Perimenopause. The word alone can cause intense bodily responses. Do you find yourself overcome with weepiness or even heart-felt sobbing, for no apparent reason? Do you feel like your self-esteem has just hit the floor? It’s not your fault – your hormones are playing tricks on you; you have an imbalance.
A decline in female hormones during perimenopause greatly affects the way we think, behave and react, and are responsible for changes in mood; whether we are happy, sad or even depressed.
Menopause is not just about hot flashes. It’s common for women to feel irritable, anxious, tense and utterly exhausted long before hot flushes take over their body. If you are in your 40s or 50s and experiencing any of the following, it’s not you, it’s your hormones!
Of course, if you are in your 40’s (or even late 30s) you might not want to accept that you are going through perimenopause. I’ve been there, I felt it. Initially I didn’t accept it – that I was going through perimenopause. But believe me, forearmed is definitely forewarned. Researching and understanding the hormonal changes in my body was the best thing I ever did. It allowed me to take control of the situation and seek out a natural remedy for the menopause.
If you are experiencing any of the following, you maybe going through perimenopause.
- Anxious or feeling you can’t cope
Fluctuating hormone levels in perimenopause can often have a negative effect on emotions. We all understand the effect hormonal changes have on our reproductive system, but fluctuating hormones levels also greatly effect our brain. Quite simply, a change in hormone levels influence much more than just our reproductive system, they affect the production of our mood monitoring chemicals (neurotransmitters) such as serotonin (the feel-good neurotransmitter), GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) and dopamine.
- Feeling sad and tired
As well as waking up drenched in sweat you might also feel sad and tired. It’s frustrating that most of the lifestyle advice recommended to women experiencing these symptoms today is to get more sleep. Seems easy! When hormones are fluctuating and therefore imbalanced, it is almost impossible to sleep. And when we can’t sleep hormones will never be balanced – it’s a vicious cycle. Chronic insomnia is one of the most debilitating symptoms of perimenopause and puts the body under an extreme amount of stress. At this time the fluctuation of the sex hormones oestrogens and progesterone and the significant decline in DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) cause the stress hormone cortisol to become dominant, which makes if very difficult for you to get a peaceful, uninterrupted sleep, as cortisol is partially in charge of sleep/wake patterns.
- Temper tantrums
Many perimenopausal women feel they are in a never ending state of PMS (premenstrual syndrome). Once again, this is because of fluctuating hormone levels. The ovaries produce oestrogens from about the age of twelve, in perimenopause our ovaries are incapable of balancing these two female hormones and maintaining the correct ratios that are so desperately needed. Wildly fluctuating oestrogens together with low progesterone may lead to more frequent and erratic mood swings and temper tantrums that you truly don’t understand, as well as migraines. If you are having more mood swings and can’t understand why, you may very well be entering perimenopause.
- Everyone walking round you on eggshells?
Feel like nothing makes sense anymore? One minute you are on a high, the next minute you are on a huge low that has you crying for no apparent reason – maybe someone accidentally pushed past you on the street, or said, ‘no’ instead of ‘yes’, and there you go, floods of tears. “It doesn’t make sense, I never used to be like that!” I know. It’s your hormones. Your ratios are out and the two female hormones that tango together become confused. Who is leading who? Your ovaries are failing you and your hormones are abandoning you, you are suffering withdrawal symptoms. You don’t have to cry anymore or expect the people around you to walk on eggshells, perimenopause can be positive event if you restore your body and balance your hormones.
What can you do?
These emotional changes are an expected part of menopause but are something we no longer have to accept. By understanding hormonal health you can regain control of your life, and make this inevitable passage so much better. Restorative medicine is your answer. To find out more read Jill’s book, The Menopause Cure: Hormonal Health.
Click here to read the synopsis of Jill’s book, The Menopause Cure: Hormonal Health.
Jill D. Davey is author of ‘The Menopause Cure: Hormonal Health.’ Jill’s mission is to inspire and empower women; perimenopausal, menopausal and beyond, to take responsibility of their own health. Her goal is to lead them onto a new lease of life that they can look forward to, rather than dread, as they age. Jill began researching restorative medicine and bioidentical hormone therapy when in the throes of the menopause. Since then, Jill has attended conferences, meeting some of the world’s most respected experts in restorative medicine and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT).