35 Symptoms of Perimenopause

by Magnolia on January 5, 2010

Post image for 35 Symptoms of Perimenopause

When I was in the midst of the worst of my perimenopause symptoms, I had one over-riding thought:

“I feel like I’m going crazy”

Yes, I had hot flashes, night sweats, irregular periods and those gawdawful mood-swings.  But without question, the underlying and most compelling emotion was that I was certain I was finally going nuts. In fact, it was my anxiety and emotional turmoil that drove me to begin blogging about perimenopause in the first place.

Like most women, I needed to talk through my anxiety and emotional angst so that I could sort through the feelings and make some sense out of what was happening to me.  Perhaps that is what has brought you here as well.

Maybe you’re feeling crazy too, vulnerable, not yourself, and hanging on by a very thin thread. So, before I go any further, let me say very plainly – I understand, and you are not going crazy.

It’s difficult to explain to others who have not been through it, what perimenopause feels like.  It’s especially difficult to explain to our husbands who can’t begin to understand or even remotely connect to the female experience. Not only is this frustrating but it can add to the feelings of isolation and vulnerability.

The symptoms and signs of perimenopause are long and varied.  You may have many or a few. There is no typical perimenopausal experience, though most women seem to have hot flashes, night sweats, irregular periods and mood-swings.  In fact, these four symptoms are usually what signals to women that they are in  perimenopause – which, by the way are similar to Yaz birth control side effects, which you can learn about at DrugNews.

As of right now, most experts, health care providers and those devoted to understanding and helping women in perimenopause agree there are at least 35 symptoms of perimenopause.  It’s not necessarily a comprehensive list but it’s certainly a good starting point.

If you have any of these symptoms and feel you may be in perimenopause see a physician or health care provider right away.  The good news is we have plenty of options.  Just do something. There is no reason to suffer with perimenopause if we don’t have to.

35 Symptoms of Perimenopause

  • Hot flashes, flushes, night sweats and/or cold flashes, clammy feeling
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings, sudden tears
  • Trouble sleeping through the night (with or without night sweats)
  • Irregular periods; shorter, lighter periods; heavier periods, flooding; phantom periods, shorter cycles, longer cycles
  • Loss of libido
  • Dry vagina
  • Crashing fatigue
  • Anxiety, feeling ill at ease
  • Feelings of dread, apprehension, doom
  • Difficulty concentrating, disorientation, mental confusion
  • Disturbing memory lapses
  • Incontinence, especially upon sneezing, laughing; urge incontinence
  • Itchy, crawly skin
  • Aching, sore joints, muscles and tendons
  • Increased tension in muscles
  • Breast tenderness
  • Headache change: increase or decrease
  • Gastrointestinal distress, indigestion, flatulence, gas pain, nausea
  • Sudden bouts of bloat
  • Depression
  • Exacerbation of existing conditions
  • Increase in allergies
  • Weight gain
  • 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
  • Gum problems, increased bleeding
  • Burning tongue, burning roof of mouth, bad taste in mouth, change in breath odor
  • Osteoporosis (after several years)
  • Changes in fingernails: softer, crack or break easier
  • Tinnitus: ringing in ears, bells, ‘whooshing,’ buzzing etc.
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{ 487 comments… read them below or add one }

Candice February 24, 2014 at 11:47 am

Hi, so I was on the Pill roughly twenty years except for a year when I had my child. I stopped in Sept 2012 and was going along fine with periods every three weeks. Only time in my life I ever missed one was when I got pregnant. Last year I turned forty and since then my periods have gotten heavier, spotting in between cycles and during sex and now I have missed one completely! Had ultrasound and testing for everything done last month and all was normal! I am nauseos, sore breasts, brain is foggy as ever, feel faint, achy all over, and cant get enough sleep. I would think “pregnancy” but I had my tubes tied in Dec 2012 so I don’t think its that. Is this the beginning of peri-menopause or even menopause for me? All my hormone screening that I had done last October was normal. I have a call in to my doctor but figured it wouldn’t hurt to post on here to see if anyone else experienced this. My mom had a hysterectomy at 28 so I have no idea how early/late her menopause would have happened naturally.

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Magnolia March 5, 2014 at 8:08 am

Hello Candice,

Yes, it most definitely sounds like perimenopause, even though tests say “normal.” They always do and frankly, I don’t believe they should be your only barometer for whether you are in perimenopause or not.

Physicians will look a 45 year old woman in the face who is exhibiting classic perimenopause symptoms and tell her she is “too young” So I don’t take any of these “tests” or comments from physicians too seriously. Quite frankly, most of them don’t have the first clue as to what they are talking about when it comes to perimenopause.

