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My musings on menopause

Menopausal Symptoms – Not Actually a Mystery

An article from the Guardian on 27th August 2019, and the headlines are:

“The menopause: why so little research on the middle-aged ovary?”

“Even the way a woman’s decline in oestrogen relates to her symptoms is a mystery, scientists say”

It’s not a mystery to me! Honestly, who are these scientists??

It’s taken me 3 years to find the answers but the research is there. Although they’re looking in the wrong place for a start. The issue is not with the ovary – the issue is with what oestrogen has stopped doing!

Here is a sample of what I’ve written for the PeriMenoFix course:

One of the many functions of oestrogen is to deliver blood sugar to the cells of the body. This sugar is the energy that powers the whole body and the brain.

As oestrogen levels start to decline in peri/menopause, the delivery of blood sugar also starts to decline, which means that the cells are getting less and less energy and:

  • You start feeling tired, all the time.
  • Your brain is deprived of energy which leads to brain fog, depression, memory loss and possibly eventually dementia.
  • The energy crisis in your brain initiates a huge adrenaline rush to release high amounts of glucose from the liver into the blood stream – this causes hot flushes in the daytime and night sweats at night.
  • Adrenaline rushes at night mean that going to sleep and staying asleep becomes difficult;
  • Adrenaline rushes create anxiety which can lead to panic attacks.
  • High adrenaline destabilises potassium balance which means the heart can’t function properly and this leads to heart palpitations.
  • High levels of blood sugar causes weight gain as unused blood sugar is converted to fat.  

To sum up: peri/menopausal symptoms are not an oestrogen problem, they are an energy problem.

The less oestrogen you have, the less blood sugar your body can use. If you eat too much sugar or carbohydrates, it gets converted to fat and you are left with a dwindling energy resource – you put on more and more weight while your body and your brain are starving.

This is why women in peri/menopause end up with sugar cravings, high blood sugar and gain weight while their bodies are starving for energy. This leads to debilitating fatigue, brain fog, anxiety, hot flushes, night sweats and the long list of other problems. Women with these symptoms are eating the wrong food and their bodies and brain are starving.

The PeriMenoFix fixes all these problems 🙂

The article goes on to say:

“We don’t fully understand that aspect of it,” said Waljit Dhillo, a professor in endocrinology and metabolism at Imperial College London. …Even within a single individual, the way a woman’s decline in oestrogen relates to her symptoms is a mystery. In basic terms, hot flushes are known to be caused by the decline in oestrogen experienced when the fertility cycle comes to an end and more sudden drops in oestrogen tend to cause more extreme symptoms, but beyond that our knowledge seems to taper off.”

Professor Dhillo might not get it, but it makes perfect sense to me: the more drastically oestrogen drops, the more drastic the drop in blood sugar delivery to the body, and the brain, which means more drastic low energy symptoms.

More from the article:

“Some scientists say they are met with puzzlement when trying to justify new research into possible treatments. Hormone replacement therapy has long been the most widely used intervention, but there is still a lack of basic understanding about how HRT interacts with a woman’s body.

One of the reviewers for our grant asked ‘Aren’t you medicalising a physiological process?’,” said Dhillo”

Well yes! You totally are! Adding unnecessary oestrogen is working against what a woman’s body is trying to do, which is to get rid of oestrogen. Taking HRT, soya, flaxseed, maca etc is adding to the oestrogenic burden, which then has to be detoxified, adding to the work that the liver has to do.

The fix is so simple: low carbohydrate, high fat nutrition that is adapted to women’s biology.

Working with the body instead of against it, and switching nutrition from burning sugar to burning fat is the foundation of the PeriMenoFix.


By Sandra Ishkanes

I am a Functional Medicine expert specialising in women’s hormonal health. I work like a health detective, rooting out the underlying causes of hormonal imbalances and I take a whole-body approach to healthcare, combining nutrition, supplements, lifestyle upgrades and cutting-edge biomedical testing.


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