Why we get fat and wrinkly at menopause

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Carole Smillie has been in the news revealing how menopause has caused her to thicken around her middle and the skin on her chest to go wrinkly. She’s not the only one to struggle with the awful transformations that can occur at this life stage, but I’m sure she would be interested to know what underlies these changes in her body and how she can get back her waistline as well as decrease the depth of her wrinkles.

Changes in your body

Two key changes are happening in our body at the time of the menopause.  The level of the hormone oestrogen, which gives us our feminine characteristics, is falling as the ovaries stop functioning.   In addition, levels of important nutrients necessary for normal brain chemistry and hormone function are at an all-time low, making it hard for our immune system to serve us well. Plus, as our metabolic rate slows down, that’s the rate that our body normally ticks over, it makes it difficult for us to consume our usual diet without gaining weight.


Our impaired immune system wrongly perceives that certain foods and drinks are ‘toxic’, leading to all manner of symptoms including abdominal bloating, constipation, excessive wind and even Irritable Bowel Syndrome.  Other common symptoms that result from this chemical reaction in the body are depression, anxiety, irritability and even insomnia.

On top of that the stress this all causes sends our cortisol, the stress hormone, surging; one of the side effects of elevated cortisol is a stubborn accumulation of fat around our middle. One of the surveys that we undertook on menopausal women who chose to take HRT was that on average they gained 18lbs in weight in the first year.  Some anti-depressants, often prescribed for women suffering with depression during their menopause, are also known to cause weight gain.

Nutritional deficiencies

Learning how to spot nutritional deficiencies so that you can get your nutrients into an optimum range will help to get the brain chemistry working normally again.  And, consuming foods and science-based supplements that are rich in naturally occurring oestrogen have been shown in a number of clinical trials to reduce the depth of our wrinkles, increase collagen quantity and improve skin roughness in menopausal women.

Be symptom-free

If women learn to meet their needs at menopause rather than it being the beginning of the end it can represent a whole new beginning.  I have been helping women to reclaim their wellbeing as well as their shape for over 25 years.  After following my programme more than ninety percent of my patients are symptom-free within five months.

I’m going to be explaining how you can get your waistline back and have your skin look and feel at least ten years younger in my free Master Class.  If you would like to share Mother Nature’s little secrets reserve your place now

Hot Flash Newsletter by Maryon Stewart: Week 4

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Maryon StewartWelcome to Hot Flash.

The weather has been very changeable over the last week or so. One minute it’s raining and the next its glorious with the sun shining over the last week. But for many of you going through the perimenopause and menopause this can reek havoc with your symptoms – especially coping with unpredictable hot flushes. Quite a few people have been asking me for advice on how to cope with this, so I have included it in the Top Tips section of the newsletter this week.

Please keep the questions coming and I will try to answer as many as possible in the upcoming newsletters

Vegetable protein can turn back our biological clock

Maryon Stewart Tofu recommendation

A recent study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology showed that women who consume a good ratio of vegetable protein in their diet stand a much better chance of delaying the onset of menopause.

Early menopause is defined as before the age of 45 and women who have 3 or 4 servings of vegetable protein including tofu made from soy, nuts, enriched pasta and cold breakfast cereal were more likely to delay the onset of their menopause than similar aged women who focus on consuming animal protein such as meat and fish instead.

The study analysed the Nurses’ Health Study II to examine the link between diet and early menopause. This included 85,682 women who experienced natural early menopause from 1991 onwards. They found that 1 woman in 20 experienced an early natural menopause. It seems that Mother Nature may well have the secret to delaying the onset of our ovaries ageing.

Hot Flash Top Tip

Here are my tips for dealing with hot flushes at night during high temperatures (or in fact at any time of year)

  • Make sure your bedroom is cool at night and keep a fan, wet wipes and a cold drink by your bed
  • Use cotton sheets, pillowcases and nightclothes.
  • Say no to spicy foods and alcohol at parties, as both can trigger night sweats.
  • Try to relax as much as you can as stress and anxiety, especially around bedtime, are other triggers.
  • Keep your summer weight covers on and throw off when the heat is on.

Dirty Little Secrets

Maryon Stewart Dirty Little Secrets

This week it is just one word. It drives many of us out after dark. We crave it sometimes more than sex and it has the best mouth feel. Of course, it’s chocolate. Many women become a slave to their cravings spending almost as much on chocolate as they do on the rest of their food budget. Patients often report that they get through several bars of chocolate a day and I once had a patient who consumed 20!

