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  • Writer's pictureNicola Frum

What is perimenopause and am I going through it?

Perimenopause has really moved into the spotlight in recent years and rightly so. The world is waking up to the fact that women do not suddenly switch into menopause overnight. There is a natural transition period, for some a very lengthy one, and this is known as perimenopause. Menopause itself occurs when twelve months have passed since your last period.

If you are in your forties, or thirties for some, and you have noticed some aspect of your health or your mental wellbeing change, it is worth bearing perimenopause in mind. Did you ever think “I used to sleep well, but now it takes me hours to fall asleep” or “I’m always irritable these days”? Perhaps you’ve noticed that your memory is not what it used to be, that you always have some ache or other, or that you’ve been feeling down for a while.

We often get used to our ailments and put up with them as part of our ‘normal’ self. Or we compartmentalise symptoms and seek treatment for one thing at a time. You try different things to help you sleep, improve your mood on so on.

As a homeopath and women’s health specialist my job is to connect the dots and look at the bigger picture, in order to find the underlying cause of a number of seemingly unconnected complaints. Only then can I help to address the real issue and, for many women in or around their forties, this is the change in their body’s hormone production.

Whilst there are now more than 30 officially recognised symptoms of menopause and perimenopause, many of these can still easily be missed. The more obvious signs such as hot flushes, night sweats or irregular periods will probably make you think of menopause. But if you have itchy skin, headaches, depression or weight gain, for example, you and your doctor might be exploring other avenues, especially if you are under 40. If you don’t get any answers from medical tests, then ask whether your FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) level has been checked. If it is high then you will have your answer.

There is a lot of focus on declining oestrogen levels at menopause, but it is important to note that other hormones change too, including progesterone and testosterone. All of these hormones have an impact on your health and wellbeing. By addressing your perimenopause symptoms holistically now, you could really make a difference to your level of wellbeing when it comes to menopause and post-menopause. Using natural remedies, I tailor the treatment to each individual’s needs.

You can follow me on Facebook to see more posts like this or find out more about my approach to perimenopause and menopause on my website.

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