The dance of oestrogen in the PERIMENOPAUSE causes night sweats, mood swings, and crazy heavy periods. This is perimenopause or second puberty, which as mentioned yesterday is up to twelve years before your final period. Perhaps you’re only 42 and menopause could still be a decade away. Perimenopause is different from menopause (or post-menopause), which is the life phase that begins one year after your final period.
From a hormonal perspective, perimenopause is very different from menopause in that during perimenopause oestrogen is high, not low. Unless we have support, it is often LOW in post menopause.
OESTROGEN GOES ON A ROLLER COASTER RIDE
Starting from your late thirties, your oestrogen could fluctuate and soar to almost 3 x higher than levels as a teenager, only to crash down again to almost nothing. Over and over again, month after month. This is known as the oestrogen roller coaster of perimenopause.
Symptoms of high oestrogen include breast pain, heavy periods, fluid retention, irritable mood, and (in some cases) a histamine or mast cell reaction.
Symptoms of dropping (low) oestrogen include depression, weight gain, hot flashes and night sweats (often experienced in late peri-menopause and into post menopause).
PROGESTERONE QUIETLY EXITS THE SCENE
At the same time your oestrogen is crashing up and down, progesterone quietly exits the scene. This is a shame as progesterone can shelter the nervous system from the turbulent ups and downs of oestrogen.
Progesterone drops with perimenopause because progesterone is hard to make. Unlike oestrogen (which you make on the way to ovulation), progesterone can only be made after ovulation. And ovulation is hard to do, especially as you move into your forties and start to have shorter luteal phases and more anovulatory cycles (you still bleed without ovulating)
Symptoms of low progesterone include insomnia, heavy periods, and frequent migraines.
HOW TO FEEL BETTER IN YOUR 40´S-50´S AND BEYOND
- Stabilise the nervous system with magnesium and the amino acid called TAURINE, two nutrients that can relive hot flashes and improve sleep.
- Reduce histamine and mast cell activation to reduce any sensitivity to oestrogen.
- Prevent oestrogen from spiking too high by reducing alcohol, supporting a healthy gut microbiome, and taking supplements such as iodine (always get a urine iodine test reading first) and calcium-d-glucarate.
- Consider if you are able to take bioidentical or body-identical progesterone (such as Utrogestan) which can relieve symptoms of both oestrogen excess and oestrogen deficiency. Progesterone also stabilises the HPA (adrenal) axis and supports thyroid function.
If your GP or gynocologist is hesitant, then be prepared and take this article along. There are other alternatives now to HRT and will be spoken about on Thursday 18th January with Dr Barton.
High oestrogen can contribute to heavy periods, breast pain, fibroids, and premenstrual mood symptoms. It can also suppress thyroid function and increase the risk of breast cancer.