But cravings can be controlled. They are usually fuelled by a shortage of important nutrients including magnesium, B vitamins and the trace mineral chromium. Magnesium is the most common deficiency amounts in women, B vitamins can be in short supply especially if we have experienced stress, and we are only born with 1/16th ounce of chromium which is further depleted as we age.

Consuming plenty of wholesome food including nuts, seeds, whole grains, green vegetables and black pepper as well as taking a supplement rich in these nutrients like Chromium Complex will help to curb the cravings and a positive effect on your waist line as a result.

Don’t forget if you order supplements through our mail order service you can enter the code midlifeswitch2017 and will automatically be given a 10% discount.

Hot Flash Newsletter by Maryon Stewart: Week 3

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Maryon StewartWelcome to Hot Flash.

It’s been a busy week, running around preparing new materials for you which I will be using over the next few months. The team and I have been working hard producing new films, presentations and new courses which I will talk about more in the coming weeks, here in the newsletter and in our exclusive Facebook group.

Thank you for your feedback and questions following the first two newsletters. I have received many questions from you this week regarding anxiety about going on holiday. I know that it can be a difficult time, especially worrying about your body and how it’s not how it used to look. Being positive can really help – take a look at my blog from earlier last month for some advice. Please keep the questions coming.


Menopause and Thinning Hair

Maryon Stewart IntervieweeIn the UK recently, there was a lot of talk in the media following Nadia Sawalha’s (an actress) confession about the distress losing her hair as she goes through the menopause. It opened up the conversation with many commentators including Eddie Nestor on BBC London who called me to give advice live on the radio to his listeners wanting to take a natural approach to the problem. All too often these problems are not spoken of and it’s important that we continue the discussion to help more women find ways to feel better about themselves.

Last week one of our Facebook members, Debbie Fallon, posted, totally unprompted, about success in controlling her symptoms since following my advice on dietary and life style changes. She has been following my advice for three months and never believed it could make such a difference. Hearing from someone who has been able to change their lives is always heart-warming and gives hope to others who are in the same position.

Please continue to share your stories with me and with your peers on Facebook – I try to provide answers to any of your questions where I can. If there is any topic you would like me to cover in the newsletter or via our blogs – let me know via our newsletter Editor.

Double trouble for overweight women at menopause

Maryon Stewart ScalesSo often women going through menopause develop rolls of fat around their middle and generally find it more difficult to maintain their normal weight. This is partly because the metabolic rate slows down as we age and probably related to the fact that when we are feeling overwhelmed by menopause symptoms we are less likely to exercise, consume a healthy diet and generally look after ourselves.

A link to severe not flushes, increased joint pains, urinary symptoms and vaginal dryness has been found in a new study of women going through menopause who are significantly overweight. The study on 749 women was recently published in the journal Menopause, the Journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS). It seems that women with a high body mass index have a double challenge at the time of the menopause.

When we feel bad we often eat comfort food and common food cravings don’t make it any easier. Getting your nutrients into an optimum range will help to overcome the cravings for food including chocolate. Low levels of the minerals chromium and magnesium, as well as B vitamins, have been shown to be necessary for normal blood glucose control. We are only born with a 16th of an ounce of chromium for example and it gets less as we age and we have established that magnesium is the most common deficiency amongst women. In addition, regular exercise helps to speed up the metabolism which will help to burn fat.

Maryon’s Verdict: If you are overweight at the time of the menopause clean up your diet, reduce your portion sizes, boost your nutrient levels and try to do five sessions of exercise per week. My patients lose weight on my programme without dieting.

Maryon’s programme, which she pioneered with her team at the Natural Health Advisory Service is based on published research, is outlined in her new book Beat Menopause the Natural Way with the accompanying film Get Fit for Midlife.

Hot Flash Top Tip

If sex hurts then here are my thoughts to help you.

  • Make sure your bedroom is cool at night and keep a fan, wet wipes and a cold drink by your bed
  • Omega 7 capsules help alleviate vaginal dryness and discomfort.
  • Use YES! moisturising lubrication gel and coconut oil.
  • Regular sex can help vaginal lubrication, as can spending plenty of time on foreplay, since it can take longer to become aroused.
  • Pelvic floor exercises help keep your vagina healthy and strengthen the blood supply as well as the pelvic muscles.

