Recently I went to the doctor for anxiety, sleeplessness, lethargy, lack of interest (in you know what), weight gain, breakouts and teenage PMS symptoms... only to be told with a sorrowful look and loving hand on my knee: "My dear... welcome to perimenopause. Welcome to potentially your next 10 years."
I'm sure you can imagine my surprise at this news, being that I'm only 33-1/2 and already having to begin reading the same books as my aunts. I had no idea it was coming so soon. And because I had only ever considered the scary times of menopause and never even thought about what happened before, I knew I had some research to do.
And so that's exactly what I did. I read, and interviewed and Googled and maybe just a little bit obsessed... then with lots of research and support I discovered a way that I felt would work best for me. And now I can't begin to tell you how much better I already feel. In just the short time since starting bioidentical hormones, I have so much more energy during the day and sleeping better at night, not to mention my anxiety is nearly gone.
And while I'm certainly not a doctor, and I don't have all the answers, I did most definitely have quite a lot of questions. As I'm sure many of you would as well.
So, let's start at the beginning... consider this your basic Perimenopause 101 guide to getting your sexy back.
What is perimenopause?
Basically these are the years leading up to menopause. It can last anywhere from 2 to 10 years, and includes symptoms such as: anxiety, sleeplessness, weight gain, hot flashes, breast tenderness and mood swings... just to name a few.
When does perimenopause begin?
Generally, this kind of fun begins in your 40s -- but can begin in your late 30s or even early 30s, if you have a family history of early perimenopause. So, if you find yourself with quite a few (or all) of the listed symptoms, contact your doctor for a full hormone blood panel.
How and can it be cured?
While, aging and hormone changes are bound to happen, there are most definitely medical advances that are out there to help us absolutely feel and look our best, while getting through these years. And this is where you have to be your own researcher and really do the digging, the reading and studying up on all your options.
Books that helped me along:
- The Sexy Years by Suzanne Somers (my new hormone bible)
- What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Premenopause by John R. Lee MD
My final conclusion:
Like I said before, as with anything, people love to give a ton of opinions on what's wrong and how they think you should fix it. So, my advice? Make Google your friend (to an extent, just don't stalk!), talk to many different doctors (consider integrative ones as well) and find the course and methods that will work best for you.
And know, from my experience and many others who have walked this road before me, this doesn't have to be the time in your life where you lose your sexy. I believe (and Suzanne Somers says so) with the right knowledge and treatments, this very well could be the sexiest and happiest years of your life.
So, bring it on, right?
We are women, hear us roar.