Perimenopause is the years leading up to menopause. Symptoms can start up to 10 years before your last period, this means some women can be in their 30’s when they first start to notice symptoms.
There is no test for perimenopause. If you are over 45 you can be diagnosed on symptoms alone. If you are between 40 and 45 a blood test may be used to check a variety of hormone levels. If you are younger than 40 a blood test is recommended.
The difficulty is that a blood test is merely a snapshot in time. Your hormone levels can fluctuate day by day let alone week to week. You may notice this yourself, with changes in your mood for example. A blood test can however rule out other conditions which can have similar symptoms.
There are a wide range of symptoms which can also vary over time. These can include but are not limited to, anxiety, palpitations, vaginal dryness, hot flushes, weight gain, thinning hair, sleep disturbance, changes in your periods and increased PMS.
What you can do
- I recommend you start by tracking and keeping a record of your symptoms. You can use an app on your phone but I find this symptom checker works really well and gives you something concrete to take to your GP.
- Arm yourself with knowledge from a trusted professional. There’s lots of great websites you can use including menopausesupport.co.uk and menopausedoctor.co.uk
- Take a look at your diet and lifestyle – How much alcohol do you consume? Do you rely on takeaway and processed food? Do you need to drink more water?
- Do you need to include more exercise or slow down a little?
If you are experiencing perimenopause, making these changes to your lifestyle can have a significant impact on your symptoms and long-term health outcomes.
You don’t need to suffer in silence. If you need support to make changes to your diet and lifestyle, I can help you with that! I have successfully helped my clients bring an and to their sleep issues, reduce their anxiety and brain fog and even lose a bit of that annoying ‘menopause belly’. There is lots of support out there, just ask. 🧡