If you feel like your once-pleasant personality and your mojo have skipped town together, you’re not alone. Symptoms of perimenopause can start as early as your mid-late 30’s.
And the signs can be easy to miss.
Maybe you notice that you’re just a little grouchier or that your periods aren’t quite as regular.
Your PMS symptoms, which were once mildly annoying, are now raging.
You gain weight even though you’re exercising and eating right.
You begin having anxiety and heart palpitations.
You begin to hyperfocus on every ache, pain and twitch.
This can feel like you’re stuck in a circle of hell with no way out.
How You Land in the Circle of Hell
Hormone shifts can start in your mid-30’s when ovulation becomes less regular. This results in lower progesterone levels which causes symptoms that can be subtle or hit you with the force of a Mack truck. Fatigue, mood swings, insomnia and irregular periods are some of the most common problems. And this can go on for 5-10 YEARS.
The other part of the equation is estrogen dominance. This is closely related to low progesterone levels and happens because of an imbalance of estrogen to progesterone. This is worsened by exposure to compounds that act like estrogen in your body. Estrogen dominance shows up in your life as weight gain, heavy periods, long periods and over-the-top PMS (among other things).
It’s a Hormone Problem, not a Prozac® Deficiency
It’s important to recognize what’s going on because many a woman has ended up on antidepressants, sleeping pills or birth control pills because she (and her healthcare provider) did not recognize that these problems were related to a HORMONE IMBALANCE. None of these “solutions” really fixes the underlying problem and in fact, can cause other side effects that are worse than what you’ve got going on.
Misbehaving hormones can often be corrected with lifestyle, herbal and nutritional supplements. Simple changes such as avoiding alcohol, cutting out sugar and managing stress can make a big difference. In some cases, hormone replacement may be necessary, but that’s rarely the place to start.
How to Turn Hormone Hell into Hormone Harmony
If changes in lifestyle don’t help, then it may be time to test your sex hormone levels and your cortisol levels. High cortisol levels can throw off the balance of all your hormones, so it’s important to have a picture of how your body handles stress and address that first. Testing can be done with saliva, blood or urine (there are plusses and minuses for each method). Knowing your specific imbalances allows your hormone care provider to create a unique management plan for you.
If you’d like to learn more about how to navigate the circles of menopause hell, my friend Susan Hyatt and I are teaming up on August 3 at 3 PM EST for a free webinar that will teach you what’s going on with your body, what to do to reign in the chaos and how to create hormone harmony. You can register for that here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6958845751954099460
Visit Dr. Anna’s website at www.drannagarrett.com.
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/.