My peri-menopause started in my 47th summer. The first sign was an overwhelming desire to quit my job and to run off to Collingwood to open a bookstore (with or without my husband). I had only an inkling at the time that any of this mid-life angst was due to my hormones.
My serious menopause symptoms began last December, at the age of 52. The first sign was low blood pressure and light-headedness even when sitting. I also had brain fuzz and the feeling like my ponytail was too tight. Head pressure I called it, and I got tingles of anxiety when my mind suggested to me that my brain was about to explode.
Then the hot flashes started. Just like silent lightning in the distance, flashes of sudden heat on my face, and night sweats. I’d wake suddenly around 2 or 3 in the morning and wonder what woke me, then, whoom! A whole body hot flash, accompanied by perspiration, and me flipping the pillows in vain, searching for cool spots. The flash lasted only a minute or two but then I’d have a tough time getting back to sleep.
It is my great good fortune to know a Registered Dietitian that specializes in women’s hormone health. She sat me down and did a thorough assessment of my symptoms, my diet, my vitamin and exercise intake, and my life situation. Very quickly she suggested an herb for balancing my progesterone. She also suggested a supplement to help my serotonin creation as I was crashing into sadness pre-menstrually. And she recommended an adrenal support to help with my midday energy loss.
Over the next couple of months we tweaked my supplements and monitored my symptoms. The hot flashes and night sweats stopped almost immediately. The dipping blood pressure stabilized (I also visited my MD for a thorough examination) and after a couple of months the head pressure (my worst symptom) was also relieved.
I still haven’t hit the magic menopause – the final period, but I pray every month. I’m grateful for the healthy, fertile body I’ve been given, the two children it produced and its ability to magically feed them, but enough is enough!
I’m looking forward to the peace of post-menopause, which my mother assures me is coming. No one need go on this hormonal roller-coaster alone. Sharing the journey with other women, reading the copious amount of information now available, and talking to a knowledgeable dietitian are making all the difference for me.
Guest blog, by Sandy Day