Menopause once you have gone 12 consecutive months without a cycle. Until then, you are considered in “peri” menopause.

Magnolia

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Jolene February 24, 2014 at 10:39 pm

I’m not sure if I’m perimenopausel or not. I’ll be 39 in a couple of months. I gave the symptoms to my Dr. Last spring I was sent to a rhemotologist.. That was ruled out. In October I was told that my thyroid level was high. I went to see a endochrenologist last week. My levels are now normal. I’m at my wits end. I feel like I’m crazy.. I have had depression for years and take medication for that. But it’s so much worse. I have actually broken a few plates over the last month. Now all I want to do is cry. A lot of my symptoms are on the list, but they are also on the lists of other issues. My mother said that she was completely done at 40. My sister is 44 and going strong. I started my period when I was eleven and it was heavy at the get go. It’s not now but I did have chyroblation 8 years ago. I had started keeping tract of my periods in August. I have now looked at them and see that they are irregular. Sometimes a month sometimes a couple of weeks between them. I never even thought of menopause until today. I called my Dr.’s office to have the blood work explained. The nurse asked me my age and said it could be pre- menopause. She asked if I wanted an appointment. I only said yes because I feel like I’m on a roller coaster from hell.. I never put 2 and 2 together. I have had night sweats a few times over this bitter cold winter.. I am normally freezing and now it alternates with being hot. My face was so hot, that I had actually taken my temperature. My breasts hurt like crazy. They feel like I am in the processing of no longer breast feeding. I haven’t even considered sex in 1 1/2 years. Husband isn’t happy. I tried to do it a few times, but it just wasn’t happening. Even really hot actors don’t turn me on. I have put on 50 pounds in 2 years. I had gastric by pass surgery and lost 110 pounds. After year 3 I started to gain. It’s normal to gain some back. I had exercised everyday last winter. I would walk my dog 1 to 2 times a day. 20 minutes each time. I was careful with what I ate. I kept gaining. Over the summer I started to hit bottom. I was in my second year of gardening. Half way through the summer I had all I could do to keep up with my garden. I have trouble sleeping. I’m exhausted a lot. Then I feel like a busy bee and do a lot of cleaning. I want to not be going crazy.. When I was told my thyroid was high, I was like yes I’m not insane. Now I’m back there again. I don’t go to the Dr. only 2 times a year. But I have been to the Dr at least 6 times in a year. I had a cyst in the nether regions. The anti biotics gave me thrush. Now this. I’m afraid if they don’t figure something out soon, I will go insane. I do notice an odor in the nether regions. I didn’t think anything of it and just put baby powder on my under wear. Several times a day. My vitamin levels are fine and so are the bone density scans. Can the answer really be this obvious? Or am I delusional in thinking it could be this easy? Thanks for reading this…

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Jaime Bell February 28, 2014 at 11:46 am

First of all, don’t put baby powder on your underwear. Talc causes so many problems!
http://www.everydayhealth.com/womens-health-pictures/9-surprising-vaginal-health-mistakes.aspx#/slide-1

Sounds like you are estrogen dominant. You probably need to start using progesterone cream. Talk to you doctor about getting the test. Also, cut sugar and artificial sugars out of your diet and invest in a pro-biotic supplement. You’ll need it after all that anti-biotic use.

It appears from your family history that you will hit menopause really early, so you might be in the throws of it now. Talk to you Gynecologist about your options. Have them run the FSH test on you to see if you are still ovulating. You don’t have to suffer. There are things that can help you, perhaps even hormone replacement therapy. Getting tested will help your doc to determine whether or not you just have a hormone imbalance, it’s your thyroid causing problems, or if you are going through the change early.
In terms of weight loss, eat a clean diet free of sugar, sugar substitutes, excessive salts, and processed foods (hot dogs, chips, baked goods, etc). And limit fast foods.

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Magnolia March 5, 2014 at 8:14 am

Hi Jolene,

yes, you do sound like you may be entering perimenopause. Every woman’s experience is unique to her, however, so I wouldn’t compare myself to my mother or sister. THAT can drive you crazy. :)

And yes, thyroid dysfunction is a common problem for women in perimenopause too. The problem is that once hormone imbalance happens (and you are exhibiting so many symptoms of hormone imbalance of several sorts) it kind of starts to feed off itself. Your weight gain can also increase estrogen levels (estrogen is stored in fat cells and fat cells produces more estrogen) which then stores more fat, which then triggers more estrogen production – and yes, it’s a crazy cycle.