Dirty Little Secrets

Maryon Stewart Dirty Little Secrets

Menopause symptoms can sometimes seem very embarrassing. So, I’m here to answer all those questions you won’t even ask your best friend. Drop me a line if there is anything you want to know or perhaps if you are brave enough share a story with others.

Very often patients complain of sex being painful. This is often because of vaginal dryness. The vaginal lining becomes thin and dry as the lack of oestrogen causes a decrease in the mucus-producing cells and those cells that keep the walls of the vagina robust and elastic. The result is that sex becomes uncomfortable and in some cases painful. A decrease in muscle tone and subsequent blood supply in the urogenital area may also be a factor. The good news is that this is reversible through diet and specialist supplements.

There’s No Need To Live In Hormone Hell!

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I was asked this week to describe the typical woman that I specialise in helping. It actually stopped me in my tracks as I have never been asked this question before during my 30 year career.  Whilst I acknowledge each woman’s suffering, I usually place my focus firmly on the solution to help overcome their symptoms, rather than dwelling the horror of each individual situation.  When I really started thinking about the answer it hit me like a ton of bricks that millions of women are in a really bad place, often for much of their adult life.  And both the medical profession and the media practically ignore the fact, or at best glosses over it.  To say the very least it was a sobering exercise that left me feeling a mixture of emotions ranging from anger, disbelief, frustration and devastation.

Finding solutions?

My audience is made up of mostly women.  To date, they have been mainly women in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s with hormone issues, although I have advised girls in their teens and 20’s as well as women in the 60’s and 70’s.  They often feel at their wits end and a shadow of their former selves.  They have usually tried all sorts of self-help approaches and even medication from their doctor, but nothing has really worked.

The symptoms they suffer are usually moderate to severe and completely change the colour of the lenses through which they see the world. They often feel like they are clinging on by their finger nails and that I am their last resort.

Large numbers of PMS suffers report suffering extreme symptoms including feeling suicidal, violent and aggressive, overwhelmed by deep depression on some days.  From midlife, many are unable to sleep because they are regularly drowned in sweat in the night, more than embarrassed by their incessant hot flushes during the day, and mortified by their vaginal dryness making personal relationships a nightmare.

Dealing with the symptoms

Whether they are suffering from PMS, peri-menopause, menopause, post menopause, they are overwhelmed on many days of the month by their raging hormones or stress related symptoms.  They feel moody, irritable, and anxious, with nervous tension.  Their self-perception is diminished and they no longer recognise themselves in the mirror.  Their relationships are adversely affected.  Sometimes they alienate their partner and children, if they have them, and describe themselves as Jekyll and Hyde.

Most of my audience don’t feel sexy anymore, at least for part of the month if they are pre-menstrual, and as much as every day of their lives if they are menopausal.  Some say they prefer chocolate to sex and they wouldn’t care if they were never touched again.  Many of them give into food cravings, particularly chocolate, sometimes consuming more than three or four bars of chocolate each day.  They have often gained weight as a result and feel nervous that their partner may feel neglected and grow tired of their lust less relationship.

As well as hormonal symptoms, many of them experience bowel problems including constipation or Irritable Bowel Syndrome and they probably feel tired, find it hard to sleep well and sometimes notice their skin is dull, their hair thin and lifeless and their nails split and brittle.

A percentage of the women of childbearing age I encounter suffering with PMS, many also suffer from endometriosis, have ovarian cysts, fibroids as well as period pains.   In addition to being wives, partners and lovers, they are also often mothers, many having to work and juggle their lives and sometimes they are carers for older relatives.

The natural approach

My deep frustration stems from the fact that these women are suffering needlessly as the vast majority of these symptoms can be managed completely naturally once a woman learns how to meet her needs at her particular life stage.  The programme we pioneered at the Natural Health Advisory Service shows in numerous studies that over ninety percent of both PMS and menopause sufferers were symptom-free within four to six months.  But instead of being given sound advice they are either given a cocktail of anti-depressants and hormones or left alone, in hormone hell, to fend for themselves.

Beat the Menopause Naturally Facebook Group

I need to give this situation more thought, but in the meantime, I’ve decided to offer live sessions in our Beat the Menopause Naturally Facebook Group where I can at least answer some of their questions and useful, scientifically-based information from my books is available on my website.  I know that’s a drop in the ocean, but at least it’s a start.

