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What Is Perimenopause

What Is Perimenopause
For those of us in our 40s, we start to notice some changes going on with our bodies, our energy levels, and our moods. And when it seems to come on all of the sudden, it can throw us for a loop. We aren’t sure what’s happening and we don’t really have anyone to talk to about it. Maybe we bring it up with our doctors and get brushed off. Told it’s just anxiety or it’s just fatigue.
Welcome to midlife my friend! You’re probably in Perimenopause.

What Is Perimenopause

Perimenopause is the point in which our bodies are starting to switch things up hormonally. Our ovaries want to retire. They want to stop making estrogen and retire on a desert island somewhere sipping drinks and watching the sunset.
Unfortunately this leaves us in a flux state where things turn wonky real fast. Because we rely on these hormones a lot for body function and regulation. So when the ovaries start to wind down and estrogen production starts to decrease, we notice an uptick in symptoms. Maybe experiencing stuff we haven’t dealt with before.
Those with autoimmune conditions or chronic illnesses might experience their symptoms feeling more intense or a lot more sensitive than they were before.
Perimenopause can start as early as 35 for some women leaving them with years of symptoms before they hit menopause and are officially postmenopausal.
Does this mean a woman can be experiencing this for potentially 20 years or more? YES.
And yes that does stink.

Symptoms of Perimenopause

Most women start experiencing weird symptoms and that’s what leads them to google. In search of some kind of answer on what they are experiencing and going through.
This is not an exhaustive list by any means. The symptoms are wide and varied. Each woman is different and will have her own special menu of symptoms.
Symptoms include:
  • Mood swings
  • Low libido
  • Heavier and longer periods
  • Irregular periods
  • Hair thinning or falling out
  • Heart palpatations
  • Hot flushes (sometimes referred to as hot flashes)
  • Insomnia
  • Night sweats
  • Dry vagina
  • Painful sex
  • Bladder urgency (possibly mid leaking)
  • Weight gain
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Annoyance for your partner
  • Intense emotions
And on and on and on.
Again, this list isn’t exhaustive because there are so many symptoms.

When Does Perimenopause Start

As I said above, for some women these symptoms can start as early as 35. I believe mine started right around 38, very mildly. Then they slowly increased and when I was 45 they hit an all time high being more intense. And that’s what I’m still dealing with currently.
For some women this doesn’t start until mid 40s. If you are in communication with your mom and you think she will talk with you about it, you can ask her when her symptoms started.
Most times women will experience the same timeline as their mothers. Not necessarily the same symptoms, as each person is different. But genetics do play a role here and can’t be discounted.

Can Anything Be Done To Ease Symptoms

We are still learning all about perimenopause and menopause because not shocking to anyone, women’s health is an under studied field.
But personally and working with clients, I have found that some relief can be seen with nutrition, movement, and some lifestyle adjustments.
That’s not to say all symptoms will be lessened, unfortunately. Not matter how much kale I eat, I still have intense mood swings.
But yes there are some things that can be done to help with this such as:
  • Increase our protein intake (even if your plant based, you need more protein)
  • Make sure we are hydrated
  • Getting plenty of sleep
  • Getting plenty of downtime
  • Moving our bodies in some way daily
  • Lifting heavy things
  • Reducing caffeine intake
  • Reducing or eliminating alcohol consumption

Perimenopause Purgatory

So friend, if any of this sounds familiar or resonates with you, you might be in perimenopause purgatory.

We are a friendly bunch and there’s cookies. Welcome to the group!

Reach out if you have any questions and if you’re curious about getting started on managing your symptoms and taking control of your wellness journey, let’s talk!



Andrea is a holistic nutritionist living in Colorado with her husband and their pittie. She helps fellow midlife women nourish themselves and create their Radiant Life.

Our Radiant Life
Hi! I'm Andrea

I’m a holistic nutritionist, Star Wars fan, and doggie mom living in Colorado.

I eat chocolate on the regular, love a good matcha latte, and am a hard core Enneagram #5.

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