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Long before hot flashes kick in, your progesterone levels drop, bringing on irregular periods, insomnia, irritibility, anxiety-depression, mood-swings…welcome to perimenopause. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to control the symptoms.

Steps

  1. Check for symptoms. You could have one or many of these:
    • Fatigue
    • Low Sex Drive
    • Irritability
    • Anxiety-Depression
    • Mood Swings
    • Hot Flashes and Night Sweats
    • Insomnia
    • Weight Gain
    • Craving for Carbohydrates and Sweets
    • Cold Hands and Feet
    • Some women get increased headaches or migraines.
  2. Use a good Natural Progesterone cream on your body (one dependable non-prescription brand is Pro-Gest; or you can get Prometrium capsules or a custom compounded progesterone by prescription).
  3. Be Nice to your body; this increases the resources your body can devote to dealing with the problem. Eat well, exercise regularly, take a good multivitamin each day (plus Calcium and Vitamin D), and minimize stress where possible (stress “eats” progesterone; the less progesterone, the more symptoms you’ll have).
  4. Take an herbal supplement specifically aimed at relieving symptoms.

Tips

  • Perimenopause is like PMS on steroids…many of the tips to reduce PMS can help perimenopause as well. See the wikiHow on PMS.
  • If non-prescription progesterone creams seem insufficient to handle the symptoms, contact a prescriber familiar with the use of natural hormone supplementation in perimenopause. If you can’t find one, call your local compounding pharmacist. Women with migraines, for example, frequently need higher strengths of progesterone than are available without prescription.
  • If supplementing with progesterone seems “unnatural”, recall that the last major redesign of our bodies occurred when we had a life expectancy of about 40 years…and why would Mother Nature put 100 year glands (hormone factories) in 40 year bodies? While it is “natural” for hormones to decrease at this time, the jobs these hormones performed do not simply stop dead at menopause. If your levels become low, you may need hormonal supplementation to maintain your body’s functions at similar levels. Natural progesterone, by the way, is not known to increase your chance of cancer, and as an “anti-growth” type hormone may actually decrease the likelyhood of cysts, fibroids, and, possibly, cancer. The fact that the FDA allows it to be sold without prescription gives you an idea of its safety…when used according to directions, that is.

Warnings

  • All information provided in this article is provided for educational, referential and informational purposes only.
  • Provera, Depo-provera, medroxyprogesterone, and the progestins in birth control pills are NOT the same thing as natural progesterone; they are NOT chemically identical to your body’s progesterone (natural progesterone is) and can sometimes worsen symptoms rather than decreasing them. If you want to supplement with progesterone, make sure it IS progesterone.

Sources and Citations

Article provided by wikiHow, a collaborative writing project to build the world’s largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Deal with Perimenopause. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Comments

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One comment

  1. jacquelinenh says:

    This is a good summary of symptoms to look for. As for the tips, I agree that perhaps longer life span is to blame for the hormonal imbalances and decreases that bring about hot flashes and other symptoms, BUT I also think diet, lack of exercise, and even the environment can play a role in imbalanced hormones and symptoms related to this. Here’s an article that I found especially helpful for understanding what’s happening to the body in perimenopause: http://www.womentowomen.com/menopause/perimenopause.aspx

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