It’s Mother’s day this month and we at Modibodi South Africa are focusing on Women and our health.  As women, we're often the pillars of strength, juggling multiple responsibilities while trying to maintain our well-being. But what happens when hormonal imbalances disrupt this delicate balance? Welcome to perimenopause—a phase that brings significant hormonal shifts and, for many, a rollercoaster of symptoms. It's crucial to recognise when these imbalances are affecting us and to prioritise our health during this transitional period.


Enter some first-hand experience from one of our Modibodi clients…

This introduction couldn’t ring truer for myself and I’m sure, hundreds of thousands of women out there as well! It’s a roller-coaster – and not a fun one. Added with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) and it’s a real treat.

I hadn’t been feeling well for a while. I knew something was up from last year but my cycle was regular (besides getting a bit heavier) and I’m only 43 so thought there’s no ways I’m heading into Menopause. The scary thing is how little I knew (and still don’t know) about menopause.

The exhaustion is a real thing, but you think, it’s a hot summer and everyone is feeling lethargic. Yes, sure but just how lethargic? I would be happy and productive one day and then quite exhausted and down the next. The mood swings were unpredictable and my hubby and children knew about it. Not fun.

Gradual weight gain was on the rise and the sugar cravings became regular. Then to add to an already adventurous day, a headache would add itself to the mix.

Then the forgetfulness…I was starting to think I was developing dementia, to the extent that I would start a conversation and completely forget what I was going to talk about a second later. That would create next level anxiety. Constantly forgetting why I walked into a room and what I had planned for that day – never mind what I had for breakfast that morning.

After chatting to a friend, I went to see a dietician, Claire Strydom at Nutritional Solutions in Bryanston. She specialises in PCOS and weight loss and has an extensive knowledge on all diet related challenges. She sent me off for a few blood tests and revealed so many reasons as to why I wasn’t feeling well. Vitamin and iron levels way too low, Glucose, Triglycerides, Cholesterol too high. The list went on.

She put me on a diet tailored to my results and added in good quality supplements where needed. She also works closely with Board Certified Functional Medicine Specialist, Dr Mary Atkinson and recommended I go see her regarding the hormone fluctuations.

One week later I was already feeling so much better. My cognitive recall was better and I felt a lot more able to deal with the day. After seeing Dr Mary Atkinson a few weeks later, I was boosted on my track to feeling myself again with some additional medication to address my hormonal imbalances.

A few months on and I can’t believe how well I feel. Everything was so messed up into one big “I don’t feel well” that I now feel I’m able to pinpoint small things and address those as needed.

Ladies don’t wait! If you’re not feeling yourself, please get help from a professional. There are just too many things that we have to deal with as Mothers, Partners, Career women, Children of elderly parents that need us more (if you’re still blessed to have them around).

Don’t underestimate the value you add and how important it is to take time for you!


Things I can’t express enough:

  • Follow Dr Mary Atkinson and Claire Strydom on the socials. Do it now. Their pages are awesome and offer brilliant tips:
  • Talk to your friends about what you’re feeling. It’s awesome to have support and chances are they have or are currently going through something similar and it helps to process everything.
  • Reach out to a health professional. Get those bloods checked and get on top of your health!
  • Discuss the various medical treatments (because there are many) and agree on the route you believe will work best for you (everyone is different so don’t go with what your friend is on. Take the lead from your doctor)
  • Document your progress – an app is great for this. I currently use P Tracker and its free! It’s got preloaded symptoms that you can tap on the for that day and if you’re experiencing other symptoms, you can type that in to keep record. I also record any changes in medication etc so that when I have my check-ups – it’s all there in my calendar.
  • Get your eating right! Dietician Claire Strydom is a genius and offers the most practical meal plans. Nourish your body and see the results.

Understanding Perimenopause

Perimenopause and Menopause are largely misunderstood and we tend to think we’re too young or that if our periods are regular, we are still fine. This is not the case. We need to educate ourselves more and nowadays we are spoilt with access to tips via social media that come directly from certified professionals. Make sure you follow professionals (two recommended links above if you missed it)

In short, Perimenopause marks the transition to menopause and typically begins in a woman's 40s, although it can start earlier for some. During this phase, the ovaries gradually produce less estrogen, leading various symptoms. These may include hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings, fatigue, sleep disturbances, and changes in libido. While these symptoms are a natural part of the hormonal fluctuations, they can significantly impact our quality of life.


Recognising the Signs:

One of the first steps in taking care of ourselves during perimenopause is recognising when hormonal imbalances are at play. Stop pushing them aside. It's easy to dismiss symptoms as just part of getting older or being overly stressed. Paying attention to how we feel and identify patterns so that you can distinguish between normal fluctuations and potential hormone-related issues.


Exploring Treatment Options:

There's no one-size-fits-all approach to managing perimenopausal symptoms, so it may take some trial and error to find what works best for you. That’s why you need to seek help form a professional that works in this area. Hormone therapy, which involves taking estrogen or a combination of estrogen and progesterone, is one option for relieving symptoms like hot flushes and vaginal dryness. However, it's essential to discuss the potential risks and benefits with your healthcare provider, especially if you have a history of certain medical conditions.



Perimenopause is a time of transition that can bring about significant changes, both physically and emotionally. While navigating hormonal imbalances may feel overwhelming at times, it's crucial to prioritise self-care and seek support when needed. By understanding the signs, seeking help from healthcare professionals, and exploring treatment options, we can better manage perimenopausal symptoms and embrace this new chapter with confidence and vitality. Remember, you deserve to feel your best during this transformative journey and you’re not alone! Let’s look out for each other.


Share your stories with us:

If you have, or are experiencing something similar, please share your stories with us. Lets build a network of support.

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Best Regards,

The Modibodi Team

12 May 2024

May 12, 2024