How do you handle it....

For those of you who are just beginning this wonderful process, here we can narrow down the symptoms and ask questions like "am I starting perimenopause?"

How do you handle it....

Postby SusanS » Tue Jan 11, 2005 5:15 pm

Hello,
I'm new to this board, and am very grateful that I found you! I believe that I am going through perimenopause, and while the insomnia and the hot flashes (which are new;2-3 weeks) are tough, the mood swings and the rapid heart beat is whats getting to me. I hate the fact that I become angry or sad out of the blue?! How do I handle the mood swings.

The up side is that I have'nt had my period since october 15, it has been irregular for about 2-3 now and it seems to go in cycles. However the down side for that is when (if) I get it again, the period seem to go on forever. And the cramps seem worse than ever before! How long does this last?

Susan :roll:
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Postby drjudy » Fri Jan 14, 2005 7:29 pm

Hi Susan,

I am also grateful that you've found this forum, full of information, support, and humor. If you've read other posts, you know that you may be in this phase for awhile, and that insomnia, mood swings, hot flashes, and palpitations are all common and life-altering.

I think you have made a good first step in identifying those things that are truly changing the quality of your life. The mood swings tend to be unpredictable and irrational, two qualities that make you and those close to you particularly confused. They come from the wild hormonal changes and the fact that life is often pressured and changing at this very time that we are least able to cope with it.

I hope those around you are supportive, and that you have time to look after yourself. Not getting sufficient sleep also makes you less able to cope. Using small amounts of hormones may help a lot--studies have shown that there are estrogen receptors throughout the brain, particularly in memory and attention centers, and along the pathway of neurons that regulate mood. Even if you choose not to use hormones for the long-term, consider their use during this tough transition. Progesterone enhances sleep, decreases anxiety, and would prevent your next period (which you will likely have--I doubt you're through with them yet) from being a humdinger.

Antidepressants can also address the irritability and easy tears of perimenopause. They do so without acting like tranquilizers, and they don't create any dependency. I've not had much luck with St. John's Wort or other herbal remedies, although Susun Weed has written extensively on the use of herbs to smooth perimenopause.

The rapid heart beat may relate to the same changes in your blood vessels that cause hot flashes. Again, estrogen may help.

I hope you can discuss these and other options with your physician. Any strategy that you choose can always be adjusted as you see how you react to various options.

Best of luck,
Judy
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Postby Zero » Sat Jan 15, 2005 8:13 am

As you can see, Susan, Dr. Judy is our OWN form of anti-depressant! With her clear and compassionate responses on this board, we all feel a lot more calm about entering into a time of life when things start turning upside down!

Educating yourself (through this forum, the website, the book list) is one of the best tools you have for "getting through it", and make sure you keep your sense of humor! (we certainly try to help with that too)

Regarding your mood swings, well, here's "Minnie's" take on that:
Image
Zero
 

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