Perimenopause Sucks, Part I

I have one question.  “How in the hell did my mother go through menopause without being under a physician’s care”?  She had to be hella strong in order to do that.  Come to think of it, she must have really loved us too.   Why do I say that?   Because we all survived it.

Okay, I’ve mentioned previously I’m perimenopausal.  In my opinion, symptoms of menopause are comparable to PMS, only three times worse.  It feels like I’m PMSing every two weeks now.  You heard me; bloating, mood swings, cramping, tiredness, etc., every two weeks.  I am aware of increased mood swings, but I can’t seem to control them.  Come to think of it, I don’t want to.  Sometimes they’re so bad I  can’t stand my damn self.  Hot flashes?  All I can say is thank God for nappy hair ’cause if I had a perm, I’d be one tore up sista.

I remember laughing when I read that memory and concentration may be affected.  To myself I’m saying, “It can’t be that serious.”  Well, it was funny until I got to the point where I couldn’t remember whether or not I took my medicine.  I take my medicine daily at the same time and couldn’t remember taking it 15 minutes later.  I guess you know it’s no longer a laughing matter, right?

What I whine about the most is the fact that all I want is to be “alone”.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my hubby and kids dearly, but I need my space.  There should be some type of mini menopause weekend getaways, a menopause resort, or even a menopause cruise destination.  Believe me, you’ll get your “alone” time as no family members will want to go there with you.  Hmmm………sounds like a good business venture to me. 

If this is what I have to look forward to over the next couple of years, then I’m screwed.  One thing I always hated was not being in control of things, and this is definitely something I can’t control or make go away.  I can treat it symptomatically, but that’s about it.  I don’t know when a mood swing is going to hit, I can’t predict a hot flash, and I can kiss a 28-day cycle goodbye.  Being perimenopausal sucks!!

Stay tuned for more general ramblings about perimenopause in the near future.

Anybody else dealing with perimenopause/menopause?


21 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by CiaraMore on September 28, 2007 at 10:30 pm

    Hello, I was just breezing by and I noticed your piece about menopause. I hate to see a sista going through pain so I just had to stop and comment. Have you ever considered changing your diet? I saw on your About me page that you’re a product ingredient junkie. I think you were referring to products for the skin and hair. I completely agree. I am also very critical of what I put on my lovely nappy locs and my skin and I am equally critical of what I choose to put inside of my body. I am a vegan in transition ( I am progressing towards being a raw foodist). I would recommend that you do some research into a vegan ( or raw food) diet. Vegetarianism is a kind of slippery slope, in that ingesting any dairy products is highly intolerable for black folks. If you are ever going to consider going vegan or raw just make sure you consult various books because some people have ended up not getting enough of the vitamins and minerals they need because they don’t know exactly what to do. Changing your diet would definitely definitely definitely help perimenopausal symptoms and any other ailment you can think of.


    • Posted by Sophie on August 15, 2010 at 8:45 pm

      I can relate to all of these stories Mine began with this strange itchy unbearable for four years I had this ,i had to wear Aquaphor ointment twice a day all over my body to make it stop then I had . acne on my chin monthly, exhaustion and anemia from having my period every 22 days . Then it went from bad to worse I began having menustral migraines, vomiting and sick with not being able to eat two -three days a month because my stomach was so upset from the 48-72 hour migraine. i only weigh 107 and I’m 5’6 anyhow my weight began to drop so soon I look really bad! , I went to my traditional MD and he told me his wife had itchy skin too and everyone loses weight from headaches/migraines Instanly I decided I was done with r band aide solutions such as migraine medication was a waste of my money and time! So I left traditional medicine.
      Because I had suffered and suffered and suffered! Finally l I went to a ND who is top notch in our city and she also created her own line of nautropathic meds for women. She diagnosed me and gave me a prescription for Estrogen plant based all in one visit !!!!. I also began taking supplements B-12, iron, E, D, 3 Tablespoons Flax Seed Oil. and evening Prim rose oil Bang all of the suffering stopped in it tracks!!!


  2. Posted by maturenatural on September 29, 2007 at 2:32 pm

    Thanks for the advice. Actually, I’ve been thinking a lot about vegetarianism. This year I’ve really noticed that eating beef, pork, and dairy totally throws off my system. I’ll do my research on a vegan diet as I know there are different types or categories.


  3. Hang in there you’re not alone. Somehow we will survive this!
    I have been researching the diet connection and hormone balance too.
    Check out my blog for another view of perimenopause ramblings.


  4. Posted by maturenatural on October 1, 2007 at 8:24 am

    I like your blog and I didn’t realize many of the symptoms you have listed were related to perimenopause. So glad to know I’m not alone.


