You’re not in menopause yet, you still get your period every month, but certain things are changing. You have weight gain in areas you never used to, you have episodes of insomnia, your so-called “PMS” is happening unpredictably and is sometimes more intense, libido is not what it once was. What’s happening? You’re in Perimenopause.
Perimenopause can start 10 years before true menopause hits. Some women start to experience hormones changes as early as 35 years old. During this pre- menopause time, periods are still occurring and pregnancy is possible, however, hormone production fluctuates and can be normal one month and sub par the next.
Changes in Estrogen and Progesterone production can cause symptoms like anxiety, sleep disruption, irritability, occasional hot flashes, libido changes and period changes. These changes start slowly and sort of creep up when suddenly the realization hits-
“I don’t feel like myself! What’s going on? I’m too young for menopause!”
Well first off, don’t worry! There is a solution. The silver lining is that these years provide an opportunity to focus on optimizing health to maintaining youthful vibrancy now and until the last period has come and gone. Perimenopause can last a long time, up to 10 years. During this time, women have a chance to influence the quality of their health for the rest of their lives.
• Insomnia, Mood Changes and Headaches – These are some of the uncomfortable symptoms of hormone imbalance. By optimizing hormone production in the body, these symptoms can simply slip away.
• Bone health– during the transition to menopause, women can lose a significant amount of bone density. This is preventable by taking care to get the right vitamins and minerals, doing the right kind of exercise and maintaining hormone balance.
• Prevent weight gain in menopause– Once menopause hits, it’s much harder to lose weight and much easier to gain. Fat cells are a source of estrogen in the body, so it is common to hold on to weight more easily. Unwanted weight gain can be prevented by taking care of your metabolism in Perimenopause.
• Reduce severity of menopause symptoms and ease the transition – Uncomfortable symptoms in perimenopause are a warning sign of what is to come. Taking care to balance hormones during these years can ease this transition and help avoid unwanted symptoms from occurring.
Ok, its perimenopause, now what?
To help balance hormones, I use a natural approach in my practice with a combination of lifestyle changes, dietary modifications, herbs, and sometimes low dose bio-identical hormone replacement. With each individual the treatment plan is unique. The common thread being improved wellbeing, vitality, reduction in unwanted symptoms and a big sigh of relief. There is a solution!
For more information on solutions to perimenopause check out this blog from the WIBI website https://womeninbalance.org/2012/10/26/natural-symptom-relief-for-menopause/
By Dr Elise Schroeder