Am I In Perimenopause?

Hi, i'm a 42-year-old woman who is very scared and confused.   It seems like the second I turned 40, my body and mind has changed and is out of control.  I have never been a person who suffered from insomnia, but now for many reasons, I wake up every night.  I'm either hot or I just wake up and then can't fall back asleep.  My periods have changed too.  I get them every 21 days  now instead of 32.  The amount has changed as well, very heavy the first day.  Worst of all, I have such intense anxiety at times.  I've always battled with anxiety, but I feel like it has intensified a great deal now.  I have these strange intrusive thoughts as I'm trying to fall asleep at night that are scaring the heck out of me.  I've never had this before.  My stomach has changed too.  I always could eat whatever I want.  Now it seems like a lot of things causes acid reflux (which I've never had in my  life) or stomach upset.  Could all this be perimenopaus or am I going crazy? 
dvskitty dvskitty
19 Responses Mar 21, 2011

Add a response...

I stumbled across this site and all I can say is that it is such a relief to know Im not alone. I have suffered anxiety, insomnia, low libido, hair loss(which is so upsetting) and just an overall feeling of sadness. I have no drive or ambition anymore either. I have been tested and retested and the only answers I got were from my Naturopath who has helped me and actually seems to care.

I'm in the same boat. I'm 42, and honestly its these forums that have helped me more than the increasing number of practitioners that I have sought out. My period started to get heavier a few years ago, but I didn't pay it much attention. When the anxiety started, I thought it was because of over-work, so I went to see a Psych. IT helped for a little while, but then I noticed it exacerbated at period time, and I'd be experiencing full blown panic attacks, sometimes daily. The gynaecologist does not see the link between anxiety and peri-meno, but he should do his research. I also suffer from shortened periods, heavy bleeding, and strange palpitations and dizziness when I am bleeding (like right now). My quality of life is waiting to return. I have now started acupuncture, who told me that from a Chinese Medicine perspective; perimenopause started when the body is tired, depleted. I have blood deficiency, and this is causing the anxiety, as the liver and spleen can't contain the blood. I now see an acupuncturist every two weeks, and take two forms of chinese herbs which "tonify" the system. I am also on Vitamin E, Vitex, B Complex, Iron for my borderline anaemia and also some fish oil tablets. I can see a little improvement, but its only been a few weeks with this mix of vitamins, and they say that it will take months. I have been to ER as I thought I was going crazy. I also try to listen to my body, which today told me "don't resist this, be gentle." Be gentle ladies ;-)

hi, thank you for ur message because i feel the same things ur describing . just when i turned 40 it started...

I felt the same way. I feel like my body is out of control. The anxiety is the worst. I really thought I was to young to experience any symptoms of menopause. Reading your story gave me comfort. I really felt like I was falling apart and to know someone else is trying to deal with symptoms like mind I feel I am not alone. Thank you for sharing your story.

Go to Susun Weeds website - she writes alot of sense.

I experienced very simliar symptoms and didn't know what the heck was wrong. I saw a counselor for one session but still thought there was something else going on. I talked to a coworker after researching perimenapause symptoms and she was so open about her own experience it was extremely helpful.
I had my levels tested and my testosterone and progesterone were crazy low. I've started soto pellet infusion and although I have a long way to go, I feel encouraged at least knowing what is behind everything. My battle now has become my employer. The not sleeping, anxiety and depression has caused me to miss alot of time from work and apparently health reasons mean nothing to some people. In any event, my health is more important than convincing some closed minded person that this is debilitating at times.

Hi I was just diagnosed with perimenopause at 41, not had a period for 2 months now and feeling a bit scared. Not sure what to do, no one speaks about the menopause on tv or magazines unless over 50 so I feel a bit of a freak. Why does it feel something to be ashamed of and the later it is like it's something to show off about? Maybe it's just my perception. I am considering hrt to put it off for 4 years. Has anyone taken hrt in perimenopause (post menopause is 2 years without a period so doctor told me). Interesting about b12, how did you know you were low? I wish this happened to men, it would make life a lot fairer!

