Walking through the Fog of Perimenopause

5SHARES

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
2/28/2009 5:07 AM   :  336 comments

If you are old enough to remember the1970ís TV series All in the Family, then you may also remember one of the classic episodes of all time in which Edith goes through "The Change." As a teen, I can recall this episode and thinking how funny it was to see Archie demanding Edith to change right now, while Edith scurried back and forth between the dinner table and freezer undergoing a frenzy of emotions from anger to tears.

Now that I am edging ever so closer to my 50s (still 2 Ĺ years away) I am starting to relate to Edith Bunker, although I refuse to wear the dowdy housedresses that were so common back in the day. I am just beginning to feel the subtle, although more frequent changes in my body. I must now face the fact the change is coming; there is no putting a halt to it. However, thankfully, some days are definitely better than others and unlike a 30-minute sitcom, I have months or even years to make the transformation. While I know this is all a part of the life cycle, the emotional roller coaster I am on is driving me, and yes, everyone in my family nuts.

Although I canít pinpoint the exact date I knew the change was coming, my first suspicion was when my sleep patterns became discombobulated last September. While I would be quite exhausted before going to bed, many nights I would find myself tossing and turning and struggling to stay asleep, which at the time I attributed to overtraining. But since I am no longer training at an intense level, the sleep disturbances are still there, which is one of the "typical" perimenopausal symptoms.

Earlier this week while I was having my hair colored and cut, I experienced what I believe was my first official hot flash. YIPPEE! As I sat in the chair chatting up a storm with my stylist I suddenly found my face and upper body flushed. My face turned beet red and I felt as though I was on fire. This all happened so unexpectedly. My stylist allowed me to go to the ladies room so I could splash some water on my face to help me cool down. Thankfully, it did the trick. But not even three hours later did I experience hot flash number two while browsing at my local bookstore. Now I am almost for certain the change is a coming.

Tonight while I was running, I had to face the realization that my life is changing whether I am ready or not. In some ways this is not a bad thing because I can at least put the blame for all my symptoms on to something that is not in my control. Now I know the foggy thinking, heart palpitations, and mood swings, all of which I attributed to stress, are all part of the process.

The hardest part of the journey is accepting the inevitable, especially when it comes to my thinking process. My thinking has been so foggy lately, although not every day, it is causing me to come up with new ways to handle life. If I do NOT keep an ongoing list, trust me, I am very likely to forget; this from someone who has been quite meticulous about order for most of her life and who has never forgotten a date to save my life.

While I know I cannot stop the change, I am doing all that I can to understand the process of this transformation. I have had to deal with lots of changes in my life, but this by far has been the most challenging, because I canít STOP it. I am eating more soy-based products and I will continue to exercise, which is a big stress reliever for me. And I pray that I can have the patience with myself as my family has with me as I embark on the next chapter of my life. Bring it on!

Have you gone or are you going through the process or perimenopause or menopause? How did you cope? What measures did you take to lessen the symptoms? What emotions did you go through?


