I remember the train smash that was pre-menopause. Sleep was the first victim. One minute I could sleep mid-way between good and night—and the next I could count myself lucky if I managed two hours of sleep a night.
Tossing and turning at night required energy, energy I didn’t have. The more tired I became, the rattier my moods. Irritability and anger. Skin crawlies. Then pain hit! My migraines were the turning point of my life.
My ovaries were letting me know their time was almost up. They were racing their way to the finish line. Estrogen was spewing out and progesterone couldn’t keep up. These hormonal imbalances were a sign I was mid-way through my life. If I didn’t wake up, I’d be facing a dismal future.
I finally took my health seriously. I finally took the time to heal. It’s always easier taking care of other people. Family. Friends. In my case, patients. Turning the spotlight on yourself is much harder, especially if you are a people-pleaser. But I realized it was time to please my body.
Pre-menopause was my awakening. Many women share this experience. Some wake up to realize they are in an unfulfilling relationship, with themselves or with partners. Recognizing the change the half the battle. Hard work is the rest.
Hormonal stress is physical. The physical stress comes from your limbic system. The limbic system is your brain’s alarm centre. Flight, Fright, Freeze responses. The stress load is heavy and leads to inflammation. Untreated, this inflammation wreaks havoc.
Inflammation is linked to heart disease specific to postmenopausal women. Spontaneous coronary artery dissection, SCAD, causes 35% of heart attacks in women under 50. Inflammation causes increased pain, brain fog, fatigue and higher risk of chronic diseases, including dementia.
Not everyone suffers from severe symptoms of pre-menopause. If you have had a tough childhood or trauma, you are more likely to have an overactive brain alarm center. You are then more likely to suffer the consequences of ignoring the changes in your body.
There are many ways to calm the brain’s alarm, using calm abdominal breathing, mindfulness techniques, body scan meditation, exercise, yoga, tai chi or Qi Gong. Managing underlying anxiety and depression is very important.
Speak to your healthcare provider and therapists who can help you enjoy the next stage of your life.
I believe that working on symptoms of Premenopause can help prevent disease later in life. Try the Daily Program, in particular, the program that Calms the Limbic and Inflammation centre.
The work is worth it