As we age changes do occur in our bodies. In women we see changes in estrogen and progesterone. Sometimes this can begin as early as late 30′s. This decline will continue into women’s 40’s and cessation of menses in their 50′s. Of course these things are very individual.

Women in their mid to late-30’s, can sometimes see a decline of progesterone as well. Progesterone is responsible for maintaining the lining of the uterus. With levels of progesterone dropping, estrogen levels dominate. We can then see women having fluid retention, headaches, impatience, anger, irritability, bloating, and breast tenderness.

If the decline of progesterone is already evident some women in their 40’s may begin to experience a decline of estrogen. The decline can lead to hot flashes, night sweats, difficulty sleeping, memory challenges and most commonly an increase in mild depression. It is now quite common for some women to be advised to take a mild anti-depressant such as “PRISTIQ” This needs to be discussed in detail with your own doctor. It may help with imbalances of the neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin.

However for a more natural approach look at the following:

Avoid sugar and alcohol in your diet as they can exaggerate hormonal symptoms. Eat more Omega-3-rich foods, these come from fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel, and barramundi. Also consume walnuts, (they contain linolenic acid) flax seed, and add some cold pressed flax oil on your cereal in the morning. Eat more beans and lentils, as they contain B-Complex vitamins such as folate and B6.Consume more calcium (dairy) lean red meat, eggs for iron (small serves), fiber from grains, include 4-5 cups of vegetables and 1-1.5 cups of fruit, drink lots of water, try and maintain a healthy weight by keeping up exercise including some aerobic and weight training. Try and reduce foods high in saturated fats, and avoid too much salt. I hope this helps a little. Hormone therapy has a better rap today than it did some years back, however each case is individual so talk with a Doctor you know well and trust. Good Luck.

By: John Hart

Master’s In Education” (Disability/Rehab) Newcastle University Australia

“Grad Cert Education” Newcastle University Australia

“Diploma Fitness/Recreation”

“Diploma of Sport and Recreation”

“Cert 4 Personal Training”

“Level 1 Strength and Conditioning Coach”

Member of ASCA (Australian Strength and Conditioning Association)


  1. Jo January 18, 2013 at 9:44 am Permalink

    Thank you so much John, I’ve found your information to be common sense and straight ford. I’ve just turned 49 and have been very confused by all the conflicting eating information I’ve read over the last 30 odd years. Some things conflict others so much. I’ve just read this peri-menopause article after reading you fb upload re edit misnomers. Thank you very much for your knowledge. In November I gave the Bodytrim plan a really full on try and lost a tiny bit of weight but my joints, ankles knees and knuckles have been wickedly sore since. I stopped eating so much protien and have started eating anti inflammatory foods to try and return my body to its former state. So far little change. Anyway, thanks your info was timely, confirmed what my body was telling me. Jo

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