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The 7 Day Perimenopause Protocol: Dr. Shah’s Nutritional and Health Guide for Optimal Wellness

The 7 Day Perimenopause Protocol: Dr. Shah’s Nutritional and Health Guide for Optimal Wellness


I'm Dr. Amy Shah, and this is save yourself with Dr. Amy. No one is coming to save you. You have to get up and save yourself. This is the place where we present the science, the tips, the tricks. My personal clinical experience as a double board certified md and nutritionist on ways that we can learn to save ourselves. Hello there.
I am back, and I'm here for another episode with you. This is podcast episode number three. I'm so grateful to be here with you. And honestly, I was wanting to do a podcast for so long, but I think I kept thinking, oh, my gosh, it's too late. Everybody has a podcast now. It's going to be too hard to do this, but I think that I realized that some of this nutritional info and perimenopausal info and lifestyle information is not something that is available elsewhere and at least not in the way that I'm giving it. And so I thought it was important for me to be here for you. So want to thank you for being here.
Hope you're enjoying the show. Please give me feedback. I'd love to know what you think. I want to thank, truly to be kind of my first sponsors believing in me giving you guys 50% off their amazing wellness shot, which I take. You have to use the code, Dr. Shaw, 50, and you can get it for 50% off, which is an amazing deal. I'll put the link in there so you can get it, but it's got turmeric and ginger. You can mix it with other drinks, but we've drank it for fun at a party, literally just like as wellness shots before everybody kind of gets crazy at the bar.
And I love this product so long before I even partnered with them. So check it out. Today we're going to be talking about my seven day hormone reset. This is a gut hormone reset for women in perimenopause. What is perimenopause? This is the time between the ages of, on average, your late thirty s, forty s and fifty s, that you're often going to feel tired, you're feeling hormonal changes of increasing fat gain. You may have some brain fog, itching, ear ringing. There are a host of symptoms that you will get because hormones are pretty much involved in everything and anything. And so I wanted to kind of go through, if I were to do a reset with you, if you were my client, my wellness client, because I call them clients because it's not really a doctor patient relationship unless you're seeing them one on one in the medical office.
But if you were working with me as a wellness client, if I had to give you a seven day hormone reset for someone who may be in that stage of their life, here's what I would do. Okay, so let's get into it. Day one. Day one, I would assess how much magnesium you're getting in your diet and increase it to 550 milligrams. I think I've mentioned this study a few times before, but I'll say it again, 550 milligrams of magnesium in the diet was shown to be associated with less brain aging, better brain with magnesium. Magnesium is extremely essential in our bodies, for our hormones, for our muscles, for our brain. And we know that most people, 75% of people, are not really getting adequate magnesium in their diet. And in perimenopause, one of the best things you can do is increase the amount of magnesium that you're eating, not just for your brain, but also for your hormonal symptoms.

It will really, really help, I think, magnesium glycinate, the addition of magnesium in my diet, as well as magnesium glycenate as a supplement in the evenings has transformed my sleep and the way I feel with my hormones. And I think a lot of people can say the same. So that is the number one thing that you can do on day one, is go out, buy some magnesium glycinate if you have to, or just really increase your magnesium in your diet. So you're getting about 550 milligrams a day. Day two, get that sunlight. Vitamin D is almost ubiquitously low in women in perimenopause. This is one of the vitamins that we get from sunlight, we can get from our diet. But most people, especially, for whatever reason, in perimenopause are extremely low.

So day two is get your vitamin D levels checked. If you haven't, supplement with it and get some sunlight. So sunlight on top of the vitamin D benefits has a separate benefit. It resyncs, it retunes the circadian rhythms in your brain and body. We have a master clock in our brain, and we have clocks all over our body in every single organ. And so when we get sunlight or just natural light, it kind of resyncs. So tells the body, okay, it's morning, so it tells the brain, and the brain ends up telling all the peripheral clocks around the body what time it is. And it's really important to have alignment with what time of day it is with your circadian clock, because when you get misaligned circadian rhythms, that's when you get depression, that's when you get injuries.