I'm the same. Turned 40 earlier this year and emotions are all over the place. Last year I was diagnosed with Anemia, periods had stopped and feeling very tired. Went to the doctors and blood levels were low. Had endoscopy as stools had tested positive for blood, was very scared! Endoscopy revealed my osphagus was inflamed due to stomach acid. This caused the bleeding and now I take Lansoprazole to combat this. Also found I had B12 defficiency which I now have injections for.
Everything was then great as iron tablets and B12 sorted me out and I was full of energy.
Periods returned as they had been absent for 3 months. Now they are heavy like never before, in April I had vaginal itching which was put down to change of washing detergent but despite changes it's not completely better. Had std tests etc all clear as was diabetes test and thyroid. Was referred to a gyno and he said my periods didn't stop because of Anemia as I was lead to believe and that my body was flipping from pre menopause to normal. Blood tests aren't reliable as they fluctuate. I had done research before seeing him and he was impressed that I seemed to know somehting about this and he went through my symptons that I had printed out for him. He examined me and there is no sign of inflammation which I knew. One minute I can be happy the next in tears, anxiety too which I've never suffered from and many other symptons. Wondering if I can take something maybe herbal? Would love any advice from fellow sufferers.

I have started getting all the simlar symptoms (anxeity, panic, crying spells, reflux) I am 48 years old and going through peri-menopause. I ordered the saliva hormone test that shows I am low in progestrone and have estrogane domaniance. I have been offered anti depressants from all of my doctors. I have tried anti anexity meds but didnot agree with me as it made the panic worse. I also have depression and intrusive thoughts which makes me feel like I am going crazy. I have stopped the refinned sugar and caffine as that was just heighting the symptoms. I am looking for some supplementals to help me but I have read Eveing primrose is not for people for have estrogane domaniance and could increase the symptons and I then though about Chastberry (Vitnex) and read some horrible reviews where in increased the symptoms which I really could not take at this point. <br />
<br />
If anyone has tried some natural supplementals vitiams or other ways that have helped please share. I also am trying light therapy to see if that helps releave some of the symptoms. We shall see. I can take the sweats and even the insomina but the aniexty and thoughts really are tough and scary.

Hi there,

I too have every symtom also. The anxiety and the intrusive thoughts are the worse, the rest I could handle. They say its a normal part of going through the change but I dont see how they have not come up with a drug to help relieve symptoms. I will be talking with my doctor this week and will see about going on hrt, I heard that it really helps. I know there is alot of risks with taking them but at this point I just want my life back, I feel awful almost everyday and this is no way to live. I will let you know how it goes. If anyone else has any advice please post because suffering like this is horrible.

Hello. I have had those horrible intrusive thoughts too! I finally found a doctor that prescribed me a medicine called seroquel. You take it at night and it helps you sleep very well. And most importantly.... It stops the intrusive thoughts! It has saved me from a living nightmare. And I highly recommend trying it. It is used for a lot of different reasons. Bi polar depression being one of them. But it is also prescribed in very low doses as a sleep aid. I have been SO RELIEVED by taking this medicine! It gave me so much relief! I hope you start to feel better very soon! I totally understand the agony.

Please ask about Bioidentical Hormones...They are natural...the same as what our bodies make..or used to make..They are very helpful and don't cause the same health concerns as Synthetic Hormones which can even make symtoms work..They have been aroung for 1000's od years but many Dr's don't know about them..Since they are natural they can't be patented and therefore there is no money for the drug companies to make off them..If you don't have a Dr. Knowledgeable in them please find one..Usually you will have to see a Dr. who is a Naturopath..and please,,I highly recommend the book "Ageless" which explains this and pletny more.

I feel and am experiencing everything you all have posted. I'm turning 42 in a wk and i've noticed over the last yr my moods have changed, but the last 2 months have been awful, the anxiety/depression mood swings, hot face, reflux, among numerous other symptoms. I will be seeing my gyn on thursday and am going to beg to have my hormone levels tested, i know that they are off I can just tell and I'm going to demand to be put on something ( hormones) or something, because there is no way I'm going to be able to handle feeling like this until menopause. If anyone has found relief or knows what I should ask my doctor I would appreciate any advice. Thanks

I've started soto pellet infusions for super
low testosterone and progesterone. I went to a doctor reccommended by a coworker who had gone through similar symptoms a few years ago. I mentioned it to my GYN and she was super encouraging but she did say the infusions were more progressive than anything she would do so I'm definitely glad I started where I did. The hormones are all natural and absorbed into the bodies circulatory system.

