The biggest surprise to many women in their 40’s is perimenopause (the lead up to menopause which is a point in time when you haven’t had a period for one year).

Women start to notice physical and mental changes unsure what's going on when it's likely to be the perimenopause transition.

The average age to reach menopause is 51 years and the average length of perimenopause is between 2-12 years.

The length of time and symptoms you may experience in perimenopause will be different for everyone.

If you are in your 40’s and noticing some changes, rest assured you're not going bonkers, you are likely to be perimenopausal.

Symptoms of perimenopause usually start with a slight variance in your cycle length, a shift in your mood (rage, irritability, anxiety), heavier periods, migraines, sleep disturbances.

This is because estrogen levels are starting to fluctuate and a decrease in progesterone. There are four stages of perimenopause, read about them here and the most common perimenopause symptoms here.

What can you do to arm yourself to help reduce your symptoms? Lots! 

We should note here that there will be around 25% of women who will experience severe symptoms and, along with the suggestions below, will need a doctor's support to help them find a treatment protocol to help manage symptoms such as bioidentical hormones.

If you're finding that perimenopause is greatly interfering with the quality of your life, there's plenty you can do to take some power back. 

8 Things That Will Make Your Perimenopause Symptoms Worse

Drinking TOO much Alcohol

This is usually unpopular however it's true that drinking any alcohol during the perimenopause transition is going to increase your chances of symptoms and/or exacerbate any you are already experiencing.

Reducing, or ideally, cutting alcohol out all together is best.   Here's why:

  • Sleep - it stuffs up your sleep.  Long term use of alcohol reduces your melatonin levels and disrupts your circadian rhythm. It will also increase night sweats and hot flashes: all of which disrupt your sleep. No thanks.
  • It will stimulate overeating the next day.
  • Makes it harder to build healthy bones and muscles, which is already challenging in perimenopause.
  • It impairs oestrogen metabolism.

  • Hot flashes: studies show that alcohol reduces and increases hot flashes. It's about what your body can tolerate: some may be okay with moderate consumption, whilst other women may find that cutting it out all together makes an big difference.

Eating Ultra Processed Foods

The number one diet rule in perimenopause is to avoid ultra processed foods. Why? Because our bodies are already in an inflammatory state thanks to hormonal changes. Ultra Processed Foods increase inflammation, which in turn can worsen our symptoms and increases the chances of us experiencing chronic conditions in our post-menopause years.

What are Ultra Processed Foods? 

  • Chips
  • Prepared desserts like biscuits/cakes
  • Fast foods
  • Frozen meals
  • Cured meats and
  • Soft drinks. 

  • These foods are heavily processed, often loaded with added sugar (high doses of fructose), salt, not-good fats (like processed vegetable oils), artificial colours, preservatives, flavours and stabilisers to make them hyper palatable.

    This food group often contain Omega 6 oils (derived from vegetable oils) which are inflammatory. 

    Not only are they inflammatory, they often contain little to no vitamins and nutrients needed for vital perimenopausal health. 

    Want to know what perfect perimenopause meals might look like?
    Click here to find out.

    Insulin Resistance

    Insulin resistance is a big topic in perimenopausal health, it can develop because of weight gain around our middles and when testosterone and androgen hormones are more dominant than oestrogen and progesterone.

    As oestrogen and progesterone have anti-inflammatory and metabolism stimulating properties. Being perimenopausal and menopausal can put you at risk of insulin resistance.

    When we eat, our digestive system breaks down our foods into glucose, amino acids and fatty acids. Insulin is the hormone that promotes the absorption of glucose (our main energy source) from the blood into the liver, fat and skeletal muscle cells to make us function.

    When there is insulin resistance there is a build-up of blood glucose and the cells of our bodies don’t get the energy they need. Our brain then signals that we are still hungry, which can lead to weight gain.

    The good news is that insulin resistance is reversible through diet and exercise.

