Thursday, June 26, 2008

Pre Menopause Symptoms Vary Depending on Sensitivity to Hormonal

Pre menopause or peri menopause are terms used to describe the time leading up to or ?around the time? of menopause, which is when menstrual periods have stopped for at least one year. Pre menopause symptoms may be nonexistent or minor, but some women have multiple symptoms that last for a number of years. Every woman is unique and so is her sensitivity to changing hormonal levels.

The first pre menopause symptoms that a woman may notice are increased symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and changes in the regularity of her menstrual periods. Women who use birth control pills often have fewer symptoms than women who do not. Sometimes recommended as a treatment option for irregular or heavy periods, birth control pills have many known side effects are associated and most women prefer not to use them, if they are not needed for contraceptive purposes.

If you had migraine headaches during puberty, you may see them return around the time of menopause. While the exact causes of migraine headaches are unknown, in women they regularly occur when levels of estrogen and progesterone are at their lowest. However, birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy are migraine triggers for some women. Anti-inflammatories are the treatment of choice for migraines related to changing hormonal levels.

Mood swings and depression are premenstrual and pre menopause symptoms. While, fluctuating hormonal levels are probably the cause, stressful life events and bad habits may also be responsible. Cumulative stress has long been recognized as a contributory factor in many health problems. One or two stressful life events experienced over a years time are typical and generally do not cause problems, but when a woman experiences several (such as retirement, a child leaving home or the death of a loved one) over a short period of time, the stress can become chronic and lead to exhaustion, anxiety and depression. Prescription medications are sometimes required to treat depression and are sometimes recommended for pre menopause symptoms.

Bad habits that can cause or worsen mood swings and depression include lack of exercise, alcohol consumption and poor diet. Lifestyle changes may be all that are necessary to relieve depression, anxiety and other premenstrual and pre menopause symptoms. Exercise improves mood. The B vitamins both increase energy levels so that you feel like exercising and relieve nervousness and depression. Too much sugar, caffeine and processed foods can increase mood swings and irritability and are migraine triggers for many women.

Hot flashes and night sweats usually appear closer to actual menopause, but some women experience them for years. These are directly related to decreased production of estrogen and other hormones. For many years, hormone replacement therapy was commonly used to relieve hot flashes and night sweats, as well as other pre menopause symptoms, but numerous health risks are related to the use of synthetic hormones. Phytoestrogens, which are plant components that have an estrogen like effect on the body, are believed to be safer and researchers have studied some of them for their effectiveness. In fact, a number of different plant components have been studied for their effectiveness in relieving the symptoms associated with pre menopause.

The seeds of an African plant called Griffonia simplicifolia contain a component called 5-HTP. This compound is a serotonin precursor and similar in action to some prescription antidepressants, without the side effects. It has been used to treat sleep disorders, depression, anxiety, migraines and a number of other conditions. It is a natural anti-inflammatory and its safety has been supported by clinical research. It is an ingredient in some dietary supplements.

Black cohosh is well known to effectively relieve hot flashes and night sweats in many women. Red clover is one of the plants that contain substantial amounts of phytoestrogens. A clinical study in Amsterdam concluded that red clover can significantly reduce hot flashes. Calcium supplements are important to prevent osteoporosis, but are also believed to help regulate menstrual flow and relieve cramping. Tribulus terrestris is a plant extract believed to stimulate hormonal activity and has the added benefit of increasing sexual desire and sensitivity.

Patsy Hamilton has more than twenty years experience as a healthcare professional and currently writes informational articles for the Menopause and PMS Guide. Read more at To learn more about pre menopause symptoms and natural products that may help, please visit the Menopause and PMS guide.

Labels: , , ,