Back in the beginning of my blog, I wrote a post called "Grieving the Loss of my Youth". The post was about how I was entering into perimenopause. And two years later, I am still in perimenopause. Unfortunately, perimenopause can last up to ten years before menopause actually hits. Most women on my mom's side of the family go through menopause early. My aunt was full-blown menopause at age 42, which is my age now. My mom thinks that she went through in her early forties--she had to have a hysterectomy when she was younger, so it was harder for her to tell. When she had her hormones tested one time in her forties, her doctor told her she was already in menopause (if I'm remembering correctly).
So, it seems like the right time for me to be going through it. I am dealing with all of the symptoms of perimenopause as they come. My period is still a little wonky. It's not like clockwork anymore. And I feel as if my hormones have just gone absolutely crazy. I have been moodier now during PMS than I ever remember in my life. And I've had hot "flushes" instead of full-blown hot-flashes. Luckily, insomnia hasn't set in yet. I've listed some of the things that can happen to a person during perimenopause and menopause. But, I wanted to make a more comprehensive list of the things that I'm least looking forward to and possible solutions.
I've heard that women's hair can become thinner. I think the hair issue is caused by changes in hormones. There is a pretty good slideshow on WebMD that talks about the causes and some solutions for thinning hair in women. Some of the treatments are pretty hard-core, like laser treatments or hair plugs. If you're just looking for a temporary fix, there are other hair loss treatments for men and women that you can use.
Here is an example of what one of the temporary products can do. Wonder if they come in gray?
The next issue I'm not looking forward to has to do with hair again. But, not thinning hair. . . . too much hair. On my face. I've always been kind of "fuzzy". But, I think it's getting worse! I have those wax strips that already have the wax on them and then you rub them between your fingers to warm them up and then put them on and rip! But waxing hurts and the strips leave me feeling sticky. I can never seem to get all of the stickiness off my face and it usually hurts so bad that I don't want to even touch it anyway.
I've been wanting to try the new Olay Facial hair duo product, but I still haven't bought it. I don't want to be disappointed. I think I might break down and just try it soon. It's got to be better than turning raw and red from waxing.
The third issue is something I'm already dealing with and would like to get a handle on now. I am talking about the moodiness. It is absolutely horrible. The week before my period now is crazy. And I never know when my period is coming anymore. There are some days that I feel like the most tightly wound spring in the world. God help anyone who comes anywhere near me if the spring is about to be sprung! It causes me to look like this:
I will be starting Evening Primrose Oil for that soon. It is supposed to help with PMS. I'm hoping it will help with perimenopausal PMS, too. And maybe I could just go away for a week before my period begins? Sounds like a good plan, right?
Once insomnia hits, I have no idea what I'll do. I'm not big on taking any kind of drugs or anything. I took a sleeping pill once in my life and I was a tired wreck the next day. I think I'll start yoga again and maybe I'll try to start meditating. I suppose I might have to stop drinking coffee. Or maybe start drinking more wine. BUT, in all of the stuff I've read about menopause, it says to stop caffeine and alcohol altogether! Picture me laughing right now. But, I've read recently that a drink or two a day actually helps keep bones strong in post-menopausal women. So. . . I think bone health is going to win out on this one. You can read the US News Health article titled "Ladies, Drink to your (bone) Health."
Speaking of bone health, that's another good peri- or post-menopausal thing for me to be concerned about. Some of the things that I've heard that are good for bone health (besides calcium and Vitamin D) are weight-bearing exercise, prunes, onions and the above-mentioned alcohol. You can read about the prunes HERE and read about onions and bone health HERE. I plan to keep working out with the weight machines at the gym for as long as I possibly can. If bone health is one of your main peri- or post-menopausal concerns, you can always find out more information at the National Osteoporosis Foundation.
Which peri- or post-menopausal symptoms are you concerned about? Are you taking steps to prevent them or their symptoms?
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