    🚩Untreated insulin resistance can lead to Type 2 Diabetes

    🚩Insulin resistance can make perimenopause symptoms worse.

    Not Enough Protein In Your Diet

    In perimenopause the decline in oestrogen is linked to decreased muscle mass and bone strength, so it’s a time where you need to make sure you are eating enough protein to keep muscle mass and bone strength up.

    As well as muscle mass, protein provides the amino acids needed for maintenance and repair of every cell in your body. Learn more here about the powder of protein in peri.


    The absolutely best thing to drink daily in perimenopause (apart from our Peri Chai Latte 😉) is water.

    Water helps your body flush out any toxins that aren’t beneficial to your health and to help it perform vital chemical reactions for sustaining a healthy life.

    Staying hydrated is important for brain health and cognition. Something so simple can make a world of difference!

    Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, you need to drink approximately 2 litres of water a day (which is about 8 glasses). 

    Magnesium Deficiency

    Magnesium is a vital mineral needed for more than 300 essential metabolic reactions within our cells, such as:

  • Energy production
  • Nerve function
  • Muscle function
  • Protein synthesis
  • Blood regulation
  • Blood sugar regulation. 

  • Magnesium cannot be made by the body so we need to consume it daily through foods and supplements.

    Research shows the mineral content in food sources is declining hence we have an increasing population with magnesium deficiency.

    With our perimenopause bodies needing more magnesium, it's really important that we ensure we are getting enough magnesium through our diets where possible and supplementing through nutraceuticals.

    Magnesium helps reduce perimenopause symptoms such as:

    As well, it helps to Improve glucose and insulin metabolism. 

    Studies have also found that Magnesium normalises the actions of different hormones (mainly progesterone) on the central nervous system. 

    The recommended daily dosage of a magnesium supplement to help to improve symptoms is 300mg daily and the best form to soothe the nervous system in perimenopause is magnesium glycinate.

    Magnesium glycinate is magnesium attached to the amino acid glycine, this form is very easy for our bodies to absorb and promotes relaxation and improves the quality of our sleep. Learn more here why magnesium is vital for peri.

    It's also why we included magnesium glycinate in both the Peri Hot Choccy and Peri Chai Latte.


    When we are stressed we release the stress hormone Cortisol which sends messages to our brain to store fuel, which makes us eat more. There are many studies that show yoga and meditation through perimenopause can help to reduce anxiety, better sleep and even reduce hot flashes. 

    Being Sedentary

    Exercise at all stages of life is super important with the benefits well documented and include: 

    • Increasing immunity and energy
    • Decreasing PMS symptoms
    • Helping to control weight
    • Building stronger bones
    • Improving sleep and
    • Reducing anxiety and depression. 

    In Perimenopause it’s even more important to move every day for two key reasons. Exercise

    1. Supports your changing body composition and
    2. Reduces perimenopause symptoms.

    Our body composition is changing and we are losing muscle mass and bone density. Exercise will help build strong bones and muscle mass. If you haven’t been an exerciser in the past, this is your time to shine! 

    Take Your Power Back and Feel the Whole SheBang Again!

    Let's wrap this up! 

    In a nut shell:

    • Find your alcohol tolerance level
    • Limit ultra processed foods like store bought cakes, biscuits, chips and fried foods
    • Increase magnesium rich foods in your diet like nuts and seeds and spinach. If you need some extra support, check out our Peri Chai Latte and Peri Hot Choccy
    • Eat protein rich foods at every meal, snack time and
    • Drink plenty of water.

    Lifestyle wise:

    • Seek ways to actively reduce stress
    • Move daily and
    • If you feel like you might have insulin resistance seek help from a medical professional to help you reverse it as it will help reduce your peri symptoms,
    • Manage weight.

    Do what you can along these lines and skip into the next decades of life in good health. 

    Feel the whole SheBANG! again with our Clinical Nutritionist Formulated and Approved goodies to help reduce perimenopause symptoms




    February 01, 2023 — Angela Greely

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