Some women experience debilitating perimenopause symptoms when they are feeling young and vital.

What seem like increased premenstrual symptoms can be the first signs of perimenopause and menopause.

 

Do you experience missed periods?

Your 'time of the month' is typically regular, but when your period doesn’t show up on time, or gets shorter and lighter, or you start to clot heavily, it may signal menopause approaching. Remember, being in full menopause occurs after a full 12-month period without menstruation.

Do you experience hot flashes?

Just about any woman approaching menopause knows a hot flash when she feels one. That sudden overwhelming blast of heat that extends from your forehead to your toes and leaves you soaking with sweat occurs due to hormones mixing up your body’s temperature regulation (the hypothalamus).

Unexpected weight gain?

Weight gain can be a very frustrating attribute of menopause, especially since the added weight tends to accumulate in the midsection, which can leave you at risk of heart disease. Try to combat weight gain by consuming a healthy diet and enjoying some regular exercise.

Are you suffering from insomnia?

Insomnia is typical to women in peri-menopause as estrogen levels deplete and the brain excretes fight-or-flight response chemicals that keep you on high alert through the night. Many women find that regular exercise accompanied by melatonin supplements help them get their blissful sleep back.

Do you have vaginal dryness?

As estrogen decreases so does the body’s lubrication and moisture in the skin, hair, and more intimate areas like in the vagina, which can make sex suddenly painful or uncomfortable. Talk to your gynecologist about over the counter lubricants to help increase moisture and sexual enjoyment.

Are you experiencing mood swings?

Pregnancy and Menopause, both of which have pms like symptoms, leave the hormones unbalanced - often resulting in anger outbursts, irritability, or crying for no reason. If you add to that sleep deprivation, and the fear and confusion over the changes taking place in your body, it’s no wonder you’re a bit moody.

Do you have sore breasts?

Sore, tender breasts are often a sign of menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause too due to hormonal changes, water retention, and swollen breast tissues. In the meantime, you may want to buy a comfortable bra with added support and cut out excess caffeine, which can aggravate swelling and water retention.

Chronic headaches?

As certain hormones deplete, certain foods (i.e., caffeine) can aggravate neurological changes in our brains. Migraines are often a painful symptom of peri-menopause, and excess coffee, noise, and bright lights never help those who suffer from chronic headaches.

Decreased sex drive?

When women transition into menopause they often feel one of 2 extremes. While some feel sexually liberated now that they are no longer able to get pregnant; others suffer sudden self-consciousness and feel undesirable. Many times testosterone hormone therapy can help restore some of that lost libido.

Experiencing incontinence?

Do you suffer an embarrassing leak when you sneeze or jump up and down? Bladder changes are typical during perimenopause as estrogen decreases and leaves the pelvic and bladder muscles weaker than normal. You can try Kegel exercises to strengthen the muscles of the bladder and pelvic.

 

Menopause, The Emotional Roller-Coaster.

Sadness

Menopause is a life change and symptoms can make you feel sad and depressed. It can also cause weight gain so it is important to remain active and exercise frequently.

Feeling a constant state of PMS

This is also a symptom of menopause. First, it is important to understand why you are feeling this way. Next, be proactive, try some yoga and/or other relaxation techniques.

Irritability

Feeling irritable is a common emotional symptom of menopause. These symptoms can often be managed through therapy or by adapting new ways to reduce your stress level and relax.

Anxiety

Not knowing what is going on with your mind and body can make you feel anxious. Try consuming less caffeine and stay connected with friends and family.

Anger

Menopause can create mood swings and cause you to feel as though you have no self control. Try taking a long walk or practicing self calming skills.

Difficulty concentrating

Can be caused by decreased estrogen levels experienced during menopause. Again, try calming techniques and avoid alcohol.

Fatigue

Part of the reason you feel fatigue is due to sleep disturbance. Try making your room a sacred sanctuary and avoid drinking caffeine past 3pm. Caffeine stays in your system a long time.

Mood swings

Do you find that you are bouncing between happy and sad and or experiencing feelings of depression? This is also due to decreased levels of estrogen. Exercising, keeping good company and getting plenty of rest will help.

Stress

Stems from the fear of not knowing how to cope with all of the changes you are experiencing. Nothing works better to alleviate tension than exercise and getting a good night sleep

Impatient

Your patience may decreases greatly from feeling like you are unaware of what is happening to your emotions and your body. Try some soft self soothing techniques and consider joining a support group.