Welcome to my blog. My thoughts, my musings and a place to ponder over the myriad of things that go through my head.

Theme? There isn't one other than it will be something I want to write about. 

These are not sponsored posts, the links are there for interest and not affliate links. All my own work, as they say.  Thanks for reading. Theresa.

 RSS Feed

Category: Women

  1. The Perimenopause, like the menopause but not ...

    Posted on

    The Perimenopause, is it like the menopause but different? 

    Many people know about the menopause and all the issues that can surround it, whether it be hot flushes, memory loss, weight gain, lack of energy or much more, it gets plenty of coverage and attention. A previous blog talked about my own experience. But are you aware of the perimenopause? That period of time prior to the menopause where many women experience a whole raft of symptoms whilst sometimes still experiencing relatively regular periods. It seems that for many women and for a lot of health professionals, the awareness is not what it should be.

    One lady, Emily Barclay from Norfolk, is on a mission to support women though this time of their lives and raise awareness for of it. I first met Emily via a ladies business networking group, she is one of those people that instantly gets involved, no sitting on the side lines. Full of energy and enthusiasm, she has single-handedly created the Perimenopause Hub, bringing together a wealth of knowledge, experience and education by finding many experts and authorities to provide information and support. 

    Emily is currently planning a Perimenopause Hub Summit for March this year, an opportunity for women to discover more and see what support is available to them. The chance to gain insight and knowledge on how best to deal with what comes with the situation and how to make the best of it in their life. 

    I recently caught up with Emily to find out more about her and all about the Hub. Please do take a look at her site, she has collected so many experts and sources of information together in one place, that it is hard to think of something that she hasn't provided. Read on and discover more about this lady on a mission to support perimenopause women everywhere.


    Hi, I’m Emily,

     A perimenopausal woman who has spent too long trying to get answers. I decided that if I was struggling, then so would women like you, and that I could bring together experts to help us all find our best route through this life stage.


    Tell me a bit about you, your background, what you do for a living.

    I am a dog walker and a personal trainer. I have had my dog walking business since 2012 and retrained as a PT in 2016. I set up in 2019.

    I know the Perimenopause Hub is something that is very important to you. How did it come about?

    Since the age of 39 I had been going back and forth to the Doctor with symptoms including fatigue, unexplained weight gain, crazy mood swings, uncontrollable sobbing, and irregular periods (sometimes after just 3 weeks for a couple of days, sometimes bleeding for 3 weeks). The very first Doctor suggested menopause, but as I was only 39 and still had periods, I dismissed the idea. It took 4 years before another Doctor and I agreed it could be perimenopause (which I had discovered was a thing by that point).

    In a nutshell, what is the Perimenopause Hub?

    It is a website bringing together perimenopause/menopause experts from across the world, offering advice, help and support to all women experiencing this life phase. Women are encouraged to work with any of the experts who seem the right fit for them and their outlook on life.


    Perimenopause Hub logo


    What is your future vision for the Hub?

    World domination!!!!! No, seriously, I want all women to understand that this is a natural life stage and that they will come out the other side, not the same as they were in their 20s, but stronger and ready for the rest of their life. I also ultimately want to start educating younger women about the power of their monthly cycle, so they are forearmed when it starts to change.

    I think more needs to be talked about in regard to perimenopause – at the moment most women know they will have periods and that one day when they’re in their 50s they’ll stop, around which time they’ll probably have a few hot flushes. And yet perimenopause can last up to 12 years and is often the time when women have the worst symptoms. Frustratingly, even Drs don’t know much about this – menopause is barely covered at medical school (even by gynaecology students …!)

    If women take away one thing from it, what would you hope that would be?

    Your best time in life is just coming.

    The whole issue of the perimenopause and menopause is a massive area, women have to find a way to utilise what works best for them. Can the Hub help women coming at it from all angles such as those that would rather follow a more natural path than an orthodox medicine route?

    Absolutely. This is why we have such a range of experts. There are the medical experts but also mindset, hypnotherapy, yoga, health coaches and so on.

    You have gathered a superb and wide-ranging group of experts to support the Hub, tell me about some of them and how they can support women.

    For example, we have Lorraine Miano who is a Menopause Coach from North Carolina. She has a book called The Magic of the Menopause, and she is the absolute embodiment of how amazing our lives can be after all this malarkey is over and done with.

