Sunday, February 2, 2014

A PERIMENOPAUSE Checklist - The Change before the "CHANGE" - What every 20 something, 30 and 40 year old should know.

SOOOO you think your too young for this???.... let's just see......

Here's a Checklist that may indicate that you are going through PERIMenopause (Pre - Pre Menopause)

Check if this applies to you:

  • ___  Female
  • ___ In your (Late 20's), 30's, or 40's
  • ___ Have Menustral Periods
  • ___ Have been Pregnant
  • ___ Have had miscarriages
  • ___  Diagnosed with High Blood Pressure
  • ___ Diagnosed with Cholestrol Issues
  • ___  Hot flashes, occasional hot flushes, night or cold sweats, clammy feeling
  • ___ Irregular heart beat
  • ___ Terrible PMS - 14 - 10 days prior to periods
  • ___ Crazy Mood Swings
  • ___  Insomnia or trouble sleeping throughout the night (i.e.  wake up, have trouble getting back to sleep)
  • ___  Irregular periods, shorter, lighter, heavier periods, 2 to 3 in a month
  • ___ Waking up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night
  • ___ Incontinence - urge to pee, leaking when sneezing, excerising or laughing
  • ___ Increased Tension in Muscles 
  • ___ Aching sore joints, muscle and tendons
  • ___ Increase in Headaches or Migraines
  • ___Loss of libido (NO sex drive or want to have sex)
  • ___Vaginal dryness
  • ___Crashing fatigue (Not able to stay up past your normal bedtime or needing frequent naps)
  • ___Anxiety, feeling ill at ease
  • ___Feelings of dread, apprehension, doom
  • ___Difficulty concentrating, disorientation, mental confusion  (Aka.  Brain Fog)
  • ___ Disturbing memory lapses (Aka.  MOMMY Brain)
  • ___Itchy, crawly skin (itchy Scalp, arms, legs, skin etc....)
  • ___ Yeast Infections
  • ___Breast tenderness
  • ___Gastrointestinal distress, indigestion, flatulence, gas pain, nausea
  • ___Sudden bouts of bloat
  • ___Depression  (Are on Anti-Depression or Anti-Anxiety Medications)
  • ___Exacerbation of existing conditions (you hear this in Fibromyalgia Patients)
  • ___Increase in allergies
  • ___Weight gain or Unexplained Weight Loss
  • ___Hair loss or thinning, head, pubic, or whole body; increase in facial hair
  • ___Dizziness, vertigo, light-headedness, episodes of loss of balance
  • ___Changes in body odor
  • ___Electric shock sensation under the skin and in the head
  • ___Tingling in the extremities (Fingers and toes feel numb.. or numbess down arm)
  • ___Gum problems, increased bleeding
  • ___Burning tongue, burning roof of mouth, bad taste in mouth, change in breath odor
  • ___Osteoporosis (after several years - SOME may notice Poor Posture or hunched shoulders
  • ___Changes in fingernails: softer, crack, break easier or curvy nail beds
  • ___Tinnitus: ringing in ears, bells, 'whooshing,' buzzing etc.
  • ___ Feeling just not right ... not like your old self
  • ___ ACNE - acne that shows up on your jawline, neck, back, or near your hair line
  • ___ Hair changes... dryness.. falling out... excessive oilyness
  • ___ Unusual Vaginal Discharge - Strings of White Muccus or feeling lots of wetness


Most importantly if you check this you may be going through perimenopause:

___ Have gone to the doctor ... have had no major diagnosis, normal blood work and no explanation for these symptoms



If you have checked 10 or more of these symptoms... you may be going through Perimenopause.  

I am 36 years old and can say that after the birth of my 3rd baby two years ago ... my hormones began changing significantly.  In the last year... I have experience significant changes in my body as well as in mind.  Anytime ... I feel like a crazy person ... I immediately go to this checklist and remind myself that I have no control over my hormones.  I only have control over what I feed myself to combat these awful symptoms.

Now... many of you ask if I have all the symptoms in the checklist above.... NO... but I will say that I have many symptoms that always had an explanation for it....

