Peri Peri Chick - How do you know you're in perimenopause?

One of the utterly dumbfounding awakenings that I personally experienced is when I started to feel more like Eeyore than Tigger at the tender age of 45, and went to my doctor with the assumption that I was suffering with chronic fatigue syndrome.


The GP peeked over her glasses and nonchalantly said, “45?”, to which I replied, “yes”. “Ah well, that will most likely be perimenopause then, let’s book you in for some blood tests.”


In my mind, I was thinking peri? What…there’s a PRE to the big M? No-one told me this. I had just assumed you arrive at 50, have a year without a monthly cycle, maybe some hot flushes and hey presto, menopause done and busted!

WRONG! In hindsight, no one had ever talked to me about menopause. I can remember my mum handing me a cute little book when I was 11 on what to expect when you get your first period but where was the information when you get into your 40s about the next hormonal overhaul?! I thought I had a clear streak ahead before even entertaining the idea of menopause and then they trickle, one by one, symptom after symptom. Crippling anxiety, fatigue, sleeplessness, hot flushes, night sweats, weight gain, bloating, low mood, tearfulness, anger, low energy, brain fog, joint pain...the list goes on.


The blood tests were negative so I was set adrift without a firm diagnosis. I had looked up all the signs of perimenopause and was in full acknowledgement that it was in full swing. Determined to see the proof I booked my own private blood test, wrongly assuming that this would be more accurate, but it wasn’t, and again returned as negative.


As a huge believer in plant-based medicines, I decided to try different herbs and supplements trying to hack my own hormones to no avail. Myriam was in the same boat, although our symptoms differed. We both reached the end of our tether. This is the moment when we decided to go hell for leather putting together the perfect solution for our own symptoms. If I could research and produce feasibility studies on hydrogen fuel cells for big automotive firms as part of my day job, I was very confident I could research the scientific findings from around the world on what plants work best in proven studies for various menopause symptoms.


Once we had conducted extensive research, we engaged a Research and Development team of nutritional scientists in Oxford to examine our own findings. Having read every scientific study we could find on menopause, and studied all the successful trials that used different herbs and the impact they had on symptoms, the estrobolome was of particular interest to us and the link between gut health and hormonal balance, so this is where we placed our focus and how Minerva Reset was born.


I had always maintained a healthy weight but found that my weight had increased significantly during this time without any change to my diet or exercise regime. In fact, no matter how hard I tried to cut back on carbs and sugar, the weight still kept coming, which was demoralising. The weight gain also hit my self-esteem and I started to live in my new meno-uniform of leggings and hoodies in an attempt to cover up and not feel uncomfortable in my normal clothes, which I was spewing over the top of.