Whoever says it's easy to be a woman needs to go through the hormonal challenges that we go through!
Perimenopause, which means "around menopause," refers to the 2 to 8 years of changing hormone levels and related symptoms that lead up to menopause. (I've been one of the "lucky" ones to have been going through it, going on 12 years, now!) The most common sign of perimenopause is longer, often irregular menstrual cycles that are caused by hormonal ups and downs.
Perimenopause is a time of unpredictability. Menstrual and hormone-related symptoms are different for every woman. Some (lucky ones)notice few or no changes. And others have severe symptoms that disrupt their sleep and daily lives. As during the teen years, irregular cycles can lead to heavy menstrual bleeding. Other common symptoms include mild to severe hot flashes, insomnia, cloudy thinking, headaches, heart palpitations, mood swings, irritability, depression, and anxiety. Some of these symptoms can also be related to aging and other life changes.
How can I relieve my symptoms?I’ve tried several natural therapies and vitamins. The most effective approach to relief covers the foundation of women’s health: a deliberate diet, enjoyable exercise(which I've gotten away from), rest and relaxation, herbs and nutrients targeted to hormonal balance, and solid emotional support. Stress level also has a major influence, so learning stress reducing activities may help.
Also, it's encouraged to start with a pharmaceutical-grade multivitamin-mineral complex. I use a set of supplements that were prescribed by a women's natural hormone replacement specialist at a local pharmacy. Such targeted nutritional support may be enough to begin healing your hormonal pathways. Most women find that adding high-quality nutrients and phytotherapy is enough. Others need more support to reach ideal symptom relief. Different women have different needs, so you may want to work with a practitioner to decide which added therapies would help you. (For me, these things helped some, but I still struggle with occasional symptoms, sometime severe.)