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Comments

  • 336
    I am 49.5 and have been experiencing these things for the past 3-4 years. I keep hoping the "end" is near, but alas. . . . .
    Exercise and keeping a balanced diet helps, oh, and LOTS of sticky notes ;0) - 5/23/2012   3:18:28 PM
  • LAKENVELDER57
    335
    I started with flooding and then I was getting hot flashes, back aches and not able to sleep. I am doing better now with less stress and really watching my diet. I have not had hot flashes for a while but still have some trouble sleeping. I am glad it is getting better except trying to keep the weight off. - 4/21/2012   9:42:25 PM
  • POLARABBY
    334
    I want to thank Spark for this article and everyone who posted their experiences. I'm 40 and have been having peri symptoms for several yrs. Gyn told me the same thing -- I'm too young. And yet I have the fog, terrible mood swings, can't sleep, weight gain, and crazy periods. I was really starting to wonder if I was going crazy. I'm going to insist on a blood test from my doc. Thanks everyone! - 3/24/2012   6:30:39 PM
  • 333
    I am so glad to have found this blog!! I'm 40 and have been having these symptoms for about 2 years. Dr finally did blood work and I am def perimenopausal. Thanks to your blog I don't feel so alone or like such a freak! - 3/13/2012   3:23:40 PM
  • LEEANNLSAMMONS
    332
    Very informational - 3/12/2012   10:35:20 AM
  • CARA4521
    331
    I am now 46 years old, but have started feeling the subtle changes...tired all the time, but can't sleep, forgetfulness that just isn't even a joke anymore, depression, I felt like I was in a fog all the time--just couldn't even think clear for some reason. Nothing was helping, until a friend gave me Emerita Pro-Gest. It's a cream for perimenopause symptoms. I had a lot of doubt that a cream would help, but after reading about it on the web, both pros and cons, I decided to try it. OMG.........the fog was gone! I can sleep, I have energy to exercise again...I feel like ME. I don't say it will work for you, but it did work wonders for me! - 2/21/2012   9:17:27 AM
  • 330
    I was peri for a couple of years then, at 47, the hot flashes started. I could heat a large room with them. I stopped drinking wine, caffeine and gave up chocolate for awhile and they went away. Periods continued sporadically until I was 50. Breezed through it compared to many. Just wanted to say: Ask your doctor to check your thyroid levels as many of the symptoms are similar to menopause and many women develop low thyroid function around the age of menopause. - 2/20/2012   11:51:50 PM
  • MICALP
    329
    I'm glad I found this blog. I've been dealing with anxiety and depression for about 4 years now. Seemed to just come out of the blue and scared the life out of me. Couldn't even go to the grocery store without having a panic attack. I was 42 yrs old. Eventually I went on an antidepressent and did CBT which was fantastic. Then about a year ago due to some life stressors my anxiety returned - it's always been with me for the past 4 years but muted and I haven't been on the meds that long so I coped. Anyway the point of this is about 6 months ago I started thinking why are my periods so different...could this be related somehow? I spot days before my period/every period is different/mood swings are so bad some days/insomnia/hot flushes. Spoke to my doctor and he's 'you're too young' for peri but everything I read seems to support that theory. I told him again about the spotting at my recent checkup and he saids sounds like your progesterone low. Well yeah! Something's up. There's no way that I could go from being super busy super productive to having to make lists for everything. - 1/11/2012   3:00:41 PM
  • 328
    I am sure glad I found this article. Within two years I finished everything EXCEPT brain fog. The last 4 years the most frequent words out of my mouth are, " I don't remember". I hate it, and didn't know why.

    At least I now know why I've been dealing with half my brain tied behind my back!

    I had no idea that symptoms could last 10+years, I thot my two years was a long time, boy was I wrong. I saw my NP probably twice during the two years. One funny thing (now)but not then. After I thot I was done, I was on a family vacation and my period started. I was completely unprepared since it had stopped.I had no car and had to get a ride to a store, then everyone knew what had happened. I was really embarrassed, but the next (and subsequent) vacations I was prepared! - 11/22/2011   5:00:26 AM
  • 327
    I am 50.. and havent had a period since march this year.... and at first that was my only symptom,, and I thought wooohooo! no periods at last!! I still get PMT, though now, instead of bleeding, my hair falls out, my nails break, I cant sleep, and I am on the verge of tears for 3-4 days....
    Since then (March) I have also noticed
    * that I cant tolerate any diary foods-- I feel like I am going to be sick--
    * or any bread -- feel very bloated for hours after a sandwich --
    * that even tho I go to the Gym 4-5 hours a week, and have done for 4 months and am careful of what I eat, I have only lost 5 kgs (12lbs)

    I spoke to my Dr about all these symptoms,, she said,, "Well you have to expect this at your age".... End of discussion as far as she was concerned....
    I am going to find another Dr. lol
    I can't take any type of HRT's because my sister died of breast cancer..
    I used to eat and drink soy instead of diary, but now, because of all I have read about soy, I am hesitant to eat or drink it..