    Then there is Claire Doherty who is a Medical Intuitive from the UK. She looks at the whole person and helps people identify WHY they are experiencing symptoms, which in turn can help them address unresolved issues.

    You are running your conference on March 20th, 21st, 22nd. This sounds incredibly exciting and looks like a great opportunity for women to engage with some life changing and life enhancing content. Tell me more …

    This is going to be epic! Over the 3 days there will be 20+ expert speakers, many who are Hub experts but some who are simply experts in their field. There are two types of tickets available: watch live and lifetime access.

    How can anyone sign up or join in with the conference?

    Tickets are available here


    Hub Summit

    What do you get for signing up?

    For those who buy Watch Live tickets (£10 on early bird pricing, then £15) they will have a login that enables them to watch the summit as it is broadcast live. For those who purchase Lifetime Access (£35 early bird, £50 full price) they will have a login to be able to rewatch the interviews time and time again.

    Will partners and families of women experiencing the perimenopause learn anything from visiting the Hub?


    You have a Facebook Group to run alongside the Hub, how does that work and how can women join?

    Just search Perimenopause Hub on FB [links at the bottom of the page] and you’ll find us. It’s a super supportive group, and we try to keep things quite light-hearted – each evening during the week we talk about a specific symptom, and then at the weekend it’s things like GIF night, or share photos of pets, or whatever.

    Do you have any support on the Hub that would be useful for anyone within the transgender community or with gender issues that may also be coming to terms with the perimenopause?

    There isn’t a specific section as yet, although in the FB group I know of at least one mother to a trans daughter, and we are 100% inclusive of anyone who identifies as female.

    You’re a very busy lady, do you ever have time to relax and what do you do if you ever find yourself with time to wind down?

    Ha ha! I walk my dogs, I watch TV, I go to the gym, I go to the pub, I hang out with my partner. I try to go skiing once a year, too.

    If a Perimenopausal Fairy Godmother could wave her magic wand and grant you one wish for the Perimenopause Hub, what would it be?

    That it be the go-to resource for women hitting this stage of life.

     Youcan get in touch with Emily in all these places:

    Website: Perimenopause Hub

    FB Page: Perimenopause Hub Official

    FB Group: Perimenopause Hub

    Twitter: @perimenohub

    Instagram: @perimenopausehub

    Survey: Take the Perimenopause Survey

    LinkedIn: Emily Barclay


    I really wish Emily every success with her conference and the Perimenopause Hub, there is such a wealth of information on the site, it genuinely is a hub of resources. Please do take a look, you might just find the answers or at least some pointers to the help you need or maybe to explain why someone you care about is not quite themselves. Thank you to Emily for taking the time to answer my questions.

    If you are affected by the perimenopause either yourself or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms and could do with a great resource, please take a look at the site or sign up to the conference. It could make a real difference.





  2. World Menopause Day. Celebrate Being You.

    Posted on

    Shouting about the menopause. 

    Today, Friday 18th October 2019 is World Menopause Day. A day to raise awareness of the menopause and the impact of it on a woman's life, as well as aiming to break some taboos around it. 

    In some cultures, as a woman gets older and her periods cease, she is revered and considered a wise and experienced woman. One who can pass on knowledge and wisdom, a valuable part of the family and community. Women are encouraged to enjoy the freedom that the ending of a menstrual cycle brings. In much of the Western world, it is a different story.

    We have such media presure to look younger, thinner, glamourous and Instagram perfect, that may women struggle when they reach a stage where they are no longer fertile and have a whole bunch of symptoms to contend with too. Hot flushes, weight gain, memory wobbles, dry skin, tiredness and emotional ups and downs associated with the hormone imbalance can leave you feeling less than wonderful. 


    Why should aging be seen as a bad thing? We should embrace the changes and aim to live well as we are, rather than try to turn the clock back. There is nothing wrong with wanting to look good, be healthy and make the most of who you are, but perhaps we should celebrate being who we are right now, much more than we do.

    For some women, they feel useless and suddenly worthless. Maybe their children have left home or only home during university holidays. Loneliness along with all the menopausal symptoms can bring on low moods and anxiety. It can feel a pretty desperate time, where in a way it should signal the start of a fresh new stage of her life. 

