35 Symptoms of Perimenopause

by Magnolia on September 5, 2014

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’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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{ 83 comments… read them below or add one }

Carrie November 19, 2015 at 12:57 am

This blog has done wonders for my sanity. I’ve had bit and pieces of symptoms for the past year, but the last 3 months have been shocking. (No period for the last three ). The anxiety rolled in, rapid heart rate, then a debilitating fatigue. I work out 3-4 times a week; rather I did. The last time I came home and crashed for 3 days. I can’t even move too quickly without feeling like I’m going to have a heart attack. Been to the ER, doc. Ekg fine. Anyone else struggling in this way? I went from very active to being afraid to walk around the block.

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Magnolia November 21, 2015 at 3:10 pm

Carrie,

Anxiety is common in perimenopause. As is heart palpitations. There are linked to a number of things. Could be thyroid issues (common secondary symptoms for women in perimenopause) and also linked to low progesterone (anxiety). Perhaps you can change your work out routine to something less intense? I find walking 2 to 3 miles a day helps me immensely. I also have some posts which address foods that can help with some symptoms. Magnesium is good for anxiety and panic attacks.

The posts are under “Food As Medicine” category. You can also look in the drop-down category menu and find other posts I’ve written on anxiety.

Magnolia

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Carrie November 29, 2015 at 11:17 pm

Thank you! I’ve been tested for thyroid / fine. Blood work / fine. I’ve cut off all exercise, but still have the crashes out of the blue – started drinking apple juice – possibly low blood sugar? Seeing the endocrinologist in two weeks. I did get the book Female Brain Gone Insane and that has helped! Following supplement plan and I have almost NO anxiety – feel much better – so thank you for that. Just watching my diet and will follow your advice forever!

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LISA C December 7, 2015 at 6:18 am

HEY CARRIE TRY TAKING A TEASPOON OF MANUKA HONEY 16+ 30 MINS BEFORE MEALS. THIS SEEMED TO HELP ME ALOT. ACTUALLY I AM WAITING FOR MORE TO COME THRU THE MAIL I ORDER ON AMAZON, RAW ORGANIC MANUKA HONEY LIKE 28$ BUT ITS WORTH IT…. I GET EXTREME FATIGUE, PRESSURE TO PEE A ALOT WHICH I DO, ACHES AND PAINS IN LEGS, ARMS, DRY MOUTH FEEL LIKE FLU THAN ALL THE SUDDEN ZAP ITS GONE AND IT WAS TERRIBLE. VERY MOODY YELLING AT EVERYONE UNBELIEVABLE. FEEL BAD FOR MY KIDS… MAKES ME WANT TO CRY SO I JUST LET THEM KNOW THAT I AM GOING TO HAVE THESE UPS AND DOWNS TO PLEASE BARE WITH ME AND JUST DO WHAT I TELL THEM TO DO.
I WORK THE NIGHT SHIFT TOO SO ITS KIND OF WORSE. MANUKA HONEY WAS GIVING ME THE ENERGY I NEED SO I CANT WAIT TILL IT GETS HERE. IF YOU CAN LET ME KNOW IF YOU TRY IT THAT WOULD BE GREAT. HOPE TO HEAR FROM YOU SOON TAKE CARE.

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Carrie Gammonley December 12, 2015 at 2:05 am

Thank you Lisa – I just ordered it. I Keep trying to relax and just go with it, but it’s so frustrating being unable to do the simplest yoga class. I also get shaky and cold, sore joints with the fatigue. Does that happen to you? I did start on the supplements found in the book Female Brain Gone Insane as well as Progesterone cream. Both helped with the moods and anxiety. Even got my period after 3 months, which was a relief of sorts.

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jean November 27, 2015 at 12:19 am

Carrie, I am experiencing the same as you ! I’m very fit and active. I woke up at 1am with a racing heart and could not calm myself down two nights ago. I drove myself to the ER and same thing as you. Everything’s fine. I also experience extreme fatigue as do you. That alone is enough to make me cry everyday, where did Jean go :( I wish you peace, love and healing.

~ jean

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Carrie November 29, 2015 at 11:23 pm

Jean – get the book Female Brain Gone Insane that Magnolia recommend. Follow the supplement plan. Helped me straighten out in days- very little anxiety. I still have the fatigue, so I just cut out all rigorous exercise for now. Just walking and doing a few “at home” exercises. Will still visit the endicrinologiist; wonder if I have adrenal fatigue brought on by hormone chance. Good luck to you – start with the book and natural supplements. Take the Calm magnesium at night as well, progesterone cream.

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Nel December 30, 2015 at 9:57 pm

I know exactly how you feel, have been the same way.

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Amanda January 18, 2016 at 1:37 pm

Wow! This is exactly what has happened to me (other than my period hasn’t stopped…it just changes every month in length and flow)! My heart started racing in November and I have been struggling with the associated panic ever since! At the same time that started, I also started having hot flashes…incinerating surges…the type I imagine you feel if you are going to spontaneously combust! This site is a life saver…a sanity saver. Although I still think I’mlosing my mind, it is comforting to know I’m not alone! Sending you strength! :)

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linda A January 26, 2016 at 3:25 am

My symptoms and description identical to what youve written.

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Kay December 2, 2015 at 1:08 pm

I’be just turned 41 and pretty sure I’ve been experiencing many of these symptoms.
My period last month was very heavy, I.e. soaking through large pads very quickly, clots etc. And two days longer than it has been for a long time. This month my period was 3 days late and is almost non existant accompanied by nausea and a Super sense of smell (which I only get when I’m pregnant (tested not preg) , so I went looking for info hoping I wasn’t pregnant. That’s when I fou d this site and and a few others and realized I’ve been having a lot of symptoms. Occasional night sweats, weak in legs, dizziness, irritability, fatigue, nausea, anxiety, odd periods since 40 (not missed but shorter and heavier than I have ever had in my life) racing heartbeat occasionally, bowel problems, seams like the more I read about the more symptoms I realize I’ve experienced, so much so that it’s kind of one of those AHA type moments where everything comes together and you can’t understand how you didn’t realize it before.
I look forward to the day when I no longer have a period but really wish I didn’t have to go through all this to get there. Lol. Good luck everyone.

