Is perimenopause taking you on a wild rollercoaster ride? There are several reasons why perimenopause is rough on some, but a big contributing factor is how your body regulates blood sugar.

Let’s look at how a common health condition, insulin resistance, can make perimenopause a nightmare for you.

What is insulin resistance (IR)?

IR occurs when you have consistently high levels of insulin. It’s a known precursor to type 2 diabetes, so you might see it referred to as pre-diabetes.

Insulin is a hormone that’s secreted by the pancreas in response to the glucose entering our blood. Its job is to allow glucose into our cells and store body fat.

In IR, your body produces plenty of insulin, but your cells don’t get the ‘message’. To try and fix the problem, your body will produce more insulin. Unfortunately, this just perpetuates the cycle by increasing the cells’ resistance to insulin.

Symptoms of insulin resistance

Some of the symptoms of insulin resistance include:

  • Weight gain or difficulty losing weight

  • Weight gain around the abdominal area

  • Sugar and carb cravings

  • Fatigue and low energy

  • Skin tags

  • Fatigue

  • Cognitive symptoms such as brain fog, memory issues and inability to focus

  • Hot flushes

  • Heavy, painful periods

  • High cholesterol or triglycerides

  • Fatty liver (NAFLD)

You might notice that there are a lot of symptoms that overlap with perimenopause. This is no coincidence – in many cases, it’s because perimenopause has led to (or at least contributed to) insulin resistance.

The effects on perimenopause

When there is too much insulin in the bloodstream, it can cause inflammation. One kind of inflammation it can cause is meta-inflammation (metabolic inflammation). This leads to the classic perimenopause symptoms of gaining weight around the belly area.

Then there’s also more sugar (glucose) in the bloodstream because cells aren’t ‘listening’ to insulin, which is a double-whammy for inflammation!

We also need to consider the relationship between insulin resistance and oestrogen. Oestrogen helps the brain to use glucose for energy and increases insulin sensitivity. So when your oestrogen levels drop off intermittently during the transition of perimenopause, you become more insulin resistant.

High stress is another common contributor to this perfect storm. During perimenopause, you’ll have a lower tolerance for stress thanks to the fluctuating hormones and drop in progesterone. Stress contributes to insulin resistance.

And if that wasn’t enough, insulin resistance can exacerbate the perimenopausal symptoms you already had! It becomes a never-ending cycle for many.

Adjusting to perimenopause

One of the biggest challenges your body and brain have during perimenopause is oestrogen fluctuations. In fact, the drop in oestrogen that occurs can lead to a drop of 25% in energy production and brain activity. As a result, you’re likely to have brain fog, forgetfulness, or just feel fatigued all the time.

It takes time to adjust to this, but if your brain re-calibrates, this is a temporary experience. The issue is that for some people, the brain doesn’t adjust and the low energy continues. It may even lead to Alzheimer’s disease, which we now know is linked to insulin resistance (it’s now known as type 3 diabetes!)

The key here is to ensure that you have metabolic flexibility – which we touched on in a previous blog. Otherwise, you might be on the path to feeling hungry, irritable, foggy and exhausted for a long time to come! Stay tuned for a future article where I’ll explore how to get insulin resistance under control.

There is no quick fix for insulin resistance!

When it comes to insulin resistance (and perimenopause) it takes time to see the results of diet and lifestyle changes. As a result, more people are looking for supplement options to help them reach their health goals quickly.

Honestly, when I looked for the type of supplement I wanted to fast-track my own well-being, my options were limited. That’s why I’ve formulated my own innovative supplement designed with healthy ageing in mind! Plus it helps to:

  • Support healthy blood glucose & metabolism of carbohydrates

  • Regulate a healthy menstrual cycle

  • Support healthy reproductive hormones

  • Support natural liver detoxification processes

Learn more about Energy Glow NR here.

Hi, I’m Susie.

I help women feeling stressed, flat and older than they’d like regain their youthful energy and glow using a proven method so their natural beauty and confidence shines through.

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Susie Garden

I help women feeling stressed, flat and older than they’d like regain their youthful energy and glow using a proven method so their natural beauty and confidence shines through.