As a society we’re finally bringing some of our issues out into the open, instead of sweeping them under the carpet.
Understanding the impact perimenopause and menopause has on you, your body and your mind
Menopause is starting to be talked about a little more openly, yet many of us still know almost nothing about perimenopause and menopause until the symptoms hit us. Symptoms that derail our busy lives.
It's not your fault
I say all of the above to remind you that it’s not your fault if you had no idea what to expect from menopause and perimenopause.
There’s been a culture of silence, a lack of medical research and a somewhat misguided fear of HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) that means women have been left to handle their symptoms largely on their own. But things are changing! The fact that you’re here, reading this page is a good sign! It means you have an inkling that the symptoms you’re dealing with are at least partly caused by the stage of life you’re at.
And it means you want to take action to do something about them. First of all, let’s take a look at the different phases of menopause and some of the symptoms you might be experiencing, and then we’ll talk about how to approach improving those symptoms.
The different phases of menopause
the months or years leading up to menopause, when your hormones start to fluctuate, but your periods haven’t stopped.
one year after your last period. The average age for menopause in the UK is 51
the rest of your life after menopause. You may still experience symptoms for a few years after menopause.
When does all this happen?
As always, there are huge variations, but perimenopause usually starts in your 40s, and the average age for menopause in the UK is 51. But plenty of women go through early perimenopause or menopause, whether naturally (Premature Ovarian Insufficiency), or due to a hysterectomy or other medical or surgical treatment.
Which symptoms are you experiencing?
Often your first perimenopause symptoms will include anxiety, irritability, breast pain, palpitations, night sweats, migraines and extremely heavy periods. You might experience some or all of those symptoms, and they may come and go. These symptoms start due to decreasing progesterone, which can lead to oestrogen dominance.
There’s a vast list of possible symptoms, and the ones you experience are linked to things like genetics, whether you smoke, your general health, your diet, how your periods are normally and any other conditions you have.
Hot flushes or night sweats . Insomnia . Weight gain . Headaches . Palpitations . Joint pain and stiffness, especially in the morning . Brain fog and difficulties with decision-making . Sexual dysfunction . Urinary problems
Other common symptoms - some of which I’ve mentioned above - include changes to periods, tiredness, irritability, poor concentration, poor memory, mood swings, panic attacks, lack of confidence, low mood, difficulty coping at work and/or at home, and formication (itchy skin). It’s a lot to deal with, and you may even be experiencing other symptoms that aren’t on this list. Not only that but symptoms generally start a few years before you reach menopause, and can continue for several years afterwards.
That’s not a lot of fun for you or the people around you (to put it mildly!) and we know that some women really struggle to keep their careers, relationships and lives on course during this time. It’s often the combination of psychological and physical symptoms that make a woman feel unable to cope. So it makes sense to do everything you can to reduce the impact of your symptoms.
There are things you can do to improve your symptoms
and Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) isn’t the only answer. There are lifestyle changes that can make a huge difference too.
As well as the symptoms you’re facing right now, after menopause, women can have an increased susceptibility to the life-threatening conditions of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and Alzheimer's disease.
But by looking at your health now, and making some changes, you can help to reduce the risk factors for those conditions and may mean you can increase your “healthspan” as well as your lifespan. Your “healthspan” refers to the healthy years of your life, where you’re well enough and active enough to truly enjoy your time on this planet. One of my goals is to help people like you spend as many years as possible in great health. By working on your health now, you’ll set yourself up for a longer “healthspan” as well as a longer “lifespan”.
Your free book!
Learn more about improving your health and reducing your perimenopausal or menopausal symptoms
book a free 30 minute nutritional assessment
Where you can ask me anything over Zoom. I’ll happily share my knowledge and let you know some initial steps you could take to start feeling better.
I only offer a handful of these complimentary sessions each month, so if you’re ready to start putting yourself and your health first, book your session today.