Exercise

How to take care of yourself in perimenopause – 5 things to do at home, to support your health

Emma Harpham in partnership with Randox Health  |   28 Apr 2024


Millions of women enter perimenopause each year. And, yet, so many of us report feeling ignored when bringing related health concerns to our doctors. 

As a result, certain perimenopause health issues – and their impact on our wider health – just don’t get the attention they deserve, both in our doctor’s offices, and online.

Thankfully, the conversations around living with perimenopause are starting to shift and expand, and improved access to reliable information, as well as emerging options for proactive health testing, have been a real game changer here.

How to take care of yourself in perimenopause

We’re back partnering with Randox Health, the UK and Ireland’s leading health test provider, to further open up the conversation. 

We asked Laura Mooney, Research & Development Scientist with Randox Health, a few questions about how perimenopause can impact our hormones, and health. 

Read on as she covers off;

  • How perimenopause and menopause impact your hormone health 
  • Health risks to watch out for in perimenopause
  • Tips for how to take care of yourself in perimenopause
  • The menopause health check to know 

Over to Laura.

How can perimenopause impact our hormone health?

Menopause is triggered by the natural decline in ovarian function that occurs with age. 

It typically occurs between the ages of 45 and 55 but can happen earlier, with some women starting to experience symptoms as early as their late 30s.

When it comes to perimenopause, our hormones can fluctuate greatly. This is because during this time, as ovarian function declines, oestrogen levels fall, which in turn, causes follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) levels to spike.

What about hormone health and menopause? 

A raised FSH level combined with an absence of menstrual periods for one year or more is typical of menopause. 

Post-menopause, oestrogen levels remain low and FSH remains high. This can be confirmed through a blood test via your GP.

perimenopause-health-issues

Are there any perimenopause health issues we might be at greater risk of?

As we’ve mentioned, during menopause oestrogen levels fall. This can increase the risk of conditions like heart disease, stroke and osteoporosis. 

Oestrogen has a protective effect on the heart. It helps to manage cholesterol levels and reduces the risk of cholesterol build-up in blood vessels. As oestrogen levels fall, this protective effect is lost, and cholesterol levels can rise. 

If cholesterol becomes too high, it can accumulate in the blood vessels causing them to narrow. This narrowing can, in some cases, lead to a heart attack or stroke. 

Similarly, oestrogen has a protective effect on our bones, helping to maintain bone mass. Without oestrogen, bone density decreases, and bones can become brittle and weak, a condition known as osteoporosis. 

This is why, post-menopause, your risk of osteoporosis increases, and bone fractures are more likely.

On a more positive note though, menopause does not mean that these health problems are inevitable – by any means.

If we’re currently living with perimenopause, what can do ourselves to look after our health?

There is a lot we can do, through diet and lifestyle, to help reduce risk and remain in good health when we’re living with perimenopause. 

  1. Reduce smoking and alcohol intake. Stopping or reducing smoking and keeping alcohol intake within healthy limits can help improve health and minimise the risk of developing a range of lifestyle-related illnesses, including heart attack, stroke and diabetes.
  2. Stay physically active. Regular physical activity, including resistance training and weight-bearing exercises to increase muscle strength, helps support bone health and overall well-being. Losing weight, if you’re overweight, is also key.
  3. Eat for full-body health. A healthy, balanced diet containing whole grains, healthy fats, a variety of fruits and vegetables and good sources of calcium, can all contribute to better health post-menopause.
  4. Bolster your diet with a really good vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D supplementation can also be beneficial, particularly during the winter months when exposure to sunlight is limited. Vitamin D (paired with vitamin K2 for optimal absorption) is essential for calcium uptake in the body – a key building block of strong and healthy bones. Other essential nutrients for natural perimenopause support include magnesium glycinate, vitamins B6 and B12, and Folate.
  5. Actively keep on top of your health. Whether that’s attending regular appointments with your doctor, continuing to take any medication you’ve been prescribed, or leaning into proactive health checks like the Randox Health Menopause test – it all counts.
how-to-take-care-of-yourself-in-perimenopause

What is the Randox Menopause health check, and who is it for? 

The Randox menopause health check is a simple blood test that can provide you with information on your hormone levels, and other health areas that can be affected by menopause.

It is suitable for all stages of menopause. It can help you understand your current health baseline if you’re in the perimenopause phase and want to prepare for menopause, or if you’re already there and are looking to keep tabs on your health status.

We should note here that the test is not designed to tell you which stage of menopause you’re in – and if you do have concerns, whether that’s particular symptoms of menopause, mental health worries, issues navigating intimacy, or uncertainty around the stage of menopause that you’re currently in, you should discuss these concerns with your doctor. 

What can the results tell us? 

The Randox Health Menopause health check can give you a pretty good picture of where your hormones are at. Your results will require careful interpretation, taking age, menstrual status and use of oestrogen-containing medications into account.

As well as testing hormone levels though, the Menopause health check contains a range of tests to help you better understand the risk of heart disease and diabetes. It also measures factors like vitamin D and calcium levels. 

Often the symptoms of perimenopause overlap with other health issues. These could include thyroid dysfunction or lack of iron or vitamin B12, which show up as fatigue, low mood and brain fog. That’s why the Menopause health check also measures thyroid function and iron and vitamin B12 levels, to help distinguish perimenopause symptoms from symptoms of a thyroid disorder or nutritional deficiency.

You’ll get all of this information packaged up in a personalised, easy-to-read report, and there’s also an option to book in to speak with a doctor about your results, too.

Want to get tested? TRB readers get an exclusive 10% off the Randox Health Menopause test right now with code TRB10.

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