The hot flashes are the result of estrogen levels rising and falling. Your breasts are sore from cycles of high estrogen, and the raging mood swings can be attributed to cycles of high estrogen as well. Heavy periods are high estrogen related. Progesterone can do wonders to balance out the estrogen, lighten the periods, and help you sleep.

I take 200 mgs of progesterone every night and it knocks me out cold. I would highly recommend it. Bioidentical is preferred. There are many options.

I wouldn’t put baby powder in my underwear though. It could aggravate any inflammation and irritation you might be experiencing.

Magnolia

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Erica Hahn February 27, 2014 at 10:31 am

Wow! At first I thought I was pregnant, because my breasts were so sore and I haven’t had my period for 2 and 1/2 months…I guess I’m in the changing process. I’m almost 48 years old…but don’t really feel “old.” I don’t feel irritable, just bloated, as if I were pregnant. Two preg-tests have proven otherwise. I guess I’m happy about not being pregnant, but in another way, sad…there will be no more babies! Sex is GRAND; without worries! I’m satisfied with being the mother of two beautiful kiddos…a girl and a boy. That’s enough. I just hope that menopause doesn’t take away any of the pleasure I enjoy with my husband! Thank You, for the list of symptoms…they explain A LOT!!!!

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Magnolia March 5, 2014 at 8:16 am

Hello Erica,

Thanks for commenting and you’re welcome.

Magnolia

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Lisa March 3, 2014 at 12:56 pm

I found your blog yesterday. Thank goodness! I felt like I was going crazy! Anxiety, emotions and crying. For no apparent reason. I’m 47 and I guess it’s time to look into this peri menopause thing. At least I can see there are things I can do to address the hormone imbalance. Thanks for providing a place to speak out.

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Magnolia March 5, 2014 at 8:19 am

You’re welcome, Lisa, and thanks for stopping by.

Magnolia

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Sue March 8, 2014 at 9:41 am

I too am feeling like most of what has already been said. My symptoms are at night. I get very cold to the point that I am shaking, took my temp a few times and it was normal. I get this horrible feeling in my chest, I can real feel my heart beating, uncomfortable. As I have read over the 35 or so symptoms, I am experiencing about 1/2 of them. I was in such distress I went to the ER. The Dr. took blood which all came back good. I am going to go see my Gyno this week. I really hope he can give me some answers. I am 47 and my periods havent been normal for years but all this other stuff has been happening for about 2 months. Thanks for your blog!!

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Beth March 29, 2014 at 4:06 pm

I have the same symptoms as you….very very nerve racking! I have terrible heart palpitations, anxiety and heavy feeling in my chest. I’ve had all the heart tests and they were negative. Going through this, not once did my dr mention it could be perimenopause. I felt like I was hoping crazy until after a lot of research I found that I have the classic symptoms! Now I’m trying different therapies to help….first off, low dose birth control. I hope something helps :)

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Teri March 8, 2014 at 12:08 pm

Hello – Thanks for the information on here. I have known about perimenopause but didn’t realize some of the symptoms I’ve been having could be related (heart arrythmia and bad headaches at the beginning and end of my periods are two things I’ve noticed over the past couple of years). Like you, Magnolia, I am already 51 1/2 and have still been having regular periods every thirty days – until last month. I missed one month entirely and now am having such heavy bleeding over the last three days I had to leave work early and have called the doctor. They want to put me on some heavy dose of hormone to stop the bleeding; I am concerned because I have had varicose veins and surgery on those in the past. He said to take the medicine to slow down the bleeding, which doesn’t seem to want to stop, but not to stop taking it abruptly. I am not a big medicine-taker so am concerned about how serious that sounds. I am also hypothyroid (due to Graves Disease and ablation of my thyroid 25 years ago) and have been gaining more and more weight over the past couple of years. I just went off of all processed sugar and am trying to regulate my diet better…was exercising too but am afraid to even get up and walk around much less exercise right now. Any advice?

Teri

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Noelle Foster March 8, 2014 at 4:40 pm

Very interesting article. I had my first (and probably last child at age 42. She is now 2 1/2 and I am weaning her, so I am now 44. My period returned about 7 months ago, but has been very irregular. I’ve felt all of the symptoms above, and in particular the extreme fatigue and heart racing. I was worried that there was something more serious wrong, but I have had excellent health and health habits my whole life long, so it didn’t make sense. Thanks for the great blog.

