A stage of Sleep, Stress and Hormones ...
Many women feel that Menopause is THE big stage of hormonal changes, but as we enter our thirties, we are completely unaware of what lies ahead much sooner than menopause.
Despite regular period cycles, perimenopause is the phase post children or somewhere around 35 - 40 years of age where a lack of progesterone "the stress buffering hormone" contributes to heart palpitations, heavy periods, anxiety, tender breasts, acne and the inability to lose weight and to make things worse oh yeah and don't forget heavy periods for some.
Perimenopause - the forgotten stage in life that can last anywhere from 10 - 12 years, long before the stage when we actually lose our period, commonly known as Menopause.
How can you get a diagnosis of Perimenopause?
Technically you can't, the best way to be "diagnosed" is all based on age and symptoms.
According to a Canadian endocrinologist, if you’re older than 35, and have at least three symptoms on this list, you’re likely to be in perimenopause.
new-onset heavy and/or longer flow
shorter menstrual cycles (25 days or less)
new sore, swollen or lumpy breasts
new mid sleep-waking
increased menstrual cramps
the onset of night sweats, in particular premenstrually
new or markedly increased migraine headaches
new or increased premenstrual mood swings
weight gain without changes in exercise or eating.
If the doctor is doing blood tests and wants to investigate the hormones, it likely they may find sub-optimal levels of progesterone on day 21 of your cycle.
Do I need to suffer through Perimenopause?
The simple answer is no! The road we travel on our way to Menopause, known as perimenopause, doesn't have to be difficult if you are willing to look at the drivers behind what hinder poor progesterone production including Poor Sleep Hygiene, Stress, Poor hormone detoxification, Insulin Resistance, and Inflammation.
These hormonal changes are normal but everything mentioned above if left unchecked, can create a long road of symptoms and can leave women feeling very emotionally unstable, anxious, sleep-deprived, and out of control.
Progesterone isn't the only hormone changing, sometimes our Oestrogen is simply taking an undesirable pathway (genetically driven) which is known as our Oestrogen metabolites and this as well can cause Hormonal Chaos for some.
Yes, you might be Perimenopausal but the answer right now isn't the pill, or HRT or Bioidentical hormones.
It's a clean diet, loads of good sleep, less on the to do list some days, and having a chat with an integrative practitioner.