Do you need a perimenopause survival plan?
The latest Davina McCall documentary on the menopause yet again highlighted the wide range of symptoms that we can experience when going through the perimenopause/menopause transition.
A survey conducted for the documentary found that 77% of women reported at least one menopause symptom they found very difficult and 44% experienced three or more symptoms.
When we think of menopausal symptoms, hot flushes and night sweats often spring to mind, but the range of symptoms experienced is vast. The programme mentioned difficulty sleeping, brain fog, anxiety, depression, vaginal dryness and joint pain. But it can also include the same symptoms you went through during puberty such as spot flare ups and mood swings as well as your gut and skin becoming more sensitive. But these are all symptoms that respond well to a nutritional approach.
For anyone in their forties, it’s important to be aware that if you suddenly find yourself feeling more anxious, forgetful or low in mood then it could be your hormones at play. If you still have regular periods, it can be easy to put the symptoms down to stress or a busy life and give ourselves a hard time for something that is actually a sign that our hormones our starting to fluctuate.
Even I got caught out by this. About 18 months ago I started experiencing some hormonal symptoms again. I couldn’t work out what was going on as I managed my diet quite carefully and took supplements to keep my endometriosis in check. Then I started feeling anxious on long distance drives which I just put down to not having driven far for 18 months in lockdown. Then eventually the penny dropped that this was the start of my perimenopause journey and my hormones were starting to fluctuate.
Suddenly my diet, supplement and lifestyle plan that had worked so well for my endometriosis symptoms wasn’t hitting the mark anymore. So I had to make some changes. It’s a work in progress and I keep tweaking the plan if my symptoms change but things are feeling more in control again and I know that there are other things I can try if anything changes.
So what are the ingredients to my perimenopause plan:
Including plenty of foods that help with hormone balance and give you the nutrients that are in demand during the perimenopause years.
However good your diet, sometimes we just need some extra support with the symptoms you are struggling most with and that’s where supplements really help. Given I’ve got endometriosis which can be driven by oestrogen and oestrogen levels can peak in the perimenopause, I’m putting a big focus on supplements to help break down my oestrogen safely so it doesn’t flare up my endometriosis – and touch wood so far my endometriosis has not given me any problems.
I’m really trying to increase my self-care routine to manage my stress levels which can make hormonal imbalances worse. I’m also being more diligent with my evening routine and trying to get to bed and get up at regular times to make sure I keep a good sleep pattern.
But we are all different and will experience different symptoms and so everyone needs a perimenopause survival plan that is tailored to them. If you are already experiencing symptoms, we can put something in place to help you manage them . Or if you are in your late 30s or early 40s and don’t have any symptoms, but just want to get prepared to put yourself in as good a place as possible for when the perimenopause does hit, then we can do some preventative work.
And for my fellow endo warriors, the perimenopause can sometimes have an impact on our endo symptoms, so we can work on this too.
The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this blog are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this blog. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this blog. Emma Belton Nutrition disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this blog.
Photo by cottonbro: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-in-white-button-up-shirt-holding-her-hair-4098344/