This phase of a woman's life is thankfully receiving more attention, because the shift in hormones that begins leading up to and after menopause (labelled retrospectively as 12 months free of any period) can have profound effects on health. Whilst the average age of menopause is 51, the peri-menopause can be up to 10 years before this, and is often missed medically as a source of symptoms.
Our 3 main sex hormones, oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone, due a merry dance throughout our monthly cycles, but rapidly decline in menopause along with some of their beneficial effects. Here are just some of the symptoms we can experience:
Hot flushes and night sweats
Loss of libido
Mood changes, irritability and rage
Brain fog and memory loss
Weight gain, especially around the middle
Urinary tract infections
Muscle and joint pain
Using functional medicine, we take a holistic approach to the whole body and mind, not just hormones, as there are many body systems which impact our hormonal resilience
Do you struggle with IBS, bloating, constipation, loose stools, reflux or heartburn? The gut is the gateway to systemic health by way of nutrient absorption and cross talk with our nerves, hormones and immunity. That ‘gut feeling’ is more than intuition, it lays the foundation for overall health.
Our thyroid hormones have a symbiotic relationship with our sex hormones. Fatigue, depression, constipation can all be signs of sluggish thyroid, and sadly not all the markers are routinely tested for with your GP.
do you catch all the bugs in winter, do you struggle with eczema, asthma, sinus problems, ear infections? Have you struggled with Covid or glandular fever, in the past? What about autoimmunity? Immune health is a heavy user of nutrients, and if there’s not enough to go around, our hormone balance can be compromised.
Crucially this organ uses 6 different pathways to ensure toxins and byproducts of our metabolism are excreted. If detoxification is not efficient this can impact the ratio of hormones. What toxic burden, internal or external is your liver having to deal with?
it’s hard to think of a mid-life women without stress in some shape or form, but it can make a big impact on menopause transition, and period health before this. Cortisol and adrenaline will be prioritised over sex hormones as the body is assuming danger, physically or mentally. What building blocks are left over for hormone production?
This is not an exhaustive list, but this holistic approach, using your symptoms and life history, we can guide you back to balance.
Can you recommend supplements?
We take a food first approach, but particularly to help reduce overwhelm, fatigue, mood and pain issues, supplements may be suitable to ease the path back to help. Herbs such as red clover, black cohosh, ginseng, sage, agnus castus, rhodiola, and nutrients chromium, zinc and B6 can play a role. Just like medicines, the dosing and timing is crucial to efficacy. We carefully assess what is safe with medications, and calculate the therapeutic dose. Too little could have no impact, and too much can be toxic, we can help you work out what is right for you as an individual.
Functional medicine testing
We always start with what is the root cause of biochemical imbalances which may not be solely hormonally driven, but testing such as the Dutch Hormone test, cortisol 24 hour test, blood hormone levels can be useful. We have a range of panels and providers too extensive to list our our website, and would not offer testing without a consultation, you could be wasting your money. If testing is something you’re interested in, then book in a chat
We will all experience menopause differently, but we also get that changing habits around food, exercise, sleep and stress management is hard. Our demands, preferences, goals and symptoms are different for every single one of us.
What if you had a plan written just for you, those first steps towards feeling content, happy, balanced, and refreshed?
We brainstorm a plan together, we don’t tell you what to do, but guide you on what will work for you, so it’s easy to stick to, building your confidence which has a ripple effect in other areas of your life. This is why we don’t offer one-off sessions, as unpicking all of this alongside our biochemistry is difficult in just 1 hour. But give us a couple of months, and you can feel more resilient, physically and mentally.