Pre-menopause is the time before actual menopause starts, usually lasting for several years. Four years is the amount of time approximately, for the majority of woman to experience pre-menopause. I know it looks like such a long time, but it is not. Some lucky women experience no symptoms, while others have a range of them. Some symptoms that are common, and you probably already know, are hot flashes and night sweats. There are other symptoms that are uncommon though, that you might not know have to do with pre-menopause.
Feeling of Skin Crawling
Some woman experience symptoms that are not usual, and might not realize pre-menopause can be the cause. One uncommon, but very irritating, is your skin feeling like there are insects crawling under, or on top of your skin. This symptom is called formication. The dropping levels of estrogen, is behind this strange feeling. The skin receptors need to adjust to the different amount of estrogen. The skin is also getting dryer and thinner at this time, which may cause our skin to feel like pins and needles, or itchy. We can be happy, because for most women, this goes away once your body is used to the new amount of hormones. This feeling is really annoying. If you cannot wait for it to stop, see a doctor about hormone replacement therapy. Hot showers can add to the dry skin, so try using cooler water and use soaps that are gentle. Use a moisturizer daily to help with the dryness.
Joints that are Aching
Due to estrogen lacking, your joints can ache. Some of the joints that usually suffer are the knees, neck, thumbs, back, and elbows. One spot that can have a lot of pain is in your hips. However, the joints in the hips have nothing to do with this pain. It is due to the lack of estrogen that causes the tissues between the muscles of the hips to get tender. Something that can be helpful, would be to do some Pilates, or yoga. I know with the thought of achy hips, you might just assume it is your age, but with estrogen, so many things can be affected.
Woman sometimes will become forgetful during pre-menopause, this is not because of age, but has to do with the lack of estrogen. While our bodies are getting used to working with a lower amount of estrogen, our minds seem to play a game of mischief with us. This is nice to know that it is most likely due to a dip in estrogen, rather than age, so it will improve. Some people like to do memory games to help improve it. I use them for non menopausal reasons and they seem helpful. There are several ideas for these on the internet. If it is really bothersome, hormone replacement therapy may be of help.
Light Headed or Dizziness
Although suddenly feeling dizzy can be a little scary, this may also be due to our low estrogen levels. Circulation, nervous system, and temperature can all be affected by estrogen. Although night sweets and hot flashes are also triggers by these same symptoms, it does not mean you will also have these. Some women experience them and dizziness, and others do not.
Palpitations of the Heart
In my opinion, heart palpitations are the scariest symptom of them all. This is when your heart will beat irregularly, feeling it pounding or fluttering. This usually happens for a few minutes at the most. Even though your heart probably does not have a problem you should see a doctor. If there is tightness in the chest, you should call your doctor as soon as possible. Best to rule out any heart problems, than just to assume it’s a premenopausal symptom.
Some Tips to Help
Some women choose to do hormone replacement therapy, while they are experiencing pre-menopausal symptoms. Some women just eat a healthy diet, and get regular exercise (which we should be doing anyway to stay healthy). Speak to a doctor about these or any other symptoms you have, to rule out any medical condition. Remember with pre-menopausal symptoms, these will usually improve in time.
About This Blogger: Samantha Andrus
Samantha Andrus is an avid writer for many women’s health topics. She feels strongly about nutrition, health, reproduction and fertility due to her background in pre-medical, nursing and midwifery classes in the past. With a strong understanding of what women need to stay healthy, and produce healthy, happy babies or just to take care of themselves; she is putting the pen to the paper to give that information.