    One of my distant aunts was placed in a mental asylum in the early part of the 1900s, she wasn't suffering from a mental illness at all, she simple had a very early menopause at the age of 29. At that time, the menopause wasn't really understood at all, it was just something that happened and not at such a young age. She had numerous symptoms and didn't cope well and didn't really know what was happening to her. The solution was to lock her up! How desperately sad that a young woman was taken from her family and incarcerated, all due to a very early menopause. Thankfully, that wouldn't happen today. 

    Finally, it is being recognised that not all women sail through it and that it can have an effect on your work, but shouldn't be treated like an illness. Much praise to Channel 4, for being one of the companies that is taking the issue seriously and have announced that they will work with women going through it and look at options such as flexible working and accomodating the individual. 

    It's not just the unpleasentness of hot flushes and needing to hang out of the window or jump in a shower. It can be the fact that your peoriods become so heavy that you have to plan your work life around loo breaks and changes of clothes. Yes, let's get real here, it might not sound like the best topic of conversation, but it happens! 

    As I spend much of my life in the health food trade and a lot of time recommending supplements to consumers, it was interesting to find myself in need of extra support when the hot flushes and night sweats started with a vengeance. I could not believe that I could get so unbelievably hot! Wow, however many times you hear of hot flushes, no one can prepare you for the sensation of them starting off and travelling throughout your entire body. 

    Hot is not a strong enough word! Flush? More like a furnace! 


    When you are not sleeping because of it and you are faced with trying to do a normal day’s work and getting over-heated every couple of hours, you need to start thinking of doing something about it. I knew I didn't really want to take HRT, I was aware of plenty of natural alternatives that I wanted to try first.

    I started with a food supplement called Meno Joy by New Nordic. I was already aware of a lot of research on red clover as a source of isoflavones, substances that mimic female hormones. So, as this product was based on red clover, it seemed a good place to start. The isoflavones are phyto-oestrogens that go to the oestrogen receptor sites in the body. The great thing is, they don't just collect around breast and ovarian tissue, research suggests they will go to sites in the bones and circulatory system too. 

    red clover

    Hops have a long history of use as a calming agent and helping sleep, Damiana has an adaptogenic effect and helps with energy levels without sending you off the planet, much more balancing than that. 

    The mineral magnesium has so many properties, but is especially good forrelaxing muscles and helping balance normal psyclogical function, especially when taken with B vitamins. All of these things together felt like a sensible and balance formulation. 

    I have always loved it when I have been working with a store and a consumer returns saying something has really helped them and made a difference. In all the years in the trade, I have never tired of this reaction and I am the same when it comes to things I take. For all the things I know about how a substance works, I still get a real thrill when it does actually work!

    I can honestly say that within one week my flushes had begun to lessen, within two weeks, the results were significant. I was sleeping through most of the night, with perhaps one flush in the early morning. During the day, by the end of week three I was flush free! 

    The excitement I felt was incredible and I am sure added to my overall improvement in wellbeing. It always amuses me when my nutritional head will look at a product ingredients and have an understanding of how well that product will or won’t work. Yet when I use something myself and it gives me great results, I am over the moon and very excited. 

    In fact, I was so thrilled with the results and keen to share my experiences with other women, that I wrote an article for them that appeared as part of their advertising in a number of womens magazines. It was highly amusing when I got a text from a couple of friends who were sitting on a sunny beach, reading the magazines they had bought at the airport and suddenly came across it.


    I appreciate that not everything works for everybody, so it is a case of give something a try and see what works for you. I would suggest taking anything for a good three months before giving up. Although for me, by the end of the first month I knew I had found the right product.  

    If you or someone in your life is experiencing the menopause, treat yourself or them kindly. Look for solutions that fit in with your lifestyle. Get help when it is needed, whether that be a cup of tea and a chat with a good friend or a visit to your GP for more extensive help. Know that it will come to an end and you will get out the other side. Love yourself and celebrate moving to a new stage in your life. Don't give in to media pressure to look younger or different to how you are.

    You are amazing! 



    Discovering More

    If you are interested in looking for natural solutions for the menopause, start with a visit to your local health food store. There you will find not only advice on supplements to take, but plenty of dietary and healthy living advice too. You will also find extras such as natural skin care products to look after yourself from the outside too. 

    A great books is Natural Solutions to the Menopause by Marilyn Glenville, her books are incredibly easy to get into, with lots of down to earth and practical advice. Diet and lifestyle changes that are actually achievable and easy to follow without turning your world upside down or costing a fortune.