According to Dr. Isabel Welch, the answer to this question is a resounding “Yes, but only sometimes!” Allow us to elaborate further.
Perimenopause is a natural stage in a woman’s life that precedes menopause. It brings about various physical and hormonal changes as the body prepares for the cessation of menstrual cycles. During this transitional phase, many women experience symptoms such as hot flushes, mood swings, irregular periods, and sleep disturbances.
While the diagnosis of perimenopause has traditionally relied on the observation of these symptoms, advancements in medical science have introduced an additional tool that provides valuable insights: blood tests. While blood tests offer more information about hormonal changes, it’s important to note that this is still only part of a diagnosis, there is no single blood test that reliably predicts when a woman is going through menopause, or menopausal transition.
Hormone levels during perimenopause can vary significantly and may fluctuate from week to week or month to month. Consequently, relying solely on hormone levels measured through blood tests may not provide a clear indication of where a woman is in her menopausal journey. Hormone levels can still fall within the normal range, even if a woman is experiencing symptoms associated with perimenopause.
In this article, we will explore the snapshot nature of blood tests and discuss insights shared by Dr. Isabel Welch in her recent video, offering ways to obtain a clearer understanding of perimenopause – click to watch https://www.instagram.com/p/Cs_CiQUI52j
The Significance of Blood Tests
Blood tests have long been utilised in the medical field to assess various aspects of a person’s health. They provide a wealth of information about the body’s functioning, including hormone levels, nutrient status, organ function, and more. In the context of perimenopause, blood tests can play a role in diagnosing and understanding the changes occurring within a woman’s body, but as shared by Dr. Isabel Welch, only sometimes!
Hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, play a vital role in regulating a woman’s menstrual cycle and overall well-being. During perimenopause, hormone levels can fluctuate dramatically, leading to a roller coaster of symptoms that many women experience. One day, you may find yourself battling brain fog, hot sweats, and fatigue, while the next day, you may feel energised and back to your full power.
Dr. Isabel Welch, explains that blood tests offer a snapshot in time, providing valuable information about the current hormonal balance. It may be that you need to undertake a number blood tests or perhaps a second blood test in 6 weeks’ time to analyse hormone levels, this can help healthcare providers to tailor treatment plans and interventions to alleviate symptoms and support women through this transitional phase.
Identifying Other Health Markers
Beyond hormonal balance, blood tests can also reveal important markers of a woman’s overall health during perimenopause. For example, blood tests can assess lipid profile, blood sugar levels, liver function, and thyroid function. These tests can help to identify diseases that can mimic perimenopause symptoms, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or thyroid disorders. Dr. Welch emphasises that a comprehensive evaluation like the holistic review provided by Oxona Health allows healthcare providers to create personalised treatment plans that address not only the symptoms of perimenopause but also promote overall health and well-being.
Oxona Health Holistic Approach
Perimenopause is a complex physiological process that affects women differently. It is essential to recognise that symptoms may vary in intensity and duration. Dr. Welch emphasises that a holistic approach, combining both symptoms, medication, family history and objective data from blood tests, can give better information to provide solutions for the effective management of perimenopause.
Perimenopause can have a big impact on your life, the symptoms are not something you just have to put up with. At Oxona Health, we’ll help you understand the range of options available to you. These options rarely involved a spiralling bill in private sector healthcare. As NHS GPs ourselves we have a unique understanding of what can and cannot be done. We are dedicated to ensuring you are on the best pathway for you.
Some patients will visit us for a single informed discussion ready to return to their NHS GP to request prescriptions or blood tests. If we discuss or find something of concern during your consultation, we can send you directly back into the NHS two week wait list, no need to battle the phone lines and try to see your NHS GP for a referral.
You also have the choice of being referred onward for further secondary private care if this is your preference. Other patients will choose to continue their care with us for their entire perimenopause and menopause journey. We empower you as a patient, ensuring you have the information you need to make the best decisions for you.
To book an appointment use the online booking tool on our website or call 01865 965027. Our team are more than happy to advise on suitability of appointment type and answer any questions you may have.