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EdnaBuford December 4, 2015 at 12:59 am

Hello 43, 2 kids, started peri last year – fsh levels were really high, had not had a period for 18 mos, the. This past October had one; my big issue is this crashing fatigue, anxiety, weird weird feelings m, almost imaginative illusions, I feel hopeless, depressed and cannot not get out of bed at all- this happens about every 2 weeks, lasts 7-9 days and then I’m functional again; and it happens like clockwork- is it normal to have clockwork cycles of feelings like this?

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Carrie December 7, 2015 at 10:45 pm

Magnolia –
When is the right time to try bioidentical estrogen? I am only 3 months without a period after 2 years of inconsistency, so I know I am “here” at 49. Is it beneficial to all women, or just some? The progesterone does help me, but I am seeking something to help with my energy and mental balance.

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Magnolia December 9, 2015 at 2:52 pm

Hello Carrie,

My apologies for taking so long to answer you. I think any time you want to try estrogen is a good time. Start out low of course, as low as dose as possible which treats your symptoms. I started the lowest dose of the Vivelle Dot patch, and increased until I was taking 1.0. I now currently use the 1.0 patch, but when I begin to experience breast tenderness, I back off and do not use it as often. Once I back off and begin to notice vaginal dryness and sleep issues again (when estrogen is low for me, I begin to wake up every night at 2:00 a.m. ON THE DOT!), then I apply a patch.

This works for me. However, you will have to find what works for you. Experiment with dosage until you find something you’re comfortable with. Estrogen is not a magic pill cure-all. You may need to adjust your diet to address brain fog issues (I do well on the GI (glycemic index diet) and invest in high quality supplements (especially B-vitamins) to help with brain function as well.

All of it combined can be very helpful.

Magnolia

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Carrie gammonley December 15, 2015 at 9:06 pm

Thank you so much! Is the Vivelle Dot considered bio-identical? It has been so hard to find a pharmacy that has bio-identical. I have no history of breast cancer in my family so I am willing to try it if you’ve had success with it. I trust your research and experience! Just wasn’t sure how it was different from the Prempro and other synthetic brands.

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Magnolia December 15, 2015 at 9:24 pm

Yes, Carrie, it is considered bioidentical. It is a patch and is transdermal which is easier on the liver. I *do* have breast cancer in my family, but my doctor is wonderful at working with me to monitor everything. I get annual mammograms, I see her annually, and if there was ever a hint of a problem, I would stop taking it.

As it is now, I monitor how I feel. If I notice that I’m getting sore breasts, for example, I change my patch less often. This works well for me.

Hope it works for you too.

Magnolia

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Lisa December 8, 2015 at 7:20 pm

Hi,
I’m 42 and having an “extra” period this month (scant bleeding). This happens occasionally every few months. I also tend toward endless periods that others have spoken about. My solution is to use my trusted friends black cohosh and ma huang in tincture form a couple of times a day until bleeding increases (heavy). Typically this will kick start my system and bleeding will end within a few days after a pretty heavy day. I have ALWAYS had clotting and extremely heavy periods, so no changes there. The one that initially worried me was breast tenderness. I had a mammogram (negative) and decided this is my new norm. This is more than tenderness since I’ve always been sensitive; this is “don’t touch” uncomfortable. Left sided only, same side that had issues during breastfeeding. In fact, those issues never went away- I went from clogged ducts to constant tenderness after the milk dried up (after long-term breastfeeding). I recognize that I could be looking at lymphatic congestion in response to hormones (I’m an RN, cert lactation educator). Right side is fine. Hence the mammogram….nothing.
If this is just a start of what I have to look forward to…….

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Magnolia December 9, 2015 at 2:49 pm

Hi Lisa,

Again, thanks for sharing your experience and wisdom. Unfortunately, I do not know near enough about alternative treatments. It is an area I have a great interest in, however, and plan to do more research in it. I have found that progesterone (bioidentical) works extraordinarily well for heavy bleeding and blood clots. Generally speaking, (and as a nurse, I’m certain you likely know this) estrogen dominance tends to cause tender breasts.

Magnolia

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Meredith January 11, 2016 at 6:26 pm

Lisa,
I sounds like you gave a classic case of estrogen dominance.
Estrogen is a antagonistic hormone and causes breast tenderness amongst other terrifying symptoms.
Have you tried the natural bio-identical progesterone cream?

Good luck and I hope you feel better soon!

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marzia December 10, 2015 at 2:48 pm

Hello lovely ladies,

Thank you all for sharing your stories! I have to say that meditation, self healing have helped so much. I do not trust doctors and the drugs they are prescribing anymore. They have no knowledge whatsoever nowadays and they do not care anymore.Its all about business and making money, Sad!!! Insurance companies, governments making tones of money out of us and all, our well being is all business to them unfortunately! We have to be smart and trust ourselves and stay healthy by doing meditations, yoga, relaxation, good sleep, positive thinking, charity, act of kindness and etc is the key to a healthy life. I started the 21 day of meditation with Dr.Deepak Chopra and Oprah and it helped me so much, give it a try! good luck and God Bless!

