Many women feel that they are going mad through their 40s and 50s, or even before that! The symptoms of the menopause don’t suddenly start when you are 50 or 55 – and they are not just hot flushes!
There is a period of time 10 or even 20 years before the “menopause” (clinically, this means your last period – and of course, you only know this in retrospect) when things may seem to be going wrong. There are so many symptoms that are vague and just seem to be a part of life, that we don’t recognise that things are awry.
In fact, hormone imbalances are common. Very common. They are partly man-made – I am the first to admit that in our attempts to reduce unplanned pregnancies we doctors encourage teenagers to go onto artificial hormones significantly earlier than in previous decades. They are partly due to toxins in the environment – you may have heard of xenoestrogens, those artificial oestrogen-like chemicals which are found in plastics used for packaging, drugs, pesticides, and other sources – they are difficult to eradicate from the body. I will discuss them in a future post. They are partly related to our diet and lifestyles – our bodies certainly did not evolve to deal with processed foods and the sedentary TV-led lifestyle all too common these days.
Some symptoms of hormone imbalances include PMS, insomnia, miscarriages, PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), weight gain, lack of sex drive, lumpy breasts, anxiety, infertility, acne, hirsutism (excessive body hair), thinning of hair, exercise intolerance, low blood pressure, cyclical headaches – and much more!
Mood swings can occur at any age, but they often get worse as we approach the premenopause (years leading up to menopause) and perimenopause (years either side of your last period).
Stand by for more posts on hormone imbalance and how to improve it – things can change!
To your health and well-being,
Doctor Allie Grimston
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