Premenopause is also known as perimenopause and it can last for up to ten years. So how do you know if you’re having premeopause symptoms?
Premenopause symptoms can totally disrupt your life. And many doctors do not recognize your symptoms. So you can suffer for years until perimenopause ends when you haven’t had a period for 12 months. By then you’re in full blown menopause and you’ve aged rapidly. Why suffer?
If you recognize the symptoms of premenopause early you can get the help you need.
Premenopause symptoms include:
Worse premenstrual syndrome – that’s because your hormones are declining and your body is super sensitive to the lack of your normal hormone levels. It doesn’t matter what your blood levels show, if you’re having worse PMS – especially mood swings, strange aches and pains that feel like you’re coming down with the flu – you may be starting perimenopause. And yes, I’m using premenopause and perimenopause interchangeably because they are the same thing. The months to years before you have your final period and are truly Menopausal. The best treatment for exaggerated PMS is to balance your hypothalamus. That’s the part of your brain which controls your moods and your hormones. We’ll talk more about how to support your hypothalamus later.
Breast tenderness – can increase when you’re premenopausal. That’s because your progesterone has lowered too, more so than estrogen. So your breasts can get uncomfortably full and tender. The best treatment for hormonal breast tenderness is DIM which is the active form of IC3 indoles. Cruciferous vegetarians like broccoli, kale and cauliflower are good sources of DIM but you have to eat a lot and you’ll have gas before you get breast pain relief. You can take DIM in capsule form – 200mg once or twice daily will help.
Irregular periods – Well this just comes with the territory. As you run out of eggs, you make less progesterone which is the hormone that regulates your periods. Now it’s true that a few women will have 28 day cycles right up to menopause and then stop, but they’re the rare ones. Most of us start getting our periods closer together then skipping cycles for years before we have that final period. Natural progesterone cream can help regulate your premenopausal periods. Start applying it twice daily when you ovulate (between days 10 -14) for at least ten days. Two weeks is better.
Insomnia – Suddenly you can’t sleep through the night. That’s a sure sign your estrogen levels are falling. Your hypothalamus controls your sleep cycles – how much melatonin and prolactin you make to go to sleep and stay asleep. When your estrogen levels fall starting in perimenopause, you may be tired enough to fall asleep but you wake up a few hours later. Supporting your hypothalamus is a safe and effective alternative to taking estrogen for premenopausal insomnia.
Fatigue – Well if you’re not getting enough sleep, of course you’re fatigued. But it’s more than that. Estrogen influences how sensitive you are to insulin. And as your estrogen levels fall in premenopause, you become more insulin resistant. Which means you can’t get enough glucose into your cells to make energy. So you’re tired all the time and especially more so premenstrually and during your period.
Hot flashes – Now this is the classic sign of perimenopause. Your hypothalamus controls your body’s thermostat and when your estrogen levels fall, your hypothalamus has a difficult time regulating your body temperature. So it’s not just hot flashes and night sweats, you also get the chills. It’s not fun.
Sex isn’t like it used to be – First of all your vagina is drier. You don’t make enough lubrication fast enough so intercourse hurts. Second, your libido seems to have disappeared. What’s happening? Well, your vagina needs adequate estrogen to stay healthy and lubricate normally when you’re sexually aroused.
While a lot of premenopausal women won’t complain of vaginal dryness until they’re through menopause, most do admit that their libido is flat. That’s because most women’s sexual libido is driven by estrogen. While during perimenopause, testosterone is higher in ratio to estrogen, it’s not enough to overcome the loss of our main female hormone. My patients who support their hypothalamus with Genesis Gold® find that their vagina stays juicier and their sex drive is good. The vast phytonutrients in Genesis Gold® helps increase hormone receptor site sensitivity so their declining estrogen levels are not such a problem.
Before we get into the last and most life altering premenopause symptom, let’s talk about you getting the support you need during the hormonal rollercoaster of perimenopause. I created a Hormone Support Group for women just like you. All you have to do is sign up for our Hormone Reboot Training and you’ll get access to our Hormone Support Group.
Now for what I believe is the most life altering premenopause symptom.
Mood swings – You may have had them as part of your PMS, but now it’s all month long. You’re anxious, irritable, and depressed. You cry at the drop of a hat. Little things that you used to handle with ease seem insurmountable. Everyone gets on your nerves. And you may even lose it completely and fly into a rage. Afterwards you feel like crap having said and done things you would never do if you were in balance. What’s happening?
Well, your declining estrogen level affects your serotonin production. Serotonin helps control your moods. And your diminished progesterone production means you make less GABA so it’s hard to stay calm.
I started perimenopause nine years before I had my last period. And all the other symptoms were tolerable… except my mood swings. My anxious irritability threatened my relationships. I hated feeling out of control. Supporting my hypothalamus with Genesis Gold® and extra Sacred Seven® amino acids helped me get my life back. And it can help you transition through premenopause by mitigating hot flashes, help you sleep through the night, increase your energy and dampen perimenopausal mood swings.