Marzia

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Renkma December 11, 2015 at 1:31 pm

I’m 50 and am usually in great shape. I have been extremely physically fit since 2008 with exercise programs that are considered “extreme” – I eat right – am of a very healthy weight – don’t smoke – don’t drink. Yet, I feel like POOP!! I have panic attacks and constant anxiety. I sweat profusely if I even have to talk on the phone. I have these quake/tremor episodes that cause me to become dizzy – they feel like I switch dimensions – and my legs go to rubber for a few minutes. My periods are every 3 weeks for 2 days instead of my previously normal clockwork 28 day 6 day periods. I get extreme heart palpitations and have gone to several doctors fearing for my heart health, but they found that I’m only an anxious mess. My blood pressure is perfect (at home monitoring), my heart rate is normal. The palpitations are what is called Enhanced Cardiac Awareness. I found it through research – when I mentioned that to a doctor I was seeing, I was looked at like I needed to be committed!
I just don’t feel good anymore – so many little things all adding up to this truly unpleasant life. I hope things change after my period stops. Especially the quakes and palpitations.
Hugs to you all going through this crap!! And BOOO HISSSS to all those doctors that look at us like we’re nuts, and all the men that think we’re making it all up.

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LarriceG December 14, 2015 at 11:30 pm

Hello everyone..I have these symptoms
As well , to add one more symptom my
Palms are white due to bleeding almost constant.
I also have blood clots.Im 45 years old I have nine children and also felt I was going crazy.this blog is a lifesaver.

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Chris December 15, 2015 at 9:22 pm

Hello Ladies,
I am so pleased to have found this, I am currently thinking I am going mad!
Looking through it all I have quite a few of the symptoms, such as fatigue, before my last bleed I felt nauseous and tender breasts, got gastroenterital issues such as gas. But worst of all I am constantly panicked that I am pregnant. I have had mirena for nearly 3 years now, pregnancy tests are negative and I had what is left of my period following the mirena after the last time I had intercourse and still I have this absolutely irrational panic that I am pregnant. I’m 45, got 2 kids and really do not want any more. Does anybody else feel like this?

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Magnolia December 17, 2015 at 3:37 pm

Hello Chris,

Yes, feeling like you’re going crazy is a common experience in perimenopause. One day you feel like yourself, and then before you know it, it’s all gone to hell in a hand basket and you don’t recognize your body, your life, and yourself any longer.

I had my last child at 43, but would have loved another. Alas, it was over for me after that. But to put your mind at ease, the chances of you conceiving in your 40s, naturally, is VERY low. So, you don’t need to worry excessively about it. Missed cycles is part of perimenopause.

Magnolia

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Chris December 17, 2015 at 9:24 pm

Thank you for your kind words Magnolia.
I am usually that a rational person, therefore struggling a lot feeling like this. All of the above put together plus some negative tests I still keep panicking due to some of the other symptoms – not rational at all…
My children are both (nearly) teenagers and enjoying the bit more independence that brings now, really don’t like the sense of losing control over my mind at all.
Chris

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Magnolia December 17, 2015 at 9:29 pm

Yes, I understand. I always felt in control and able to conquer any mountain that ever had the misfortune of being in my way. So, when perimenopause came along and took my legs out from under me, it was devastating to me. I think I was as stressed over feeling out of control, as I was over the crazy mood swings and other symptoms which took over my body.

Understand that you are going through a deep change that is bound to stir up all kinds of weird emotions and feelings. They do eventually pass. Just think of it as grown up adolescence and you’ll understand it better. Remember how weird it was in puberty? Same thing except now you’re not a teenager. :)

It’s helpful your children are older. Mine were young, and I had a toddler to boot. So, it was especially difficult. At least yours are older and you can get some time to yourself to have melt downs.

Magnolia

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Leigh S. January 25, 2016 at 7:23 pm

Anyone else dealing with hip pain?

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Magnolia January 26, 2016 at 4:05 pm

Yes, Leigh, I do. But, I have arthritis in my hips so I can’t say it’s menopause.

Magnolia

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Leigh S. January 26, 2016 at 4:36 pm

Hi Magnolia,

How do they test for arthritis? I have had discomfort on my right side hip area for a few years now. However, it will bother me a little bit but then go away for awhile. Only in the last few weeks has it been bothering me on a more consistent basis.

Thanks.

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Magnolia January 27, 2016 at 4:32 pm

Generally they will run x-rays to look at your joints. They also have other markers they look for in your blood which signals inflammation, etc.

Magnolia

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Leigh S. December 19, 2015 at 7:28 pm

I have had several of the symptoms on and off for the past year. Anyone having strange sensations in their back? My back started itching a little right in the middle along my spine and have been having some aches/strange sensations. Of course now I am more focused on it and am convinced I have a tumor because of the extreme anxiety. I will be feeling good for a bit and then I will have some new ache or pain and then I am convinced I am dying.

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Leigh S. December 19, 2015 at 7:32 pm

Anyone else having strange aches/sensations in their back?

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Helen Cornish December 23, 2015 at 9:58 am

Hi Leigh

I have the same feeling in my upper back and shoulders, it comes and goes as a dull ache and sometimes a burning sensation and like you I have good and bad days. A few months ago I felt great but now my back has starting aching again I think there is something fatally wrong with me. Now I am anxious again and all the “stress aches” are starting up again. Thing is when I am busy I forget all about it and do not notice the aches, then I will focus on them again and the pains will start. I am so fed up with it all!!!!!

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Leigh S. December 24, 2015 at 3:18 am

I know. So frustrating. With every new ache or pain I am convinced I am dying and then that just leads to panic attacks. My back is actually better, but that seems to be how it goes. Something new will pop up and then after a few days will go away. Frustrating.

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Helen Cornish January 11, 2016 at 5:16 pm

It sure is, I thought there was blood in my poo and was convinced I had something wrong with my colon, went again and it turned out to be the goji berries I had the night before! Have started taking vit b complex as I’ve heard thats good so fingers crossed.

