35 Symptoms of Perimenopause

by Magnolia on September 5, 2014

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

“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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{ 1274 comments… read them below or add one }

Kimberly August 11, 2015 at 10:44 pm

I too, thought I was going crazy. There is one symptom I experience that I haven’t read above from anyone. Has anybody experienced their blood FLOWING throughout their body?

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Carla August 31, 2015 at 5:00 am

Kimberley, I have that too. Especially when I am sitting still – it is as if I can feel my blood pulsating without laying a finger on my wrist. My symptoms have been coming over quite a number of years. Hot flashes any time of day, then hair loss, then irregular heartbeats, dizziness as if the room is spinning. Tingling extremeties. Really over more than two years now. Lately I am nauseous. Not all of the symptoms at the same time though. At least now I know what’s the reason. My periods are also irregular now. Our GP had no clue and tried to convince me I was stressed and anxious and prescribed some pills that are sought on the black market! And they have addictive qualities! I know myself and knew this was nonsense. Finally I went to a homeopath and she is convinced the reason is my fluctuating hormones and I am using a natural product now. I am in a better place. Hang in there ladies and DO not plainly believe a dr if he/she tries to make you believe you are not coping w life and in need of anxiety meds!!

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Kimberly August 13, 2015 at 12:29 am

Has anybody experienced blood FLOWING THROUGHOUT their body from head to toe??? There has to be somebody out there that had or having this now. It is not cool or funny. You literally feel all blood movement troughout the entire skin, Even your toes! It is like a super rush… the only way I can explain it. VERY WEIRD.. ANY feedback would be greatly apprciated! I am grateful I found this site. I too, thought I was going crazy as my sibling and mother did NOT go through menopause. ‘Thus, meaning, there is no support from the family or most friends. Hey, “this too shall pass”. Just another day in paradise, right?

Thank you ladies for all your stories and tales. They have have helped me tremendously! God Bless all whom have thought they were crazy….. NOPE, answer is = we are women!!! 😛

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Kelly August 17, 2015 at 2:32 pm

I’m not sure if this is the same feeling, but I”ve experienced on many occasions, feeling my blood pulse throughout my head… almost like I can hear my heartbeat and the pushing of blood from my hear to my body. It is short-lived (about 5-10 heartbeats), but still very odd!!

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jennifer August 14, 2015 at 1:00 pm

I’m so happy I found this blog. It feels like a life saver to me. When I start having the anxiety/panic attacks & thinking I’m dying I come here & read the comments & somehow manage to calm myself down. So thank you to everyone that has posted!!

I will be 44 in a couple of months & I’ve always been a healthy, active person (I don’t smoke, rarely drink, not overweight)& I am very rarely sick but last year I literally thought I was dying. It started off gradually after I thought about.. had a hot flash one morning in the bathroom that made me nauseous. Thought I was coming down with something. Then a few weeks later had a racing heart while I was sitting at my bench working (for no reason at all).. felt like an anxiety attack but I wasn’t anxious about anything. A couple of weeks later started feeling like my hands & feet were constantly going to sleep. Then another few weeks went by & I woke up from a nap with pains & an awful anxiety attack that just would not go away. Went to the doctor (and I’m one of those people that only goes to the doctor when they think they are dying) & they did every blood test under the sun. All came back fine – hormones, thyroid, kidney, etc. She sent me to a cardiologist & he told me everything seemed fine & I was very low risk for heart disease but he wanted me to do a stress test “just to be sure”.. I never did it b/c my part of the bill was $2,000 & that was enough to stress me out right there! But I have a heaviness feeling in my chest now.. it kind of feels like if I would burp I would feel better. I’m having digestive issues now that I never had before.. bloating, constantly burping & feeling gassy (and it seems worse in the mornings). I get so tired some days that I can hardly do anything.. so the days I do feel fairly decent I work like crazy to get caught up. I’m just so tired of feeling like crap most of the time & it’s comforting to know that I’m not alone (not that I want any of you to feel bad!).

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Linda August 20, 2015 at 11:35 am

Hi Jennifer
I’m 55 and have started on this journey also ugh! Burping all the time yes! Bloating! Gassy! My digestion feels sluggish everyday. That feeling in your chest like you need to burp at times to relieve it. Feeling like there is something wrong with you all the time yep! Hands and feet feeling asleep yippers! I started on B vitamins and have felt better mentally the other stuff still there, Oh Well……just praying through it;-) your right the old saying misery loves company is soooo true lol. So very glad for this blog!!!! Have a blessed day!