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Annette March 9, 2014 at 3:55 pm

Thank you so much for the information. I am 50 yrs old and feel like I am going crazy!! I do not feel in control and feel like I’m losing my mind. I’m doing and saying things I do not remember. I told my husband…I think we have a ghost and it is playing tricks on me to drive me crazy,lol. I laugh about it now, but I’m serious. It is so scary when everything about you starts to change, before your very eyes…it is very upsetting. I seriously thought I was having early signs of alzheimer’s, until I read this post.

For the past 3 years, I have had a period every two weeks, but that changed last month. I have been on a heavy period for 30 days straight. I do have an appt. this week, to get checked out. Reading the signs you posted has definitely shed a lot of light on what is going on in my life. I am so grouchy and do not want to be social at all. My husband and I are going to Punta Cana with some friends in 2 weeks, so this should be interesting,lol. I will do my best to be sociable.

I had a goal to lose 10 lbs before the trip. six weeks ago I started my diet and exercise and cannot lose one pound. I have never ever had a problem losing weight. When I eat clean, I loose weight, but not this time! I know how to diet properly and I know what works for me and NOTHING! Do you know how frustrating it is to be on a diet and exercise and not loose any weight? It sucks especially since we leave in 2 weeks. Do you know anything that could help? I’m guessing since I have been on a period for 30 days, I’m probably retaining water, but I should have had some progress.

I’m sure you can tell by my post, I’m freakin irritable too! lol…lol

Well thank you for taking the time to help others…this has been very informative.

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Elle March 10, 2014 at 2:22 pm

I’m happy to have stumbled upon this website. I’m 43 and first experienced vertigo a year and a half ago. I dismissed it until I got it again while travelling in Africa 5 months later. We (Dr., friends) chalked it up to be caused from dehydration, heat, and possibly the malaria pills. When I got home I continued to experience it in milder forms. My doctor performed many tests on me, all coming back negative and healthy. I saw a specialist who shook my head side to side and figured if there was any loose debris in the ear canal it had now fixed itself.
As a result of the vertigo I have tinnitus. I lay still on my back all night so as not to move my head side it side. I exercise 4 times a week. Generally eat healthy. I do find that a week before my period I wake up in a pool of sweat, even with the room cool. It happened last night. After 8 months of not having vertigo I woke up in a sweat, eyes were moving back and forth rapidly and the room was spinning. I’m not sure if perimenopause is the cause but it might be a step closer to me having answers.
I’ve been on the pill for 20yrs. I wonder if I should get off it or would that increase my chances of having worse symptoms?
Thank you for this blog!

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Natalie March 10, 2014 at 5:37 pm

Thank you for this website, reading everyone story made me feel at ease. I am 44 years old, there are days when I feel great, then there are days I feel not myself, nightsweets, lighheadness, etc!! I also forward this website too a friend that might help her feel like herself again!! Thanks ladies for sharing your stories!!

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Nina March 13, 2014 at 12:43 pm

Hi all,
I am so glad I found this website. I never thought in a million years that peri menopause would change me soo much that I feel like a totally different person. I was 38 when this all started, a migraine and heavy cycles on and off. Now I am 45 and my hot flashes are coming on stronger, and my anxiety level is through the roof. I can’t handle stress of any kind. I had a full blown panic attack I thought I was having a heart attack, ended up at the ER, finally released and put on sedatives, like anti anxiety meds until further evaluation, I am so scared about being on these, but cant function without them. Doing all the test and meeting with the docs next week to discuss results. I have a feeling I will end up on anti depressants which I hate but have no choice. I have a special needs daughter who needs me all the time. I cry on end because I hate feeling this way. I finally got back to driving this week. I hate how this affects my family. I was happy and healthy and changed overnight….god help us get through this..

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Beth March 29, 2014 at 4:15 pm

Nina…I can totally relate. I’m 42 and I’ve been having symptoms for about 2 years now….starting with bothersome heart palpitations. My dr put me through the ringer with heart tests….everything negative. I finally went back a few months ago because my anxiety was so bad I felt on the verge of panic attacks over little things. And the heart palpitations are driving me crazy! I feel totally out if control….. Never once over the last two years has my dr mentioned anything about perimenopause! It was only during my research that I found that I have classic symptoms! Just as you feel…..i told my husband this morning that I seriously felt like I was gonna have a heart attack. I can’t take this!!!!

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Renee March 14, 2014 at 8:27 pm

I just turned 47 and have been in this crazy cycle for over five years. My biggest problem is low blood sugar. Does the peri menopause do something to your adrenal glands? I have regular periods every 28 days but they are not heavy at all. The three days prior to my period like clock work I get absolutely nuts!!! Can’t sleep, blood sugar drops wildly. I have stopped drinking all caffeine, don’t smoke, don’t drink any alcohol and limit my refined sugar intake. I eat a very clean diet. I literally don’t know what else to do about the increased PMS symptoms I feel like I’m losing my mind!! I take klonopin .5mgs each night to help me sleep and that won’t even help during the PMS. Any advice?