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Joanne January 25, 2016 at 9:18 pm

Yes, absolutely! So pleased to have discovered this blog this evening, as just like everyone else has commented thought I was going mad! I’m 47 and have always been determined, confident etc, I set up my own business’s, 2 kids, 2 dogs etc and always been fit and active. Suddenly I seem to have turned into an anxious basket case, worrying about everything, can’t stand flying (having previously pretty much travelled the world without such fears), panic attacks, heart palpitations and yes weird sensation in my back, between shoulder & spine. Weird burning/tingling, that comes & goes. Sore back, neck and my digestion seems to be up the spout now as well, what with trapped wind! I had tender breasts & nights sweats for a couple of years, this has now subsided and I’m left with these weird sensations etc and just a total feeling of ’emptiness’
I seem to have lost all confidence and trying to concentrate, even on a book, is very difficult.
Some days of course no problems at all, then it all returns and I’m convinced there’s something more sinister. I lie in bed, when I can’t sleep, ‘googling’ symptoms like some lunatic! It’s just insane, and you simply can’t talk to anyone about all of this. My husband would just laugh at me if I told him all this! He is aware of my sudden fear of flying which really non-plusses him as I never really had such a strong aversion before.
I started taking probiotics, I have pretty much cut out alcohol, and don’t eat large meals as I hate that ‘bloated’ feeling and I started taking those ‘off the shelf’ vitamins. Going to the gym helps a lot, but getting myself up and out, ah, there lies the problem!
Very fed up, really feel like I’ve lost myself! Really comforting to read here that I’m not alone X

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Jessica December 20, 2015 at 6:28 pm

Hi everyone, hoping some of you to tell me what your symptoms are that they are similar. I have been experiencing all the following since the age of 43. I pretty much have at least 80% of the symptoms listed in this blog. Most recently in the past and several months I have had an increase in pelvic and uterine discomfort. Experience with find close to my menstrual cycle during intimacy my uterus is tender the next day and even worse if I have an emergency. I have had an ultrasound and my ovaries and uterus is remarkable. I am also scheduled to see the gynecologist again for an internal biopsy to make sure everything’s okay. I also have severe GI issues which is probably my main problem I constantly suffer from reflux indicates stomach cramping Tesla cramping diarrhea to constipation. My ball change for what I used to because of the normal and no more Santa Mom solid solution. Hoping if anybody else have anything similar to this.

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Willie December 21, 2015 at 11:29 pm

Hello. I am 47 and am struggling with some of these same issues. Currently I have been bleeding for 6 weeks. Not a lot of cramping or other normal period type issues. I have had blood work and an ultrasound, but do not see the doctoragain until after Christmas. Have any of you had this issue? What was the outcome? I am really nervous.

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Carrie December 28, 2015 at 6:30 pm

Wow am I glad I found this forum. I’m 41 now and started having symptoms at 35. Woke up in the middle of the night and my heart was racing. Of course right away I thought great I’m having a heart attack.

Went to the ER and low and behold I have anxiety. Crap I say. After this I got so sick for over a week. Dizziness, weak with fatigue, headaches and extreme digestive distress. So started the years of seeing the cardiologist and the gastro doc. Even my primary thought I was crazy because I was convinced that I was already entering perimenopause.

Always the same thing no your too young. Well all the tests I’ve ever had turned out great. No problems completely healthy. It’s gotten worse in the last year or so I have almost half of the above symptoms listed. The most disturbing is the heart palps, insomnia and the anxiety. I used to be able to handle stress so well and now it’s like I’ll lose it if someone looks at me wrong.

Just spent almost 2 weeks in Germany and was miserable almost the entire time. The dizziness and anxiety continue to get worse I course I’ve convinced myself that I’m dying and something is wrong with me. I had a nervous every breakdown the day we were to fly for vacation. Yes I don’t like to fly but it’s never affected me so bad.

I can’t express how glad I am to have found others that are also going through this and that I’m not crazy. Any suggestions would be helpful.

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Magnolia December 28, 2015 at 6:56 pm

Hi Carrie,

First of all, you’re not too young. I was 41 when I began going through perimenopause. Consider this: According to the medical community, the “average” age of actual menopause (12 consecutive months without a menstrual cycle) is 52 to 54. An average, strictly mathematically speaking, means that there are numbers HIGHER than the “average” and numbers LOWER than the “average”

Also according to the medical community the “average” length of perimenopause is 5 to 10 years. If that is true, according to THEM, then you could BEGIN going through perimenopause at 41 and reach actual menopause at 51. So, PLEASE explain to me dear doctors, how you have your averages that you publish as medical gospel regarding menopause, but you tell women who are 41, they are “too young” for perimenopause?

The answer is, Carrie, they are clueless. They build their tests around their education of what menopause is and isn’t. If they don’t understand it (and they don’t), then how in God’s name can they “test” accurately for it? They can’t.

It is true you could very well be experiencing anxiety. Anxiety is a common and difficult symptom for women in perimenopause. However, it is not what they are implying…..that you’re imagining your symptoms. You’re NOT crazy. Do you hear me? Repeat that mantra: I am NOT crazy. I’m experiencing hormone imbalance!

Please join us at Facebook where there is an active community of women who share your symptoms and can offer a lot of emotional support.

Magnolia

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Nadine Ottley December 29, 2015 at 1:35 am

I am so happy to know that what I am feeling is rea, and that this chat is current. I would love to join in and contribute to these chats. I turned 51 last September and Insatrted sporadically experiencing heart racing which occurred three to four times within I the last year. To me that is the scariest of all. I had to take a quarter of a Zanax tablet which calmed me considerably. It stopped for months then last night I experienced one coming on. I had to talk myself through it mentally and do breathing exercises whilst thinking about the beach and the sound of waves, as that is calming to me.