That's when you get indigestion, because everything in your body works on circadian rhythms. And so you really want to get that natural sunlight. You want to supplement with the vitamin D. You really want to get your levels adequately high enough through sunlight and supplementations, not only for the vitamin D benefits, but also for circadian rhythm benefits. So that's day two, day three, you want to increase your fiber to at least 25 grams a day with a goal of 40 grams a day. Okay? So we know that our microbiome changes in perimenopause, and you have to roll with changes. Not only do 95% of people not getting enough fiber, but it's even more important when you're in perimenopause, because as your estrogen levels go down, this decreases the levels of bacteria in your gut. And so it's even more important than ever to get more fiber so you can keep that bacteria healthy and happy.

So gut bacteria love when you eat fiber, and so you want to increase your fiber. So whereas fiber, blueberries, raspberries, broccoli, any kind of vegetable or fruit. I mean, I'm just naming random ones, but any, literally, apples, cherries, leafy greens, celery, I mean, just name any real food. And that has almost every real food, and it has fiber in it. Foods that are ultra processed, like chips and crackers. And your fast food meals are very low in fiber, almost devoid of fiber. And so part of the reason they're so bad for you is that they actually don't feed the gut bacteria. And your gut bacteria are super hungry or they die off.

And now you have worse symptoms of menopause. You have more fat gain, you have worse mood and energy levels. You really want to keep that gut bacteria happy. One of the easiest ways is to boost your fiber level. And so that is what you want to do today. Day four, you want to increase your sleep and your sleep quality. How do you do that? A lot of you are going to say to me, that's funny. You say that because my sleep sucks.
So during perimenopause, a lot of women are affected. Their sleep is affected, whether it's hot flashes, whether it's nighttime awakenings. For a lot of us, it's these cortisol awakenings, like happening between two and 04:00 a.m. Your sleep is a little bit lighter, and then you get this cortisol bump in the middle of the night, and it wakes you up. So remember that you need to protect your sleep even more. So you're more sensitive to stress. And I'm not just saying like, you're more sensitive. I'm literally saying biologically, you're more sensitive to stress during these years and you want to protect your sleep as much as possible.
You're probably going to become sleep obsessed like I am. If you're someone who suffers with sleep issues during perimenopause, you're going to have to become sleep obsessed, at least what society would consider sleep obsessed. Blackout curtains, wearing an eye mask at night to get a good quality sleep. Not drinking caffeine afternoon, not having alcohol before bed, which really does disturb circadian rhythms and your ability to sleep through the night. You're having the same bedtime and wake time every night. And one of the biggest things that I tell women in perimenopause is you don't have to get a great, beautiful 8 hours of sleep every single night. It's just not possible for so many of us. You're talking about three nights a week of getting a great night's sleep, and you want to aim for that.
And you want to do all the sleep hygiene things to get there. A little bit of melatonin, magnesium, chamomile, ltheanine, Valerian root. All of these things can help you get into the right state of mind in the evening, doing sauna or a shower, a hot shower. You need to drop your temperature by one degree fahrenheit to be able to fall asleep. So all of these are ways to improve sleep. And so that's today's goal. Day five, decrease your stress load. Okay, let me tell you what this means.
Not just mental stress load, which means obviously we all have a lot of stress in our lives and we want to decrease that, but also the stress load that you're putting on your body. If you're staying up really late, skipping on sleep, having a ton of caffeine, going on these high intensity workouts, doing a really long fast, and then expecting that your body is going to respond to all of these stressors at once. You'll be surprised to know that your body does not like to be very stressed during perimenopause. This day is all about kind of looking at your life and trying to decrease the stress levels. So try to think, okay, should I do grocery delivery? Should I have a healthy food delivery system just to make my life easier? Where are the places I can release stress in my mind and release stress on my body? So maybe you don't do the super long fast, and maybe you don't do the crazy hit workouts and maybe you don't do the crazy amount of caffeine and maybe you don't skimp on the sleep. And maybe you don't do all of those things or at least take out a few of those things so that your body feels rejuvenated. Think about the exercises that you do. Think about the people you spend time with.
