Is perimenopause starting to impact your work-life?
Posted on 12th October 2023 at 15:03
Have you entered your 40’s, climbing up or at the top of the ladder and all of a sudden, you’re starting to notice things are feeling increasingly harder? You justify it in your head that it’s your age, being a mum, juggling too much, but it could also be perimenopause! And, if it is, you are not alone. Over 70% of women experience symptoms associated with peri-menopausal hormones.
Our hormones control how we look, feel, think- they make us, us! When they are in balance we can be the best version of ourselves in all walks of our lives. But, when they are out of balance, they can have a really negative impact on our health and well-being.
Unbalanced hormones in perimenopause can look like:
• Weight gain - its gradually creeping up and showing no signs of leaving!
o Why? - Raised cortisol (our survival hormone) can raise insulin (our fat storing hormone) and both of these can impact thyroid (our metabolism hormone). All of this can result in more fat being stored and a slower metabolism that can’t shift it.
• Feeling tired all the time - this is so common that doctors have given its own acronym- TATT. This can significantly impact our ability to keep up with our workload. It can also impact our mood- which can be negative for us and our colleagues.
o Why? - Tiredness can be caused by a multitude of issues, including lack of sleep, poor diet, stress, dehydration, hormone imbalances. High cortisol can leave us wired and tired leading, eventually, to low cortisol. Lack of sleep from imbalanced cortisol and/or hot flushes can also impact our energy.
• Finding it harder to concentrate - meaning tasks take us longer to complete. Questioning if there’s a problem with our memory because we can’t seem to retain information.
o Why?- Brain fog and memory loss are common symptoms of high cortisol, low thyroid and fluctuating oestrogen levels.
• Can’t cope as well as we used to - anxiety is rising and everything just seems more of a big deal.
o Why? - This is often due to an imbalance in our neurotransmitter hormones as well as cortisol, thyroid and oestrogen.
• Worsening physical symptoms - such as PMS with mood swings, bloating and painful, heavier periods or ones that become completely unpredictable and catch us out. Maybe we get hot flushes that appear out of nowhere and at the most inappropriate time.
o Why? - PMS can be caused by high oestrogen (3 times higher in peri than puberty!), lower progesterone, cortisol and thyroid imbalances. Hot flushes can occur when oestrogen is fluctuating and cortisol is high.
For many women, symptoms related to menopause can be so bad that:
• 47% said they needed to take a day off work due to menopausal symptoms.
• 33% felt less outgoing in social situations.
• 10% stopped work due to difficulties around menopausal symptoms (Newson, 2022).
But when we consider that the average woman will spend a third of her life being post-menopausal, it’s good to know that there is a lot of support out there and, if we start supporting our body during the peri years, or just before, we can experience a much smoother menopausal transition.
If we go down the medical route, it’s HRT and anti-depressants that are often offered, but these are not for everyone and they don’t always get to the root cause.
As an alternative (or in conjunction with) I have worked with hundreds of women, to balance and support them naturally using diet, lifestyle and targeted supplements, with great outcomes.
5 tips to start balancing your hormones today:
1. Limit the sugar - fluctuations in blood sugars can play havoc and be underneath so many menopausal symptoms.
2. Increase green leafy veg intake – this can help the liver eliminate excess hormones.
3. Increase your protein intake - protein is the building block to all our cells. It helps us stay satiated and is vital for hormone production.
4. Train smarter – choose resistance training, walking, yoga and Pilates as your go to. Weight training has been associated with increased testosterone, which helps to burn fat and support libido.
5. Try to relax more - schedule regular ‘me time’- such as deep breathing, relaxing baths, meditation.
Since joining Busy Women Networking Milton Keynes in April 2022, I have been very lucky to have met so many incredible business women. I’ve networked before, but none have been like BWN. I love that you get exclusivity for your business within your group and how there are annual events that bring all the women in the network together, to open up further opportunities. I have had the privilege of working with many of the ladies from my group. I have also been referred by many of them and I collaborate with some to run our newly launched, Wellbeing for Women in the Workplace corporate events.
I am Lucy Childerley, an award winning, certified personal trainer, nutritionist and hormone specialist. As well as our corporate service, I work, predominantly with female clients of all ages, on a one on a one to basis, offering bespoke nutritional packages. I am also a Tropic ambassador, because I believe what we put on our body is as important as what we put in it.
If you would like help to get back on track and feel like yourself again or would like information on how to support the women in your place, I’d love to help. You can get in touch here:
Tagged as: Perimenopause
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