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Shelley December 29, 2015 at 1:43 pm

I just found this website after another night without sleeping more than a couple of hours. I’m 51 and have had most of the symptoms mentioned at some time during the last 10 years. The heart palpitations were the worst, and I was tested and found “normal” and sent home with no solution. In fact, because I told the doctor that I had anxiety, heartburn and diarrhea often, I was sent home with a prescription for an acid blocker, an IBS drug and an anti-depressant. I threw them out and vowed never to go to another mainstream physician again. Although I’ve been researching and trying different natural methods for managing symptoms over the years, I’ve never gotten rid of the palpitations completely. I never know if my symptoms are menopausal related or something else. It confuses me and I feel so helpless and out of control. Just recently everything seems to have gotten worse. I have chills one minute, then sweat the next. I get my period every 21 days for a few months and now it skipped a month. I have more and more of these nights where I can’t sleep and have anxiety attacks. I got into a huge fight with my son and husband on Christmas day and felt like I was going to explode. I’m sick of crying and not having a life. So glad I found this site and maybe find some help.

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Magnolia December 29, 2015 at 3:45 pm

Hello Shelley,

I have a post on my blog under the “sponsored posts” category for a product called “Heart Calm” which is marketed for heart palpitations. I’ve never personally tried it, but you can certainly read about it and see what you think? It might helpful for you?

And bioidentical progesterone (you can get a prescription for the oral micronized form called Prometrium) is good for sleep and anxiety. Thanks for commenting. And I do understand how nuts this can make you feel.

Magnolia

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Christine January 1, 2016 at 5:06 pm

Hello I’m 52 years old and have been getting perimenopausal symptoms for 1 year. I get very dizzy and have a lot of anxiety before my period starts. It is a very scary feeling because sometimes I get very fatigued and I need to take motrins like candy. I don’t like this feeling but I am glad to know that I am NOT the only one going through this I get very fatigued and sometimes feel that I might have fibromyalgia I still get my period but it’s usually every 3 months. I can’t stand that feeling of head zaps every now and then. Thanks for this blog.

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Nadine Ottley January 3, 2016 at 1:09 am

I am so glad to listen to others as I too thought I was going crazy. I would feel weird and could not explain exactly how I was feeling. I just knew I was just not feeling very well. For the first time my period did not show last November and December. In November when it missed I felt sick. I experience anxiety attacks in the form of my heart racing. That is the worst feeling ever. Then there are the migraines and the pain in my left shoulder. Evening Primrose oil helps to some extent, as I get a better sense of well being when I take it. I hope to buy the book Carrie spoke about so I can follow the supplement plan. Thanks all for sharing as it really helps me to know I am not alone and not crazy.

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Jen January 3, 2016 at 11:59 pm

So thankful for this website. I have been experiencing the mood swings, heart palpitations, irregular periods, HEAVY flow, exhaustion, and muscle soreness. The muscle soreness scares me since it is normally my upper back, left shoulder, and just recently included my ear and jaw. This is because I was unaware of when I am having an episode, I clench my jaw…but if you read the internet, it is the beginning of a heart attack. Of course that panics me even more! Off to talk with my doctor, but I am always told it is in my head. Thank you for making me feel like I am not going crazy.

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Magnolia January 4, 2016 at 5:03 pm

Hi Jen,

Bioidentical progesterone will help with your heavy flow. You can ask your doctor for a prescription for Prometrium, or perhaps a gel or cream. You can also check with physicians who will write your a prescription for a compounded cream.

Either way, it will help with the heavy periods, guaranteed!

Thanks for reading, and you’re not going crazy!!

Magnolia

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Fran January 4, 2016 at 9:31 pm

So glad I found this! I’m having many symptoms and have been told I’m crazy because I’m too young to be going through perimenopause. I’m 45 and thought I was going crazy. I have no energy, I can lay in bed for days and not care if anything gets done….I just don’t have any umff. I’m cranky, bowel and belly issues, headaches, sore breasts, heavy bleeding, sometimes early sometimes late and many other symptoms. How long until this is over 😔

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Magnolia January 5, 2016 at 12:15 am

Hello Fran,

You are not crazy and you’re certainly not too young to be in perimenopause. Perimenopause can last anywhere for 5 to 12 years or so. But, it’s not intense the entire time!

I would find another physician or medical professional who is supportive and doesn’t call you crazy!!!

Magnolia

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Lisa January 5, 2016 at 5:23 pm

Dear Fran,
I can relate to everything you have said and I am also 45. At various times during the past few years I have had myself convinced that I had every form of cancer that I could think of just because of the belly/bowel discomfort. It is very hard to be worrying about this stuff all the time and then to be told “its all in your head” makes it so much worse. Just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. I too am wondering how much longer! Take Care!

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Brook January 5, 2016 at 5:18 pm

Wow, thank you, this hits home for me. What really gets me about all this, is that I started going through it at 31 years old. I am now 35.

Mine started out as what I thought was just depression after a stressful event, but ever since I have had night sweats, hot flashes, sore breasts, heart palpitations, crawly skin, and now 40 lb. weight gain from the antidepressants and birth control I was prescribed that made me worse, not better.

I thought maybe I had PMDD, but the symptoms didn’t line up with the changes in my periods that also occurred. I have yet to skip one but they have gotten longer total with days of spotting before and after. I was working out 4-5 days a week and took great care of myself before all this started.

All of a sudden one day, I had zero energy and had to drop out of a P90X challenge group I was in because I just couldn’t go on. I was completely mentally and physically exhausted. I could lay in bed forever it seemed. I really noticed a monthly pattern after about the first year, but the symptoms never completely go away on any given day.

My depression got much better AFTER I stopped taking meds for it, and sought help from a natural practitioner. Although the supplements he gave me help the physical perimenopause symptoms, the emotional symptoms have wrecked my life in a big way…I took a different position at work because I couldn’t handle job-related stress anymore, when I used to thrive under pressure.

My kids are still young (16 and 10) and I have almost zero patience for them some days, but my husband takes the brunt of it all…my anger, no RAGE, is almost always directed at him. Then I spend days apologizing and wondering what the heck even happened.

