Many women show perimenopausal symptoms for several years before they become menopausal and many changes occur as we enter our 40’s, 50’s and beyond.
Women can start to experience physical and emotional changes throughout their 40’s due to hormonal fluctuations. It can be more difficult to maintain a healthy weight, or our bodies change shape, and our clothes don’t fit as well despite remaining the same weight. We can feel irritable and tired, but our sleep patterns change so we can struggle to sleep when we didn’t struggle before.
Perimenopause is a time of transition where hormonal levels start to fluctuate which can result in a variety of symptoms including:
- Changes in the menstrual cycle
- Sleep problems
- Skin changes – breakouts of pimples and acne or dry skin
- Wrinkling and pigmentation of the skin
- Libido changes
- Weight gain or redistribution of weight
- Hair loss
- Bladder issues
- Unwanted hair growth
- Hot flushes and night sweats
On an emotional level some women can experience the following:
- Increased anxiety
- Memory problems
- Foggy brain and difficulty concentrating
- Inability to multi-task
- Moodiness – anger, irritability, tearfulness
The reason this starts to happen is because the hormones estrogen and progesterone change and the ratio between them moves out of balance. It’s this imbalance that causes the physical and emotional changes that women experience. Every woman is different, so we all experience perimenopause differently. Some women have very unremarkable changes, while others have much more noticeable changes. Either way, this is very normal and a time that women should embrace as the rite of passage that it is.
Times of change enable us to reassess and focus on what’s important. It could be a good time to change your diet. Eating a well balanced, healthy diet will ensure that your body has all the nutrients it needs to support the changes and to reduce the symptoms associated with hormonal imbalances.
Listen to my interview with Brad Kirsten from Radio Cape Pulpit on 7 October 2021 to learn more. Listen to my next interview on Thursday at 7.45am