Is it Perimenopause? with Dr. Jolene Brighten

Dr. Jolene Brighten is a hormone expert, nutrition scientist, and a thought leader in women’s medicine. She is board certified naturopathic endocrinologist and is trained in clinical sexology. She is the author of the book “Is This Normal” and I think that title is SO important to ask, and I know so many women are too shy to ask. So I was dying to learn more from her and was so excited to have her on the show. I really love how she shares her knowledge without placing any judgement on people’s decisions. I think you’ll love this episode!

What is the Difference Between Perimenopause and Menopause?

A lot of clinicians use the terms interchangeably, which is kind of crazy because these are licensed medical practitioners 🙀 but there IS a distinction. Perimenopause comes BEFORE menopause. It is acceptable to begin perimenopause about 10 years before menopause, and menopause is acceptable to show up at about 45. Menopause is diagnosed when you have 12 consecutive months of no period and you’re 45 years or older. If you’re under 45, that is NOT menopause, and it needs more investigation. If you’re getting ANY period in the year, you are perimenopausal.

With perimenopause, we can have symptoms that show up NOT in your period:

  • Brain fog
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Hot flashes and night sweats
  • Itchy ears and itchy skin
  • More wrinkles
  • Droopy breasts
  • Migraines

You can have symptoms of perimenopause years before menopause. The LATE stage of perimenopause is where we start to see the period issues due to the problems of ovulation that stem from a lack of the hormones needed like progesterone.

What About Hormone Replacement Therapies?

🚨 Did you know that over 60% of the dementia population are those who were born with ovaries?! SO many doctors are against hormone therapies, but if you’re having cognitive symptoms that could ultimately lead to dementia, and they are treatable by using hormone replacement therapy to save some brains — why wouldn’t you want to? Depending on your genetic makeup and your systems presenting, there are several starting points for bioidenticals in perimenopause.

What About Gut Health and Hormones?

Women are at much higher risk for autoimmunity than our male counterparts, and our gut health is one way we can safe guard against it. In addition to gut health helping our hormones efficiently, studies show microbial diversity is associated with lower levels of belly fat. In addition to our gut health, we need to be eating at least 25g of diversified fibers per day.

All of this and SO much more on this episode!

This episode is sponsored by Julva. Get your free trial of Julva (with just a small shipping fee) HERE — you definitely want this! I use it. I love it, and I won’t go without it. 

About Dr. Joelene Brighten

Dr. Jolene Brighten is a board certified naturopathic endocrinologist, clinical sexologist, and prominent leader in women’s medicine. A fierce patient advocate and completely dedicated to uncovering the root cause of hormonal imbalances, Dr. Brighten empowers women worldwide to take control of their health and their hormones. She is an international speaker, clinical educator, medical advisor within the tech community, and considered a leading authority on women’s health. Dr. Brighten is also part of the MindBodyGreen Collective and a faculty member for the American Academy of Anti Aging Medicine. Her work has been featured in the New York PostForbesCosmopolitanHuffington PostBustleThe Guardian, and ABC News.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • What signs & symptoms you should look for if you believe you’re perimenopausal
  • How to help with symptoms of menopause naturally
  • What to do after Dr. Google
  • Why it’s ok to ask even more questions to better your wellness in midlife