I am just at a loss, because ladies, you think it’s bad in your early 40’s trying to get someone to understand, try being in your 30’s. No one gets it. I have no clue what else this could be, and I’ve been putting off going back to get my levels checked because I just want to be in menopause at this point to have some sanity, but I fear I have a ways to go…

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michelle January 11, 2016 at 7:47 pm

Wow! I’m so glad I’ve seen this post. I’m 34 and started to have these symptoms after my 3rd child was born 15 months ago. I have about 90% of the perimenopause symptoms. I’ve been spotting brown or pink blood about 2 days before my period actually starts whereas before it would just begin with fresh bleeding. The anxiety has been debilitating I have had to leave a very stressful job (nursing) as I couldn’t cope anymore. My memory is terrible now I can’t remember tons of things. I’m snappy and withdrawn. I have hot flashes and feel hot a lot. I also have been getting more spots and some excess facial hair (thankfully thin and blonde) and tmi but my vagina is really dry these days I feel like my husband takes it personally sometimes. My libido is also down hill.

I was considering going ton bc pill to see if it would even things out hormone wise?

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Magnolia January 12, 2016 at 4:03 pm

Hi Michelle,

I can’t say with any authority if the birth control pills will help or not. They certainly didn’t help ME. In fact, they made everything worse. Not to mention, the hormones which are in birth control pills are the synthetic monsters which can really cause issues for a lot of women.

I think it’s a safer and more logical route to use hormone therapy and adjust your dosage of each accordingly. The dosage in birth control pills is standardized and not necessarily able to meet the needs of every woman across the board.

However, all of that said, if it’s an option you wish to try, by all means, try it. I’m not here to tell you or any of my readers what they should or shouldn’t do. I share my experience and personal opinion, along with information I research so that readers can determine for themselves what route they wish to take.

Estrogen, by the way, will help enormously with vaginal dryness and your libido. As will testosterone. Progesterone helps with anxiety and sleeping. Estrogen also helps with sleeping. In fact, I’ve come full circle regarding my opinion of estrogen in the past 10 years. I used to think it was the devil. But, I’ve since learned the important role it plays in our bodies. When it’s not there, we feel the effect of its absence, that is for certain.

Magnolia

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Mia K January 11, 2016 at 1:21 am

I am 44 and have many of the perimenopause symptoms. The worst is
Anxiety- the breast tenderness and achy joints have me convinced I have cancer or fibromyalgia and like many others I went to the dr for the heart palpitations thinking I was going to have a heart attack (EKG normal). Has any body had achy ovaries- is that a symptom? Thankful for this blog!

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Magnolia January 11, 2016 at 1:07 pm

You’re welcome, Mia, and thank you very much for reading.

Magnolia

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Leigh S. January 17, 2016 at 9:50 pm

Hi Mia,
I am 43. Have had various symptoms for about a year and a half now. I have been on a very low dose BC for many years now. I also tend to feel like my ovaries are sore/achy. Although I tend to only feel it on my right side.

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Leigh S. January 17, 2016 at 8:17 pm

Anyone else getting sores inside their nostrils?

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Magnolia January 17, 2016 at 11:54 pm

Can’t say that I have, Leigh. Maybe someone else might answer

Magnolia

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Linda February 2, 2016 at 6:14 pm

Yes Leigh I have the sores in the nose. Have been to several doctors over the years about it. The have even sampled the sore to test it. They had no idea why it kept happening. It comes and goes.

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Sara January 18, 2016 at 1:24 pm

So glad to find this blog too!

I figure I’ve been in peri for atleast 3 years now but only recently had more frequent symptoms.

I must say I’m amazed that so few doctors are willing to discuss this outright. I myself became aware after a visit to the ER with suspected heart problems. I was hooked up to all the machines, had a X-ray and heart scan. Just to be sent home after a couple of hours and told everything was ok. The exact same thing happened to a friend of mine and she was so relieved when I told her I’d been through the experience as well as her doctor told her nothing and dismissed her as being over anxious and put her on GERDS medication.
The last few months I have upped my exercise routine somewhat as I was gaining weight around my middle – gardening, walking and cycling. Initially put down the ache and pains to pushing myself too much but when the heart palpitations started up and the night wakings I’ve started to worry again.

We live in another country now so I’m crossing my fingers I’ll find a sympathetic doc to take some tests to make sure they’re no other problems (you know the anxiety!).

I just had one question: do you find symptoms are worse at different times of the month? Shortly before, during and after my period seem to be the worst time for me and I think it must be something to do with the increase and decrease of certain hormones?

Sorry so long and again so grateful for others to talk too!

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Carrie gammonley January 22, 2016 at 3:33 am

Hi Ladies- to follow up on my story, after having what felt like a nervous breakdown, I read this entire blog. I followed the supplement plan in “Female brain gone insane”. Gave up caffeine and sugar ( almost !). Use progesterone cream twice daily. Followed the advice given for Adrenal Fatigue / eating regular meals / rest. Quit the hugh intensity workouts. Began yoga – gently. The breathing and meditation is huge in getting through all of the daily Brian zaps / anxiety / fear. Most of all I read through all of these stories and know I am not crazy and not alone and I just repeat this little mantra ” my heart is open”. Keep pushing through and be gentle to yourself. And when you need a nap, take one!

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Magnolia January 22, 2016 at 2:00 pm

Carrie,

Thank you so much for sharing your story. It’s always helpful to the support of others who have walked similar paths. I’m quite impressed with all of the things you have done to help yourself. You will see great benefit and fruit of your efforts!

And I’m all about that sleep! Get as much as you can. It works wonders.