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jennifer August 27, 2015 at 7:51 am

Hi Linda!
I’m totally with you.. ugghh! I started taking a super B complex vitamin along w/ a multivitamin as well & I think it has helped somewhat as some of symptoms are less severe. I’m not sure if it’s the vitamins or the fact that I think I have a handle on what it is now (the scary part was not knowing)! I thought “what if I have cancer? What if I have heart disease?” & that just fueled the anxiety even more. Very thankful for all the folks here!
Hope you have a blessed day too!
jenn :)

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Valerie August 30, 2015 at 5:38 pm

Thank you omg I thought I was going crazy too. I too had a panic attack out of no where and have been fighting anxiety along with night sweats and mood swings out of control. I’m 45 had all my blood work and even a brain scan for my dizziness. They say everything looks fine but it has to be my hormones and peri menopause. I’m glad I’m not alone because I thought it was just going to be some hot flashes, which I was looking forward to because I’m always cold and some mood swings. No one told me about these other symptoms ugh just need to get through these next few years!! 😢

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Nancy August 31, 2015 at 11:36 pm

I have also had very similar symptoms as you Jennifer. About two years ago I also thought something was seriously wrong with me. I woke with a strange feeling of my fingers and forearms numb and seemed to progress through the day becoming like a strange skin-moving feeling. It literally felt like my skin was crawling. I also woke up on several nights with severe anxiety also relating to this skin crawing and numbness feeling. I was terrified. This lasted for a couple of months on and off. Saw my doctor, who then sent me to a neurologist, who did several tests all of which were normal. It’s been a couple of years now, those symptoms and pretty uncommon but I now have varying symptoms of gastric issues, mostly nausea. Last night I woke up with a strong feeling that I was going to throw up. This comes and goes weeks on end. Yes, it is nice to know that there are other women who have the same strange, seemingly unexplainable symptoms. Hopefully there is an end in sight.

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Michelle August 21, 2015 at 9:14 am

I am so thankful to have found this site as well. First for me, I don’t have a thyroid. Lost it 12 years ago to RAI due to graves post pregnancy. So that alone has been a balancing act. I lost 5 pregnancies (further along and 1 ectopic) and have since felt a major shift in my health. I am at risk for heart palps to begin with due to no thyroid, but at 43 to be 44, am realizing all of the things I have been going through must be peri. Up until a year ago I always, even with thyroid issues, had a 28 day cycle. never any pain discomfort or breast tenderness. Well, that all took a major swing… I get palps, hot flashes at times, anxiety, bloat, breast tenderness around when I ovulate (or think i’m ovulating ), migraines (never had in my life), the itchy skin, mood swings… you name it … The worst for me are the heart palps. I have had the ekg, monitor and stress and nothing…. (thank God) but when you get them, they are frightening. Yes, I too have had the many trips to the ER fearing the worst when they hit. So between my lack of thyroid and only being on synthroid, to now perimenopause.. it’s going to be one heck of a ride. The one thing I have been blessed with is not having any issues with my weight. I work out, eat well, and stay hydrated. Just some things I am aware I cannot control… but off to another heart doc apt to be certain once again.
Thank you for allowing me to share and not judging me. I know putting this much info out there can have people turn a nose up… but I am grateful for you all and knowing that I am not alone.

Blessings
Michelle

I am wishing each of you the best… knowing we have this journey ahead, I so appreciate

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Shelley August 22, 2015 at 9:26 am

I started getting the heart palpitations a few years ago, had all the tests and nothing is wrong. I was so nervous about it I had diarrhea and heartburn. The doctor sent me home with no answer on the heart palps and 3 prescriptions to take, one for irritable bowel, one for heartburn and an anti-depressant! I threw them in the garbage and did my own homework, finding that heart palpitations are common in peri-menopause. Some things I have tried with success are peppermint tea and motherwort tincture. I have just begun using a homeopathic remedy called ammonium carbonicum 200c that was recommended in an article by homeopath Joette Calabrese. (http://joettecalabrese.com/blog/saving-menopausal-woman-homeopathy/) which is supposed to be a permanent solution to the problem. I am excited to see if it will do the trick for me.