    So, I will see a new Dr, and see what happens then...
    - 11/19/2011   10:19:58 PM
  • HDSCHUSTER
    326
    I am 45 going on 46 and I started having the hot flashes and night sweats a year ago. Over the last couple of months, I have noticed my emotions taking off and causing my husband many challenges. As a nurse, I don't believe that over the counter supplements are very effective as the amounts of herbs varies from pill to pill. I usually do eat healthy and I am very fit (per my recent health assessment to join a gym) but I still struggle with the sense of "not being myself." My doctor says HRT is only a last resort used when the symptoms cannot be managed but I hate to think of what I will be like if this continues to spiral in such an out of control way. I love the blogs and comments about perimenopause and menopause as they remind me that I am not alone. - 4/14/2011   6:47:01 AM
  • 325
    I'm 46 and have had crazy mood swings, migraines, some night sweats, trouble sleeping, more painful periods, and the foggy brain for about 2 years.

    I've run the gamut of birth control pills, anti-depressants, etc. Have had some relief, but I just deal with life one day at a time. Had to laugh this year when my doc told me (after I chatised him about not understanding what I'm going through), "I'm trying to help you here!"
    - 4/13/2011   4:49:49 PM
  • THIN1GIRL
    324
    I remember the menopausal fog, the sleepless nights and the hot flashes. When we are younger and start our periods, we know what our monthly discomforts will be and we know that they are cyclical and we deal with them for a few days. Menopause is different and it is different for every woman. There was no apparent cycle so we are left to fight the symptoms as they surprise us. I don't think as women we are adequately prepared and educated on this topic until it hits us and we must fend for ourselves.

    At the onset of peri-menopause, I had the brain fog and it was rough because I had started a new job. I could not write down a 10-digit phone number and get it correct. I hated having a fuzzy brain!

    Then the hot flashes started. Although I was fortunate enough not to have night sweats, my flashes did wake me up at night. I could have 3 or 4 sleepless nights in a row although I was exhausted. Add a little brain fog with that and it was terrible.

    You get into menopause, the weight gain begins! I have always been able to keep my weight, but the usual cut backs in food consumption plus exercise did nothing and I gained 30+ pounds around my middle. I've never had weight there before and my self esteem began to plummet.

    Like some of the other posts, I was going to tough it out. Didn't want to take pharmaceuticals. After much research, I found out about bio-identical hormones and started taking them. My doctor is excellent and specializes in baby boomer health issues. They take your blood and test it and prescribe what YOU need. It is monitored regularly (every 6 months) and your hormones are adjusted accordingly. I've been on bio-identical hormones for about 3.5 years and I highly recommend them!

    Come to find out that your body can't lose weight effectively when your hormones are out of balance, so my weight came off. My efforts had to be very deliberate, and I thank Spark People for their food tracker that keeps me accountable. I exercise 3 times a week and have lost 50+ pounds. I am 55 and am 25 pounds lighter than I was in high school. My muscles are lean and I have very low body fat and am fitter than I've ever been in my life.

    Sorry for such a long post, but menopause is a topic I tend to preach about since the change is near and dear to my heart. I've come out the other side of it fitter and healthier than I've ever been in my life, and am delighted that I can sleep again, use my brain again and look good in my clothes.

    I believe we can make it through this if we know how. God bless you ladies who are dealing with this.

    http://fitandfabulousblog.com - 4/13/2011   4:26:47 PM
  • 323
    After 6 months of hot flashes (at 48), and sleep problems, I ended up with Mono (yup, at 48). Then 2 months of extreme fatigue (and no flashing yay!). Black cohosh, accupuncture, herbs, Dr.'s, didn't do a darn thing for me. Exercise (regularly, daily if possible, to sweating) has helped. I think Soy helps too. Simple things like drinking cold water and opening window when I feel one coming on too. I have a whole new level of compassion for women who just seemed irritable to me in the past. Now I want to hug them and go, right on sister, I'm with you. - 3/15/2011   3:09:21 PM
  • 322
    Been experiencing symptoms for about a year now...I can have something to blame my grumpiness on! lol - 2/20/2011   7:49:18 AM
  • ARITTER66
    321
    I stopped having my period mid-thirties and I thought "Yeah!!!!" Then I started getting the hot flashes, night sweats, and all the other menopause symptoms and that was about 36. I had the blood work and the pap and found out I was in perimenopause. My doctor said that it was uncommon since my mother and her mother started menopause in their mid-50s. I've tried the pill, the creams, and the "pez" pills and nothing really worked and were more of a hassle then a cure. I'm 45 now and the flashes come and go but everything else is pretty good. I'm hoping I'm done with it all but knowing my luck, I'll have another go around with menopause (just because I went through peri so early). - 2/18/2011   3:44:58 PM
  • MENOPAUSECHAT
    320
    I have found that yoga, exercise and reducing my caffeine intake has been very helpful in controlling my menopause symptoms. It certainly isn't an easy time in a woman's life but talking about it, going to the doctor and doing a research can help. - 2/16/2011   10:51:20 AM
  • 319
    This is the first time I have heard of the brain fog or forgetfulness being associated....what a relief! I have that plus hot flashes, night sweats, period stops, heart racing, trouble sleeping, and I think moodiness (the fam would say yes, I say no...LOL). Anyway, exercise and low stress help a lot but I can't always maintain the balance. I am 45 and have been dealing with this for about 5 years....fun....

