If the average American woman enters menopause around age 52, and if perimenopause can begin as early as age 35 when hormonal changes are first noticeable, then we have at a 10 to 17 year period when a woman is considerably vulnerable to the effects of hormone changes. These changes are often overlooked until symptoms demand attention.
For women at midlife, the interplay between two primary female hormones, estrogen and progesterone, often becomes important. As a woman approaches menopause, and as long as 10 to 15 years before menopause onset, hormone levels begin to shift. Understanding this shift and managing it with natural substances can mean the difference between health and illness. Some women display early menopause even with regular periods. In these women, night sweats can interfere with sleep and cause fatigue. Treatment with natural hormones have at times resulted in dramatic improvements.
If a woman has estrogen levels that are too high and progesterone levels that are too low, she may be prone to anxiety, panic, and hyperactivity. If her estrogen is too low, she may be subject to depression. Estrogen-dominance (too much estrogen in relation to progesterone) and estrogen-deficiency (too little) can both be a problem easily resolved with hormone replacement. Indicators include irregular menstrual bleeding, severe mood swings, and episodes of anxiety or depression. Hormone testing, replacement or treatment for elevated levels as necessary during this time can make life much more enjoyable.
Several good books are available on this subject that will help anyone identify and understand female hormonal problems. In hardback there is Natural Hormone Balance for Women by Uzzi Reiss, M.D. and in paperback, What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Premenopause by John R. Lee, M.D., Hanley and Hopkins.
Signs, symptoms & indicators of Perimenopausal Status / Issues
Hot flashes between period or constant hot flashes
Irregular menstrual cycles
Conditions that suggest Perimenopausal Status / Issues
Being/being post menopausal
Recommendations for Perimenopausal Status / Issues
PABA helps potentiate hormones, especially in women moving toward menopause.
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The cessation of menstruation (usually not official until 12 months have passed without periods), occurring at the average age of 52. As commonly used, the word denotes the time of a woman's life, usually between the ages of 45 and 54, when periods cease and any symptoms of low estrogen levels persist, including hot flashes, insomnia, anxiety, mood swings, loss of libido and vaginal dryness. When these early menopausal symptoms subside, a woman becomes postmenopausal.
A transition time during which menstrual periods can become irregular and symptoms of menopause may be experienced prior to menopause. On average, the onset of perimenopause occurs around age 47 and the average duration is 4-5 years. It is increasingly seen in women even up to 12-15 years before menopause. An array of physical, mental and emotional symptoms can occur during this time.
Chemical substances secreted by a variety of body organs that are carried by the bloodstream and usually influence cells some distance from the source of production. Hormones signal certain enzymes to perform their functions and, in this way, regulate such body functions as blood sugar levels, insulin levels, the menstrual cycle, and growth. These can be prescription, over-the-counter, synthetic or natural agents. Examples include adrenal hormones such as corticosteroids and aldosterone; glucagon, growth hormone, insulin, testosterone, estrogens, progestins, progesterone, DHEA, melatonin, and thyroid hormones such as thyroxine and calcitonin.
One of the female sex hormones produced by the ovaries.
Apprehension of danger, or dread, accompanied by nervous restlessness, tension, increased heart rate, and shortness of breath unrelated to a clearly identifiable stimulus.
The period when women of childbearing age experience relatively normal reproductive function (including regular periods).