There is one statistic that really stands out when talking about menopause. And that is, that 100% of women who live beyond middle age will achieve menopause. It is a stage of life that impacts on all women. Indeed, with average life expectancy in developed countries now exceeding 80, many women will live around a third of their lives in menopause and some can experience problematic symptoms for many years.
An article from the British Medical Journal in June 2022 states that more than 75% of those experiencing the menopause report symptoms, and that over 25% describe their symptoms as severe. The time preceding the menopause is called perimenopause and the average duration of symptoms is seven years, with a third of women have symptoms for longer. Symptoms can start for some women as early as in their 30’s. Symptoms can include vasomotor symptoms (hot flashes and sweats), musculoskeletal symptoms (joint and muscle pain), low mood and energy, urogenital symptoms (for example, vaginal dryness) and many more. The menopause can also have a detrimental effect on bone and cardiovascular health.
The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends an individualised and all encompassing approach that includes advice on diet, exercise, optimising weight, stopping smoking, and reducing alcohol consumption, as well as information on the use of HRT.
Smart Eating for Perimenopause
Here at the IINH, we have developed a comprehensive online course – Smart Eating for Perimenopause: a Nutrition & Lifestyle Guide – outlining exactly what happens to a woman’s body during perimenopause, why these symptoms occur and what steps you can take to help support yourself through this stage of life.
Looking at HRT in perspective: https://www.bmj.com/content/377/bmj.o1425
Menopausal Symptoms and Their Management: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4890704/)