    Now, that I think a bit more, I am not sure this was helpful....I learned I have YEARS more of this....argh! - 2/15/2011   4:19:59 PM
  • 318
    Have you gone or are you going through the process or perimenopause or menopause?
    For the past year I believe it is perimenopause.


    How did you cope?
    Taking a day at a time.
    What measures did you take to lessen the symptoms?
    The symptons at this time are manageable
    What emotions did you go through? Weeping, brain fog and forgetfulness.

    - 1/5/2011   12:30:26 AM
  • URSOTINY
    317
    I'm 57 and have been suffering with all the "usual" symptoms for over 10 years. I suspect that I've always been borderline hypothyroid, but was only diagnosed 5 years ago. From my research, low thyroid exacerbates menopausal symptoms terribly. Soy is NOT good for anyone. It's the ratio between estrogen and progesterone that is the problem, not the lack of estrogen. I take natural thyroid glandular, pregnenolone and progest-E, along with vitamin D and digestive enzymes.

    I also follow a pro-thyroid diet. High protein (80-120 g a day), lots of fruits and vegetables. No bread, no pasta, no seeds, nuts or beans except green beans. Make sure to cook broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, spinach. These are all anti-thyroid in raw state. No soy, no whey protein (I use Great Lakes Gelatin for protein supplements). Caffeinated coffee (is helpful as long as you drink it with cream to allow the body to utilize the caffeine), no soda, occasional alcohol (a glass of wine a couple of times a month).

