Hot flash or just have the heat up too high?
Bad mood or your teenage son really is being a jerk?
Weight gain or just been eating badly?
For many women entering their late forties to early fifties, questions like these are all about wondering if they are starting to reach menopause – but how you really tell if you are in menopause?
Welcome to perimenopause. In this phase, your body will start providing physical clues that the menopause process is starting despite not having reached your last menstrual period.
Here in no particular order are the most common signs you’ve hit the big M…
Number 1: Irregular or new changes to your periods
As your body begins to wind down its reproductive function your period patterns might change which can include increased blood flow, no set pattern between menstruation dates and some months it might be shorter or longer than normal. Never the less, if you have concerns over heavy flow, talk to your doctor just to make sure there isn’t anything else causing the issue.
Number 2: Hot flashes
You suddenly feel like your body is full of lava and you’re always bloody hot. This can be the result of a variety of things ranging from carrying too much weight to digestion problems – but if you’re 45 and over and you get a hot flash for no reason – well you know… These can last from 6 months to 6 years depending on your body. ( what – are you kidding me ??? )
Alcohol, caffeine, tight clothing, bending over, indigestion and Brad Pitt are just a few of the things that can cause hot flashes. Watch for your triggers and manage them accordingly.
Number 3: Vaginal dryness
For many women, this can be a real psychological issue while others barely notice ( particularly if they are not sexually active ) A decrease in sexual interest can also fall into this category.
There are many personal lubricants that more than make up for vaginal dryness. If you’re shy about going through the grocery store checkout – order online from Amazon and it will arrive the next day with no one being the wiser. ( Psst this link will take you to the Amazon page without having to search for it in your browser which can be embarrassing if your kids see recent searches 🙂
Not to brag, but I haven’t had a mood swing in like 7 minutes…
Number 4: Sleep disturbances
Insomnia, weird dreams, tossing and turning all night can all be part of the onset of menopause as your hormones wreak havoc on your brain and sleep habits.
Number 5: Sudden Appearance of Wrinkles
With changes in your body chemistry and dry skin – the sudden onset of wrinkles can be alarming for many women. It’s all part of the cycle. The good news is that there are many wonderful cosmetic solutions to help you ward off those unsightly lines.
Apply a quality moisturizing cream to your problem areas and don’t be afraid to be pre-emptive in treating potential areas of concern like your forehead or around your eyes. If you want to really reduce wrinkles and the signs of aging, Derma Clinics is offering a free bottle of their anti aging serum for a limited time to new customers. Claim your bottle here…
Number 6: Night Sweats
You wake up in the middle of the night sweating like you just ran a marathon – sometimes so bad you have to change the sheets.
Cotton sheets are helpful to keep air temperature around your skin regulated – as is a good terry cloth housecoat that can provide warmth when you feel cold and open up when your roasting – it also can absorb your perspiration so you don’t feel like you have to change the sheets.
Number 7: Weight Gain
As your estrogen levels get out of whack, it is not uncommon for women to see weight gain in areas they really hate like their rear ends.
Losing weight in your 40’s and 50’s is a lot harder than the diet books and gurus like to make it sound. A slowing metabolism can counteract even your best efforts to stay active and lose weight. One option is to try the diet program from the Mayo Clinic which has been helpful for women in their menopausal years and dropping unwanted pounds. There website is here
Number 8: Shrinking Breasts
The shut down of your reproductive function means your breasts are no longer functioning organs needed for feeding babies and mother nature naturally starts to make them feel less full. And here you thought it was just gravity
Number 9: Mood swings
You can thank your bouncing estrogen levels for this one. As your hormone levels change – so does your brain’s interpretation of events. Little issues can set you off in a big way and anxiety and irritability are constant shadows.
Number 10: Dry Skin
Dry skin is a kissing cousin to the wrinkle issue women begin to experience in their 40’s and 50’s. As the oil in your skin reduces from hormonal change – essentially the reverse of when you hit puberty and would get acne – it is not uncommon to get ridiculously dry, flaky skin.
Quality moisturizers are a good start. Vasoline before going to bed can also really help with your hands and other problem areas. Products like Neo Hydrate Gold are also very good for eliminating dry skin. You can get a free trial bottle from there website located here if you want to see if it works for your dry skin problems.
Did You Know…
Smokers may start menopause about two years earlier than nonsmokers, while race, age at first period, use of birth control or fertility meds do not appear to be factors.