Think about the activities on a daily basis. You want to feel rejuvenated, not depleted on a regular basis. And what worked for you in your 20s is not going to work for you in perimenopause. You need to make that change and use this day to edit your life, both your physical stressors and your mental stressors and really start to clear out some of those areas that you could easily relieve the stress. Day six, this is a fun one. Start eating at least two probiotic foods every single day. A lot of us are eating zero probiotic foods every single day. And so this means that eating more sauerkraut, kimchi, having more raw apple cider vinegar and water, having miso.
There are so many different ways now. You can get probiotic foods. You can go to your local health food store and there's usually a refrigerated section with all the different probiotic foods. So pickles typically nowadays are in jars and they're not probiotic. But at health food stores, they often have fermented probiotic vegetables in the refrigerated section like a sauerkraut, kimchi and sometimes other vegetables that beets that you can get that are probiotic. You want to eat two servings a day. Remember that your gut microbiome changes and decreasing the level of bacteria in your gut. And that's why a lot of these changes start to happen.
Why you're not able to bounce back from a bad weekend of eating like you used to, why you feel lower in energy, why your cholesterol is going up, why your vitamin D is going down. Your gut health is changing and so you really want to support it. One of the best ways you can do that is by eating probiotic foods. So this day six is about getting at least two probiotic foods in your diet every single day. And last but not least, day seven. So all of these days we've been stacking the habits, meaning everything you did on day one, you have to rinse and repeat for day two and day three and day four and day five. So we're finally at day seven of your seven day hormone reset. Remember that you can't reset the entire body in just seven days.
This is rinse and repeat. Every day you start with these seven days, you start to feel the benefits, and then you rinse and repeat. And even though, yes, seven days seems too short of a time to see a difference, there is a landmark study in nature that shows that just three days of significantly changing your diet is enough to start to completely change your microbiome. So they took people that ate a very unhealthy diet, processed foods, processed meats, sugar, and they put them on a very healthy diet. Lots of fiber, plants and whole foods. And they saw that in just three days, there was a market change in the microbiome. And that means that your hormones start to change, because remember that hormone and gut are, like, completely intertwined. And so starting with day seven, you're already going to start feeling benefits.

But day seven is one of the most important days, actually. It is adding high protein, 30 grams of protein at least meal to your morning. So a high protein breakfast is day seven. You want to have eggs, tofu, black beans, protein powder if you're in a rush, yogurt, cottage cheese. These are all things that are high in protein that can really, really improve your health in so many ways. High protein breakfast is one of the most underrated ways to improve all of the things you're feeling in perimenopause, including your poor gut health, including weight gain, including muscle loss, including cravings and mood swings, et cetera. So that is day seven. All right, so we went through seven days.

I told you seven different things that you can really start doing fundamental things. You want to stack these habits one after the other and really see a big change in your life. I wish that I could tell everyone to do this. Almost everyone I work with, we go through these seven changes, and often it's nuanced. Everybody has a different life. And the way you're going to kind of get your sunlight, the way you're going to fix your sleep, sleep, for some people is not an issue at all. Like, that day is super easy. Getting seven to 9 hours of sleep is easy.

Other people, they really struggle with that one. The piece about getting magnesium seems to be a game changer for so many women. And for others, they don't see much of a difference. So I think that's why it's important to have these seven habits stacked one by one, so you can really see a transformational change in your life and your body. And I hope that you enjoyed this. From my nutrition background, from my medical background, and my personal background, being perimenopausal, I found these tips to be really helpful and actionable, and I hope you do, too. So thanks for listening and watching.