    Doing this, plus exercising for an hour every day has allowed me to lose 32 pounds since last April, even with the low thyroid. I'm in the best shape I've ever been in and the lowest weight in my adult life. I still have the sleeplessness, and some hot flashes, but all in all, life is a great ride. There are so many that are not as fortunate as I am. - 1/4/2011   2:48:42 PM
  • 316
    I'm 62 so have experienced most all of the symptoms. I skimmed here to be sure that the "hair loss" symptom was addressed. Luckily, I could use the computer and got lots of great info when I had questions...and they were free. I write, only because after losing 50 lbs in the last year, I'm getting the occasional "power surge". Very tolerable after having a fairly long peri-menopause. - 1/4/2011   11:00:41 AM
  • 315
    I've been going thru it for over 10 years. Enough already! I used the "estrogen-only" patches, but developed breast cancer 2 yr. ago so the hot flashes came back as well as many other symptoms. The fogginess is one that I really, really hate because I also have fibro fog. After being intellectually "on the ball" all my life, giving up my brain has been really hard. - 1/4/2011   10:25:19 AM
  • 314
    melatonin is an inexpensive over the counter health supplement that can help with the sleeping. - 1/4/2011   6:49:46 AM
  • 313
    I'm 55 now and have been going through the change for 8 years! Enough already!! Many hot flashes and disturbed nights have gone by. And I can say that for me at least, soy did nothing to help! I've been a vegetarian for about 30 years, and have eaten more soy that the vast majority of people on the planet. Yet I suffered more hot flashes than most of my friends. I'm hoping I'm almost done changing! - 1/4/2011   6:43:54 AM
  • GOSPELCLOWN
    312
    I've been 2 years since my final period and I can sympathize with the poor sleeping patterns. I can't shut the brain off at night. The hot flashes are as common as breathing. I try to wear less polyester but they still happen. The poor memory is a burden right now. I have to write things down or I am confused.
    I go for annual check ups and now I have to be vigilant about my blood pressure. - 12/9/2010   1:44:00 PM
  • 311
    Been going through it for the past several years, not quite 50. I'm already very very heavy, and so the soy products (unless they are FERMENTED products, see the Donna Gates - Body Ecology Diet) do me no good, but make it all worse. I've always felt hot, so not really aware of it as being a "hot flash". Taking Kelp and Maca now as my big complaints (or the one my husband complains about) is total lack of interest in sex. My menstrual periods vary wildly, and the past 3 summers I basically won't have a period at all. This past summer I went 132 days before I had a cycle. I'm not interested in taking Premarin or similar substances because they are "natural" only if you like products made from horse pee... so am planning to go check out some bio-identical remedies soon as I can get in with a naturepath or similar medical training. Eating lots of fruits and veggies and very dark (75-90% cacao) chocolate, avoiding HFCS, avoiding bleached sugars, all seem to help me a lot, as does getting exercise... just that I don't "remember" and then get busy doing other things and don't exercise.. - 9/2/2010   2:39:57 PM
  • 310
    After being in menopause for about 10 years feeling miserable, I finally realized why I was feeling this way. Silly me thought menopause was just about night sweats, which I never had much of but slowly I realized how it was making me miserable, with depression, memory loss, foggy headedness, and sex life...what sex life. I'd had enough, after doing research I started taking bio-identical hormones about a year ago. Within a few days I started feeling better. I had forgotten how it was to feel good. It's the best thing I ever did for myself. - 3/24/2010   11:59:03 PM
  • 309
    The more weight I lose the better i feel, in terms of the perimenopausal symptoms - 9/13/2009   11:06:28 AM
  • MARYJEANSL
    308
    I had chemotherapy for breast cancer at age 48. Voila! Instant menopause - or so I thought. And it was wonderful. Not a hot flash, not a single symptom, other than the loss of periods. It lasted two full years. Then, out of the blue, at age 50, after two years of no periods, I got my period back, just like normal. Boy, am I bummed - because now I guess I'll have to go through the whole nine yards, and probably every single nasty symptom. - 9/12/2009   11:14:57 AM
  • 307
    I STARTED PERIMENAPAUSE WHEN I WAS IN MY LATE 40'S AND I'M 55 AND STILL GOING THROUGH IT...IT GETS BETTER BUT I'M BEGINNING TO WONDER IF IT EVER GETS OVER! - 9/11/2009   4:32:18 PM
  • 306
    Oh yes....those are the symptoms! I am turning 51 this month. I started menopause early and thankfully I have "passed through" :) Exercise has helped tremendously! I personally chose to go through it without any hormone therapy....God bless my family!!! LOL I feel better now than I have in years. It's a "new season" for me now. If I had to name the one physical lifesaver for me it was exercise, spiritually it was my faith in Jesus Christ that I would get through it! - 9/11/2009   2:22:46 PM
  • 305
    I'm 45 and I have already been doing this for several years. Thankfully I don't have any really sever symptoms but enough that my doctor put me back on birthcontrol pills and that has helped the "flooding" problem which was really my main complaint. My mother was the same and started about the same age I did. - 7/13/2009   7:12:36 PM
  • KATREECE
    304
    Thank you all for this article and the responses.
    I am 55 as of November and this explains alot of what I have been going through for the past 6 years. It is so nice to hear that others share this and have worked out helpful hints to deal with it. I think the 2 worst things I deal with are insomnia, And Brain fog. Don't laugh but when I make lists it isn't uncommon to forget and leave it at home. We joke about patenting a new form of post it note to be applied to the forhead. And as for the insomnia I have stopped fighting with it as it seems to only make me more anxious and sleep gets farther away. I hope this part passes soon. - 5/8/2009   3:22:43 PM
  • SUSANWISBE
    303
    I'm 49, and up until about 9 months ago I thought that I was peri; had night sweats, hot flashes, irritability, no period for 6 months, was losing my hair, brain fog, weight gain, cravings, dry skin, you name it. Then my voice began to change, I began to have difficulty swallowing and a constant tickle in throat. I finally decided that enough was enough, I had to go to the doctor. She checked my thyroid levels (as well as all the other hormonal levels) and I was at critical hypothyroid stage; not peri-menopause. Now I'm on thyroid meds and all of the symptoms have nearly gone away. So... I'm still waiting for the peri-stage to come. At least I now have had some practice!!! - 4/16/2009   5:50:12 AM
  • CLFOXNARD
    302
    Ladies, read the book Sex, Lies and Menopause by T.S. Wiley. I'm 58 years old, had a partial hysterectomy at 34(one ovary left) and I've never, I repeat never been subject to hot flashes. My practitioner has helped me keep things balanced, my sleep regulated and a clear head. Don't just suffer in silence, find relief. Read the book for the best info on this subject I've come accross to date. - 4/12/2009   9:39:38 PM
  • 301
    almost 55 here, pre- post- menopause. Just when I think there is no more, out come the hot flashes again.

