There is less taboo around menopause and its precursor perimenopause, but they are still topics that are little spoken about.
The perimenopause can be one of the trickiest times for women to understand. One minute you’re young, full of energy to do all the things you want to do in your life and whilst there may be challenges and you might be time poor, life, if you look back on it, seemed pretty good.
Then all of a sudden, age catches up with you and you don’t feel like quite the same person that you used to. You start to get tired more easily, some days you are already exhausted, and you’ve only just got out of bed. The weight that you used to be able to lose easily, now just stays stubbornly in place, however many of your old weight-loss tricks you deploy. Your brain feels foggy, like you’re wading through treacle, but it couldn’t possibly be anything to do with the menopause, I mean, you are much too young!
You are considered to be menopausal when you haven’t had a single period for at least a year. However, the run up to this point, called the perimenopause, can last for years, even up to a decade! The perimenopause is a transition period which women typically experience in their 40s, although like with everything there are always exceptions to the rule with some experiencing it in their 30s and others not until their early 50s.
In the perimenopause, levels of oestrogen, one of the key female sex hormones starts to become slightly more erratic. You may find that your cycle becomes longer or shorter, your flow may change, becoming heavier or lighter, you may suffer from stronger premenstrual symptoms than you ever have before. You may also skip some periods to the extent where you think – aha, that’s me done then – only for them to come back with a vengeance.
Symptoms usually linked to the menopause can also appear during perimenopause. These include:
Fibroids are more common during perimenopause. Symptoms of fibroids are spotting between your periods, blood clots during your period and periods that are significantly shorter or longer. If you are experiencing any of these, please do consult your medical practitioner.
Thyroid dysfunction. If you are struggling with your energy levels, then it is always worth going to the doctor and getting your levels checked. Thyroid symptoms can mimic menopausal symptoms and the ovaries, uterus, adrenal glands and brain all need good levels of thyroid hormones to function correctly.
Having stable blood sugar levels is a key part of managing menopausal and perimenopausal symptoms. Here are my top tips:
Sometimes we all need a little sugar reset. The more sugar you eat, the more it takes the next time to have the same effect. I’ve published my popular and absolutely free mini-programme, A Week to Reduce Your Sugar Cravings on my website so that it can be accessed at any time.
Phyto- oestrogens – What Are They and Why do you Need Them?
When it comes to diet, food is so much more than macronutrients like protein, carbohydrate and fat. We all know that vitamins and minerals are an important part of the foods we eat, but what do you know about phytoestrogens?
These are naturally occurring plant-based chemicals, which are structurally similar to oestrogen and which exert a weak oestrogenic effect. They are particularly helpful for women as they are adaptogens. This means that they can either replicate or counteract the effects of oestrogen and they are particularly useful if you are going through the perimenopause, have endometriosis, fibroids or premenstrual syndrome.
So how can phytoestrogens help?
There are three types of phytoestrogens: isoflavones, lignans and coumestans.
This month's free 30-minute online conference is on the theme of the Menopause and Perimenopause or pre-menopause.
Sign-up via this link https://p.bttr.to/3uvjtM5 to get some useful tips on which foods to include or avoid during this natural life chapter.
There will also be an opportunity to ask questions at the end.