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dawn mills August 23, 2015 at 3:46 pm

This is a help to me. I’m 42 and 2 months ago I started feeling like my heart racing or skipping beats. Every time I go to the Dr they find nothing which I am glad. But put it with all the other symptoms on here and it’s all me. I just thought it was stress.

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Tami August 26, 2015 at 1:03 am

I just experienced the weight gain, 20 lbs in 1 month. Like you, I’m highly active and eat well. Now I’m tweeting my diet and still exercising but no relief. I’m 49. I’m hoping it will come just like it came on. Now I seem to be nesting just like the days before I had my daughter. I’ve experienced almost all 35 symptoms. I also have random feelings of the tip of my nose feeling on fire and had a metallic feeling.

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dawn mills August 23, 2015 at 3:23 pm

Omg thank you for this article. I’m to my breaking point. I already have panic disorder and thought that stress wads sending me over the edge. I’m 42 and have 3 teenage daughter’s. They look at me and say I’m bipolar. I actually started to believe them but then thought I’d have to actually be happy at some point before swinging to the mean crazy side. As I read this I see that I’m not crazy. Guess I’m making a Dr appt tomorrow and bringing this article with me. Thank you.

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Cheryl August 27, 2015 at 4:31 pm

Fits what I’m going through to a ‘t’. But my Dr. Took me off estrogen because she was worrying over cancer. I think I just want my estrogens back, thanks. :-)

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Michele August 28, 2015 at 9:15 am

Since last October I have been nothing but ill..

I was in bed six weeks solid with fatigue, sweating, headaches, dizzy head, loss of speech, aches and pains, heart palpitations, hyperventilation etc etc etc. I have never been so ill in my life. No one could tell me what was wrong and on top of that I have been diagnosed with under active thyroid, high blood pressure and now high cholesterol.
Every couple of weeks I get overwhelming fatigue with nausea and a foggy head.. Does anyone else get this??

I also have had really bad depression since last October and never go out unless i have to. My whole life has went from being very active and going to the gym, eating healthy etc etc. To being confined to the house and constant health problems.

I am never away from the doctors and have just been put on HRT.. has anyone else had this amount of problems??

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Linda August 29, 2015 at 10:07 pm

Hi Ladies,
Just came from the emergency room ugh! I have been having so much pain in my gut on the right side that feels like a big gas pocket in the middle and hurts around the back. It also hurts on the left side a little also. I feared the worse, sonogram and cat scan did not show anything. Praise God! The doctor said it could be gastritis. He said go see primary doctor and a gastro doctor to have tube put down my throat. Well….with no insurance this is going to be enough stress to keep my stomach hurting:-( praying it’s all good news!!
Blessings to you all :-)

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Treena August 31, 2015 at 5:03 am

Hi Linda

I guess the emergency Dr checked this but it could be Gall Stones, I had similar symptoms before I had mine removed, still get them now but not as bad, it could also be Perimenopause of course

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Linda August 31, 2015 at 9:48 pm

Hi Treena,
They did a cat scan and did not find anything. They want me to follow up with a gastro doctor to check colon and stomach ugh! Oh the burping and bloating is awful.
Many Blessings
Linda

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Lisa September 2, 2015 at 11:04 am

Hi everyone,

I am 45 and have been dealing with many of the symptoms for the last 3 years. Now I have started to have periods that do not want to stop. They are not heavy but they just seem to keep going. There is a lot of information about heaving bleeding but I haven’t seen much about what I am experiencing. I feel like it is hormonal but tend to worry none the less. Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated.

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Magnolia May 17, 2015 at 1:25 pm

Kelly,

I understand what you’re trying to say when you compare your wife’s mood swings to manic swings. However, can I please suggest that you back away from clinical mental diagnostic tools to describe women in perimenopause?

We are not mentally ill. Perimenopause is not a mental condition. Yes, it does cause mood swings and affect changes in our behavior. But, we are NOT mentally ill or suffering from psychosis in any form.

I say that because women are CONSTANTLY being treated as if they are mentally ill when all they are suffering from is the effects of hormone imbalance. Their body systems are out of balance. Not their mind. And for you to appeal to us to “take it easy on our husbands” tells me that you think we have some capacity to control it or something.

We can’t. I’m sorry to tell you that. But, we simply can’t. Maybe YOU should take it easy on your wife and not compare her to clinically diagnosed mental patients?

I do understand you want to help. And I respect that you are here seeking information so you CAN help her. But, please sir, lose the language of the DSM if you really want to help your wife.

Magnolia

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