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I would like to know if overeating is one of the symptoms of perimenopause.

By Anonymous July 24, 2011 - 8:19am
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Hi Anonymous,

Thanks for your question and welcome!

Symptoms of perimenopause include:
Menstrual irregularity. As ovulation becomes more erratic, the intervals between periods may be longer or shorter, your flow may be scanty to profuse, and you may skip some periods. Early perimenopause is defined as a change in your menstrual cycle length of more than seven days. Late perimenopause is characterized by two or more missed periods and an interval of 60 days or more between periods.

Hot flashes and sleep problems. About 65 to 75 percent of women experience hot flashes, most commonly during late perimenopause. The intensity, duration and frequency vary. Sleep problems are often due to hot flashes or night sweats, but sometimes sleep becomes erratic even without them.

Mood changes. Some women experience mood swings, irritability or increased risk of depression during perimenopause, but the cause of these symptoms may be sleep disruption caused by hot flashes. Mood changes may also be caused by factors not related to the hormonal changes of perimenopause.

Vaginal and bladder problems. When estrogen levels diminish, your vaginal tissues may lose lubrication and elasticity, making intercourse painful. Low estrogen levels may also leave you more vulnerable to urinary or vaginal infections. Loss of tissue tone may contribute to urinary incontinence.

Decreasing fertility. As ovulation becomes irregular, your ability to conceive decreases. However, as long as you're having periods, pregnancy remains a possibility. If you wish to avoid pregnancy, use birth control until you've had no periods for 12 months.

Changes in sexual function. During perimenopause, sexual arousal and desire may change. But for most women who had satisfactory sexual intimacy before menopause, this will continue through perimenopause and beyond.

Loss of bone. With declining estrogen levels, you start to lose bone more quickly than you replace it, increasing your risk of osteoporosis.

Changing cholesterol levels. Declining estrogen levels may lead to unfavorable changes in your blood cholesterol levels, including an increase in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol — the "bad" cholesterol — which contributes to an increased risk of heart disease. At the same time, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol — the "good" cholesterol — decreases in many women as they age, which also increases the risk of heart disease.

What to know what causes overeating? Mayo Clinic has addressed this question and you may find it helpful: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/overeating/MY00672

For a great article on the symptoms of perimenopause, please visit: http://www.empowher.com/perimenopause/content/symptoms-perimenopause?page=0,1

Hope this helps,

July 24, 2011 - 9:29am
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