    My sister had to go on anti depressives, I probably should have but was not seeing a doctor at the time and managed to get through without killing me or anyone else. There were a few tense moments on which way this might go though.

    A fan , hand held, ceiling, desk top - any kind you can get your hands on, will be your best friend for hot flashes!

    Advice - if you are not having a smooth sail, see your doctor and have help!
    - 4/11/2009   8:39:45 PM
  • 300
    I am 52... I think I was 'totally paused' by the time I was 47. Like a lot of people, the first clue that I was 'at that age' was a Super Hot Flash. I was about 46 and I wanted to tear my clothes off. I had to pull off the side of the road and get out in the crisp winter air. Another friend was taken by surprised, also in her mid-40s, by a SuperFlash at lunch in a restaurant - she also had to be held back from stripping in public! Since then, I've heard it all the time... when you get the Super Flash, out of the blue, you are officially in perimenopause-land. Aside from that, I only ever got mildly flushed. I am grateful that I had a pretty easy time of it... no need for HRT. - 4/6/2009   10:00:36 AM
  • 299
    Good lord, people... don't tolerate mistreatment by doctors. You wouldn't put up with bad service on anything else. Those people work for you... aka make big bucks. One thing I had to learn in my teens was that if they don't know what it is it's in YOUR head ($100, please)... so I had to stop thinking someone else was driving and actively supervise my medical care. Be a good boss... but be the boss, and don't take garbage service from anyone. You're the best investment you got. (PS... I have two abstruse disabilities and have been at this - and working full time - for a long time. People will treat you as you accept to be treated.) Love to you all... Never look UP to anyone! - 3/26/2009   10:14:14 PM
  • 298
    Hi Gals,

    Wonderful thread. I have few comments to add...I am 57 years young and hopefully in 7 more months I will be in Menopause.

    In March of '08 I was finally diagnosed with Hypothyroidism. I say finally because from the age of 20 to 56 I had always been asked by any Dr. (OBGYN &/or internist) if I ever had my Thyroid checked. They would always order blood work and I always tested just below what was considered low enough to be on medication.
    I also am a victim of infertility and went to a "specialist" back in the late 70's early 80's. I had one pregnancy in 6 years that ended in a miscarriage at 2 mos.

    I only bring this up because I am finally seeing how all of these symthoms were in my mind some how related, but most male doctors and some female just didn't know enough to handle my situation.

    Personally, I still feel women in general are very LOW on the medical totam pole.

    I am currently working with my OBGYN and an Endocrinologist to make sure I am on the proper dosage of Synthroid for my Thyroid. I have 1 more week to wait as the Endo Dr. went on vacation after taking 5 vials of blood.

    Although I am still wary of sharing my symthoms with "male" Drs., I became "pro-active" by calling my OBGYN and telling him my energy level was as low as it was when I was first diagnosed with Hypo T. He was the one who didn't flip me off and suggested we work as a team with the Endo Dr. If they find that my thyroid medication is indeed the proper dosage, and they rule out some other possible causes (Low Vit D., Anemia, etc.) they will work out a suggested HRT plan for me. The Endo Dr. suggested a max of 2 years on HRT if this is the route I choose.
    There isn't a symthom any of you gals have listed that I have not gone through in the last 12 years and continue to go through. I am amazed that my husband of 37 years is still at my side.
    He and I have been behavior moderists for over 25+ years in watching our diets and regular exercise. My anxiety level was off the charts in 2003 and I did take the advice of a good Dr. and went on Paxil - CR 12.5 mg. I will tell you it did take away much of the anxious feelings, but, it is not a magic pill. I believe it helped me enough to calm down and take a new direction in my life to find my "own" voice when dealing with the medical profession.

