You don’t feel as great as you used to. You’re moody, irritable and you can’t keep the weight off. You’re tired all the time and can’t seem to get enough sleep. Your family may be treading on eggshells around you.
It’s almost like you’re living in a perpetual state of PMS — and that’s not really too far off. Just like those times before your period, your hormones are out of whack — but they’re not getting any better. Welcome to perimenopause!
Symptoms of Perimenopause
It’s not always easy to tell that you’re experiencing perimenopause. The symptoms of this hormonal imbalance can be difficult to pinpoint and may be mistaken for other medical conditions. However, there are four major changes that you are likely to notice during this time:
- Mood changes. Mood swings, depression, anxiety, irritability and nervousness are common in the early stages of perimenopause.
- Weight changes. As your hormone levels change, it becomes much harder to lose weight. Weight distribution also changes, causing fat to be deposited around the middle area instead of the thighs and hips.
- Sleep changes. During this period, you may also have trouble getting enough sleep. You may not sleep as heavily as you used to and may wake up frequently throughout the night.
- Libido changes. Declining hormone levels during perimenopause may also lead to a decreased libido.
Of course, these aren’t the only symptoms that you may experience during perimenopause. You’ll probably also notice changes in your menstrual cycles. You may have heavier bleeding, irregular cycles or more cramping. You may experience more headaches, especially closer to your period, and may notice increased swelling and stiffness in your joints. Together, all of these symptoms can lead to a reduction in your vitality and productivity during what may be a very busy time in your life.
But I’m Too Young!
Many women may live with the symptoms of perimenopause for years before they seek proper treatment. They may suffer for as long as 15 years, only realizing what’s going on when their periods come to an end. You may think that you’re too young for this to be happening to you, so the symptoms must be originating from another source. But the truth is that perimenopause can begin well before you reach middle-age.
Perimenopause may begin anywhere from 10 to 15 years before menopause, so you will probably begin to notice symptoms during your mid to late 30s — but it may even begin sooner. And it can greatly disrupt your life. Most women have children at this age. In fact, if you’re among the many women who delay having children until they are more financially stable and established, you may even have young children at home when perimenopause begins to affect your life.
Read the full article: Perimenopause: The Beginning of the Decline