If you’ve been in perimenopause for more than a few minutes, you’re very aware of the delicate balance of hormones in your body.
Think of your hormones as a group of toddlers playing in a sandbox in the park. They’re building sandcastles and everyone is getting along fine. But it can all change in a second if one of the little darlings gets mad about something. Sand flies, a fight starts and moms come running!
That’s how it is with your hormones. Some days, all is well. But on others, you’re ready to rip your hair out (and that of the people around you)!
Common signs of imbalance include fatigue, weight gain, brain fog, night sweats, insomnia, hot flashes, big-time crankiness and about 27 other things you’d rather not deal with.
Here’s why this happens.
Estrogen levels can drop as much as 40% as a woman approaches menopause, but progesterone levels can drop up to 90%. This difference in the ratio between estrogen and progesterone creates estrogen dominance and this is a prime cause of many of the symptoms women experience during perimenopause.
Managing estrogen dominance involves getting these 2 kids playing happily together. The approach depends on the degree of the imbalance. Some women do well with a good lifestyle cleanup. Others may need a plan that reduces estrogen (eating more fiber) and adds progesterone.
The rest of the kids on the playground include testosterone, cortisol and thyroid.
If testosterone is off, your libido hits bottom! If cortisol’s kicking sand, weight gain and insomnia will be unrelenting. You can read more about that here.
Thyroid regulates the metabolism in nearly every cell in the body. If it goes rogue, you may experience fatigue, cold intolerance, low libido, dry skin and hair, hair loss, memory loss, irritability, depression and constipation. Yuck!
There’s a lot of overlap in these symptoms, right? So how do you know which one is off? One simple way is to do saliva or blood testing. Each has its advantages, but the convenience and ease of saliva testing makes it a good choice for testing estradiol, progesterone, DHEA, testosterone and cortisol levels.
Don’t suffer needlessly through the changes that age and stress bring. Get tested, get treated and get better. Once your imbalance has been identified, a trained provider can help you make choices about lifestyle, supplements and bioidentical hormone replacement (BHRT) if needed.
Before you know it, your hormone kids will be playing together happily again.
Dr. Anna Garrett is a menopause expert and Doctor of Pharmacy. She helps women who are struggling with symptoms of perimenopause and menopause find natural hormone balancing solutions so they can rock their mojo through midlife and beyond. Her clients would tell you that her real gift is helping them reclaim parts of themselves they thought were gone forever.
Find out more about working with her at http://www.drannagarrett.com/work-with-me/.