IS IT PERIMENOPAUSE?


IS IT PERIMENOPAUSE?

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When you are in the midst of yet another perimenopausal hot flash or spotting episode, it’s very tempting to take any advice on the internet regardless of the credibility of the source. It’s understandable that you’d be willing to try anything to rid yourself of the symptoms of perimenopause, and just wait until it’s all over and you can move on into life on the other side of this life transition. In the case of perimenopause, knowledge is your friend. You don’t want to get your hopes up as you empty your wallet in a vain attempt to relieve some of the gifts that mother nature seems determined to give you.


ARE YOU SURE?

You should first be sure that what you are experiencing is actually perimenopause. This might be the obvious conclusion once you reach a certain age, but if you are having spotting, missing periods, having periods close together or having hot flashes in your 30s, it is a good idea to go to your gynecologist and have some blood tests ordered. One common test that is performed is to test for follicle-stimulating hormone(FSH). This hormone increase during perimenopause and stay high in menopause. ANother test that will likely be done is a pregnancy test. It can and does happen so it’s good to rule it out! According to WebMD, the average age of the onset of menopause in the US is 51. Because there are other medical conditions that can mimic perimenopause, it is good to be to have your hormone levels checked to be sure.


COMMON SYMPTOMS

If you are in your 40s or 50s, you are probably familiar with symptoms of perimenopause, one of which is apparently talking about the symptoms of perimenopause, so it is likely that you and your friends have talked about them. When the symptoms happen to you, it’s a different world and it goes from light coffee conversation to surfing the internet for the right supplement and herb to take to minimize the symptoms. So yes, the symptoms of perimenopause include, but are not limited to, irregular periods, annoying hot flashes, vaginal dryness, insomnia and decreased sex drive.


WHAT CAN YOU DO?

The best thing you can do is to talk to your gynecologist to make sure you are not a good candidate for hormone replacement therapy or some other medication that can mitigate the symptoms. If you are not, as a sufferer of migraines, for example, you’ll need to look for natural remedies. Because menopause is based on falling estrogen levels, many people think that eating foods naturally high in phytoestrogens can help. These foods include soy, seaweed, flax, beans, carrots, tempeh, and ginseng.

No matter what you eat, make sure that you also increase your calcium and magnesium so your bones have a good chance of withstanding the post menopausal osteoporosis.

Call Women to Women to schedule an appointment with a gynecologist to make sure you are indeed in perimenopause and what you can do about it.

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