Many women often wonder if what they are experiencing is related to fluctuating hormones during perimenopause which is the stage before entering menopause. The following is a list of the most common symptoms that women may experience during this stage in life:
- ANXIETY, IRRITABILITY AND MOODINESS: As hormones dramatically fluctuate during perimenopause, outbursts of anger, anxiety and moods that swing from one moment to the next can occur.
- DIGESTIVE DISCOMFORT: Hormonal changes can even affect the digestive system resulting in bloating, gas, diarrhea and a change in bowel movements.
- EASILY OVERWHELMED: As stress levels compound, the body and mind can become incapable of dealing with anything! Even the slightest increase in stress can feel completely overwhelming in some cases.
- FATIGUE: Many women notice a change in overall energy and a level of fatigue that can be debilitating.
- FOOD CRAVINGS: Cravings can often become intensified as the adrenal glands or stress glands struggle to keep up with the demands on the body. Cravings for carbohydrates and/or salt are often a sign that cortisol is out of balance.
- FORGETFULNESS OR FUZZY THINKING: One of the most alarming symptoms for many women are memory changes or fuzzy thinking. As estrogen levels wildly fluctuate and then eventually drop in menopause, many women struggle with all aspects of memory.
- HOT FLASHES AND NIGHT SWEATS: Hot flashes can occur anywhere from once a day up to every few minutes. This causes intense flashes of heat and sweating along with increased heart rate, dizziness, headache and even claustrophobia or the feeling of being trapped.
- IRREGULAR PERIODS: As sex hormones shift in perimenopause, cycles can become irregular. Specifically, cycles may increase or decrease in frequency, flow along with associated symptoms.
- JOINT DISCOMFORT / STIFFNESS: Estrogen is responsible in part for lubricating joint spaces. Menopausal arthritis commonly occurs as estrogen levels drop below normal ranges and joint pain and inflammation ensue.
- LOW LIBIDO: Imbalances in Progesterone or Testosterone can diminish the sex drive. Vaginal dryness can also be a contributing factor to low libido.
- PMS SYMPTOMS: Women will often say that they only have one good week of the month! PMS symptoms such as cramps, bloating, breast tenderness, headaches or moods intensify in frequency as progesterone decreases and estrogen dominates the cycle.
- SLEEP DIFFICULTIES: Insomnia is often caused by a progesterone deficiency in perimenopause or menopause. Falling asleep is less of an issue than staying asleep. Many women will wake frequently or be awake for hours in the night.
- THINNING HAIR OR HAIR LOSS: Imbalances between estrogen and testosterone can cause thinning hair and hair loss. Many women start to notice handfuls of hair in the shower during menopause or perimenopause.
- VAGINAL DRYNESS: At least 50% of women in perimenopause and menopause experience vaginal dryness, itching and pain that can affect their sex lives, activities and even the clothes they wear.
- WEIGHT GAIN: Hormonal changes can cause insulin to become desensitized and this results in weight gain or alterations in the shape of the body. Shifting hormones tell the body to store fat in the abdominal area, even if you’ve never had a weight problem before. Many women describe a new “thickness” to their midsection.
Although these symptoms are very common in menopause, the challenges women face cannot only be prevented but also treated naturally. Understanding where the imbalances are occurring is the first step and this can be done through a Comprehensive Female Hormone Panel. The information that this type of testing offers is often life changing! So many women are relieved to find out that their hormones are out of balance and this explains why they have been feeling so out of sorts! Treatment plans are individually designed depending upon the specific hormonal imbalances. Most women report feeling a dramatic change in how they feel very quickly, often within 4 days! Contact our office to book your test today.
Testing includes Progesterone, Estrogen, Testosterone, DHEA, multiple Cortisol levels and ALL thyroid hormones, TSH, free T4, free T3 and TPO.
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