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Magnolia March 17, 2014 at 9:53 am

Yes, Renee, blood sugar issues are common for women in perimenopause. And it does affect your adrenal glands as well.

Magnolia

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Debbie March 16, 2014 at 7:29 pm

Hi….I too have been experiencing menopause. I am 54 and haven’t had a period in over 3 years. I had problems getting pregnant when I was younger and never could have children. I had several ectopic pregnancies. After my first pregnancy that ruptured, I went home from the hospital and was doing fine. Then one day I started having terrible panic attacks then terrible depression. I was only in my late 20s. I went to the doctors and they said my hormones were fine. I don’t think they were. Finally after years of suffering with depression and all the symptons I have now I got on an anti depressant. It finally helped. After about 3-4 years of no period I still felt great up until about 3 weeks ago. I started
feeling a little depressed and then it just got really bad. Feelings of Hot flashes, anxiety, fatigue, depression, loss of appetite and no energy to do anything at all. Nothing makes me happy. All I do I cry and wonder if I’m ever going to get better and back to the old me. I went to a female doctor who specializes in bioidenticle hormones and found out I was very low on estrogen and progesterone. I am now on a patch and I take a pill at night. I’ve only been on it for about 4 days but I still feel the same. I’m not sure how long it will take to get into my system but I hope this works. it is very debilitating. I feel like I’m going crazy. Will I get better??

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Magnolia March 17, 2014 at 9:43 am

I’m glad your hormone imbalance issues are finally being addressed, Debbie. It does take time to see some changes. However, do not rely on hormones alone. Exercise, a change in diet (if you have poor eating habits) and including things in your life which bring you pleasure.

Good health is not just about hormones. It is about a variety of things.

Magnolia

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Cheryl March 16, 2014 at 7:38 pm

What a relief to stumble upon this blog! I am nearly 50 and have been going through perimenopause since I was 45. I have been diagnosed with Anxiety, I have the occassional hot sweat of a night, more often I have cold chills. Just recently though, I have experienced heart palpitations, which I found the scariest. I have had the Holter test and all was normal. I’ve asked my GP whether this could be related to perimenopause but they say its coincidental. I am on the contraceptive pill to help manage the hormones, as its around ovulation that the anxiety seems to peak. I’ve been able to match the racing heart and palpitations to times when my body wants to ovulate and when I’m experiencing cold chills etc, I believe the are related. I’m so glad and relieved to read your stories!

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Magnolia March 17, 2014 at 9:41 am

Hi Cheryl,

At your age, it is not coincidental – for crying out loud. Low progesterone has been associated with anxiety, as has high levels of estrogen. I would not seek the advice of a GP, but either an endocrinologist who specializes in women’s hormone issues, or even a good GYN.

All of your symptoms are very much a part of perimenopause.

Magnolia

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Beth March 29, 2014 at 4:20 pm

Same here…..I’m 42 and saw my GP two years ago for heart palpitations. He had me do several expensive heart tests to find nothing. I asked him if it could be hormone related and he said no. Just this year I saw him for terrible anxiety and again the heart palpitations. Still said not hormone related!! I’m so glad I found this blog! I seriously thought i was just gonna drop dead of a heart attack one day. Now at least I know I’m not alone.

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Simone March 31, 2014 at 10:59 am

Beth I am sorry for what u are going thru but at the same time it was comforting to me b/c I am 42 and am going thru exactly the same thing. For 2 mths now I’ve been dealing with funny feelings in my chest. Not painful just reall discomforting. My Dr. Just keeps telling me it’s anxiety. I actually went to the ER one morning b/c I thought I was having a heart attack. After all the tests, EKG, Bloodwork & chest X-ray, came back normal my Dr. Gave me anti anxiety meds. Not a fan if pills so won’t take them. I did ask my Dr. about if maybe it could be perimenopause and he says I’m too young. In just so frustrated! I have hot flashes and night sweats also. My cycle went from every 28 days to every 19-21 days. But a few mths ago I went 40 days between then this month I went 30. I feel like I’m rambling but I am exsperiencing so many strang changes it’s very frustrating! I luv that I found this site. It’s nice to know I’m not alone. I wish us all the best!!!

