Are you looking for help with menopause symptoms? Let me tell you my experience. Having celebrated my 53rd birthday on Sunday, I can tell you that the last year has been somewhat of a rickety ride, healthwise.
Yet I couldn’t tell you precisely what is wrong. I am obviously in the ‘menopausal ballpark‘ and a recent blood test indicated that I had arrived with all flags flying. I already have a dodgy thyroid which has given me all sorts of strange symptoms but recently I have found myself sporting a middle tyre which won’t shift.
My sleep pattern has also changed. I regularly see 3 am, 4 am, 5 am and wake up fully alert whereas in the past I could just turn over and go back to sleep. I find myself mulling over all sorts of oddities, making lists, worrying about minutiae and generally being neurotic.
And let’s not talk about mood swings. Up one minute, down the next and although I’ve never been a particularly patient person, nowadays I don’t want to wait for anything.
It’s timely then that I’ve come across a brilliant book by nutritional therapist Nicki Williams DipION, mBANT, CNHC, called “It’s Not You, It’s Your Hormones” which explains clearly and concisely what your hormones are, what they do and how to regain some sort of balance lest you think you are going to become a kind of mumbling wild woman beset with skin breakouts and a temperature that would warp metal.
I’m exaggerating. A little.
And lest you think Nicki’s book is solely for those of us approaching or embracing menopause, it is targeted at women over 40 who may have peri-menopausal symptoms which make their life equally miserable.
What I particularly like about Nicki’s book is that she makes you think about WHY you want to improve your hormonal balance against the cost of just putting up with it.
Nicki’s own moment of clarity was when her daughter called her a grumpy mum (a daily occurrence in this house) and she felt that that’s not who she was.
This, I think, must resonate greatly with lots of us going through a state of hormonal chaos because we don’t really understand what is happening to us, nor who we have become, or are becoming.
With total honesty, I have to say that when I am under the cosh of the latest barrage or irrational, hormonally charged behaviour, I don’t like myself very much and that in itself is a source of great fatigue and not a great place to be when you already suffer from depression.
Says Nicki: “As I researched more into this topic, I was shocked at just how many issues can be traced back to easily-fixable hormone imbalances. The truth is that for many women their hormones are in control of them after the age of 40, and the weight, mood and energy problems creep in.
By regaining control through diet, lifestyle and natural supplements, women can get back to their best – slimmer, energised and in full control of their hormones as they go through menopause and beyond”.
Nicki’s goal was to write a book that every woman can understand and take positive action on, even if they’re in a time of crisis. After all, how many of us make time for proper self-care?
In the book, Nicki explains what our hormones are and what they do, then introduces us to the ‘feisty four’ – those particular hormones which can cause us so much trouble – Cortisol, Thyroid, Insulin and Oestrogen.
We are shown how these affect us and given useful tips to take immediate action to get them under control.
The book then offers a four-step hormone balancing plan – Eat, Rest, Cleanse and Move. Each step has its own chapter with practical solutions and advice to help with menopause symptoms.
There is even an eating plan at the back of the book with some great recipes. The basis of the diet is gluten-free with a limit on the usual baddies, sugar and alcohol but Nicki recommends good fats and upping your protein intake.
This is a really comprehensive guide to taking back control over your hormones and I had several ‘a-ha’ moments – for example, that spare tyre won’t go if we are constantly secreting cortisol due to stress.
I plan to use Nicki’s tips over the coming months to see if I can feel more like my old self again. The book also discusses the various options surrounding HRT and the importance of getting yourself tested to identify exactly which hormones are giving your problems.
I am already taking Thyroxine to balance my hypothyroidism but I know there is more I can do. Nicki also includes a guide to supplements which may help.
Nicki’s book is a comprehensive guide for those seeking help with menopause symptoms and is well worth a read. If any of this has rung a bell with you then you can at least take some comfort that it’s not you, it’s your hormones!
You can find “It’s Not You, It’s Your Hormones” on Amazon.
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Midlife mum from Cardiff. Wine Imbiber. Likes glitter, fluff and olives. Approaching tweendom with Caitlin (11) and Ieuan (10). The husband is hiding in the loft.
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