    In addition to my weekly exercise routine, I also do some Yoga. Besides the wonderful stretching (at 57 a must....) it is useful to me when I am having those wakeful night sweats...instead of becoming anxious and grumpy...I actual allow myself to totally experience what is happening....I relax and go with it and find that I often fall back to sleep much quicker than when I fight with the "flash".

    Not sure if any of my comments were helpful, but Thank You for allowing me to share.

    Pepper - 3/25/2009   9:45:49 AM
  • 297
    At 52, been there, and currently doing that! I found many great resources on the web and half-priced books on the topic that have proved invaluable!

    I avoided Soy altogether. Yams, Evening Primrose Oil. Happy Camper (seriously, it's a real product). Find them at your local Sprouts or other health food store. Sense of humor and sharing on SP is great!

    If you'd like to know the helpful book I found, drop me an SP email!

    tammis



    - 3/24/2009   1:46:08 PM
  • THEAANDERSON
    296
    Thank you so much for validating what I know I've been going through for the last year at least!!! My mind still thinks I'm 19, but my body is definitely experiencing those inevitable life changes. I'm 46, raising two boys on my own (11 and 8), and oh boy has it been hard to say the least. I totally agree with adding soy to your diet and exercising - when I'm not consistent I can tell the difference. At least now I know I'm not completely losing my mind. Thank you for sharing. - 3/8/2009   1:17:25 PM
  • 295
    You ladies may not believe this but I went through perimenopause when I was in my mid thirties. When I was 37 I told my doctor that I thought I was going through menopause and he told me I was too young. I kept telling him about the hot flashes and that I hadn't had a period for almost a year. He finally did a blood test. When the results from the blood test came back and he was shocked. I was well into menopause.The hot flashes were terrible. At night I would soak the sheets and sleep hugging ice packs. I am now 54 and pretty much finished with the hot flashes . Yea - 3/7/2009   9:02:13 PM
  • EBAZOS
    294
    At age 45 I experienced hot flashes and missed periods. Thinking that I was starting "the change", I was excited.......my periods had always been heavy. Unfortunately, several months later, other symptoms like unexpected weight loss, extreme fatigue and jitters took me to my Dr. Finally, I was diagnosed with Graves Disease. Soon after the proper treatment, my periods returned with a vengence. For five years, no hot flashes!!!! At 51, the hot flashes began again. At 54, I still have periods, approx. 2 times every six months. I find that my flashes occur after drinking alcohol or eating things that are high in carbs. Since I have been exercising regularly, the flashes have been fewer. - 3/7/2009   11:53:14 AM
  • 293
    I have been messing with perimenopause for 3 years or so ( thats how long I've actually admitted it!) I have the MOST trouble with sleeping, I had always had sleep problems, but now its at least 4 days per week that i think I'm exhausted untill I hit the bed! I also have a major issue with hair loss, not only do I have to empty the strainer i had to put in the shower drain, i also experiance a wad of hair loss about every 3-4 weeks. I also am on thyroid medication and at first was blaming this, but my dr said no. she never really listens to the issues i think i'm dealing with, as when for four and a half years the gallons of blood every month- i wasn't as smart as many of you to get the hysterectomy (think I was to stuborn also ) when I finally decided one more period like that and off to the dr i'd go begging- wallah they subsided. But the darn things will be gone for about 6-9 months and then bam i'll have 1 or 2 more. everyone has mentioned hot flashes, but no one has mentioned that they effect any other part of their body besides the neck up. I always start behind the knees- totally on fire, start sweating down the legs then my neck up turns to flame. so far i'm on no meds, i'm very afraid of taking them as i've read so much about the links to cancer with hormone meds. - 3/7/2009   9:19:05 AM
  • K72855B
    292
    When I first complained to my gyn about heavy periods he just said "its your age". (48) After 3 years of night sweats, heavy, long periods, messing bedding and clothes, afraid to go out during my period I switched gynos. The first thing he said to me after I told him my symptoms he said "no women should soil her clothing". Bless him. After a round of tests he did a total hysterectomy and it is heaven not to have a period. I still suffer from night sweats, sleeplessnes and weight gain but things are definately better. I am unable to take HRT for several health issues. It is nice to read other women experience this and I am not the only one. At times I am surprised my husband has not thrown me out of bed for the night sweats and sleeplessness. We just laugh about and hope in time it will get better. - 3/5/2009   9:40:45 PM
  • 291
    I started to get hot flashes just before I turned 50. I always wondered what they were, but, boy, the first time I had one and the top of my head felt like it was on fire (and that I might be able to bake a casserole on it), I knew what it was! The very first one embarrassed me, but since then I couldn't care less what anyone thinks. I just sit and fan myself. whew.

