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Understanding Perimenopause: Early Signs and Self-Care Tips

Have you ever heard anything about Perimenopause? Did you know that it can start as early as mid-30s or affect your collagen production, cholesterol levels, bone density and even your gums?

Perimenopause marks the transition leading up to menopause (fun times). This phase can span several years and comes with a variety of physical and emotional changes due to fluctuating hormone levels. Unlike the gradual decline in estrogen seen in menopause, perimenopause is characterized by erratic fluctuations in hormone levels. These fluctuations can lead to unpredictable symptoms, making it harder to manage and understand the changes occurring.By staying aware of these potential signs and tracking changes, we can better understand and help us manage the transition more effectively and improve our overall well-being.

Early Signs of Perimenopause

Irregular Periods: One of the most common signs. Periods may become shorter, longer, heavier, or lighter. You might also skip some months entirely.

Autoimmune Concerns: There is some evidence suggesting that hormonal changes during perimenopause may increase the risk of developing autoimmune diseases, such as thyroid disorders.

Mood Swings: Increased irritability, anxiety, and bouts of sadness or depression. Hormonal changes can significantly impact mood.

Sleep Disturbances: Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Night sweats can exacerbate sleep problems.

Gum and Dental Issues: Hormonal changes can also affect dental health, leading to increased sensitivity, gum inflammation, and a higher risk of periodontal disease.

Decreased Libido: A noticeable drop in sexual desire and arousal. Decreased estrogen levels can cause dryness, itching, and discomfort during intercourse.

Weight Gain and Changes in Body Composition: Hormonal shifts can lead to weight gain, particularly around the abdomen.

Brain Fog: Many women report experiencing "brain fog," characterized by memory lapses and difficulty concentrating. These cognitive changes are often temporary but can be distressing.

Joint and Muscle Pain: Aching or stiffness in the joints and muscles.

Thinning Hair and Dry Skin: Changes in hair texture and skin moisture levels.

Perimenopause can bring a range of subtle and varied symptoms that might not immediately be recognized as related to hormonal changes, so if you have experience some of these changes already, no, you are NOT irritable, anxious, overtired, forgetful or sleep deprived by chance. In this period your hormones can fluctuate dramatically

How to support yourself through Perimenopause?

Embrace this time as an opportunity to prioritize self-care and seek support when needed. Remember, each woman's experience is unique, so find what works best for you.

  • Maintain a healthy diet: Focus on a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Foods high in phytoestrogens (like soy products) can help balance hormones.

  • Exercise: Engage in both aerobic activities and strength training. Exercise can help manage weight, improve mood, and enhance overall well-being. Include weights in your routine if you can

  • Create a relaxing bedtime routine, keep your bedroom cool, and avoid caffeine and electronics before bed to improve sleep quality.

  • Practice stress-relief techniques such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises, or mindfulness to maintain emotional balance.

  • Drink plenty of water and take collagen supplements to help alleviate dryness and elasticity of the skin

  • Use Lubricants and Moisturizers: Over-the-counter vaginal lubricants and moisturizers can relieve dryness and discomfort during your intimate encounters

  • Consider Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): Consult your GP about the benefits and risks of HRT, which can help balance hormone levels.

  • Educate Yourself: Stay informed about perimenopause. Understanding what to expect can reduce anxiety and help you make informed decisions about your health.

Perimenopause is a natural phase of life, but it can bring significant changes that affect your physical and emotional well-being. By recognizing the early signs and implementing supportive self-care practices, you can navigate this transition more comfortably. Remember, each woman’s experience is unique, so find what works best for you and seek professional guidance when needed. Embrace this new chapter with knowledge and confidence, knowing you have the tools to support your journey. And remember, you are NOT alone!


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