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The menopause is the time at which a woman’s ability to have a baby ends. The menopause typically starts between 45 and 55 years of age. These reproductive years start when a woman begins to menstruate (have periods) and ends with the menopause when she shops menstruating (she stops having periods).

The end of menstruation occurs when an individual’s store of eggs (which reduce with every menstrual cycle) becomes depleted. When the egg production declines, the level of oestrogen being produced reduces. This drop in oestrogen level is the main reason why most women experience menopausal symptoms.


There is a time before the menopause when periods become less regular and a woman may begin to experience menopausal symptoms. This time is caused the perimenopause. Pre menopausal symptoms can be the same as menopausal symptoms; in some people these may be milder or less frequent but in other people the can be as severe as when their periods finally end.

Signs and symptoms of the menopause

Signs and symptoms of the menopause can be very different from person to person. Some women don’t experience any symptoms, whilst others may experience one, two or more symptoms. They include hot flushes, night sweats, ageing skin, vaginal dryness and loss of tone, declining libido, headaches, mood swings, depression, joint pain or stiffness, weight gain, irritability and low energy.

There are many steps that you can take with diet and lifestyle changes to help reduce or stop these symptoms. The menopause does not have to be a difficult or negative time. It is a natural process and with understanding and support, your body can reach a new stage and new hormonal balance. The Zeal Health one day workshops provide you with information to help you achieve that balance with a leading nutritionist, behavioural change expert and complementary therapy techniques to put you back in control of your body.

Early signs of the menopause

Less regular periods may be the first thing that women notice or it may be that you experience the symptoms of menopause before your menstrual cycle changes.

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The drop in oestrogen levels affects the hypothalamus (area in the brain) which influences, amongst other things, body temperature. In order to help control hot flushes, it is important to support the body reaching a new balance of hormones. Our bodies are meant to experience a decline in oestrogen levels but sometimes this shift in hormonal balance needs some support. Our workshops discuss the dietary, lifestyle and supplement choices to help you move through the menopause as easily as possible.