    Just one word of advice. My period changed - radically - and I thought it was just my body changing. I accepted these extremely heavy periods for almost 2 years before I finally went begging on hands and knees to my doctor hoping she would finally OK HRT. Well, I quickly found out that this heavy, heavy 24/7 bleeding was not just a normal part of menopause. I look back and can't believe I accepted it for so long. It ended with a hysterectomy and within 2 weeks I felt like a new woman. So: please please please go to your doctor and ask if your periods have really changed and especially if you are bleeding heavily. It's NOT normal!

    Hugs to us all who are going through it and have gone through it - hugs but not too long - too hot! :-) - 3/5/2009   3:16:56 PM
  • 290
    Having suffered for years with PMDD (extreme form of PMS) and insomnia, it was kind of hard to tell when perimenopause started. My first clue was the hot flashes. I deal with the hot flashes as they happen. I have been on meds for a few years now to control the symptoms of PMDD, so I don't run around like Edith Bunker. Some of the others wondered about hair loss. Yes, I have noticed I am shedding more then ever. I get into the shower with a clear drain trap and by the time I finish, the tub is clogged again. On benifit of the hair loss seem to be that other hair is growing less, so shaving less. - 3/4/2009   10:28:36 PM
  • STANSGODDESS
    289
    I am soooo happy I read this blog! I have had symptoms for years and it was only last year that I found a dr that told me I was in perimenopause. Rapid weight gain, missed periods, no sleep - everyone told me I was too young! It all started around 43 and I will be 47 in May. The only think I haven't noticed anyone talking about is hair loss. Has anyone else had a problem with this? Every morning, I lose at least one clump of hair in the shower. Have a dr appt. on Tuesday and will mention to her, but I was just wondering if anyone else has this problem. - 3/4/2009   6:25:30 PM
  • 288
    i know exactly what you mean. many many restless nights, hot flashes, weight gain, and the whole works. i am unable to take HRT due to blood clots so after bleeding for 3 months they decided to do a hysterectomy. best thing i ever did. no more wondering when and where you will be when it hits. I have been at the same weight or heavier by a few lbs the last 2 months and i am angry and frustrated. I also take calcium with D and was taking Vitamin E.. It does work - 3/4/2009   3:43:42 PM
  • 287
    Towhee: Thank you for virtually the only comment re:weight gain. I'm on 7 wks. and lost a mere pound. I've never felt so frustrated with my weight.

    GoLions: MY doc also said nothing was happening but just a few months later there was clear clinical evidence. Moral to the story....YOU know your body better than a doc and you can feel the changes occurring before they ultimately can be measured by labs.

    CoffeeDiva: Paranoia? Oh, Yeah....Just keep repeating "calm blue ocean, calm blue ocean" and try yoga hatha breathing

    I just turned 48 and have been in menopause for the past year. Peri-pause for three--with no clinical evidence for the first two.

    While many homeopathics work it is relevant to note that women's hormones create a unique multiplier in predicting clinical response. Hence why women are generally not used in pharmaceutical trials.

    Patience, trial and error, and a gentle touch seem to help most. And if your doctor is less than helpful look for a new one. Not my favorite advice, but your well being is at stake and there is no one else like you.

    namaste
    God Speed
    Blessings

    - 3/4/2009   2:27:33 PM

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