Yes, this is the name of our Perimeno..WHAT?! collaboration of women’s health experts (link About — PeriMeno…WHAT? (perimenowhat.com). The reason we used this name is because this is the first thing many women say when first hearing about perimenopause…… I know it was certainly my reaction when I first learnt about it!

Menopause or Peri – what is the difference?

Perimenopause is the period of our lives, which starts at around 35 (although symptoms don’t usually show up until our early 40’s), leading up to menopause and is usually where the shit hits the fan! It is the inner Autumn of our lives.

However, this season of our lives is often referred to as menopause, which is not quite correct. Menopause is one day – yes one day – of our lives. Medically, it is the one day exactly 12 months from your last period and in my humble opinion is something to celebrate, but I won’t digress down that rabbit hole! The average age for this is 50 years old.

Anything after this day are your post-menopausal years.

So, what the hell is going on?!

To put it simply this is a hormone imbalance – a very natural and normal one – but an imbalance none the less. We need to move away from the notion that our reproductive hormones only play a role with our menstrual cycle – they play MANY roles in the body, supporting cardio vascular health, preventing dementia, muscle strength, bone density, skin elasticity, digestion and mood regulation to name a few. Therefore, you can see why their reduction creates symptoms.

Quite frankly our progesterone can feel like it has dropped off a cliff and oestrogen kind of has its own party until eventually also following progesterone’s vanishing act! It is basically where we shift from our reproductive years to non-reproductive years – think of it a bit like recalibration for the body.

When a cell in the body has a hormone receptor on it, it means that the cell relies on that hormones to do its job properly – when hormones decline the body has to adapt to meeting those needs from elsewhere… And when our hormones are out of balance in this way, our body communicates this to use through symptoms.


Symptoms of Perimeo

Every woman’s experience of this will differ, with some women feeling debilitated by it whilst other women simply sail through. Following my recent training with the International Menopause Society, the most up to date research shows us that mood imbalance and cognitive function are the first signs of perimeno –  hello anxiety, low mood or sleep disruption! SSRI’s may not be the solution here, hormones balance could be….now isn’t that something exciting to consider!

There are also some unexpected symptoms, such a tingling sensations and heart palpitations. However more commons symptoms include:

  • Blood sugar imbalances (weight gain on tummy? Yup, this is what is likely causing it)
  • Low energy
  • Loss of libido
  • Hot flushes and night sweats
  • Mood swings
  • Loss of confidence
  • Night sweats
  • Increased vaginal infections e.g. thrush, BV
  • Itchy skin

Will you simply be a victim to this?!

Interestingly, research shows that women around the world have very different experiences of this, with some cultures not experiencing anything. So why is this? Quite simply, lifestyle.

Back in the day, as we aged, our role within tribes or communities would have changed. We would not have been responsible for “doing” so many things. Instead we would have stepped into slower, gentler roles. Sadly, we now operate at very high levels of stress with relentless demands up on us and this is wreaking havoc with our hormones. Plus our diets tend to be pretty rubbish….yes, I am including the health fads like raw food, keto and intermittent fasting here too!

We know that women in the UK and USA have significantly worse symptoms of perimeno than other countries and this is due to the way we live. This is actually good news, because it means that we can take an empowered approached to dealing with our symptoms, making active choices about we want to manage this season of our lives.

What can you do?

There is SOOOOOO much that you can do, which is wonderful. Firstly, let me assure that no blood test can tell you that if you are perimenopausal, so that is basically a waste of your time. There are functional medicine tests that I offer to provide a more accurate measurements of this but they do have a cost attached and are not always necessary. If you work with a good practitioner, they should be able to assess where you are without lots of testing. 

Wherever you are on your cyclical journey, you can:

  • Balance your blood sugars
  • Nourish yourself with the proper diet to support your hormones
  • Adapt exercise to support your changing body
  • Reduce or quit alcohol (no one ever wants to hear this but it is a big win!!)
  • Supplement properly
  • Optimise your circadian rhythm
  • Explore body identical HRT to see if it is right for you
  • Book a discovery call with me 😉 (the link is here if you wish to https://harmoniseyou.co.uk/contact/)

Much Love

Adele x