If when you read this you recognise yourself my heart goes out to you.  Feel encouraged that there is a light at the end of the tunnel as it’s possible to be symptom-free and feel better than you can remember in a matter of months. Don’t feel alone as you are suffering along with millions of other women around the world. Just know you can get better and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Healthy Fast Food | Weight Loss Without Dieting

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When we talk about living on a fast food diet most of us automatically think of America and their menus of shakes, fries and hamburgers. Understandably the US has been blamed by many researchers for setting the trend in the rise of obesity and overweight issues as a result. However, a new study reveals that America is not the country that currently has the highest fast food consumption. Believe it or not, Britons have begun out guzzling their American counterparts when it comes to fast food. According to the latest Synovate study, Brits are the keenest fast food consumers in the world, closely followed by Americans. When British and American respondents were asked to identify with the statement, “I like the taste of fast food too much to give it up”, 45% of the British agreed, compared to 44% of Americans.

Healthy options offered by burger and pizza chains are still stuffed with salt and fat despite menu changes. An investigation of the food sold by four of the big fast food chains found that 17 out of 20 products were high in salt or saturated fat, or both. On average, the fast food meals sampled by Which? had 274 calories per 100g of food, more than double that of a home-cooked roast dinner.

Obesity has tripled in England since 1980. A third of children aged two to 15 are overweight or obese. Which? said that although fast food was not solely to blame, the rise in weight had been accompanied by the rise in fast food sales.

Some of the fast food meals scored astronomical calorific counts. A Big Mac, medium fries and small vanilla milkshake contained 1,169 calories. A diner would need to walk 16 miles to work that off. A margherita pizza and garlic bread had 5.4 grams of salt in the same analysis, almost the entire recommended daily allowance of 6 grams. So you see it’s not hard to consume all the wrong things.

But does fast food have to be unhealthy? Surprisingly the answer to that question is no – if you know what to look for.

Our diet and lifestyle have altered dramatically in the last fifty years.  The whole of society has changed, and not necessarily for the better. At one time culinary skills were passed from one generation to another, and the woman’s role was very definitely the ‘home-maker’. She was not expected to go out to work whilst her family were growing, and more often than not she had her mother and other female relatives living close by as back-up. The motor car was a luxury, so her daily shopping was usually done locally on foot. She would expect to purchase fresh food regularly, which would have contained far more nutrients that produce purchased from the supermarket weekly. As fast food didn’t exist, part of her role would be to cook wholesome meals for the family on a daily basis.

Fifty years on the picture is quite different. Woman have learned the art of the short-cut, very often through necessity. They drive to the supermarket once or twice per week to purchase food. They are presented with fast option choices, which when short of time and adequate information, seem both convenient and appealing. Most of the food they buy has been preserved, sprayed with chemicals, injected, or indeed grown in chemically rich soil. They now expect food to be treated with pesticides and insecticides, and animals to be pumped full of antibiotics and growth hormones, unless they buy organic produce.

Human bodies were not designed to be treated in such a fashion, or to cope with modern-day stresses, so it is no wonder that our bodies develop problems. We probably treat our domestic appliances or our motor car with more respect. Few of us would dream of denying our car the appropriate fuel or oil, so how is it that we neglect our bodies so?

Look at some of the ways our diet has changed over time. A century ago meat, animal fat and sugar formed a much smaller proportion of our diets than today. The consumption of cereal fibres has also dropped considerably.

  • We have dramatically increased our consumption of sugar as the last hundred years have seen a seventy–five fold increase in world sugar production and in the UK alone we consume over 500,000 tonnes of chocolate each year which is predominately made from refined sugar. Table sugar, contains no vitamins, mineral, protein, fibre or starches; it may contain tiny traces of calcium and magnesium if we are really lucky, but apart from that it just provides us with “empty calories”.
  • We have to really go out of our way these days to reduce our sugar consumption as food manufacturers often add it to some of the most unlikely foods: cheese, fruit yoghurt, tomato sauce, baked beans, pickled cucumbers, muesli, beefburgers, Worcestershire sauce, sausages, peas, cornflakes, and canned drinks.
  • Excessive consumption of saturated animal fats results in a gradual blocking the arteries that supply the heart, brain and other major organs. This leads to poor circulation, and then to heart attacks and strokes. It is worth noting that smoking accelerates this process. The increased incidence of breast cancer has much to do with animal fat consumption as well and fast food, which has become a regular part of our diets, often has a high fat content.
  • We also eat far too much salt – ten to twenty times more than our bodies really require each day- which can contribute to high blood pressure.