__X__  Been to many doctors ... normal blood work and no real diagnosis

__X__ high blood pressure (Which I will explain an amazing lifestyle change to naturally combat this)

__X__ Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)  Which doctors explained its due to high blood pressure

__X__  Hot flashes 

__X__ Acne - I feel like I am 15 years old and breaking out for the first time

__X__ Dry Hair (doctor explained many women have dry hair post partum) and Itchy Scalp

__X__ Anxiety  (Doctor explained that the anxiety was related to my high blood pressure)

__X__ Abnormal bleeding

__X__ Tingling in the toes and fingers (Doctor explained I may need to have injections to help with sciatic issues)

__X__ Headaches and Migraines (doctor explained that it is because of my high blood pressure)

__X__ Unexplained Weight Loss- loss 18lbs in 2 months  (doctor explained it was all stressed related and stomach related)
  
__X__ Nausea and Diarrhea (which the doctor explained its due to my gallbladder being removed - Normal colonoscopy and endoscopy .. doctors explained weight loss correlates with Nausea and Diarrhea)

__X__ Dizziness and Balance Issues (Doctor explained that this was related to my blood pressure medicine I was on) (My hubby says it's because I am "blonde" Insert *butthead*)

__X__ Brain fog and Inability to concentrate (Doctor explained that I most likely have ADHD and have anxiety)

__X___ Unexplained BITCHINESS and Inability to process rational feelings around that time of the month (INSERT my husband's blog to deal with this one!!)


Ok... so now that I have given you everything for my health history.  I also want to make a note that the doctors I had visited are wonderful and are some of the best doctors in the area.  In addition, I went to Mayo Clinic in Rochester to further inquire about my health.  It wasn't until I spoke with my OBGYN .. I realized that the way I am feeling is all very normal and falls in line with women in their 30's who are starting to have hormonal changes.  

When your body stops producing babies.. it goes through some major changes that results in Perimenopause.  Which by definition is the "BEFORE" stages of Meniopause (Or also known as the "CHANGE")

If any of this sounds like you..... please please don't go into denial!!!  That was me.... accept and do something to help yourself.  Go to your OBGYN and explain what you feel like and ask for hormone testing.  


NOW.. there is some great debate about HORMONES.. and whether they work or cause more problems.  

ALL I know is there are some great reads out there that will help put everything in perspective.   















Now... when reading and researching perimenopause .. I found some amazing fun facts:

To combat these symptoms many women are prescribed Anti-Anxiety or Anti-Depression Medications

Hormone replacement therapy increases your risk of the following diseases:

29% Increase in Coronary Heart Disease
41% Increase in Strokes
22% Cardiovascular Disease
200% Increase in Lung and Blood Clots
26% Increase in Breast Cancer - That number is steadily increasing

(Pg 126 of Suzanne Somer's "I'm Too Young for This.")

Significant Increases in Divorce and Major Lifestyle (Husband Gets Fixed...etc..) Changes during this time
(Stay Tuned to my Upcoming Blog Post about this Hot Topic)








I began a very holistic approach to combating these awful symptoms...

For ONE... I needed to control my High Blood Pressure and Have a goal of getting off meds completely...

My blood Pressure ran....

150-160/90-105

I was on Lisinopril 20mg per day and No significant changes while taking and on old diet.


I began a very strict GLUTEN Free, Vegan Based (Oil Free, No Meat, No Dairy) Diet.... my Blood Pressures dropped to an average of

104-123/69-82

I switched to a CCB at 30mg per day and have gradually began weaning off..

I have increased my supplement intake to CoQ10, Increase in Vitamin C, B's, Fish Oil, Arginine, Neuro 5-Htp, L-theanine for the days of unrest and anxiety, Increase in Folate and Vitamin D - many of which I get from my Vegan (Veggie enriched Diet)... Gluten Free helps with itchy skin and digestive issues, feeling bloated and overrall inflammation.  

ONCE I elminated Dairy and Gluten from my diet ... I noticed my clothes were less tight, my skin is clearing up, feeling bloated and overrall sluggish began to lessen.  My brain fog seems to come and go but I learned it is due to my depleting estrogen levels.  Something which I am learning how to combat naturally ... ANY SUGGESTIONS???


NOW... I am sharing this information because it took me a whole year to go through hell and lots of money to figure out what the hell is wrong with me.  I am not a doctor nor advocate any self diagnosis.. ... If you feel any of this information is applicable to you and you don't have the answers... I strongly recommend research research and research and get into see your OBGYN to get the answers you need and deserve!

DON'T wait and SUFFER.... get a jump start on this new Change in your life.

From ONE Hormonal Housewife to another ... Just blame it on Your PERIMENOPAUSE!!














1 comment:

  1. A lot of women tend to fear menopause because of not understanding what is going on in their bodies. Here you have done a tremendous job explaining it. Everyone is different and menopause is different for each of us. I am 67 and went through it 20 years ago. It was a blessing in my case. First, and foremost, NO MORE HEADACHES each and every month with my periods. They were the blinding migraine kind. I was also lucky and had absolutely no hot flashes or night sweats like so many of my girl friends had and some still do. For three years after my OBGYN tried to get me to take hormone pills. I know that they are beneficial, however, the one side effect is the blessed headaches and I am not going through all of that again. I feel free of all of that now. Life is good and I still am aware of the woman that I am and will always be, matter of fact, more of the woman I tend to be.

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