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Peri Menopause - Episode 1 The signs & Symptoms

In your Thirties and fourties you may be experiencing symptoms you didn't expect to see until later in life, hot flashes, sleep problems, mood swings and strange periods either really light, heavy or all over the place. Along with countless other symptoms this is a sign of perimenopause.

Menopause and perimenopause are not the same thing, for example menopause is a time of low estrogen whereas perimenopause is an estrogen roller coaster with highs and lows to dramatic levels.

Perimenopause is the two to twelve years before menopause and is when you are likely to experience symptoms.

Its extremely individual to each woman with some reporting to sail through whilst others can literally be brought to their knees with extreme body pain and behaviour change.

Menopause is the life phase that begins one year after your last period and is when your symptoms will settle down.

What are the changes of perimenopuse?

If you have three of the following nine symptoms despite a regular period its likely you are in perimenopause

  • A change in period flow maybe heavy and/or longer

  • shorter menstrual cylces (less tham 25 days)

  • new sore, swollen, or lumpy breasts (get this checked out by a medical professional to rule out other causes)

  • new mid-sleep waking

  • increased menstrual cramps

  • onset of night sweats, in a particular premenstrually

  • new or increased migraine headaches

  • new or increased premenstrual mood swings

  • weight gain around the abdomen without changes in exercise or eating

Other symptoms can include -

  • Stress and/or urge incontinence

  • Depression

  • Vaginal dryness

  • short-term memory loss and other cognitive impairments

  • Fatigue

  • Anxiety

  • Loss of sex drive or opposite

  • Bloating and food sensitivities

  • Psychological changes such as loss of self-confidence, feelings of invisibility and isolation

  • E.T.C....

Estrogen on a roller coaster

Estrogen does not decline gradually in your fourties. Instead it fluctuates wildly. It can increase to twice the amount it was before and then crash down to almost nothing. This is on repeat, cycle after cycle.

Symptoms of high estrogen include- Breast pain, heavy periods, fluid retention, and irritable mood.

Symptoms of dropping estrogen include-depression, night sweats, heart palpitations, and hot flashes.

Note- if you have overies you will go through perimenopause even if you have had a hysterectomy and do not have a uterus

Not every woman has bad symptoms only around 20% of woman go through dramatic ups and downs of estrogen. However 20% is pretty high in my opinion and I'm sure most women will experience some changes that they may find challenging.

What about progesterone?

Whilst estrogen is fluctuating, progesterone is quietly decreasing. This is really unfortunate as progesterone has a soothing effect on estrogen, it counteracts estrogens excess symptoms such as heavy periods. It also protects your nervous system from drops in estrogen.

So what can we do to ease our way through perimenopause?

  • Support progesterone

  • Metabolize estrogen

  • Reduce inflammation

One final note - I truly believe mindset plays a huge role in this stage of life and although you may face some challenges its also coincides with a special stage in life: one of insight, wisdom, deep reflection and contemplation.

In the next episode I'll be discussing ways of helping to manage symptoms with diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes.

If you need help with coaching do reach out I'm here to support you

Much Love

Coach Tula xx

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