although most abdominal fat requires the same advice to eliminate it: healthier eating, more movement and less stress, there are some differences between the different types of belly fat or abdominal fat require more than the conventional advice, specially during perimenopause and menopause.

    Let’s take a look at the different types of belly fat and potential solutions for each type. Let’s keep in mind that excess fat always requires eating a healthier diet.

    Lower body fat

    This type of fat can be hormone-related or inactivity related. Even very skinny people can have it. Usually this type of body fat is more common before perimenopause and menopause.

    Excess estrogen can play a role in this type of belly fat, but inactivity, too much sitting, and poor posture are more common as well as a combination of these factors.

    What can you do about it?

    • Eat a healthier diet and drink plenty of liquids.
    • Try not to sit down for long periods of time
    • Workout and try to add more activity to your life. Try exercises to strengthen your core.
    • Cut down on sugar and dairy
    • Watch your posture during the day. Try to sit correctly and stand up straight, lightly contracting your tummy
    • Try to move during the day

    Belly fat that looks like pregnancy

    This fat can be common during midlife. It tends to be firm and it can have many causes. This can be hormonal body fat, and is not directly linked to estrogens but to cortisol and/or insulin. It is very common in people with insulin resistance.

    This type of tummy fat is directly related to high stress levels (physical and emotional) and high sugar and/or alcohol consumption. This type of belly can also indicate liver problems such as fatty liver; this is the reason it is associated with alcohol consumption. Read about thyroid and weight gain

    What to do to lower this type of belly fat?

    This type of fat is the most damaging type because it is directly affecting the vital organs and it’s the result of a combination of unhealthy habits. To lower this type of belly fat, the keys are stress management and toxin elimination. You can accomplish it with these recommendations:

    • Lower stress levels
    • Sleep at least 7 hours a night
    • Lower alcohol and carbohydrate consumption
    • Make sure you are eating only healthy fats
    • Try to eat only healthy animal products
    • Avoid regular dairy
    • Avoid commercial baked goods
    • Eat enough omega 3
    • Lower or eliminate caffeine intake
    • Try to eat healthy most of the time. Be careful following any diets that will contribute to more stress in your life. The best way to eat is to follow anti-inflammatory guidelines
    • Try to include activities to relax, such as participating in sports, yoga, dancing, arts, walks in nature, etc.
    • Be kind to yourself
    • Workout, but avoid workout stress such as running too much, boot camps, CrossFit, competitive apps, etc.
    • If you have a religion, pray, ask for help and leave it to God; if not you can practice meditation. The bottom line is to relinquish control, worry and other emotions that generate stress, anger and sadness.
    • Observe yourself to identify allergies such as those from foods, molds, pollen and others. These are physical body stressors that can cause thyroid problems.
    • Remove or lower toxins from your life such as regular cleaning products, cooking at high temperatures with Teflon, etc.
    • For some people, a paleo or keto lifestyle for a short period of time can be very beneficial. For me the answer was intermittent fasting and you can follow this way of eating for long time.

    Upper tummy fat (AKA love handles)

    This is pure fat and an active lifestyle and healthy food in the right amounts can correct it.

    Hormonal belly fat

    During menopause and perimenopause, we are very likely to accumulate belly fat. This is the result of lower estrogens and higher cortisol. It can be solid fat as in the previous case or loose fat all over the tummy area.

    To eliminate this type of belly fat there is no one size fits all cause, because there are many causes. Usually it comes with other body changes such as bigger or smaller breasts, bigger back and in some cases, smaller butt.
    In general, to improve this situation we need to bring more balance to our hormones, lowering stress and making sure our thyroid is doing its job. To accomplish this we need to strengthen the liver, adrenals and thyroids. You can read this article where I have more detailed information on menopausal belly fat.

    You can read more on why we gain weight during perimenopause and menopause

    Fluctuating belly

    This is fake belly fat. You get up in the morning with a flat tummy and this keeps growing as the day progresses. This is caused by gases and/or liquid retention and not by fat accumulation.

    The next question is why does it happen? There are many reasons, though, the most common one is food intolerances. There also can be digestion issues caused by stress, illness or allergies.

    What to do?

    • Do an elimination diet to identify if you have allergies
    • Eat slower, chew your food very well; this improves your digestion
    • Avoid drinking large amounts of liquids during meals. Warm or lukewarm liquids are better than cold liquids.
    • Lower stress
    • Ayurveda can be very effective to treat and correct these digestive issues

    Sudden tummy

    This is the tummy that comes out of nowhere and it is loose. If you are gaining weight and it is mostly going to the tummy, but you feel that you are eating the same and having the same level of physical activity and you are in midlife, this is probably hormonal weight. Read why this happens

    However if the fat is solid, and hard in very few cases, it can be related to conditions that need medical attention so you should see your doctor.

