Society has a polarised view of menopause treatment, you are either in the ‘HRT’ camp or the ‘natural’ camp. Those who are looking for natural solutions are often vehemently against HRT. And there are some in the HRT camp looking for a quick fix for their symptoms and pay little heed to changing their lifestyle.

In my work with women through menopause it is clear that no one size fits all. Some women will cope well after lifestyle and nutritional changes, sometimes benefitting from a course of acupuncture or yoga classes. Others find that the severity of symptoms exceeds the benefits derived from lifestyle and alternative therapies, and only get true relief with HRT.

But both sides are equally important. For some women struggling to keep down jobs or relationships, HRT can be lifesaving. But women on HRT can also benefit from listening to the other side. Making nutritional and lifestyle changes will optimise how you feel on HRT. Having seen several women start HRT, improve, but not quite enough, understanding how nutrition and stress affects them and making the right lifestyle choices made the difference. As I tell women, it is impossible to pour from an empty cup. Self-care during midlife is central to wellbeing.

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