Menopause - don't put your life on pause

Written by Helen Morton, Nutritional Therapist DipION

October is Menopause Awareness Month - helping women deal with everything this life change throws at us is something that I am passionate about. Here, I share individual experiences from some of the Optibac Probiotics team, along with holistic diet and lifestyle advice that has helped myself and the team.

Four women laughing and cuddling

Enjoy the freedom

It's true that the years you spend transitioning through the menopause can be a struggle at times. Many women find that symptoms that are varied and ever-changing, keeping you on your toes more than you might like.

Going through the menopause can (eventually) be a really positive experience - the freedom that comes when periods have stopped and PMS no longer rules your life feels liberating. But, as with any major change, there can be hurdles to overcome first.

Brainstorm image

Experiences of real women

We recently carried out an anonymous survey amongst the women who work at Optibac Probiotics, to understand people's experiences of and thoughts on the menopause which gave us a huge amount of real life insight.

There are 34 recognised menopause symptoms according to the NHS, which can be debilitating and tough to deal with over a prolonged period of time.

Our team at Optibac Probiotics have experienced a wide range of symptoms, with fatigue and mood changes being the most common. 

Menopause symptoms are unique to you

What the survey highlighted, and is something that I want to educate people on, is that every woman experiences menopause symptoms in a different way. Whilst hot flushes are renowned with menopause, we found that only 50% of women surveyed struggled with this symptom. And every individual had a different array of symptoms, which really highlights that each womans experience is so individual.

We've captured below three profiles of real women and I've provided some top level advice on how to help manage the symptoms. I'm a qualified Nutritional Therapist and PT, and have first-hand experience of going through the menopause.

My recommendations below are valid whether you choose to take HRT or not, but it's best to seek medical advice if symptoms become severe. 

Fatima's symptom profile


This is Fatima, she suffers with frequent headaches, brain fog, anxiety, fatigue, and mood changes.

My advice for Fatima:

Prioritise mind/body exercise by taking daily walks outside, the fresh air can really help, I listen to audiobooks or podcasts sometimes too. Gentle exercises such as Yoga is also a good option.

Supplements: Magnesium for relaxation and Vitamin B12 and Iron for energy as well as a highly researched multi strain probiotic supplement such as Every Day to support the gut-brain axis.

Lizzie's symptom profile

Lizzie's menopause journey

This is Lizzie, she suffers with hot flushes, body odour, digestive problems, weight gain and joint pain.

My advice for Lizzie:

Being mindful of alcohol and sugar intake can help with both hot flushes and weight gain. Choose low impact exercise that is gentle on joints - my personal favourite is swimming.

Supplements: Sage for hot flushes, Glucosamine for joint pain and stiffness, plus a high strength daily probiotic supplement such as Every Day EXTRA to complement the body's natural gut bacteria.

Anita's symptom profile


This is Anita, she suffers with thinning hair, changes in libido, breast tenderness and vaginal dryness.

My advice for Anita:

Aim to eat some protein as part of every meal and snack to help with hair growth. I like to have a handful of almonds as a morning snack. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is also advised.

Cycling, Pilates and strength based exercises are good exercise options for Anita.

Supplements: A good quality multivitamin and mineral supplement to fill in any nutritional gaps and a probiotic supplement specifically designed for the vaginal microbiome like For Women.

Not sure which supplement suits you

Get personalised advice

For Optibac Probiotics supplement advice from one of our qualified Nutritional Therapists please click below to book a confidential 1:1