Beware of Perimenopause and its Effects


Art by the author

The phase just before menopause is referred to as perimenopause. Just as puberty brings an onset of changes to a woman's body over a period of three to five years, peri-menopause brings on changes too. You might say it is a reversed puberty.  It can last anywhere from ten to fifteen years.  Some women experience many symptoms.  Others few. 

The peri-menopause symptoms can affect a woman anytime between age 35 and 55. The average age for menopause is reported to be 51, but recently I saw it reported as 54.  For many it is earlier or can even be later.

Menopause is considered reached after one full year of no periods.

SYMPTOMS OF PERIMENOPAUSE

 
The symptoms of perimenopause may be sporadic and may include night sweats and/or hot flashes, crashing fatigue, irritability, moods swings, crying spells, depression, weight gain, headaches, brain fog and trouble with memory or concentration.

It's easy to see that any woman dealing with symptoms of this nature over a period of years may feel frustrated. Symptoms like these can put  a dent into a woman's quality of life.

If you aren't quite feeling like "yourself" lately, if you are having emotional, spiritual, mental as well as physical challenges, the root cause might be related to your hormones not necessarily your circumstances. That is, what you're feeling may NOT be caused by your husband, job, kids or church, though they may bear the brunt of how you're feeling or make things more problematic.

When feeling out of sorts, be aware that your hormones may be the culprit.  Don't make radical changes without taking this point into consideration.

SOLUTIONS

Perimenopause is simply another stage to walk through. As with any challenge, be your own advocate.  Talk to other women and find out what has helped them. Talk to professionals.  Get rest and exercise. Sleep with a few ice packs under your pillow, if necessary, to gain relief from night sweats.  

Ask for hormone therapy when you can no longer stand it or when you can't sleep at least 4 hours straight in your 8 hour sleep cycle. Either talk to a naturopath or your physician. 

Take action and find out the right combination of supplements and activities that are right for you.  


Tend Your Soul 


Walk through your challenges with the all-knowing source--God.  No one is going to give you the perfect solution for your perimenopausal symptoms.  Ask God what route to take.    In the meantime, nourish your soul. Take time to be still, relax, and meditate on God's word and Christian principles.  


Buy a new book that will keep you motivated.  Join a group at church so you have people to interact with on a spiritual level.  


Don't be shocked by what you feel is going on in your body, mind, or spirit during perimenopause.  Many others are walking through the phase too. 


For more on this topic:

16 Essential Steps to Help You Walk Through Your Midlife Crisis: A Self Coaching Tool for Midlife Christian Women



In this eBook, I've assembled a lot of thoughts written in these blogs.  But it contains even more about the challenges women face in midlife.  It is a self-coaching tool meaning it has probing questions with each chapter designed to help you work through some common life issues.

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