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Kim March 17, 2014 at 5:35 pm

Thank you so much for this information. I am 44, and had a tubal 11yrs. ago. About a year ago, my periods started coming about a week earlier than the month before. I have been having night sweats for about 3 months, and now my period is over 2 weeks late. I feel very bloated, and just yucky with headaches ( I don’t normally get). I am coming to the conclusion that I seem to be perimenopausal. I also went gluten free about 2 weeks ago as well, hoping to have more energy and lose a few pounds. Now I feel terrible and I have gained 2 pounds. This really stinks!

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Jackee harness March 19, 2014 at 9:14 pm

I am 33 years old and all my symptoms started when I was 32. I still have them today. Some days are better than others. I have had 4 holter monitors and even an event monitor. I would notice all my symptoms were worse around a week of starting my cycle. I lost my job back in 2012. After a year of this I went on birth control and lexapro now all my symptoms are back.
I have heart palps all the time. I hate them. I pray they will go away. I have titnnitus and hot flashes night sweats low libido. I had hyper thyroid a year ago. My heart would race to 288. I was placed in the hosp 4 times. I just want my life back. Can I have peri menopause at 32? I’m 34 now. Thanks for listening.

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Trisha B March 27, 2014 at 5:56 pm

Jackee, I’m 34 and have been going through the same thing. I even went to a fertility clinic a couple of years ago to see why I haven’t been able to get pregnant. I was told I am going through per menopause or that i have been for a few years now. Let just say that after a lot of money, test and blood work for almost a year, the doctor turned to me and said “have you ever considered surrogate or adoption”. I know when my Doctor told me that it wasn’t good. That me carring wasn’t an option for us. I was also told that because of my results, it would be almost impossible for me to get pregnant. Well, we live with the hands we are dealt and for me, having a baby is not in my future.

So I think each person if different and some of the symptoms may be the same. I believe you can go through “the change” at as young as 32. I’m 34 now and have been going through it….

Things will get better and some day are better then others but you can do it…
Good luck to everybody and remember to always smile :)
Thank you

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Jennifer Calloway March 20, 2014 at 7:08 pm

I am so grateful to have found this site today. I am 46 and maybe I’m *not* going crazy lol. I have a gyn appt tomorrow after a few months of this really unsettling ride. I am hopeful he can help me. I have an unusual circumstance which prohibits me from taking hormone replacement (or so I have been told for 30 years)… I was in a bad car accident when I was 17… I broke a hip and was in skeletal traction for almost three months. I returned to the hospital a week later with a blood clot in my calf…I was a smoker… and on birth control. I’m still a smoker :( and I know I have to stop.

I am pretty sure I’ve been going through peri-menopause for a while now… as I truly have all 35 symptoms… My family is ovah it! I have not tried one thing to help alleviate my symptoms and now I feel empowered to do so… because of this article I now see I don’t have to live like this. I have an extensive history of bad periods and PMS, cysts on my ovaries, etc. I am going to ask my dr. about a hysterectomy… I understand it is a serious surgery and if it will help me I want it. I have absolutely no use for the parts they’d remove lol.

So, I guess my question is… will a hysterectomy work? And thank you so much for this blog :)

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Annie March 26, 2014 at 2:50 pm

I stumbled onto this blog and really just wanted to applaud you for your assuring article and contribute my personal experience with perimeno-hell. A little over a year ago this time I had my official first missed period and dove head first into hot flashes (except they were more flushes, I never broke a sweat, just felt like I need to turn the thermostat down about 10 degrees). I hadn’t been feeling my best for a long, long time but this seemed to trigger a landslide. My weight started creeping up despite no change in exercise or eating habit and I developed all but 7 of the symptoms of menopause and a few they don’t list as common (nightmares, did anymore mention nightmares? Not only can’t you sleep but when you do manage to all you have is depressing dreams!) Not only did I feel like I was losing my mind, I honestly wanted to die. Not in the sense of being suicidal, but in the sense of life became absolutely pointless. I was in a lot of pain due to menopause arthritis, I had absolutely no energy or stamina, my existing depression and anxiety became constant yet otherwise I felt emotionally dead. I started to develop mild incontinence. I couldn’t sleep more than four hours a night in two stretches, the hot flushes rapidly became something I was dealing with day and night, sometimes up to five times an hour and libido? What’s that? I had no desire and even if I “gave it the old college try” (oh, my poor darling husband) it was uncomfortable, it was impossible for me to derive any pleasure (trust me, I tried) and I would be sore for days afterwards and feel like I was verging on an infection. I’d really like to smack those doctors who say “use it or lose it”. IMO that’s like telling a man who has ED to just stop whining and get it up! I truly wanted to die. I honestly thought if this is the next 30 years of my life, what’s the point? Meanwhile I’m still getting periods and spotting but unpredictably, I couldn’t plan anything. Thankfully I found a doctor who is very positive and open minded when it comes to BHRT. I started one type of treatment in June but eventually had to switch to something else in December. Now I feel like I’ve finally got my life back and honestly, with the exception of the five day hormone break I take every month, my sanity has returned and so has my joy. I can honestly say I feel better now than I did in my 30s. Hindsight being 20/20 my perimenopause symptoms around that time and have been almost imperceptibly increasing over the past 10 years. I envy those women who say they had no problems, menopause was the barest blip on the radar for them, they never noticed it and the only thing that changed was their periods and they were glad to be rid of them. Good for them. I also know women who never got PMS or who did not have postpartum depression, all I can say is “not me, I was a nut and I admit it”. I also was unable to tolerate birth control pills due to the catastrophic emotional rollercoaster so perhaps there is a correlation. I do want to say one thing to the women who don’t have problems with The Change and call the rest of us whiners: It’s bad enough that the medical establishment treats us patronizingly, but the least you could do is have a little sympathy for your own gender. Count yourself lucky you did not suffer because I tell you in all honesty, this past year has been almost the worst of my life, and it was all about the hormones, not all in my head.