I am suspecting I too am at the very beginnings of this and for some reason it has snuck up on me and I haven't got a clue about it all - I dont have anyone to talk to either as my mother died a few years ago. I am 41 and I also feel like my body changed since I turned 40.I have never ever had a belly, all my weight in my thighs, typical pear shape and now I feel as if I am turning into a barrel and I haven't changed what I eat!? <br />
<br />
My periods also started getting shorter, they were always 28days and have been around 24 for the last year but this month and last it is changing to 29-31. I am not really ready for all these changes, I want to know where I am at :-)<br />
<br />
I dont have insomnia or hot flushes - I read they are like a rising heat that then subsides. But I have noticed that I am not sleeping the same, I am going to bed a lot later, I dont seem to have the natural sleepy feeling I used to have and over the past year I have had a couple of days, where my face just felt hot - like sunburn.<br />
<br />
Anyone know if there is anyway of telling how near or far the actual cessation of periods is from this point and is it usual to have symptoms start at 40? I thought menopause happened late 40's to early 50's.<br />
<br />
I feel a bit cheated at the moment, I never made my mind up about having children, then my mother died and life was in turmoil for a couple of years and then these symptoms arrive! <br />
<br />
Anyway, I suspect my hormones have been array for much of my life, I have had anxiety on and off for years and fibroids, ovarian cysts, cervical polyps - none of which caused me problems and some resolved. What makes me scared or at least feel un-supported is that whenever I talk about my hormones to doctors, they sort of just say, you need to just go with the flow. Never empowering me as to how to balance them.<br />
<br />
Anyhow, I am trying an Ayurvedic herb Shatavari which is meant to balance hormones and strengthen the female reproductive system, upped my excercise (which has never been formal or particularly cardio-vascular), taking Omega Fish oil religiously and hoping that things will not get worse :-) Its taken me a lot of research to even understand the complexities this far.<br />
<br />
If anyone wants tips on panic and anxiety I can help there, I agree with the idea you need to accept the feelings and not fight them - easier said than done :-)

I hadn't been able to log in until now and respond to all your comments. Sorry! Things have changed a bit since I posted it. I found a few things that has helped me and I wanted to share. I found that magnesium/calcium has helped with my anxiety and sleep. It turns out that magnesium and calcium starts depleting during this period in a woman's life. I still wake up in the middle of the night at times because I'm hot, but not nearly as much. I bought a combo supplement at Whole Foods of magnesium and calcium, taking two in the morning and two at night. Sounds crazy, but it works! I also starting drinking more calming teas during the day, instead of anything with caffeine. Chocolate is still tricky as I've become even more addicted now, but slowly curbing that. As far as the reflux, I found that aloe very juice I also bought at Whole Foods has helped quite a bit. Now I only get bouts about once a month. I also started applying Emerita progesterone cream to see if it helps with symptoms since my proges is low. I'll let you know! For those who wake up hot, I bought a cooling mattress at It helps! Stays cool all night. I bought one of Claire Weeks audio books and the fear of those thoughts have diminished quite a bit. she says the most important thing is just to accept what's happening and let it go. If you freak out, it will just intensify. I will look into the Corio book. Thanks!

After I turned 40 the same happened to me....I always had trouble sleeping...but the disturbing thoughts, the major anxiety and panic attacks...definitely not me. I have been struggling for a year and a half looking for answers. The best answers I can get regarding hormone levels is that female hormones are mysterious, etc, etc. I have many symptoms that mimic heart attack and as a result have made at least 10-12 trips in to the ER thinking I was dying....I wore a heart monitor for 2 weeks - not my heart they tell sure feels like it some days. I ache all over especially my arms and upper torso. I feel tense all the time waiting for the next symptoms. I am definitely feeling off, but don't know how to fix myself. I am seeing counsellors to help with the anxiety, but sometimes even that doesn't help. You are NOT alone!!!

Wow, reading your story sounds a lot like me. I am the same age as you and have a lot of the same symptoms you are having. Add racing heartbeat to the list - talk about scaring the you know what out of you! I thought I was going crazy.

Hi DVSKitty,<br />
You need to get the book by Dr. Laura E. Corio The Change Before the Change. It will describe everything you are going through and point you in the right direction of getting some relief. I am reading it right now. I started perimenopause at age 37 with terrible symptoms. You are in the throws of perimenopause, you are not going crazy!

Hi DVSKitty,<br />
You need to get the book by Dr. Laura E. Corio The Change Before the Change. It will describe everything you are going through and point you in the right direction of getting some relief. I am reading it right now. I started perimenopause at age 37 with terrible symptoms. You are in the throws of perimenopause, you are not going crazy!

About the "strange intrusive thoughts"... my recommendation is for you to read your Bible before retiring at night. I've even had to resort to keeping my Christian radio program on as I sleep at night. And of course... pray, pray, pray every time that disturbingly intrusive thought comes.

Hi dvskitty<br />
<br />
I am new to this whole experience as well. (I will be 40 this year) but your story sounds like I could have written it about myself! Everything we are experiencing is the same. Including the Acid Reflux which litterally scared the heck out of me! I thought I was having a heart attack! <br />
Stay strong and let's keep chatting. We can hopefully help each other through the rough spots<br />