Magnolia

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Carrie February 4, 2016 at 7:49 pm

Hi Magnolia –
I thought I was doing better, but yesterday through me a doozy. I missed my period (after having 3 consecutive), so I am not sure if this is hormonal..I was driving home and I had an intense brain zap – everything was just OFF; it felt like I had just taken 3 shots of tequila! I was immediately tired and off kilter – had to stop and sit for a minute. Next was an intense thirst, felt like I was going to pass out. Had my girlfriend talk with me until I got home. I was shaking and terrified. Hydrated myself and just slept. I am afraid to get back in the car! I haven’t tried the estrogen; thought I would wait for my period to stop. Now I am considering something for the anxiety – I have to be able to drive… Has anyone ever had this overwhelming head rush and been left with terrible cloudiness and anxiety? If its hormones, I will start with the vivelle dot. So disappointed that I crashed! I guess this is part of the ride?

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Magnolia February 7, 2016 at 1:32 pm

I’m not sure Estrogen will help with the brain zap. That sounds like vertigo to me. It wasn’t the car, though, I hope you realize that. I mean, if you’re scare to get in the car because you’re afraid it might happen while you’re driving again, I understand that!

Magnolia

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Helen Cornish January 25, 2016 at 7:18 pm

Anyone suffering digestion issues?

It seems I only have to take a deep breath and it brings on a burp, if I have a large meal i’ll suffer from wind all evening. This makes me wonder if the chest pain is more indigestion (had tests done on heart and its fine) than anything else, it also worries me because I don’t want acid reflux, which can cause………..Then because of the worry, it can bring on the anxiety again ( just finished fretting over the upper back, shoulder pain).

None of my friends seem to have had these issues so Its great to come on a site like this and feel at least semi normal!

I’ve also bought some biodentical progesterone cream which I haven’t as yet used because I’m worried about that as well.

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jennifer February 1, 2016 at 4:40 pm

Hi Helen,
Yes I have digestion issues as well.. constantly burping & feeling gassy. One minute I think I’m starving to the next feeling like I’ve eaten a 5 course meal w/ out having eaten anything at all. I never had any type of digestive issues at all before all this.. actually I was a very healthy, active person but when I hit 42 it felt like someone flipped a switch & I started falling apart.
I too have the chest pains along w/ pain in my neck. Had me terrified (and still does to some extent as I think what if they’re wrong?) that I had/have heart issues. Along with the fatigue it is no fun at all.
Woke up at 4am last night burning up (I’m a cold natured person so I know this has to be hot flashes) & couldn’t go back to sleep. Started feeling slightly dizzy & then of course anxious. Oh what fun ;). Some days I feel relatively well & others I just feel like death warmed over basically. This past month (jan) has been a not so good one as I’ve felt pretty crummy most of the month but before that I had a good little stretch going where I felt pretty ok most of the time. Hopefully that will return.

And no one in my family (or any of my friends) has experienced perimenopause like this either, so I too find this blog very comforting.
Hugs to us all!
jenn

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Helen C February 7, 2016 at 11:25 am

Hi Jennifer

Funny that because Ive had pains in my neck and throat this last week or so, and the chest pains are frequent enough that I am tending not to panic so much about them.

I’m 44 and love exercising but for the last 6 months or so I’m finding the after effects ( sore, painful muscles and joints) are enough to put me off working out…..Love Jessica Smith walking ones tho.

Ive been taking a strong vit b complex and def feel less anxious . I took a list of the 35 symptoms of Peri to my Dr and said I think I could tick them all off!!!!!!

I love this blog

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Helen Cornish January 25, 2016 at 7:49 pm

Did I mention jaw/neck pain? and my voice seems to be getting deeper, have to clear my throat more.

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Shantay January 26, 2016 at 12:47 am

Hi ladies,
It’s great to come across this website as I totally feel as if I’m going crazy. I have 90% of the symptoms talked about and the most frustrating one is not feeling like myself and constantly feeling ill. I find that I’ll feel great one minute and then out the blue I feel fatigue, no appetite and anxiety through the roof because once again I’m feeling ill and can not get a answer from the doctors what’s wrong with me. I started with the anxiety at age 31 in 2008 and the others symptoms gradually started but over the last year it’s like every two weeks I feel sick and can’t control my emotions or the anxiety it brings on. At this point I still get a period but have noticed that I either spots 2 or 3 days before or after my cycle. At this point I just wish menopause would just come because I’m so tired and emotionally drained and just want to feel like myself again.

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karen woodall January 26, 2016 at 8:42 am

Hi ladies
That is exactly how I feel
Iv gone crazy I feel like I have the Devils horns I’m angry with the world
Have these feelings of deep depression
Foggy head I just want to be left alone
I’m horrible to my husband
It is such a horrible time I feel so miserable
I take 1 mg oestrogen no period since last year I’m 54

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Leigh S. January 27, 2016 at 4:31 am

Is it possible for men to have hormone imbalances as well that can lead to depression, anxiety, panic attacks, etc. ?

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Magnolia January 27, 2016 at 4:32 pm

Yes, men do suffer from hormone imbalance when they get older. It’s called andropause. I know the drop in testosterone can lead to depression and a loss of sex drive for them. But, I do not know if it causes anxiety and/or panic attacks. I leave men’s health issues to the men. :)

Magnolia

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Helen C January 27, 2016 at 6:15 pm

Hi,

Has any one found using bio progesterone cream beneficial?

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Magnolia January 27, 2016 at 6:26 pm

Absolutely, Helen. I highly recommend bioidentical progesterone (and estrogen) to help ease perimenopause symptoms. Please search my sponsored post category for the post I did on “Ona’s Natural Progesterone Cream” and you can get some excellent information on an OTC product that I highly recommend.

The Perimenopause Blog readers get a 10% discount by using the code: Perimeno10 when they check out. Please do give it a look.

Magnolia

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Val January 27, 2016 at 6:52 pm

Wow….this post has been great! I kinda don’t feel so bad anymore (in a good way). I’ve felt so alone the past 6 months since this all started! I about to be 37 and was just diagnosed with Perimenopause after not having a period for 3 years. I tried multiple medications to try to bring it on, but nothing. So after experiencing pretty much all of the symptoms above and based on blood work, they gave me the diagnoses. Its been difficult to get my spouse and family to understand, nevertheless myself. The anxiety attacks were bad, but now the fatigue and difficulty concentrating, disorientation, mental confusion has been the worse.

