For my gentlemen blog readers, I apologize for the TMI post today. But don’t stop reading. If you have a lady in your life, and she’s around the mid-late thirties range, you might want to read this, so you are armed with some knowledge. For women that are younger than mid-thirties, I’m sorry to have to be the bearer of bad news, and for women who have been through it, dear LORD, please tell me it stops soon.
I’ll be 39 years old this September, and though the signs of aging are subtle thanks to my genes, they are still there. I’m desperately plopping on creams and potions to ease some of the lines that are becoming just a bit more noticeable if the camera angle is off a bit; at times, it’ll take me a few extra seconds to focus in on small text, and then there’s this one thing.
Sometimes, I think I’m going crazy.
Like raging, seeing red, homicidal, crazy crazy.
It started a couple of months ago. I was grumpy and really had no reason to be. It wasn’t “that time of the month.” I wasn’t more stressed out than usual at work. It was a low carb day, so I chalked it up to that. And then it happened the next day and the next and the next. In between these grumpy days, someone would ask me an innocent question, and I would feel this inner rage and have to physically tell myself to calm the f*ck down. I mean, seriously. It was bad. Then, it went away as quickly as it came with other random symptoms popping up here and there. It’s like a roller coaster that never stops. Joy.
I went to Dr. Google and did some research and found out that no, I wasn’t going crazy. I was in the pre-pre-menopausal stage. Yes, it’s a thing. And confirmed by my best friend who has been through it. She also confirmed that it’s something that no one every talks about. But why? Women need to be forewarned of such things – as should the people around her. So, here is my PSA on perimenopause. You’re welcome.
What is Perimenopause?
Perimenopause is the time before menopause. It’s the beginning of the end, so to speak. Typically starting around your 40’s, some lucky women start getting symptoms mid-to-late 30’s. Basically, your estrogen is starting the freakout mode and transitioning to the inevitable menopause stage (Ugh, just writing all this is making me feel ancient).
Symptoms of Perimenopause
Every woman is different, but here are some of the most common symptoms (partial list from Healthlinecom):
- Hot flashes/night sweats
- Irritability (x100)
- Mood swings, sudden tears (x100)
- Trouble sleeping through the night
- Irregular periods
- Crashing fatigue
- Anxiety, feeling ill at ease
- Difficulty concentrating, disorientation, mental confusion
- Increased tension in muscles
- Breast tenderness
- Gastrointestinal distress
- Sudden bouts of bloat
- Weight gain
- Dizziness, vertigo, light-headedness, episodes of loss of balance
And a whole host of random, irritating issues.
Natural Remedies for Perimenopause
First off, I never went to med school and even though I extensively watched Gray’s Anatomy, I am not a medical professional. So do your own research. Here are just a few natural remedies that worked for me. I do not believe in popping a pill to mask a symptom in most cases (but again, I’m not a doctor or a multi-million dollar pharmaceutical company, so what do I know?)
Remember that perimenopause has to do with hormones, so that’s what you are treating – hormone issues. Also, everyone is different and will react differently to different things. There are thousands of books written on every single one of these bullet points, so if you want more info, or want a book recommendation, let me know. I have a lot!
- Exercise regularly – besides the obvious health benefits of exercise, it helps with mood and stress levels
- Raw fruits and veggies – I am a big believer in healing with food, take stock of what you are fueling your body with. Doritos, though delicious, doesn’t do crap to make your body better
- Flaxseed – the lignans in flaxseed help with hormone metabolism. I toss a handful in my morning protein shake.
- Dong Quai – it’s a Chinese herb to balance female hormones (There are many other herbs that help female hormone balance. Do some research and find the best for you).
- Acupuncture – this is my go-to for all ailments; the powers of traditional Chinese medicine are real and expansive
- Essential Oils – I use a Doterra blend called Clary Calm to ease any hormone symptom but esp. mood swings
- More sleep
- More water
- Less Sugar
- No Dairy – Yes, cheese is delicious but the excess hormones, antibiotics, steroids, pesticides in them are not.
Ladies, if you are heading into your mid-late thirties, just know that this is coming. Be prepared.
To top things off, the Kidlet is starting her preteen years and dealing with hormones of her own. Two hormonal females in the house at once – Lord, help those around us.