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For the last few years I have really started to feel my age. Part of it I have put down to being a mum in my 40s. Having a toddler at any age is hard, but it has really taken its toll. However, I am starting to ask myself if there is something more going on with my body right now. Am I perimenopausal? I am beginning to think so. Here are my signs and symptoms.
Am I Perimenopausal?
Over the years I have heard lots about the menopause from older female family and friends. They talked about ‘hot flushes’ and ‘senior moments’. But until now I hadn’t really thought about all that the menopause entails.
It is actually 3 different stages!
And only the last of these stages is menopause itself. The word ‘menopause’ simply means without periods. Once you have not had a period for a year you are officially considered to be in the menopause. And I am certainly not there yet.
However, neither am I in the premenopause stage. Premenopause is when you are still having periods (whether regular or irregular) but otherwise you are not having any other body changes. Just before I got pregnant with E aged 43 I think I was in this stage. My periods started becoming a bit irregular, but other than that I had no other symptoms.
But in the last few years I have noticed some subtle, and not so subtle symptoms. And this is is why I am certain that right now I am perimenopausal.
So, what am I experiencing? And how can I deal with it all?
This was the first sign that changes were afoot. I was always as regular as clockwork, but just lately there is no way of predicting when I am going to start a period, or how long it might last. My phone’s period tracking app is so confused!
All I can do is to be constantly prepared. I always have one of my reusable sanitary pads with me.
Whilst I have always had a tendency to being emotional a couple of days before a period, irregular periods are playing havoc with my moods. I mean I have just been plain frustrated angry for about two weeks now. When I am not bursting out crying.
And this is all down to the balance of oestrogen and progesterone changes going on in my body. Progesterone is a calming hormone, but as levels fall in my body I feel more stressed and frustrated with everything. I would love to say that I have found a cure for these feelings, but at the moment I am just riding out the waves. And it isn’t pretty. Self care is the only way through for me right now.
Difficulty Losing Weight
Whilst I have had a problem all my life with gaining weight easily, it seems doubly impossible to lose it right now. All the hormone changes definitely don’t help. In addition, aging brings a decrease in digestive enzymes needed for digestion being produced by the body, which can lead to uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms. Thankfully, supplements can help with this.
And also to combat this I am keeping low carb and trying to walk more. In time I do plan on doing some exercise too. Probably more toning stuff like weights rather than cardio. Sometimes it just helps to find something you love that helps you exercise without realising it!
When I was in my 20s I constantly battled oily skin.
But now my skin is incredibly dry and itrritable, especially in winter. Perimenopausal skin can be so much more prone to allergies and eczema type reactions. For my face I now use a sensitive redness relief cream, such as in the Darphin Intral range.
And I put body butter, or a dry oil spray as soon as I have towelled off after showering, to lock the moisture in. Particularly on my elbows, knees and knuckles in winter. My favourite is this L’Occitaine Almond Oil Spray, which smells divine!
Hair loss around my temples and on my eyebrows is also a bit of a concern, and a bit unsightly. I may have to go down the road of having microblading on my eyebrows in the future. But for now I fill in my brows with eye pencils. I actually love these microblade mimicking pens right now!
My hairline at my temples isn’t as bad as some peoples, but it may need addressing in a few years.
Most people go through changes in vision in their 40s, but the perimenopause doesn’t help. I’m currently trying out varifocal lenses. DO go see your optician as you may need some glasses, or there may be a drastic change in your prescription!
Again, due to hormone changes your body has a tendency to sleeplessness. My particular symptom is waking up part way through the night, and then not getting back to sleep again. And then I worry about the sleep lack too! A lack of sleep further complicates mood swings, so it is important to try and break these sleep habits.
And what to do about this insomnia? These are my main tips for when you suffer with sleep problems.
Fatigue is a big problem, and not helped by all the above. Not sleeping, being moody and worrying just leaves me with a permanent lack of energy.
Recently I have tried to overcome this using Benenox Overnight Recharge and other vitamins and food supplements. Certain vitamins are supposed to be really good for fatigue. I will tell you how I get on, but I do hope that a combination of treating all my symptoms helps too.
And finally, my last symptom of perimenopause is being a bit forgetful at times. I can put it down to ‘baby-brain’ and ‘having a senior moment’ but it is not nice. I now always have a diary which I write in, and notebooks to jot things down before I forget.
So, am I perimenopausal? I cannot say that I am shocked. The average age for menopause is 52, and you can experience perimenopausal symptoms for at least 10 years leading up to this. So I guess the irregular periods in my early 40s were the start.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms before the age of 40 though, it is worth seeing your GP.
Maybe I should be reassured that my symptoms are pretty much the norm. And prepare myself for ageing gracefully into my 50s. Nah! I will continue to try and overcome them the best way I can. Wish me luck.
Are you suffering similar issues? I’d love to hear how. Why not comment below, or connect with me over on social media?
And please do pin this post for later!