Our eating habits don’t have to be a recipe for disaster and turn us into medical time bombs because we can clean up our act without a little enlightenment and not too much effort. Most of us are living life in the fast lane these days and don’t have the time to spend preparing meals or the extended family to fall back on. But we can get healthy food on the run if we know what to pick up.

Help I’m about to go on holiday and I don’t like how I look

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Your body image is at an all time low

It’s the week before you go on holiday, you catch sight of yourself in the mirror and your heart sinks at what you see. New bulges seemed to have appeared, your bust has definitely dropped and as for your hair… why is it suddenly so thin and wispy? Everyone is going to look so much better than you.

Fight back tactics

  • Stop comparing your body to other people’s.

Go on doing this and you will feel intimidated. Start to love and appreciate all that your body does for you and remember you are perfect just the way you are.

  • If there is time treat yourself to a pampering massage or facial. It will make you feel a million dollars.
  • Alternatively, before you go out indulge in a wonderfully relaxing aromatherapy bath. Run the water before adding six drops of an essential oil. Choose clary sage for a sense of well-being, ylang-ylang to put you in a seductive mood, camomile to calm you down or lemon to give you an instant lift.
  • Go for a wrap or empire line dress with a v-neck to play up your assets and disguise tummy bulges.
  • Use a foundation with light-reflective ingredients to make your skin glow and a lipstick in a warm rose, berry, or rich brown shade. Avoid bright red as it can be harsh and accentuate the wrinkles.
  • Wax the ends of short hair to add texture and shape. You can add volume to long hair by hanging your head upside down, brushing through hair and applying hairspray.
  • Rejuvenate tired eyes with a few minutes of palming. Rub your hands together to warm them up, then cup them over your closed eyes. Alternatively, place chilled spoons over your eyes to reduce puffiness.
  • Finally, you may think you are bulging out everywhere, but who says so? Only you. Do you notice these things in other people? Chances are you answer no which just goes to show that others are unlikely to look you up and down that closely. And even if they do it’s hardly likely to change the way they think about you.

Choosing joy over sadness

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There are times in our life that stop us in our tracks.  Experiences that are forever imprinted on our minds.  Some of them are due to joyful moments and others because of sad and tragic times.  Today was one of those days for me and I wanted to share it with you in the hope that you will feel inspired.

I’ve had bereaved families in Manchester on my mind this week, especially as I lost my youngest daughter tragically and unexpectedly.  I know only too well the devastation and shock those parents are experiencing and the fact that their recent experience will change the course of their lives.  It takes longer than forever to come to terms with these needless losses but I came to realise that, as unlikely as it seemed in the beginning, it is possible to still experience joy.

When I’m in Florida I love to attend water aerobics classes.  The instructor arrives and a group of about 30 women and a few men congregate for an hour to move around in the water feeling lucky to be in the sunshine with blue sky above.  Today, however, storms were forecast and I doubted the class would be on.  As I spend most of my day pinned to my chair writing or speaking to patients I try to make a point of taking an hour out to exercise, so decided to go outside anyway to see if anyone showed up.

There were five of us in the pool. The instructor didn’t arrive as predicted. But a woman who is a breast cancer survivor in her 70’s, who also trained as an exercise instructor, led us through our paces. Amongst the five was a wonderfully empathetic woman originally from Russia, also in her 70’s, who came close to death a few months ago following complications with her heart.  She was accompanied by her lovely partner of Italian descent from New Jersey.   The fifth member of the group was a gorgeous petite woman who I thought was in her eighties, but discovered after the class that she is turning 100 in a few weeks-time and they are planning her party.

When we looked at the grey heavy sky we knew that it was going to pour, but instead of getting out of the pool as I assumed they all would due to their age or medical circumstances, each of them made the decision to weather it out.  And pour with rain it did, so much so I had to wear my swimming goggles instead of my sunglasses as the water was pouring down my face relentlessly.

When the rain began, being the youngest and most agile, I jumped out the pool to put their towels and bags under the beach chairs to protect them from the rain.  I returned to the pool and for an hour we jumped, stretched and laughed so hard at our craziness.  Despite the downpour the air was warm and the rain nothing short of exhilarating.

During that hour together each person talked about gratitude and love.  They admitted that they intentionally stayed in the water to create a memorable joyous time to reflect upon.  No matter their past suffering they were all simply in the moment and having more fun that you can imagine.