    What not to do when you are experiencing hormonal belly fat

    • Don’t worry, there is a lot you can do to reduce your tummy. Think of a growing tummy as a messenger, telling you to watch out because something may need more balance in your body.
    • Avoid extreme diets. If you have a lot of weight to lose or if you suspect that you may be insulin resistant then a Paleo or Keto diet can be appropriate for some time. But if you are experiencing many other menopausal or perimenopause symptoms, for most people it is better to start eating healthier and do some light intermittent fasting. There has to be a balance between weight loss and stress reduction.
    • Remember joy. Joy is very important in our lives, joy makes our body healthier and contributes to hormonal balance. Look for joyful activities outside food. Make your food delicious.
    • The main thing you can do for your health is to cook at home from scratch. If you use some organic ingredients even better, but just eating home cooked meals will make a difference in your health.

    What about liposuction

    It certainly works, but it is a surgery and you have to consider it carefully. However, if the weight comes back (the person gains the weight back) some of the fat will go directly on top of vital organs. Most people who have liposuction end up gaining back the weight, because they haven’t learned a healthier, happier lifestyle.

    During perimenopause and menopause it is important to pay attention to the hormones and try to balance them because if not, they will also cause other issues, the tummy is only one of them. Perimenopause and menopause are a good time to recalibrate our bodies to have a healthy second half of our lives.

    What about hormonal replacement therapy (HRT)

    HRT and BHRT will help control tummy or abdominal fat while taking the hormones. You can read this article about HRT and BHRT. I personally will still recommend lifestyle changes to avoid other problems and to develop a tummy as soon as the hormones are stopped. Read more about HRT and BHRT

    Learn more about how to be healthy during menopause and avoid symptoms: BLISS in Menopause

  • How to stop hot flashes naturally

    Hot flashes, or flushes as they are called in some places, are common in women going through perimenopause or menopause. They are also very bothersome and greatly disruptive, especially if they happen at night, called night sweats.

    Hot flashes at night disrupt sleep and with that a whole plethora of symptoms can develop, such mental fog, lack of energy, irritability, weight gain, etc. That’s why it is very important to deal with hot flashes.

    how to stop hot flashes naturally

    What to do to eliminate hot flashes naturally

    Before moving into potential solutions we need to understand what the causes of hot flashes are. Doctors don’t know what causes them, not all women get them (I didn’t) and in many cultures they are almost unknown. We need more research to find out what causes hot flashes. Doctors know that there are some things that make hot flashes worse for some women, such as:

    • Spicy foods
    • Foods with caffeine
    • Alcohol
    • Some medicines
    • Certain health issues, such thyroid problems and diabetes
    • Smoking
    • Anything that makes the normal body temperature rise such as exposure to high temperatures, thick clothing, saunas, etc.
    • Emotions such stress, fear and anxiety

    The first thing to do when suffering hot flashes is to try to identify which items on that list make your hot flashes worse. Then you can at least lower your exposure if not totally avoid it.

    easy ways to stop hot flashes naturally

    How to eliminate hot flashes naturally

    A healthier lifestyle can greatly reduce or eliminate hot flashes. A healthier lifestyle will help you eliminate toxins, eliminate excessive bad hormones, make your organs work better, and more. All of this will reduce or stop hot flashes. What is a healthier life style? Eat clean, drink your water (hopefully purified) and avoid stress.

    Move it baby

    Working out is one of the most effective ways to reduce or eliminate hot flashes. There have been many studies on this topic and all of them have found a relationship between working out, especially sweaty workouts, and a reduction in hot flashes. Working out checks off many boxes, including eliminating toxins and stress, and helping the body generate good hormones, as well as maintaining muscle and bone mass.

    Cool it

    Controlling stress, is another important aspect to controlling hot flashes. Stress causes a lot of problems in the body and they result in more or more intense hot flashes. You can read this article about stress and hormonal balance.

    Can herbs help to eliminate hot flashes?

    Herbs can certainly help. Black cohosh is the most studied herb against hot flashes and definitely worth trying. Herbs combined with a healthier lifestyle are more effective than only taking the herbs. Other recommended herbs are: ashwaganda (to strengthen adrenals), maca (testosterone), chaste tree, Dong Quai, Ginkgo biloba and red clover. There are many teas and supplements that use some combination of these and other herbs. Some of these herbs interact with other medications so it is important to check for potential issues.

    Beyond herbs, Ayurveda, aromatherapy, homeopathy and other natural medicine modalities have treatments to effectively lower hot flashes and other menopause and perimenopause symptoms.