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Wendy January 29, 2016 at 7:03 am

I just found this website and it is amazing to see so many women going through this monster period. (no pun intended) I too have had a severe time with this and even had family and others thinking I was bipolar. Unreal. No, I read up on the signs and symptoms and had 32 out of 34. The anger, range, moodiness, change in menstrual cycle (longer, heavier), heart palpitations, panic attacks (thought I was going crazy), night sweats (woke up at 2am screaming at my bf, thought he’d changed the thermostat), screaming at everyone (they think I am crazy), anxiety through the roof (they keep wanting to put me on antidepressants, instead of anti anxiety meds), and I cannot believe the horribly malicious people that are out there and want to label you as mentally ill, when you can clearly put all of the signs and symptoms together, age: 50 and see this is Perimenopause. I walk a lot and just had a nine day menstrual cycle from H double toothpick. It has been so bad! You have to take supplements, definitely. I have tried to use lotion for my skin, menthol for bad headaches and exercise. I cut down on coffee which can increase the anxiety and will take some lessons from this blog and start taking more magnesium, etc…So happy to find this blog! I just wish others were educated on the subject, including therapists, neurologists, and family. It really does make you look and feel like you are crazy. Many women will not even discuss this process. But it really does happen!

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Nyiiyu February 1, 2016 at 11:11 pm

This is a recent thing to happen to me, in November of last year I was out and on the bus when I started to feel really weird. My chest started to beat faster and I started to get clammy and it wasn’t stopping.

I got off the bus right away to get some fresh air, it didnt really help much. I felt weak and out of it and feeling like I was going to pass out. I didnt go to the doctors until last week because nothing more happened.

After that, I felt ok. I did however go on to have 3 periods in 6 weeks, which isnt right. I am 36 and going to turn 37 in June…I have had bad periods my whole life and I have even gone to a fertility clinic for help. I had 2 procedures done. One was to see if my tubes were clogged and they weren’t.

I had a laparoscopy to see if I had any endometriosis and I had just a tiny bit. After I had these things done, I did seem to fall into a depression. Why couldn’t I get pregnant without hormones and help? As of late I am having this sense of doom feeling.

I am having more dizzy spells and weakness, crying fits over things that I wouldnt usually obsess about. I have anger and no sexual drive at all. I have not taken the bus since that one bad attack because Im scared its going to happen again.

I went to see my doctor last week and she is checking all my hormone levels and my thyroid. I feel like I have been in pre menopause for some time now but I never really thought about it seriously. When I turned 30 something changed.

My mood and the anger started. I’d fly off the handle more frequently. Now this is happening and Im scared. My periods are awful and the back pain is horrible. I want it to be over already. My doctor mentioned putting me on birth control but what is that going to do?

I have to go back to the doctors this week because when I was there last week I had high blood pressure, obviously that’s a red flag. I just dont like this daze I am in. I am fine when I wake up in the morning but after a little bit I feel off.

Even today, I walked to the store and i started to feel off and dizzy and it hasnt gone away all afternoon. I know something isnt right, I googled something when I got home and found this blog. Thank God I didI feel like this is what is happening to me.

I’m premenopausal. I read all the symptoms and I have more then half of them. I just dont understand why this is happening to me. I am a middle child and both my sisters have kids but me and now here I am heading into menopause.

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Magnolia February 2, 2016 at 3:13 pm

Nyiiyu,

I’m glad to hear that you’ve seen a physician and she is doing blood work and checking your thyroid. It does sound like you are having hormone imbalance issues. The endometriosis can also cause issues with your periods as well. I’m sure you probably know that. Just because you might be entering perimenopause, doesn’t mean you won’t be able to have children. You can still ovulate until you stop getting periods altogether.

So, I wouldn’t throw in the towel just yet. Perimenopause is difficult and frustrating. Especially when you don’t know exactly what is wrong. But it does sound like you’re taking the right steps. I would encourage you to not become too discouraged at this point though. Many things can change and improve for you.

Magnolia

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Leigh S. February 2, 2016 at 4:32 am

Anyone dealing with lower back pain /muscle tension. All of a sudden in the last few days my lower back, mostly on my right side is bothering me. Especially after tasks like vacuuming. I am so tired of all the aches and pains. Will this ever get better or am I going to have these pain issues for the rest of my life? I am so scared there is something more going on.

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Magnolia February 2, 2016 at 3:00 pm

Leigh,

As estrogen levels begin to drop many women begin to experience aches and pains. I do not know if your lower back issues are necessarily related to perimenopause, but the general achy joins and muscle pain are not uncommon.

Magnolia

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Helen C February 7, 2016 at 11:28 am

Hi Jennifer

Funny that because Ive had pains in my neck and throat this last week or so, and the chest pains are frequent enough that I am tending not to panic so much about them.

I’m 44 and love exercising but for the last 6 months or so I’m finding the after effects ( sore, painful muscles and joints) are enough to put me off working out…..Love Jessica Smith walking ones tho.

Ive been taking a strong vit b complex and def feel less anxious . I took a list of the 35 symptoms of Peri to my Dr and said I think I could tick them all off!!!!!!

I love this blog

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Magnolia February 7, 2016 at 1:30 pm

Thank you, Helen, I love that you love this blog too! Please keep your eye out for the new forums which will be opening sometime in April of this year! You ladies will be able to gather and chat back and forth so much easier than the comment section.

Magnolia

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Helen C February 7, 2016 at 11:34 am

Leigh, If you wrote an article about all your symptoms and signed it with my name, then my partner and friends would believe I had penned it, and sometimes after vacuuming I get pains but in my shoulder/ upper back.

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