Perimenopause Symptoms of irregular and heavy periods, frequent headaches, insomnia, and hot flashes are often considered to be the signs of a fast approaching Menopause.
But is it true? Are you destined to face the worst of your health and body, with no control whatsoever on the events that are rolling down fast?
Well, the truth is that even though vast majority of women undergo perimenopause symptoms, it is NOT a must! There are at least 2 in 10 women who fare through perimenopause, menopause, and post menopause without any symptoms.
In fact, in the majority of the societies in Asia and in the native cultures, elderly women have been known to fare through perimenopause without any symptoms. It shouldn’t be a surprise to know that these women also experience longer life spans and a much healthier aging process.
This is a good news! There is a promise that perimenopause symptoms are not inevitable! And like these women, you can also have a smooth and disease free transition to Menopause.
So, what’s the key? Let’s take a deeper look to understand the problem better as the solution often lies in the problem itself.
Perimenopause Vs Menopause – The Road to Final Stop
Menopause is defined as the final stop of monthly menstrual cycle. It is a one-time event, which is marked by the last menstrual period. Clinically MENOPAUSE is declared when a woman hasn’t had any periods for 12 months in a row.
Menopause brings big changes in the functioning of body systems and the health of a woman. A woman’s body starts to prepare for these changes several years ahead, usually a period of 8 – 10 years, a time period termed as PERIMENOPAUSE.
|One-time Event or a point in time||A transition period of 8-10 years|
|Pregnancy is not possible||Pregnancy is possible, with low chances|
|No Menstruation||Irregular Menstruation|
Menopause Vs Perimenopause
What are the first signs of Perimenopause?
Perimenopause is a hybrid word involving peri, Greek for “around” or “near” and menopause. Perimenopause is a transition period or a road to the final stop of Menopause.
During perimenopause, the ovaries reduce in size, and egg production slows down. Fluctuating hormone levels and irregular production of eggs results in irregular menses during perimenopause.
Irregular ovulation is also the reason for decreased fertility during perimenopause. The chances of pregnancy go down exponentially! A woman may still get pregnant during perimenopause, hence one should use contraception to avoid unwanted pregnancy.
What happens during Perimenopause?
During perimenopause, a woman slowly undergoes physical, hormonal, and psychological changes. Here is a list of the changes that occur in a woman’s body during the perimenopause:
1. Menstrual Cycle changes in Perimenopause leading to unpredictable periods
Fluctuating levels of the hormones and irregular production of egg affect the menstrual cycle during perimenopause. In fact, changes in the menstrual cycle are one of the first signs of perimenopause.
Final stop of menstruation can happen in multiple ways. Changes in menstrual cycle vary from individual to individual.
How do Periods change during Perimenopause?
- One may observe that their menstrual cycles have stopped all of a sudden. Ideally it should happen at or around Menopause age of 51 years.
- In some cases, menstrual flow decreases with each menstrual cycle until menstruation stops altogether.
- Menstrual cycles may be regular and arrive every month within specified window.
- Or one may observe infrequent menstrual cycles such that menstruation is absent for two or more months and then suddenly heavy menstrual flow is observed.
- Irregular periods with or without excessive menstrual flow.
2. Hormone Levels change leading to Hormonal Imbalances
From 35 years and beyond, women sex hormones begin to fluctuate and decline until the last menstrual cycle, after which they gradually stabilise. Sex hormones are the chemical messengers that guide vital body functions involving metabolism, growth, quality of skin and hair, reproductive system health, circulatory function, and nervine function. Following sex hormones are present:
Fluctuating levels of hormone often trigger peripheral health problems as hypothyroidism, hair fall, poor skin tone, urinary tract infections, poor immune function, palpitations, hot flashes, poor memory.
As the monthly top up of hormones goes down, peripheral organs such as adrenal glands and healthy fatty tissues support a woman’s hormone requirements. If these organs have been depleted earlier due to poor quality diet, lifestyle, and excessive stress; a woman experiences perimenopause symptoms related to severe hormonal imbalance.
Here are some of the common Perimenopause Symptoms faced due to hormonal imbalance:
- Poor Immunity
- Menstruation Issues – Missing Periods
- Heavy Periods
- Poor Memory
- Mood Swings
- Poor Skin Tone and Hair fall
- Poor Blood Circulation
3. Digestive Fire fluctuates and slows down
Digestive fire is termed as Agni in Ayurveda. According to Ayurvedic principles, our digestive fire is the key to our health. Digestive fire regulates our metabolism at gross level, tissue level, and at cellular level. It guides the assimilation of nutrients from food and eventually nourishment and growth of the body tissues.
Poor digestive fire is manifested as digestive health problems, low digestive enzymes, low stomach acid, indigestion, bloating, heart burn, acidity, flatulence, and constipation.
