Menopause is getting a lot of talk (and rightly so) right now, but it's actually "perimenopause" that needs to be talked about, because that's when women can really struggle.
The MenoLife Community

Understanding Perimenopause: Recognizing the Early Symptoms

Jul 06, 2023

Menopause is getting a lot of talk (and rightly so) right now, but it's actually "perimenopause" that needs to be talked about, because that's when women can really struggle.

The fact that many women now recognize the word perimenopause is in itself huge progress! This word was simply unknown a few years ago and many women thought that you had to be in your fifties to experience the first symptoms of menopause.

Yet there is still a lot of confusion about what perimenopause is and how to make it easier for all of us to live with.

What is perimenopause?

Perimenopause is considered the transition from your reproductive years to post-menopause, which officially occurs one year after your last period. Symptoms may include fatigue, mood swings, irregular or heavy/painful periods, brain fog, poor sleep, weight gain, hot flashes, night sweats, depression, anxiety, hair loss, joint pain, low libido, vaginal dryness...and the list goes on!

Are you in perimenopause?

If you're over 35 and have symptoms (and periods), then yes! Many doctors will tell you that you are too young and ask you to take an FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) or LH (luteinizing hormone) test.

But all it tells you is that the brain sends out a continuous message asking for hormone production because your body isn't producing enough of it. This is the very nature of perimenopause! This test is just telling you what you already know! It will be much more helpful to have your actual hormone levels properly assessed if you can.

What are the driving factors of perimenopause?


After age 35, your eggs begin to run out and ovulation may be more irregular. This affects the production of estrogen and progesterone. Both of these hormones begin a long, slow decline toward final menopause, but along the way, they can fluctuate wildly, and it can feel like a moody roller coaster!

The stress

Any type of stress on the body can be a major disruptor in your process of transitioning into perimenopause. Cortisol, the stress hormone, can not only impact your energy, mood, brain function, and metabolism, but it can also suppress the functioning of your thyroid and sex hormones, thus worsening your symptoms.


Stress, a poor diet, a disturbance of the intestinal flora or atmospheric pollution can have adverse effects on thyroid hormones and disrupt metabolism, which leads to a state of exhaustion, lethargy, confusion and body aches . And that extra weight isn't going away anytime soon.


Endocrine-disrupting chemicals can mimic or alter hormones, especially estrogen, and alter mitochondrial function (the cells that serve as your energy battery).

Medicines (some)

Certain medications can disrupt your hormones, including the birth control pill, synthetic HRT, steroids, and antidepressants.

liver saturation

Hormone metabolism can be affected if the liver has difficulty processing and eliminating toxins, alcohol, caffeine or drugs.

gut health

If your gut is not functioning optimally, certain hormones may not be metabolized or converted properly. Inflammation in the gut caused by food sensitivities or underlying infections can also spread to nearby organs and disrupt hormonal function.

How to facilitate the transition to perimenopause?

Of course, there are medical options. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or other medications are often prescribed to treat symptoms. However, HRT only replaces estrogen and progesterone. You still need to take care of your other hormones!

In addition, recent studies have shown that women who have used hormone replacement therapy (HRT) have an increased risk of breast, ovarian and uterine cancer. Do you want to know more about the risks associated with hormone replacement therapy? Go to our dedicated page: Breast cancer and hormone therapy.

Implementing a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle will not only benefit ALL of your hormones, but also your future health.

A balanced diet

  • Blood sugar control is a priority because it helps maintain energy levels, balance mood, improve cognitive functions and lose excess weight.
  • By including phytoestrogens in your diet (for example, flax seeds and soybeans), you help balance estrogen levels and reduce hot flashes and night sweats. It is very important to ensure that your diet contains enough protein, good fats and phytonutrients to support thyroid and cellular health.
  • Cruciferous vegetables help support liver detoxification pathways and estrogen neutralization. Staying well hydrated helps smooth intestinal transit, while reducing alcohol and caffeine consumption protects the liver and intestine. Probiotic foods (fresh yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha) help boost the microbiome (your good germs!) and digestive function.
  • Minimize exposure to endocrine disruptors, eat organic if possible to avoid exposure to pesticides. Replace BPA-containing plastics with glass or stainless steel. Avoid products containing phthalates (for example, synthetic fragrances in cosmetics and household products).
  • Get in motion. By increasing NEAT (thermogenesis related to non-athletic activities) movements, sedentary behaviors are reduced and metabolism is increased. It is equally important to avoid over-exercising so as not to increase the stress on the body.
  • Relax and sleep well. Managing stress through mindfulness meditation or other relaxation techniques can have a huge impact on your symptoms. Improving sleep quality through dietary changes, stress management techniques, and routines that promote sleep quality can be very helpful.
  • Food supplements. It can be very helpful to fill in your nutrient deficiencies. Hormones need a lot of things and we may not be getting enough of them in our diets, or they may be depleted by stress! Fruit of advanced research in herbal medicine, our new Harmonie Daily formula helps women on a daily basis from the first symptoms of menopause.
  • Get the necessary exams – whether through your doctor or privately, exams can be very helpful in identifying the root cause of any imbalance. Among the points to monitor, we can mention the thyroid, the adrenal glands, the sex hormones, the glycemia, the intestinal flora or even the possible deficiencies in essential nutrients.
  • Try Harmonie Daily to find serenity. Harmonie Daily is the solution designed for your well-being and accompanies you on a daily basis in the major changes in your body before, during and after menopause. Each capsule contains powerful natural active ingredients, with nutritional benefits you won't find anywhere else. Made with the right ingredients, so you can find your serenity and live fully through menopause.

And you, what are you doing to live your perimenopause well? We can't wait to find out in the comments! Your experience is a source of inspiration and knowledge for our community.

With love, The Laboratoires üma team.

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