Did you ever get old overnight?
Where did these wrinkles come from? How come I can’t read without squinting? Why does my family think I am a bi&*@? Is it hot in here? Why can’t I sleep? When is my period going to come .. or stop? Why do I eat the same but gain weight?
Am I crazy? No, you are just in perimenopause, my dear.
The really crazy thing is when you go to talk to your doctor about it he tells you, ”There is nothing wrong with you” or “You just have to live with it.”
That is simply not true and I think part of the reason why Susan Somers and bioidentical hormones have become so popular. The doctors are not listening, so patients are going to what appears “safer and more natural” which I hate to say, is not necessarily true.
First, what is perimenopause?
Perimenopause may begin as what appears to be increasing moodiness and irritability and is often accompanied by erratic periods, some of which can be quite heavy. The ovaries will also start to wind down in a sporadic manner producing normal estrogen one month and low levels the next. Low levels of estrogen account for most of the symptoms of menopause. These symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, vaginal dryness, decrease in the blood supply to the vagina and thinning of the vaginal mucosa or tissue. These symptoms typically begin in your late 40s but often start as early as mid 30s.
What can I do about it? A lot actually.
The first remedy is lifestyle changes. Your body is telling you, “If you keep putting crap in, you’ll get crap out.”
What can my doctor do to help?
TSH is the most important hormone to check if you are having irregular bleeding, fatigue, weight gain or simply not feeling well. TSH checks your thyroid or your body’s regulator gland. If it is off, your whole body will be off. It is the most common endocrine problem as we age.
Many women will have their FSH checked. This hormone level is not that helpful in treatment. You can have a premenopausal level but still feel awful from hormonal fluctuations. This is the time that many doctors still say nothing is wrong with you, when in fact, everything feels wrong.