Every woman’s experience of perimenopause varies. But what if you’re finding that it’s a complete nightmare? It could be that inflammageing is to blame – and that means we can do something about it.
What is inflammation?
To understand inflammageing, we need to understand inflammation first. So bear with me through the explanations!
When kept in balance, inflammation is a natural process that is part of your immune response. Inflammation is one way your immune system responds to tissue damage.
The classic signs of inflammation are swelling, redness, heat and pain. For example, when you cut your finger your skin near the cut will feel inflamed. White blood cells are sent to the site of injury to clean up and repair the damaged tissue. This helps with healing your cut and preventing infection.
Once the cut starts to heal, the inflammation typically subsides. This is what we call acute inflammation. This type of response is your friend – you couldn’t live without it. And most importantly, it switches on when it’s needed, then turns back off when it’s no longer helpful.
But then there is chronic inflammation. This occurs when the immune system is inundated with multiple assaults to the body through diet, environment and mental invaders. In the case of chronic inflammation, there is no off switch – it just keeps bubbling away.
This constant immune response can be damaging to your body and health and is a driver of many chronic health conditions. And unlike acute inflammation, the symptoms are less obvious – you’ll likely need a health practitioner to piece it together with you.
What is inflammageing?
Inflammageing is a type of chronic low-grade inflammation. It’s linked to the process of ageing, but what’s less clear is if it’s a result of ageing OR if it’s a driver of ageing (most holistic practitioners suspect the latter!)
When you have inflammageing going on in your body, your risk for dozens of health issues increases, including:
- Type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance
- Heart disease
- Some forms of cancer
- Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
But it can also be a driver behind many of the symptoms we associate with perimenopause – so let’s take a closer look at that relationship.
How inflammageing makes perimenopause even worse
Firstly, there are direct symptom overlaps between inflammation, inflammageing and perimenopause. We’re talking things like:
- Stubborn weight gain/inability to lose weight
- Brain fog and memory loss
- Changes in skin and hair health
- Feeling exhausted and lethargic
- Increased muscle and joint pains
So if you have inflammageing AND perimenopause going at the same time, you’ll have 2 causes of the same symptoms – making them much more noticeable.
But on top of that, inflammageing can also disrupt your hormone balance and exacerbate your perimenopausal experience. We’re talking:
- Interfering with the production of brain chemicals that regulate your sleep, mood and motivation
- Blocking the conversion of thyroid hormones
- Spiking cortisol levels to try and control inflammation (unfortunately that has the opposite effect!)
- Causing increased insulin resistance
- Potentially increasing or decreasing oestrogen levels (which makes your oestrogen highs and crashes much worse!)
And if you’ve been around here for any amount of time, you know that all of the above makes for a noxious cocktail of miserable symptoms!
Help, Sarah, what can I do about this problem?
Don’t panic, friend! This all might sound serious and scary (and it can be), but you have the power to take action and reduce your inflammation levels naturally. Stay tuned for the next blog where I’ll dive into actionable steps to reduce your inflammation.
TIRED OF BEING ON THE HORMONAL ROLLERCOASTER OF PERIMENOPAUSE?
While symptoms such as weight gain, hot flashes, mood swings and anxiety are common, they don’t have to be inevitable! We can take steps to balance your hormones naturally and put you back in the driver’s seat again.
If you are ready to feel calm, less stressed and able to put yourself first, book in for a free discovery call today. Together, we can explore how I can help you to support and nourish yourself – mind, body and spirit.