    I have an article on aromatherapy for menopausal symptoms that explains how it can help.

    Hot flashes in Ayurveda

    Ayurveda, the traditional medicine of India, has complete treatments to treat hot flashes. In Ayurveda, we believe that hot flashes are an imbalance, and there are herbs and treatments to bring back the balance. All Ayurveda treatments, as well as Chinese medicine treatments, include lifestyle changes and they can be very effective without negative side effects.

    Functional medicine

    You can also consult a functional medicine expert. In functional medicine, we look at the cause of the symptoms to treat them at the root level. However, functional medicine can be expensive and many practitioners order too many tests that many times are redundant. But if you are suffering from severe flashes and want natural alternatives this can be one of the best options.

    Easy ways to eliminate hot flashes naturally

    Some tips to eliminate or reduce hot flashes

    Keep a diary and write down what did you do or eat prior to a flash. After a week or so you will be able to identify some culprits.

    • Try to work out at least 30 minutes 3 times a week or more
    • Try some yoga to lower stress
    • Practice deep breathing
    • Talk to yourself kindly
    • Reduce or avoid coffee
    • Reduce or avoid alcohol
    • Lower sugar intake
    • Stop smoking
    • Keep your room temperatures on the cool side
    • Have an electric fan on hand (handheld or normal) in case you need it
    • Wear layers of clothes. This way you can easily add on or take off according to your needs.
    • Sleep with layers of blankets and/or sheets to adjust your temperature
    • Try to keep cold water at hand. If you feel a hot flash coming apply some water with a cotton towel or spray on your face and drink some cold water.
    • Use cold gel pack if water is not possible.
    • Avoid hot showers and baths. You can use lukewarm water instead

    If your hot flashes don’t improve with lifestyle changes, look for professional help; there are many therapies that can help you, including traditional hormonal replacement therapy and bioidentical hormonal replacement therapy. Read more about hormonal replacement therapy here  you can also take the natural path either with HRT or without, check out my program BLISS in Menopause.

  • Healthy bones and teeth with smoothies

    Our teeth and bones need vitamins and minerals to keep strong and healthy during menopause and perimenopause. Smoothies are a delicious way to eat those nutrients. As you know smoothies are in fashion. And there are good reasons for it. They make it easier to drink something healthy and consume some powerful foods in a delicious and convenient form.

    Smoothies for teeth and bone health in menopause and perimenopause

    We can use smoothies to strengthen, protect and even heal our bones and teeth. After 40, during perimenopause and menopause and beyond, we need to take care of our bones and teeth, because the hormonal changes that take place can weaken them.

    Sometimes when we think of good foods and nutrients for bones, we think of milk. But in reality we need more than milk, and in fact we may not need milk. We think milk, because of the propaganda. While it is true that milk has a lot of calcium, and calcium is great for teeth and bones, we also need other nutrients.

    Teeth and bones need vitamins and minerals during menopause and perimenopause. Bones can regenerate and strengthen, about 5 to 10% of all bone tissue is renewed each year.

    Teeth also need food, the same foods as bones. Your teeth are stronger if you eat the right foods. Dentists don’t teach patients to eat for teeth health, but it is fundamental. If you eat healthy your teeth don’t develop many cavities.

    Nutrients for teeth and bones during perimenopause and menopause

    The nutrients that strengthen our teeth and bones are the same at any age. However, at times of hormonal fluctuation we need to make sure we are having them. Some of the most important nutrients are:


    The best and easiest calcium to absorb is from animal sources, but there are also many veggies that have it such as spinach and other green leaves as well as soy and white beans. (Read calcium in bone broth)


    This mineral is needed for bone and teeth health as much as calcium. One study found that potassium reduces bone degeneration and increases the rate of bone formation in women. Bananas, sweet potatoes, oranges, cantaloupe, honeydew, apricots, grapefruit, prunes, raisins, dates, peas, cucumbers, etc. are wonderful sources of potassium.

    Vitamin K2.

    This one is difficult to add to smoothies. The richest natural source is a Japanese food called natto (fermented soy beans), which doesn’t taste that good. (I take a supplement of K2 every other day or so)

    Smoothies recipes for healthy bones and teeth


    This you are probably consuming enough in you meals


    You can find it in green vegetables, such as collards and kale, in some seeds such as poppy, sesame, chia etc., some nuts, legumes, whole grains and avocado. Avocados, seeds and nuts add a lot creaminess to the smoothies, but be careful because they have a lot of calories.


    You can find them in soybeans, fish, meat, milk, eggs, in legumes and whole grains. You can add oats to your smoothies.