  5. Posted by xuxu on November 2, 2007 at 12:41 pm

    I was living your misery a year ago then I changed my diet based on a lot of readin regarding perimenopause.
    I took up drinking organic soy milk daily – I know there is a lot of current thinking about soy and breast cancer and the dangers of this, however, reading reviews of the literature it seems that the majority of studies linking these were on post-menopausal women or women who had already had breast tumors. So I took up organic, fortified soy milk once a day. The hot flashes and mood swings leveled out wonderfully. Just to experiment, about two weks ago I stopped the soy and went back to milk with no other change in my diet.

    Well the soy is going right back in my diet and the milk is out as I am currently in daily hot flash/face flush hell – and I am crabby as hell to boot. Poor old BF recognised the return of the demon right away and quietly asked if I was still drinking soy.

    There is a lot of work being done on the use of soy for hot flashes and I for one believe it.

    It’s also good sense to cutback on other dairy and red meat etc – and many leafy foods are great sources of calcium and iron. But for me, the fortified soy milk ( I always go organic BTW ) has been a godsend.

    Good luck!


  6. Posted by maturenatural on November 3, 2007 at 8:57 am

    Thanks for the advice! I’m not faring so well these days due to serious gastrointestinal issues and a colonoscopy coming up. The only soy milk I’ve seen is Silk Soymilk in the grocery stores. Where do you purchase your organic milk and what brand do you use?


  7. Posted by suburbanbushbabe on January 3, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    I feel you pain and I have two words for you — bioidentical hormones. I read Suzanne Somers “The Sexy Years” and was convinced to try them. I’ve been in perimenopause for 7 years and it hasn’t ended yet. Up until last year I managed very well with standardized soy supplements (Nature’s Way 100MG). They kept the night sweats and flashes at bay. But in 2007 I finally started getting erratic periods and my body went into overdrive with hot flashes to try to spark the estrogen. Worse was the total loss of sexual feeling. Worse still was the foggyness and forgetfuless (wallet, laundry, medication, work stuff, you name it). And the ultimate worst was waking up every 2 hours–I couldn’t sleep through the night. I pestered my rather conservative primary care physician to recommend a hormone specialist (a GYN group) and 6 weeks and a few blood tests later was rubbing specially compounded hormone cream on my thigh 2-3 times a day. This stuff works to manage and reverse the horrible symptoms and because it’s a cream, it bypasses your liver. I can sleep through the night, no flashes, return of sexuality. Life’s not perfect, but it’s a whole lot better.


  8. Posted by maturenatural on January 3, 2008 at 8:35 pm

    Hey Suburbanbushbabe!!! Thanks for stopping by my blog. Due to previous hormonal issues, my endocrinologist would never prescribe bioidentical hormones. Glad that they’re working for you though. Perimenopause is no joke. I may get a good response to the Nature’s Way soy supplements since Silk Soy milk has worked wonders for my hot flashes.


  9. Posted by Kathleen on January 8, 2008 at 1:28 am

    Just started to have a super long, 20 day period. Doc gave me an estrogen ring. Stopped flowing (finally). Am going to my OBGYN in a few weeks. This is not fun. Not fun at all. Wish it were just over with because my tubes were tied 15 years ago and the idea of going through this is just…darn annoying.


  10. Posted by maturenatural on January 8, 2008 at 6:13 pm

    Welcome Kathleen! Just the thought of having to go through this for “some years” is not a good thought. I want to know how things work out for you. Come back and let me know.


  11. Posted by Barb Leroux on March 24, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    Hi I`ve just started researching perimenopause . I have been having night sweats for about 3 months, I`m 37 years old but started menstuating at about 12 years old. I have the ODD hot flash during the day but not often my periods used to be pedictable almost to the day and now they`re running late. I have been wondering what`s going on , I find your website helpful… Thankyou- barb


  12. Posted by Barb Leroux on March 24, 2008 at 9:13 pm

    Any advice would be welcome and appreciated, the best to you all Barb


  13. Posted by maturenatural on March 25, 2008 at 8:50 am

    Hi Barb! Check out this website. It helped me a lot, Also talks about new meds for menopause. Hang in there!


  14. Posted by mary alexandria on September 30, 2008 at 9:31 am

    Is anyone depressed? I am constantly frustrated and so so so depressed and my husband says I am “difficult to love” the last 6 months.


  15. Posted by maturenatural on September 30, 2008 at 11:12 am

    I wouldn’t say I’m depressed, but I’m definitely frustrated, patience is short, concentration is off, and I can’t seem to fit in enough “me time”. You are not alone.