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emerald March 27, 2014 at 12:44 am

Where do I start. About three months ago woke to feeling of unease kind of like a heightened sense of awareness. Also felt sick from indigestion. This progressed to sheer panic over the next hour to a racing heart, shivering and shortness of breath. Called an ambulance and spent the night in hospital. Only thing they found was low potassium. A week later the afternoon I was having an echo I had a flush from my feet to my head. AfterI felt dreadful, nauseous and dizzy. I went to hospital again and they found nothing. I felt terrible for days after. So for the last six weeks I have been fine. Have been taking omeprazole as my doctor concluded I probably had an ulcer. Nine days ago woke up with that strange adrenalin feeling followed by more shaking and palpatations. And have felt horrible until today. By horrible I mean shivery, Iinternal shakes, headaches, thirsty, weird taste in mouth, numb tounge, terrible gas, diarrhea, insomnia, hot face, crying at the drop of a hat. So the day after this episode I got my period and it got me thinking maybe I am in early meno. My mum was 42 when she started I am 41 this year. Had a baby 13 months ago. I have a referral now to gastro person. They are testing my hormones now, all the hepatitis viruses, you name it. I also got tested for carcinoid and negative. I have also been leaking a bit of colostrum but stopped feeding 9 months ago. I feel god damn exhausted and dreadful. Does any of this sound familar?

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Stephanie March 28, 2014 at 1:33 pm

This helps me a lot in trying to figure out on my own why I have 90% of these symptoms. I’m 29 years old and been having these symptoms for last 4 months. I had my thyroid removed in June 2013 and my TSH has always come back good since then. I keep getting passed from one doctor to the next, my endocrinologist tells me it’s not my thyroid, my obgyn keeps telling me it is and no one seems to want to tell me what is causing it until my primary doctor took both sets of labs and put them together and I try to do as much research as possible to help him out. Being in the medical field I know how the body functions and things to look out for. I have always been ” in tune ” with my body and it’s depressing when you know something is wrong, tell someone and they chalk it up to one thing or another. But now I can finally find some peace of mind knowing that I can pin point what’s going on so my primary doctor and I can work on these issues. Sometimes I wonder if the doctors just don’t want to tell me my chance of having kids are slim to none and that’s why they keep passing the buck.

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Lori G March 29, 2014 at 5:35 am

I have been searching for articles on perimenopause and what is normal and what is abnormal as far as bleeding and frequency. I am 51 and in the past few years have had erratic periods (sometimes light, sometimes heavier, and missed ones…..all up until August 2013 when i missed 5 consecutive periods). I had the crazy night sweats, and hot flashes and thought this was the perimenopause / menopause phase. Then in early February 2014, I had a long heavy 12 day period which stopped for two weeks, then it came back for another 10 days heavy again. It lightened up then stopped for about a week and then back it returned again! I cant go without a pad, and it was scaring me a little, so i asked a few other women who had been through it. I also called a nurse who said its quite normal to have heavy / multiple periods in perimenopause. However after searching on the internet i have seen several articles that say to get checked out if your periods are less than every 3 weeks especially if you have had no periods for 6 months. I think I will make a doctor appointment now, because it just doesnt want to stop. Is there anyone else out there who has had such frequency and quantity of bleeding? Thanks.

