Lara Briden (ND) is a naturopathic doctor and author of the bestselling books Period Repair Manual and Hormone Repair Manual. She has 25 years’ experience in women’s health and currently has consulting rooms in Christchurch, New Zealand, where she treats women with PCOS, PMS, endometriosis, perimenopause, and many other hormone- and period-related health problems.
In this session, Lara speaks about the best natural treatments for peri (and which ones are a waste of money).
In 2022, natural treatments can be very effective in treating the uncomfortable symptoms of perimenopause. Which is great, because most women (three out of four) are likely to experience some symptoms in this period of their lives.
"Perimenopause and ending of ovulatory menstrual cycles is an inevitable natural process. We go from 35 to 40 years of quite high estrogen and high progesterone, to almost no progesterone actually. [And] about 10% of the estrogen," Lara Briden explains.
"All of these systems have to recalibrate... You're going to come up the other side into your early 50s, doing everything a little differently in your body.
"There needs to be some support, or just ways to feel better during that temporary recalibration."
So, what can you do to get some relief? Here's what Lara had to say.
What supplements can help with symptoms of perimenopause?
Lara Briden (ND)'s top two supplements for dealing with peri are magnesium and taurine.
"So magnesium, the mineral, and taurine, the amino acid are very calming to the brain," she says.
"They stabilize the brain, they both help to simulate something called GABA, which is a calming neurotransmitter.
"We hear a lot about serotonin as one of the main neurotransmitters, but actually GABA is really important. And there's a big shift with the GABA system around the time of perimenopause.
"If you can support the calming neurotransmitters in the brain, then your stress response system will function better. Both magnesium and taurine do that for the brain.
"You don't need a prescription or anything like that. You don't need a naturopath... those are available over the counter."
What else can you do to relieve symptoms of perimenopause?
Lara Briden splits her natural treatment plan into three broad phases.
"Phase one is, get some outside time, move the body.
"Build muscle and move the body, that's hugely important for perimenopause.The brain loves you to move your body.
"We know now from the research that moving your body, building muscle has direct benefits on the brain, helps with this recalibration process.
"So, get outside, move your body, and take magnesium, plus and/or taurine.
In phase two, she recommends implementing progesterone.
"[In] phase two, potentially try progesterone on its own for a while.
And in phase three, if symptoms remain, it may be worth starting estrogen therapy too.
"And then phase three is depending on where you're at in perimenopause and how close to your final period then you, yes, very well may need some estrogen therapy on top of that.
"So it's a building process basically."
- Hormone Repair Manual by Lara Briden
- The Centre for Menstural Cycle and Ovulation Research
- Blog Post: Rescue Prescription for Menopause and Perimenopause by Lara Briden
Information discussed in The Very Peri Summit is for education purposes only and is not intended to provide professional medical advice. Readers should seek their own medical advice, specific to their circumstances, from their treating doctor or health care professional.
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