    • Vitamin D. You can get it from the sun and supplements.
    • Vitamin A. You can find it in sweet potato, spinach, carrots, cantaloupe, mangoes, eggs and others.
    • Vitamin C. There are a lot of fruits with this nutrient such as, citrus, berries and many tropical fruits. You don’t need any specialty fruits to get your daily requirements of vitamin C.


    You can find it in seeds, nuts and some grains. The most abundant sources are meat and shellfish. One powerful source is broccoli sprouts, and you can add them to smoothies or salads.


    There are also other minerals that are required in small amounts. These are part of many fruits and veggies.

    Did you know?
    Sesame seeds are a good source of calcium, magnesium, copper, vitamin B1, zinc and dietary fiber. A quarter cup of sesame seeds has more calcium than a cup of milk. It also has a lot of calories, but you can add a tablespoon of tahini to your smoothie.

    Now some recipes

    Smoothies for teeth and bone health in menopause and perimenopause

    Collagen, anti-inflammatory smoothie

    1 cup water
    1 scoop of powdered collagen or gelatin
    1 cup fresh mix berries
    2 teaspoons of seeds such as sesame, hemp, pumpkin, sunflower or others
    ½ frozen banana. For potassium, fiber and sweetness. It also makes the smoothie very creamy
    1 pitted prune. For boron, fiber and sweetness
    ½ tsp of turmeric powder
    A bunch of broccoli sprouts
    Optional: If you like more sweetness add stevia, date sugar, maple syrup or sugar.

    Put all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Drink right after. You can adjust to your preferred thickness adding more water. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the ingredients, use what you have.

    Very cherry

    1 cup of fresh or frozen pitted cherries
    ¼ cup of oats
    ½ tsp of turmeric powder
    1 cup of milk or water. It can be almond or full fat or 2% pasture-raised, grass fed, organic cow’s milk, or goat’s milk
    1/2 cup of organic Greek yogurt (full fat or 2%)
    ½ frozen banana
    Optional, pitted dates or prunes for added sweetness or stevia, maple sugar or sugar
    Optional, one scoop of powdered collagen or gelatin

    Put all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Drink right after. You can adjust to your preferred thickness adding more water. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the ingredients, use what you have.

    The smoothies can also be consumed as smoothie bowls. The only difference as you know is that you will eat them with a spoon/fork, instead of drinking them.

    Make your smoothies or bowls pretty and sit down and enjoy the flavors.
    Read: Recipes for infused water

  • Is your thyroid making fat and tired?

    You probably know about fast and slow metabolisms. In part this is the work of the thyroid gland. Facial hair, weight gain or loss, lack of energy and even hot flashes, the thyroid is mighty; it affects many aspects of our health and life.

    Thyroid and perimenopause and menopause issues

    Unfortunately, the thyroid tends to get out of sync and does not produce enough hormones during times of hormonal imbalances such as after having a baby, pregnancy, perimenopause and menopause. That is the reason we are talking about this gland. Many of the perimenopause and menopause symptoms are a result of thyroid problems.

    I am healthy but ….

    I have a few friends, including 2 MDs, who are otherwise very healthy and follow a healthy lifestyle, but they take thyroid medicine, because their thyroids are sluggish. In other words, they suffer from hypothyroidism. I also had the same issue when I entered perimenopause and my weight started to skyrocket although I followed a healthy lifestyle. I took the natural path and it worked.

    Hypothyroidism is very common in women over 35 and it contributes to lack of energy, lack of libido, weight gain and other symptoms. A healthy lifestyle does not always spare you from this condition, because stress and environmental toxins play a role in it.

    Now let’s see the other side of the coin: Hyperthyroidism. This is when the thyroid is too active and produces too much of the hormone. In this case the person tends to lose weight and facial hair may appear, among others symptoms.

    The table below illustrates the most common symptoms of both conditions.

    Hypothyroidism Hyperthyroidism
    Cold intolerance
    Dry skin
    Weight gain
    Puffy face and/or hands
    Muscle weakness
    Elevated cholesterol
    Muscle aches and stiffness
    Pain, or swelling in joints
    Heavy or irregular periods
    Thinning hair
    Slowed heart rate
    Impaired memory
    Enlarged thyroid (goiter)
    Excessive sleepiness
    Thin, brittle hair or fingernails
    Decreased sweating
    Pins and needles
    Decrease libido
    Unintentional weight loss
    Rapid or irregular heartbeat
    Increased appetite
    Nervousness amd anxiety
    Tremor in hands and fingers
    Changes in menstrual patterns
    Feeling hot easily
    Frequent bowel movements
    Enlarged thyroid gland (goiter)
    Muscle weakness
    Difficulty sleeping
    Skin thinning
    Fine, brittle hair

    Why should you care for your thyroid?

