Jill Davey, author of The Menopause Cure: Hormonal Health, has produced this guide for Unfading Beauty to help identify 5 key factors women in their 40s should be aware of as they approach the perimenopause.
It is important that every woman in their 40s is aware of the perimenopause and the changes it will bring. Even if you feel you are way too young to be thinking about the dreaded M word, why wait until things go wrong?
If you understand the vital role hormones have in your health, emotions and overall wellbeing you will be much better prepared to deal with the perimenopause, menopause and ageing process in general.
So in the spirit of forewarned is forearmed, here are 5 things I wish someone had told me when I hit 40!
- Its starts at 40 not 50
Sorry, you probably didn’t want to read that. However, I cannot over emphasise enough how important it is to listen to your body in your 40s when changes in your hormone levels begin to occur.
You probably know that menopause is when you have not had a period for 12 months. But… you may not know that the six to thirteen years leading up to the menopause are when some of the most difficult symptoms kick in. I’m talking; hot flushes, insomnia, bone loss, mood swings, brain fog, irregular periods, diminished sex drive and unexplained weight gain. This is called the perimenopause. It usually starts in your 40s, but can start as early as your 30s.
Although most women experience the menopause at around the age of 51, it’s very likely you will have suffered some perimenopause symptoms from your 40s onwards.
- It’s your hormones
Menopause symptoms are your body’s way of signalling that something is wrong, that you have a hormonal imbalance. Hormones regulate every bodily function, from your heartbeat to weight gain. Without them we would die!
In menopause, oestrogen(s) and progesterone levels decline drastically. These female hormones, that are so famous for fertility in our younger days, should not to be ‘left out in the cold’ once we reach menopause, as they are key hormones and play a vital role in bone health; protecting against osteoporosis, skin; keeping it healthy and glowing, brain function; protecting against dementia, heart health; protecting against heart attack, vaginal and urethral tissues; keeping our sex drive going.
When there is an imbalance of even just one hormone, it will adversely affect the others and may result in any of several menopausal symptoms.
- Test your thyroid (I couldn’t agree more with this point!)
After your fortieth birthday, it is important to recognise the symptoms of low thyroid (hypothyroidism). Low thyroid complaints include; joint pain, allergies, carpal tunnel syndrome, high insulin, unexplained weight gain, fibrocystic breast tissue, hair loss, loss of libido, dry skin and headaches to name just a few.
In perimenopause, declining oestrogens and progesterone can leave a woman with a ‘go-slow’ (underactive) thyroid. About 25 per cent of perimenopausal women have some kind of thyroid problem. In the majority of cases it is due to subclinical hypothyroidism which may progress into overt hypothyroidism. Both subclinical and overt hypothyroidism should be treated.
- There is an alternative to conventional HRT
There is not a one-size-fits-all woman. Therefore, there cannot be a one-size-fits-all pill. We are all different, we all metabolize hormones differently, and our hormonal decline varies from woman to woman. We therefore need an individualized treatment. HRT is a one-size-fits-all treatment. Bioidentical hormone restorative therapy (BHRT) is tailored to the patient’s requirements. We are all different – would you go out and buy a size 14 dress just because your friend did, when you’re actually a size 12?
- Don’t dread the ‘M’ word
Contrary to the conventional menopause stereotypes that we often see in the media, you can have a happy, healthy, strong and sexually vibrant life, into your forties, fifties and beyond. The key is to get the right information early on.
Click here to read the synopsis of Jill’s book, The Menopause Cure: Hormonal Health.
About the author
Over the past 27 years, Jill D. Davey has lived and worked in Italy. When Jill realised she was in the throes of menopause she set about passionately researching restorative medicine and bioidentical hormone therapy in order to maintain her energetic, vibrant lifestyle. Jill collaborated Dr Sergey Dzugan to produce The Menopause Cure: Hormonal Health.
The Menopause Cure: Hormonal Health
I’m currently reviewing Jill’s book and, like Jill, I suffer from hypothyroidism – an underactive thyroid, which was diagnosed after my second child was born.
I went straight to chapter 5 to learn more about how this important gland works and its impact on menopausal health.
As a direct result, at my next review, I’m going to ask that my entire thyroid panel be measured, not just T4. The better informed you are, the more choices (and remedies) you have at your disposal.
The book is available in good book stores and online.