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Tricia April 10, 2014 at 4:35 pm

Lori:

I have been having the same symptoms. It started with spotting in between my periods and now I have had heavy bleeding followed by light and then back to heavy again; this has been going on for almost 3 weeks. I am making an appointment to see my doctor because it is driving me crazy – the bleeding won’t stop. I am so happy to find this site and realize this and some of my other symptoms can be normal and I am not crazy. Good luck.

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neenee March 31, 2014 at 8:04 am

I’m 49yrs old and I’ve been having hot flashes for about a year and a period every 6 months…but my main concern is body odor….i shower several times a day and nothing helps…ive read about zinc so im currently taking 50mg but i dont think that helps either…i think my underarms are really strong as well so i use clinical strength deodorant but i can still smell.them….CAN ANYBODY PLEASE HELP!!!!!

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Judy April 2, 2014 at 2:05 pm

hi – I am 46 years old – very athletic and healthy – to this day – the past year my periods were infrequent and bleeding/spotting in between up until this past January. Now i have not had a period for 2 months so far … feeling extremely fatigued, upset stomach, bloating, indigestion, gas, constipation – ugh! and then sometimes lack of appetite – but i want to eat! maybe a few “chills” or low-keyed hot flashes here and there – not too intense or major …. the constipation is so frustrating!! is this all a sign of possible perimenopause?

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Heather April 2, 2014 at 11:38 pm

Thank God I found your page! I don’t feel like I’m going that “crazy” anymore!

All of my problems started when I was around 36/37. I will be 42 in August, and always had trouble with anxiety and panic attacks since I was 14. I have been doing extremely well in that department, controlling it with xanax. Well…. for the last few days my anxiety levels have shot through the roof, and I’ve had a few panic attacks and it feels like the xanax isn’t even “scratching the surface”! I swore that I was either having a heart attack or a stroke this afternoon. Almost had hubby take me to the hospital or call the squad.

I have always suffered horrible health anxiety concerning my heart so my doctor sent me to a cardiologist about a year and a half ago, when I was 39, to ease my mind. They did the echocardiogram, the 24 hour holtor monitor, and ekg, and everything came back fine. The technician that did my echocardiogram said I have the heart of an athlete, but for some reason today, even as I’m sitting here, the knowledge of knowing that it all came back fine is NOT helping to calm me down.

I get the racing heart/palpitations, hot flashes, really bad heartburn/indigestion, bloating to the point that I look 9 months pregnant, gas, constipation, feeling lightheaded/off balance, tingling in my face, shakiness, oh and did I mention the chin hairs!? I can’t take it! You name it, I got it.

I have absolutely NO appetite today, all I ate today was a piece of peanut butter toast, but yet no matter how “little” I eat, I CANNOT lose any weight! It just seems to get worse and worse now, it’s like all of the sudden a switch got flipped!

There really is no way for me to track my periods anymore because I had an endometrial ablation done about 2 years ago and haven’t had a period since. All I can do is estimate from the last one that I actually had, as to when I “should” be getting it. It seems like It gets worse for me when my “period” would be over.

Sorry for the rant, but I’ve had about enough of this crap already, it’s about 6 years, give or take, that I’ve been dealing with this. I just want to feel NORMAL again.

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Samantha April 4, 2014 at 4:25 pm

I will be 46 this May and have always had regular periods. Last October I had a regular period but had pressure the week before my period and the the week of my period. I thought I had a bladder infection so I went to my doctor but everything was normal. November was a regular period with no pressure. December no period. January a lighter period and no pressure. I skipped February and got a very light period in March. That was two weeks ago and the cramping and pressure is back with a vengeance! I have had anxiety and feel exhausted at times. I feel like my body is trying to have my period but can’t. I haven’t seen the cramping or pressure on any medical sites. I was wondering if anybody else has experienced the same symptoms. I hate this feeling out of control.

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Vicky April 5, 2014 at 5:33 pm

I knew I was perimenopausal, I’m 50, my periods are becoming “erratic” (my gyn’s word)and I’ve been getting hot/cold flashes for a couple of years (mostly just my feet until recently). I had no idea there were so many other symptoms. I am sitting here crying, I am so relieved. I knew I was stressed, and I thought that was why my mind my is going. I lose words, I lose ideas halfway through, sometimes I cry for no reason, and sometimes I don’t cry when I should. I’ve also had heart palpitations, dizzy spells, and tinnitus. My doctor doesn’t believe in hormone therapy, easy for him to say! I cannot describe the relief in knowing that I’m not alone, and I’m not crazy. Thank you. There are no other words, just thank you.

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