A slightly spotty memory is typically associated with the move into middle age, heralded by misplaced keys and forgotten grocery lists. For some, this forgetfulness spurs fears of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, but did you know that for many women, “brain fog” is often another side effect of menopause? Luckily, there are steps you can take to get your memory back in order.
Hot flashes — a defining symptom of menopause — can seriously interrupt your life. A hot flash can occur without warning, creating unpleasant episodes especially if your face flushes, or if you routinely perspire through your clothes. As night sweats, they can wake you from a sound sleep, with your pajamas and sheets soaked through. When you have a hot flash, the temperature regulating area within your brain — in the hypothalamus — is deceived into trying to get rid of extra body heat. The hypothalamus sends cool-down signals telling your blood vessels to dilate, your heart rate to increase, and your sweat glands to open up wide.
If you suspect that you are suffering from a hormone imbalance, there are several ways to determine where the problem lies. Hormonal imbalances create a variety of symptoms based on a wide range of problems. Begin by assessing different elements of your life, keeping an eye out for the following issues.
While most women don’t enter the full swing of menopause until their late 40s or 50s, others may experience the very first signs of changing hormone balances as early as their mid 30s. Known as “perimenopause,” the first signs of menopause occur when the ovaries slow their production of estrogen and continue until they stop releasing eggs entirely.
Most women are familiar with the usual signals of impending menopause: hot flashes, mood swings, skin changes, night sweats, etc. But there are a number of menopause-related symptoms that tend to go undiagnosed, leading to significant frustration and a lack of treatment. If you’re in the perimenopausal age group (generally, women in their 40s) and you’ve experienced a sudden worsening of allergic reactions or a spate of new allergies, it may be related to the changes in hormone production that you’re experiencing!
For some women, menopause may simply mark a transition into a new period of life; for others, however, perimenopause and menopause can signal a huge disruption to quality of life due to a range of symptoms and physical changes. If you experience any of the following symptoms to the extreme, hormone therapy may be able to help.
Although most people are aware of the issues of menopause, many are unaware of the period of perimenopause. While menopause is one certain point in time, perimenopause is an extended time of transition that creates many uncomfortable symptoms in women as their body prepares for menopause.