Even the most durable, regulated cortisol curve can go a little haywire during perimenopause and menopause, mainly because the adrenal glands take over estrogen production. The secret to getting them back in order? Anti-stress measures.
“When women experience hormonal shifts, they are at a greater risk of higher stress levels,” says Sara Gottfried, MD, author of The Hormone Cure. “Women need to be especially careful around these shifts and implement lifestyle changes to manage their cortisol levels.”
She recommends a combination of a whole-foods diet, meditation, deep breathing, and switching to green tea instead of coffee, if possible.
Also, choose exercise that’s appropriate. Gottfried noticed when she went for a run during her lower-cortisol time in the late afternoon, rather than doing a group cycling class at night, it helped her achieve sustained energy into the evening without spiking her cortisol so high that she had trouble with sleep or morning fatigue.