In absence of proper care, these seemingly benign digestive health issues turn into chronic health problems:
- Prolapsed Organs – HIATAL HERNIA
- LIVER PROBLMES
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome IBS
- Leaky Gut Syndrome
- Ulcerative Colitis
4. Fat Metabolism slows down leading to weight gain
A slow digestive fire manifests as poor metabolism of the fats that we take through our diet. Low fat metabolism results into higher triglycerides, high cholesterol, weight gain around the belly, and poor muscle tone.
A poor diet that is rich in trans fats or refined oils along with high fat mass in the body further aggravates the problem. Hence, one needs to be cautious about the quality of fats they are consuming and try to reduce body fat mass to avoid perimenopause symptoms related to poor fat metabolism.
Apart from the obvious health issues as Obesity, Diabetes, and Hypertension; poor fat metabolism can lead to serious health conditions such as Atherosclerosis or blockage of the arteries. It is kind of a hidden danger to heart health, which slowly creeps in. Heart attack is one of the leading cause of death for women in the United States with 1 in every 5 women facing the risk.
Some of the Menopause Symptoms and post Menopause health complications that arise due to poor fat metabolism are:
- High level of Triglycerides
- High cholesterol
- Fatigue and Weakness
- Weight Gain and Obesity
- Fat deposit around belly
- Fibroids and Cysts
5. Quality of Body Tissues goes down
As we age, the quality of our body tissues and the functioning of our body organs decreases naturally. However, one may fall prey to poor quality body tissues due to accelerated aging or premature aging, which arises from excessive degeneration and lack of regeneration.
Nutritional deficiencies, high inflammation in the body, poor quality diet, excessive physical and mental stress, lack of sleep are some of the causes and factors behind poor quality tissues and premature aging.
A host of health issues crop up in an aging body. If proper care is not taken, aging related problems turn into life serious health condition such as Severe osteoporosis, heart failure, Alzheimer’s Disease, and Vision Loss.
What are the Common Perimenopause Symptoms?
There is wide variation in the functional symptoms observed during perimenopause. Different women experience different perimenopause symptoms depending on their specific health status.
Some of the changes that health discomforts and health issues experienced during perimenopause are listed below:
- Digestive health issues such as Indigestion, Bloating, Acidity, Heartburn, Heaviness, Constipation, Disturbed appetite, Flatulence
- Vasomotor Symptoms involving High heat, Migraines, Hot Flashes, Night Sweats, Excessive sweating
- Slow Metabolism leading to weight gain. Hence, one needs to be watchful of their food intake and physical movement.
- Inadequate assimilation of nutrients and Nutritional Deficiencies resulting in poor quality tissues such as skin, hair, bones, and muscles.
- Sexual health issues involving Low libido, Painful intercourse, Bleeding during intercourse
- Poor urogenital health, resulting in vaginitis and urinary tract infections.
- Lack of sleep and difficulty in sleeping
- Poor bone health resulting in joint stiffness and pain
- Low muscular mass resulting in flabbiness and fatigue
- Psychological issues such as Anxiety, Nervousness, Panic Attacks, Angry Outbursts, Lethargy and Crying Spells
- Lack of focus and poor memory
So, what’s the solution to Perimenopause Symptoms?
Health discomforts and symptoms observed before Menopause indicate IMBALANCES in the body. These imbalances get aggravated due to the transition happening inside the body during perimenopause. If a woman’s health is supported with proper nutrition and lifestyle, she can fare through the transitional changes of perimenopause without any health problems!
However, in our current lives, women are constantly exposed to health damaging stimulations in the form of Stress, Environmental Pollutants, Poor Nutrition, and Irregular lifestyle leading to severe health imbalances such as nutritional deficiencies and malfunctioning body systems.
Such imbalances compromise her health and manifest as perimenopause symptoms during the transitional phase.
For Healthy Aging and for longevity, it is of utmost importance to address the functional symptoms during perimenopause.
Human body is the marvel of biochemical engineering by nature. A perfect system that craves BALANCE and RHYTHM!
No matter how much you have abused your body in the past, it is still capable of bouncing back. Of course, little more FAITH is required when your current health state is much far from ideal.
Here is how you can get started on a path to HEALTH and BALANCE!
1. Do not ignore your Functional Health Symptoms!
Take Medhya Herbals’ Menopause Symptoms quiz, for a complete Ayurvedic analysis of your body tissues, your current health imbalances, and your Aging status.
You will also receive 1 week Menopause Diet and health plan with meal suggestions, workout and yoga guidelines, and daily routine specifics to well manage your health.
Whether you are experiencing severe Menopause symptoms or just mild discomfort, you will be able to understand the underlying causes and hence heal and nourish your body.
2. Do not abuse your body and mind with fake food, unhealthy lifestyle habits, excessive stress, and emotions
3. Take action by making small but steady changes in your Diet, Lifestyle, and Mindset.
Interested in learning about how to manage your Menopause Symptoms with Ayurvedic diet, lifestyle, and yoga? Join Medhya’s women exclusive community here.