Everyday in my clinic, I see women who are struggling with issues such as mood swings ranging from irritability and rage to depression as well as weight gain, fatigue, skin changes, sleep disturbances and feeling down right awful! Many women will tell me that they feel like they are in a constant state of PMS! The good news is that there are many very effective, natural and safe treatment approaches that can completely turn things around.
Between the ages of 35 to 50 years of age, women’s bodies begin perimenopause which is the transition leading to menopause (the point in time when you stop menstruating permanently). The hormones that begin to naturally fluctuate include estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. This natural fluctuation can be intensified by unbalanced adrenal hormones such as cortisol and DHEA, aka the “stress” hormones. At this point in a woman’s life, she can be juggling many different areas and very often the balancing act tips! As women, we can often think our symptoms will just pass or that they are all in our heads and we just need to get it together! This is not at all true. There is a huge opportunity for personal growth and empowerment during this phase that can be achieved if the gift is recognized!
THE 15 MOST COMMON SYMPTOMS OF PERIMENOPAUSE
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.
- 1WEIGHT 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!
Testing includes Progesterone, Estrogen, Testosterone, DHEA, multiple Cortisol levels and ALL thyroid hormones, TSH, free T4, free T3 and TPO.
Book your testing today!
Dr Cobi’s Top Picks for Hormone Balancing
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Fem Guard and Balance
* Support for fluctuating cycles, mood swings, hot flashes, night sweats and more!
* One of the best remedies for hot flashes and night sweats. Estrovera delivers a plant-derived ingredient, demonstrated in clinical studies to significantly reduce daily hot flashes, and other menopausal symptoms, in a convenient once-per-day-dose.
* Support for chronic stress management, fatigue, mood swings, food cravings and feeling overwhelmed!
Thyroid Support Complex
* Support for unwanted weight gain, water retention, hair loss, fatigue and low moods.