At the end of the class we all hugged and kissed each other on the cheeks.  We were full of endorphins, those lovely feel good hormones, smiling from ear to ear.  When I retrieved my bag from under the beach chair it was in a deep puddle. I had to wring my towel out as it was so drenched, which made us laugh even harder.

It was one of those special times in my life I will never forget. It reminded me of the importance of taking breaks, looking after myself, being in the moment and being willing to share heart felt thoughts with others. Despite the chaos in the world and the puddles filled with tears, we all felt so very lucky to be alive.

Perimenopause Can Leave You Feeling Sexy and Wise

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When midlife mayhem descends it’s not uncommon to wake up in the morning feeling like you have been possessed by an alien. Life as you knew may seem to be a dim and distant memory. Your hormones are in the driving seat and you are left clinging on by your finger nails. Gone are the days when you roll over in the mornings hoping your partner is in the mood for some fun. Instead of snuggling up for comfort and love you are only too pleased to be in your own space busy throwing off the covers as the heat over takes you. When you cool down, hoping you will stay cool long enough to engage in passion, you may be fearful that intercourse will be a nightmare leaving you feeling sore instead of satisfied.

Repeated nights interrupted by overpowering sweats leave you feeling overwhelmingly tired. Your skin takes on a pale hue and circles appear under your eyes making you look like you haven’t slept well for months. You drag yourself out of bed to get on with your day but struggle because of your lack of energy. Your clothes may be too tight as you have gained weight through comfort eating and lack of exercise and you feel despondent and somewhat depressed. The power surges that come unannounced at regular intervals make you red in the face and feel like you are melting are nothing short of embarrassing.

You long life as you knew it, feeling afraid about where this may be going. How will you manage to cope? Should you seek advice? Take hormones? You go on line to find some natural alternatives but the overwhelming amount of information makes you feel even more confused that you already are. In the back of your mind you wonder whether your partner will be supportive or might get fed up with the significant change in the regular rhythm of your relationship. Some of the things that are happening to you may be even too embarrassing to discuss with close friends so you sit in not so splendid isolation wondering what comes next.

Your body goes through a series of changes leading up to menopause. These are known collectively as the ‘perimenopause’ (‘peri’ meaning ‘around’). The first sign that things are on the move is usually a change in the pattern of your periods. They may become irregular, longer or shorter, as well as heavier or in some cases lighter. Other perimenopausal symptoms include hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings, loss of libido, loss of energy, sleepless nights and not being able to concentrate – at first just occasionally, but as time goes by, more and more frequently.

Most of us are unprepared for perimenopause. It may simply bring a degree of unpredictability into your life, since you never know when your period is going to arrive. If you are less fortunate, you may experience a worsening of PMS symptoms, as well as regular mood swings and more ‘black’ days than you dare to count.

As you go through your 40s, the supply of eggs you were born with starts to run out and your ovaries stop releasing an egg each month. This means you no longer produce so much progesterone and oestrogen. Eventually, your ovaries run out of eggs altogether, progesterone production ceases and oestrogen levels fall. Oestrogen is required for many bodily functions – not just for reproduction – including strong bones, a sharp mind and a healthy heart, so it is inevitable that you will feel the effects of this change.

Fluctuating hormone levels may not be the only trigger of menopausal symptoms. The many surveys that we have carried out at the Natural Health Advisory Service (NHAS) suggest that dietary and lifestyle factors at this time of life can also play a significant part. Pregnancy, breastfeeding, as well as nutritional imbalances that may have developed over the years as a result of dieting, poor eating habits or malabsorption, often take their toll, leaving many of us in a nutritionally depleted state as we approach the menopause.

Peri-menopause also tends to hit most of us at a psychological turning point, when natural fears about ageing and what the future may hold start weighing on our minds. You may be overloaded with other problems, such as the ups and downs of life with teenage children, caring for elderly relatives, changes in your relationship if you have one or perhaps doing a job outside the home for the first time in years. If, on top of all this, you have the menopause to deal with, it’s not surprising if you feel below par!

Despite all the changes you may be experiencing, it is important to keep things in perspective. The menopause need not be the end of life as you once knew it, but rather the beginning of a new phase that can be just as exciting and rewarding as your earlier years. As long as you take into account all of your symptoms, there is a lot you can do to make this transition into the next stage as smooth as possible.

