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Cortisol and Perimenopause

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Cortisols role in perimenopause

Cortisol levels can be especially erratic during menopause and peri-menopause. Here are some tips for keeping them on track.

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.

This article originally appeared as part of “The Cortisol Curve” in the March 2016 issue of Experience Life. For more from the article see, “The Cortisol Curve“, or “Caffeine and Cortisol“. 

is a writer and editor living in rural Minnesota. She is a frequent contributor to Experience Life.

Illustration by Heidi Schmidt

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