    Well, it affects your energy levels, weight, libido, skin and hair and your total wellbeing. On top of that the thyroid gets affected by other important organs and by autoimmune conditions.

    We can say that the thyroid is the first one to make noise when something is wrong in the body. That is the reason why instead of just taking a pill (which is necessary in some cases) we need to look deeper at what else needs our attention.

    Causes of hypothyroidism

    • There are many potential causes including:
    • Autoimmune disease
    • Hyperthyroidism treatments
    • Radiation therapy
    • Thyroid surgery
    • Certain medications such as medications to treat certain psychiatric disorders
    • Congenital disease
    • Pituitary disorders. This is rare.
    • Pregnancy. Some women develop hypothyroidism during or after pregnancy
    • Iodine deficiency. This is more common than normal medicine reports
    • Hashimoto’s disease. This is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the U.S. Hashimoto’s disease, is cause by autoimmune issues.
    • Thyroiditis. It can be caused by viral or bacterial infections, an autoimmune condition or following pregnancy.

    For women over 40 the most common causes are:

    • Weak adrenals due to excess stress
    • Liver issues
    • Excess accumulation of toxins
    • Nutrition deficits especially of zinc, iodine, selenium, copper, iron, essential fatty acids, tyrosine (amino acid), vitamins A and D
    • In natural medicine it is also believed that some emotions affect the thyroid
    • Autoimmune disease

    How to know if you have low or high thyroid activity?

    Check the list of symptoms and see if you suffer many of them. If you go to a regular doctor he or she may or may not find the problem. If your deficiency or excessive level of the hormone is way higher than the expected level, it will be found, but if it is small it probably will not be found. A functional practitioner will, however, find it.

    The discrepancy is that in functional medicine the range of normal levels is narrower than in conventional medicine and there is also more testing. In functional medicine, normal is not what the majority of people have right now, instead it is the optimal level for wellbeing and health.

    In my case I had many symptoms such as excessive hair loss, dry skin, weight gain, constipation, I had lost part of my eyebrows, and other symptoms. My regular doctor did not find anything wrong in my tests, everything was perfect. But I had the symptoms and I refused to accept that “that is how we age”.

    What can you do to have better thyroid function?

    If you feel that you have too many symptoms you should get tested first by your doctor, and then if nothing is found, you can go to a functional or natural medicine practitioner.

    The standard treatment for hypothyroidism is a synthetic hormone. For hyperthyroidism, there are medications. There are also many natural treatments if you want to try this path.

    With the natural treatments, that also require lifestyle changes, you will solve the problem and the roots of the problem. With the pills you will be taking them potentially for life, they don’t work for everybody and you will not be addressing the roots of the problem. Those roots may manifest later on in other ways.

    thyroid health in midlife

    Improving your thyroid function

    If you only have some symptoms you can try to improve your lifestyle and add some supplements to improve thyroid function. Some of the natural recommendations are:

    • Eat natural, unprocessed foods
    • Try to minimize environmental toxins such as normal cleaning products, normal skin care products etc.
    • Lower sugar intake
    • Increase omega 3 intake
    • Make sure you are eating enough proteins
    • Make sure you are having enough iodine
    • Make sure you are having enough zinc and selenium
    • Take a break from foods that causes allergies in many people such as gluten, dairy and soy. It is just a break to determine if you have an allergy.
    • Take probiotics
    • Eat a lot of vegetables
    • Lower stress
    • Sleep enough hours
    • Make sure you are having enough fats (I had this problem, I thought fats make you fat and I was not having enough fats)
    • Be active and workout. This eliminates stress and helps to eliminate toxins. You need a workout that doesn’t create more stress. Workouts that become too competitive or too intensive are not recommended. Swimming, walking, Pilates, yoga, strength training, HIIT, hiking, outdoor bicycle, dance type workouts and others are very beneficial.
    • You may take supplements for adrenal support and thyroid support if you think you have hypothyroidism.

    Thyroid support with supplements is tricky. If you buy one, pay attention that is does not have any animal gland parts of hormones added, check the ingredient list. Avoid taking thyroid support for more than a few months. Most thyroid support pills have a lot of iodine, it is better to follow smaller doses than the recommended in the bottle to avoid too much iodine.

    If you have hyperthyroidism you have to follow a gluten, dairy and soy free diet. But hyperthyroidism requires more care and a visit to your natural practitioner is better.

    If you need advice creating your perfect menus for thyroid support you may want to take our upcoming program for hormonal balance. Sign up to be informed of its release.