Blame the hor­mones

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY -

MA­RINA Lee, 48, no­tices her pe­ri­ods are not like be­fore. She feels hot and sweaty even with the air conditioner on full blast, her skin is dry and there are fine lines she has not no­ticed be­fore. She re­alises she is of­ten hot- tem­pered and moody nowa­days, too.

Ma­rina wants to make pos­i­tive changes but feels sapped of en­ergy. It was only when a close friend shared a sim­i­lar ex­pe­ri­ence that Lee re­alised she wasn’t alone in this emo­tional phase of wom­an­hood com­monly known as midlife.

Gen­er­ally, the phase of life be­tween the ages of 40 and 55 years, midlife in women is known sci­en­tif­i­cally as per­i­menopause, de­fined as the “time around menopause” when hor­mone lev­els un­dergo the great­est de­gree of change.

Per­i­menopause closely mir­rors the pu­berty phase, al­though it con­sti­tutes more of an exit from re­pro­duc­tive years. Many times, per­i­menopausal changes can be so dra­matic, it is no won­der it is la­belled a midlife cri­sis.

Hor­monal highs and lows

Per­i­menopause is when hor­monal im­bal­ances be­come most ob­vi­ous, as the fe­male hor­mone oe­stro­gen will start be­hav­ing er­rat­i­cally as oe­stro­gen af­fects over 400 dif­fer­ent func­tions in the body.

> Mem­ory and con­cen­tra­tion: Stud­ies show that women dur­ing midlife are 40% more likely to re­port for­get­ful­ness.

Belly and body fat: Dur­ing per­i­menopause, fat me­tab­o­lism slows down dra­mat­i­cally while a fat re- dis­tri­bu­tion ex­er­cise takes place, ac­cu­mu­lat­ing pref­er­en­tially in the belly. As such, many women no­tice a sig­nif­i­cant sag­ging bust­line. Over­all, body weight also in­creases while weight main­te­nance be­comes dif­fi­cult.

Skin dryness: Skin dryness and loss of skin firm­ness fea­ture promi­nently dur­ing per­i­menopause when oe­stro­gen lev­els swing. As the skin on the face and hands dries, this is a re­flec­tion of the vagi­nal area, too.

Feel­ing blue: Women are more vul­ner­a­ble to sad­ness and de­pres­sion dur­ing hor­monal change such as dur­ing midlife and post­na­tal. Per­i­menopausal women also re­port feel­ing anx­ious, an­gry and eas­ily ir­ri­tated with­out know­ing why.

Psy­cho­log­i­cal stress: Stress ad­versely af­fects hor­mone lev­els, re­sult­ing in neg­a­tive moods.

Al­ter­na­tive nat­u­ral ther­a­pies

Phy­tonu­tri­ents ( plant nu­tri­ents) such as genis­tein soy isoflavones have been found to help women nav­i­gate times of hor­monal im­bal­ances.

Genis­tein is an all- nat­u­ral, phy­toe­stro­gen– an­tiox­i­dant and meta­bolic- reg­u­lat­ing com­plex. One of its main ac­tions is to “mimic” the prop­er­ties of oe­stro­gen in a safe, selec­tive and gen­tle man­ner. Genis­tein works dif­fer­ently from hor­mone- type drugs and hor­mone re­place­ment ther­apy, which adds hor­mones to the body. In­stead, genis­tein fills in the gaps when oe­stro­gen lev­els are low, while com­pet­ing with oe­stro­gen in the body when lev­els are high, ef­fec­tively reg­u­lat­ing hor­monal ups and downs.

As a phy­toe­stro­gen, genis­tein also works dif­fer­ently from evening prim­rose oil ( EPO), which pos­sesses anti- in­flam­ma­tory prop­er­ties more suited for pre- men­strual syn­drome ( PMS).

Women with weight chal­lenges would also ben­e­fit from a non- oily sup­ple­ment such as genis­tein to pre­vent the weight gain as­so­ci­ated with in­creased in­takes of oils ( fat).

Stud­ies show that hor­monal im­bal­ances in­flu­ence the way our body metabolises fat. Genis­tein pos­sesses fat- reg­u­lat­ing ben­e­fits ow­ing to its abil­ity to pre­vent fat for­ma­tion, re­duce belly fat and in­hibit fat ac­cu­mu­la­tion in the body. As a selec­tive phy­toe­stro­gen that ben­e­fits ar­eas of the bone, bones and heart, genis­tein does not have any ad­verse ef­fects on breast or uter­ine tis­sues. When de­cid­ing on a genis­tein sup­ple­ment, be sure to se­lect one de­rived from 100% or­ganic soy and is non- ge­net­i­cally mod­i­fied ( non- GMO). An or­ganic source of genis­tein in­vari­ably of­fers peace of mind.

New woman

Lee came across the phy­tonu­tri­ent or­ganic genis­tein at the phar­macy af­ter look­ing up per­i­menopause on­line. Af­ter two months, she now has more en­ergy and feels more in con­trol of her life and her re­la­tion­ship with oth­ers.

This ar­ti­cle is brought to you by Nu­vanta’s Nu­vaceu­ti­cals divi­sion.

For de­tails, con­tact 03- 5636 3758.

Per­i­menopause oc­curs in women be­tween the ages of 40 and 55 as they tran­si­tion to­wards menopause.

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