You’re in your 30s or 40s and possibly thinking that menopause is something you’ll think about in your 50s. We’ve all got enough going on, right?
Chances are you’re already experiencing some changes that you may not associate with this normal, yet transformational, hormonal shift. Peri-menopause can start up to 10 years before your periods stop, and the symptoms are not all hot flushes and a troublesome monthly cycle.
The two primary female hormones, oestrogen and progesterone, fluctuate and decline as you head into your menopausal years. Women have hormone receptors all over their bodies so the impact of this can be significant. There are an average of 34 symptoms experienced by women in peri-menopause and over 25% of women experience severe symptoms. There is a symptom for almost every system and area of a woman’s body!
Most women put subtle changes in their physical and mental health down to stress. Leading a busy life, managing a career, supporting parents and family, navigating relationships, running a home….the list goes on. Feeling more anxious than normal, your hair losing its va-va-voom, skin changes, headaches, sweating more, or getting injured when you exercise. All these are signs of hormonal changes.
The reality is that being as informed as possible about menopause and adopating a healthy lifestyle as early as you can, will support you during your peri-menopause and beyond.
It’s not ok for women to be labelled as ‘stressed’ or ‘depressed’ when it’s their hormonal health that needs attention.
My three tips for you today are:
- Prepare early – find out about menopause so you know what to expect and recognise the symptoms
- Use an app or diary to track your monthly cycle and other symptoms so you can see patterns and changes
- Don’t be fobbed off or ignored; you know your body best. If you feel you’re experiencing peri-menopausal symptoms, speak to your healthcare practitioner, your partner, your Mum and your friends to get support and not feel alone.