  16. Posted by Nancy on January 30, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    My serious hell started at age 43 and I am 49 now. Diagnosis was hormonal changes. My doctor put me on zoloft, klonopin, xanax, flexril, pain killers, and prescribed many other meds to control my very frightening panic attacks, depression, fibromylgia, migraine, arithritis type pains, knee pains, insomnia, restless legs, and many other describable symptoms. Nothing helped. I stopped going to work and stayed in bed most of the year and an year later stopped taking all the meds because of the serious side effects etc. except for the Zoloft. Since age 43 i have been taking soya milk but i dont think that it has helped me. Zoloft helped with my panic attacks but all other symptoms have continued and some new symptoms have joined the list. About 6 months ago I started feeling very very tired, drained,exhausted, slow thinking, slurred, migraine and joint pains worsened. I put on weight and no matter what i tried the weight won’t reduce.Now in Dec. 2008 i got my annual physical done and the blood test showed that my thyroid hormone was low (hypothyroidism) so my doctor put me on Levoxyl which drove me even more crazy ( manic depressive type symptom, restlessness, vomitting, ear infections, sore throat, cough that wont go away for weeks, blurry vision etc. ) but there were moments here and there when i found myself feeling good and happy but the moments didn’t last. There was one week when i didn’t get any migraines and my appetite reduced but then there were times when i felt very very hungry and ended up eating a lot. So fed up with my describable hell and doctors I decided to check into some alternative medicines, home remedies, and herbs. A friend who is a nurse and has been going through worse hell recommended that i start taking Thyroidinum 30cc a homeopathic ticture and slowly stop the Levoxyl. So i ordred that online. Then I researched on Black kohosh and bought it in liquid form from whole foods. I also bought chamomile liquid form and progesterone cream. I looked for bioidentical hormonal creams but didn’t find any so decided that i will try progesterone cream. So on 26th 2009 I started taking thyroidinum 10 drops in 1 ounce of water three times a day and at night before going to bed I started taking black kohosh 10 drops in water. Recommended dose of black kohosh is 30 drops in water three times a day (total 90 drops a day). But i was little afraid to take that much because I read some reports which said that it can cause liver damage. I tried it couple of times during the day but it made me feel funny so i stopped taking it during the day time. Now I don’t know whats making me feel good whether its Levoxyl adjusting to my body or Thyroidinum or black kohosh. Believe it or not. I have never slept like this in my whole life before. I go to bed at 10 PM and wake up at 9 AM. I have no idea what happens in between. I am happy. Energy is great. I go out to do things i had lost interest in the past 6 years. No migraines. No joint pains. No body pains.It almost feels like i am woken up from a very long sleep. I don’t know whats making me feel good. Its too early to tell but i will keep you all posted if anything changes. Please give me feed back regarding my condition and the meds i am on. I will also be posting this message for the greatest and the best homeopathic doctor Pankaj Varma /Max Varma because i started thyroidinum without consulting a homeopathic doctor and i want to quit levoxyl and Zoloft in the next week or two. I am afraid to do so but I am really fed up with the doctors heavily medicating me for the past 6 years and all i have felt is minute help in couple of symptoms and gotten twenty additional side effects from the prescriptions.
    Please help me guys.


  17. Posted by JT on March 17, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    Oh girlfriend… I am sooooooo with ya. I’ve been in this state for about 2 or 3 years, and now the symptoms are getting untolerable and I have two physicians who refuse to do a blood workup to see what’s exactly is going on hormonally. My doctors either 1) throw me a pill to hide a symptom, or say 2) ride it out. #$%@#$# @#$#@# YOU RIDE IT OUT!!!

    I am going to explore changing my diet, adding soy supplements and a phytoestrogen a friend suggested. I’ll report back to let you know if I’m having any success figuring this out on my own.


  18. Posted by maturenatural on March 18, 2009 at 9:33 am

    Nancy & JT, thanks for sharing. I’d suggest going to an endocrinologist (doctor who specializes in hormones) for blood workup. It was the best thing I could’ve done.

    Nancy, glad you’re feeling better and I’d like to know which med is actually helping your symptoms. I’d definitely wouldn’t stop the Levoxyl unless it was okayed by your doc. It could be the reason for your ability to sleep and increased energy level. Sigh. I don’t know what that is anymore. Please let me know how you’re doing.

    JT, I think you’re on the right track. Soy isoflavones are in my near future. I hate taking meds, but am willing to try one med at a time to see if it helps. I’ve cut down considerably on the amount of caffeine and meat, especially red meat. I’ve incorporated more fresh fruits and vegetables. I’ve had less hot flashes and my skin looks a helluva lot better. Please write back and let me know how things are going.


  19. I’m 41 and in perimenopause and can so relate to all you said. It is awful.


  20. I can so sympathise with everything you say. I’m 46 and convinced that my symptoms started when I was 40, but everyone laughed at me, even women! But I knew my body and could see so many changes I hadn’t experienced before. I’ve had all the symptoms and am so looking forward to everything ending very soon. I can find it upsetting that even women gps don’t offer much advice and help and that a lot of women just dismiss you as paranoid (maybe this is also one of the symptoms!). Hang in there, you are not alone in your suffering!


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