What seems like midlife mayhem can turn into the beginning of a wonderful new phase in your life. You just need to know how to meet the needs of your body and that’s my focus in the live webinars I’m scheduling in May. They are completely free so go to the homepage here at to register your interest.

Read My Ten Tips For A Healthy Midlife

Quantifying the Hidden Cost of Menopause

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After just three months the number of women who have watched my Facebook Live films on reclaiming wellbeing at midlife has passed the one million mark. This confirms without doubt that huge numbers of women are desperately searching for solutions to get out of hormone hell at peri-menopause and menopause.

I find it amazing that no-one has truly quantified the cost of menopause on relationships, productivity or self-esteem, not to mention the amount of money spent on over the counter remedies that in many cases fail to provide relief from often severe symptoms that leave millions of women feeling like they have been possessed by an alien.

Overwhelmed by thermal surges by day and by night, dripping with perspiration, dreading another night of insomnia, many women also suffer with severe panic attacks and palpitations, aches and pains that stop them in their tracks at this life stage. Feeling energetic, being pleased with their reflection and having an appetite for sex often seems like a dim and distant memory.

Every day in my Facebook Group Natural Menopause – Making the Midlife Switch I hear horror stories from women who don’t feel like they are being taken seriously by their doctor or given the support they need at home or in the workplace.

Blinded by their desperation for help, many constantly search for workable self-help remedies, but are not armed with sufficient knowledge to distinguish which products are likely to deliver what their attractive packs promise.  Far too many over the counter products are put together with profit in mind rather than efficacy or safety and are neither standardised nor been through any clinical trials.   Women consequently find themselves regularly spending money without seeing the benefits; ending up despondent and afraid.

There is clearly a need for clarity, interpretation of the wealth of medical publications on the subject and much more help and support from family members and work colleagues.

In order to quantify the hidden cost of menopause I have put together a survey in the hopes that the results will highlight the huge need for change.  As a token of my appreciation to women for completing the Hidden Cost of Menopause survey I have a free gift for the.  A magazine style collection of phytoestrogen rich recipes will arrive in their inbox.

Here is the link to the survey – please fee free to pass it around to your friends and colleagues in your workplace.

Men on Pause

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Men on Pause


When I told my husband “I turned down five men today”, he looked at me sideways.  At first he thought I was joking, but it was true.  And my dirty little secret is that it’s not the first time; it happens almost every day!

Since opening the doors of my new Facebook Group less than three months ago, inviting women to journey with me to make their Midlife Switch, I have not only attracted over 5000 female members, but it has sparked interest amongst men.  Whilst the women are struggling with the nightmarish symptoms of peri-menopause and menopause, believing they have been possessed by an alien, their husbands and partners are understandably feeling bewildered by the challenging behaviour and lack of spark.  Sex drive is one of the first things to leave the building during menopause because women default to what I call ‘Economy Mode’ due to low levels of nutrients and diminished circulating oestrogen; it follows that men might also be interested in finding a solution.

Overwhelmed by thermal surges by day and by night, dripping with perspiration, dreading another night of insomnia, many women at the time of the menopause are also suffering with severe panic attacks and palpitations, aches and pains that stop them in their tracks as well as fatigue making them feel like they have been hit by a train.

If my experience in the last three months is anything to go by, women don’t have to have reached fifty before this onslaught.   There are millions of women around the world who are completely taken by surprise and under prepared for their midlife experience.  In that short time, my Facebook Live films have been viewed by over three-quarters of a million women, and clearly some men.  They are searching for solutions as all that seems to be on offer at their doctor’s surgery is hormone treatment or antidepressants; neither of which are viable long term propositions for most women.

Having helped tens of thousands of women successfully overcome their symptoms for more than 25 years without using drugs or hormones, I decided to call time to the suffering.  A little knowledge goes a long way.  So my new mission is to

raise awareness about the many scientifically based tools that can be implemented at midlife enabling women to reclaim their wellbeing and find the person both they and their partner thought had evaporated.

With my members in mind I put together a magazine style workbook ‘Natural Menopause – Making the Midlife Switch’ and edited my film Get Fit for Midlife.  I’ve begun taking a group of members on their recovery journey using both video and online workshops. The members voted for the group to remain women only; but by giving them back the girl they married it seems there is more than one way to put a smile back on men’s faces.


If you happen to be female and suffering you are most welcome to join our community

To download the book and the film