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Peri Menopause and Menopause Symptoms
No One Told Me It Would Be Like This

I thought I was losing my mind... ….feel like crap all the time..... it feels like I'm 70 instead of 55....my doctor thinks I'm a hypochondriac......I don't feel like myself....used to be confident, now I cry all the time...

If you are one of the 15 – 20% of women who experience menopause symptoms that are severe enough to disrupt your life, or even one of the 60 – 80% with mild to moderate peri menopause symptoms, the good news is that this will end.

I know, when I was in the midst of it, I wasn't really sure if it was going to get better, but it really does. I still have health concerns, but they are nothing like what I went through in the 10-year period before and just after menopause.

My Story – Having pre menopause symptoms and not knowing it

My experience is a good example of having menopause symptoms and not knowing it.

In the summer of 2001, right before I turned 49, my life was turned upside down. I had been married for 10 years and had a 6-year-old son. I was mostly a stay-at-home mom.

Through a series of seemingly unrelated events, it became clear to me that I needed to leave my home and my husband to sort out some things for myself.

I ended up moving from a travel trailer that we were living in while we saved up enough money to build a house (we'd been "saving" for 4 years with no building plan in sight), into a 3-bedroom home that rented for about the amount I made in a month from my part-time job.

I had recently started a home business and was certain that income would rapidly increase so that I would have no worries. I didn't want my son to have to travel back and forth and live in 2 homes, so I talked my husband into staying at our new home 3 nights a week.

This was the beginning of a very stormy time for me, my son, my now ex-husband, and my business partners. My emotions were a roller-coaster ride. I might cry at absolutely nothing. For days on end.

I started having migraine headaches for the first time-some of them lasted for 2 or 3 days.

I used to fall asleep pretty much as soon as I closed my eyes; now I was an insomniac. Even when I was asleep, it wasn't nearly as deep as I was used to and so I would wake up tired.

Alot of this I attributed to my marriage trouble and trying to make my home business work. It wasn't until probably a year later that I heard a friend of mine referring to progesterone cream and what it did for her menopause symptoms that the light went on.

I had studied herbs and other natural remedies for years. I knew all about progesterone cream, I had even bought the book by Dr. John Lee, What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause, just to have in my library (I hadn't read it).

I went home, found the book right away, and started reading. The menopause symptoms that progesterone cream was supposed to help with sounded like a fit for me, so I went out and bought some right away. It was like a miracle cream for me. I started sleeping soundly again, my headaches went away, and my moods stabilized. I even had more energy!

After that I started reading about menopause symptoms and found out that not only were all of my physical symptoms related, but even the breakup of my marriage (at least the timing of it) might be related to this very powerful time in every woman's life. Now don't get me wrong, I am not suggesting that anyone needs to lose their marriage -- I am simply pointing out that this can be a time of tremendous change for you. Empowering change.

For more about the psychological changes of menopause, see stages of menopause

January, 2013: It's now been eleven years since that time, and I am through with the mood swings, the insomnia, the fatigue, and feeling like I am 70 instead of 55. I still have health challenges, but it's nothing like the day-to-day roller coaster I rode for those menopausal years.

So What Are the Pre Menopause Symptoms?

Pre menopause (officially called perimenopause) starts several years before you have your last period. You may notice that your periods are changing, either the timing and/or the flow may change from what you are used to. For more info, see menstrual changes

Other pre menopause symptoms may include

(but first, a disclaimer: these are symptoms that women experience during The Change. I do not know whether or not they are all officially related to menopause at this time.

Just consider this the experience of pre menopausal and menopausal women.

Someday in the future, as has happened in the world of people with low thyroid issues – the associated symptoms of undiagnosed or poorly treated low thyroid have grown in size as more and more people speak about their experience - medical people may begin to recognize what their patients are telling them)

Symptoms of Pre Menopause and Menopause

  • headaches, migraines - either for the first time, or changes from what you had before - if you had migraines before menopause, you may lose them now!
  • changes in hair - hair loss, thinning hair, excess facial hair
  • water retention, tender breasts
  • foggy thinking - inability to concentrate, can't remember names or words in the middle of a sentence
  • itching, dry eyes, burning in your mouth, nausea

It also becomes important during this time to take steps for preventing heart disease and osteoporosis.

You may be wondering just how long these symptoms are going to last. If so, see How long does menopause last? 

Or, you may wondering if you should get a blood test for menopause 

And, if you are wondering about symptoms after menopause, see post menopause symptoms

The menopausal woman is the prisoner of a stereotype and will not be rescued from it until she has begun to tell her own story.

Germain Greer, The Change

Read Other Stories About Pre Menopause or Menopause Symptoms

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