Perimenopause AKA PMS from Hell

>>  Sunday, September 09, 2012

Someone mentioned to me recently that their PMT has been getting worse over the past 12 months and it started me thinking about how what happens to 'middle aged' women is not openly discussed.

Oh the TV is full of a man's midlife crisis, the motorbikes, sports cars and a new women that looks remarkably like the old one did 20 years ago. All in the name of the big cover up for hair loss, getting up in the night to go to the loo and the flagging sexual prowess.

But whilst the women's sexual peak is really just hitting home there are other things happening that just aren't acknowledged in common discussion.  Perhaps is part of this society's need to deny the aging process and age is now synonymous with failure not experience and wisdom.

So whilst the average 40 year old women is capable of whipping up a frenzy in the bedroom she is also dealing with PMS/PMT symptoms magnified beyond her 20 year old self's wildest imagination. And the time period that the PMS is around each month increases too, In fact mine has become 2 distinct PMS times a month now, I'm now capable of multiple PMSs!

They aren't just difficult for those around to understand, it's hard for the women to explain what is happening to herself too.  That mood is there, the close to tears, angry, intolerant, impatient, perhaps depressed state that sits like a mist in the mind.  And whilst the logical, rational self knows that this is a mood, a semi-temporary state, it does not change the fact that it is there and all the positive, self helpy, rationality in the world will not change it.  It is a state of the body, not the mind.  Those suffering are not neurotic failures, they have a natural state that might need some help to rebalance but it should be acknowledged as a medical state.  If her leg was bleeding you would bandage it, this is no different.

Let's add to that the hot flushes, these don't just come with menopause,. They can start much earlier than that, mine started at about 35.  They are quite incredible how they occur.  A sudden intense heat inside, sweat literally running off you, down your back, wetting your clothes.  Give me air, please, can't concentrate, so hot and then it is gone.  People look at you gone out.  Although when it's happening at night it stops you sleeping and the tiredness adds to the PMS and the cycle continues.

Periods can start to get so heavy it becomes a challenge to managing life for a few days and life becomes arranged around it.  The tiredness before hand is a draining "why am I soooooo tired?" and then the broken nights sleep again as you are getting up in the night to deal with it.

Shall we talk about water retention that even if no one else can see it, makes you feel ten times bigger, and you start buying different sized bras for different times of the month to contain the boob growth.  And don't get me started on breast pain.  Pain so bad, sleeping in a bra is the only option and someone pushing passed you in a shop can make you wince.

It's taken me a long time to find a way to rebalance my body to alleviate the very worst of these symptoms and bring it all back to something I understand and can manage.

For me some of it is about diet.  A lot is about exercise.  But mainly it has been about supplements.

For boob pain it is of course Evening Primrose Oil. Despite a number of doctors shaking their heads in disbelief when I have told them how much I have to take, I need a minimum of 3000mg every day permanently to stay on top of it.  I still get some but it is back to the tenderness of PMSy boobs I remember from my younger days, not the raging swollen, 'do not come near me' pain. 

I think Magnesium, Zinc and the B vitamins are huge players in the management too.  For a long time I was taking these supplements separately plus a multivitamin, then I found a supplement with everything in, including the usual recommended supplements you get in most flash fighters.  The ones I take have:

Vitamin A 800mcg (100)
Vitamin B1 2.2mg (200)
Vitamin B2 2.8mg (200)
Vitamin B3 32mg (200)
Vitamin B5 12mg (200)
Vitamin B6 2.8mg (200)
Vitamin B12 5mcg (200)
Vitamin C 120mg (150)
Vitamin D3 10mcg (200)
Vitamin E (Natural Source) 24mg (200)
Biotin 100mcg (200)
Folic Acid 400mcg (200)
Calcium 320mg (40)
Chromium 20mcg (50)
Copper 1mg (100)
Iodine 150mcg (100)
Magnesium 187mg (50)
Manganese 2mg (100)
Selenium 55mcg (100)
Zinc 10mg (100)
Soy Isoflavones Extract 40mg
Flax Lignans Extract 50mg
Sage Extract 50mg

For me (please remember we are not all the same and I saw my doctor and had hormone level tests before taking this supplement, some herbal remedies can interfere with other medications and you should always consult your doctor first if in any doubt)  this has been my saving grace.  If you are interested, I use MenoSerene from Healthspan.  But I guess most of the off the shelf tablets aimed at this market are going to be similar.

The steroid injections I have been having in my back have played havoc with my hormones and changed the balance for a while.  In fact they stopped my periods completely and the hot flushes, everything and I think I might have had a sweet taster of what the menopause will be.  But once all returned back to perimenopause state, I am reliant again on my supplements to control the physical symptoms whilst I learn to acknowledge the mood changes.

Those of us in this boat right now probably know already that feeding the PMS chocolate cravings with chocolate isn't the right thing to do and that coffee is only going to make it worse but sometimes I am going to dunk a bar of chocolate (or 2) in a big frothy coffee and scowl and probably shout about something totally insignificant (at any other time).

And in the same way that we middle aged women accept the motorbike buying, paunch growing guy it would be very very nice if he could perhaps duck the mood, gloss over the bloat and pass a hanky for the tears.

Whilst the world appears ready to listen to Pele advertising erectile dysfunction it is clearly not to be ready to move away from the skippity young girl tampax ad into the world of the Perimenopausal women, you won't catch the sex in the city girls discussing plucking chin hair or how long super absorbent plus can truly last.

Whilst we wait for the world to catch up, we will simply just have to feel a little better knowing that we at least understand each other:


Related Posts with Thumbnails

  © Blogger template Simple n' Sweet by 2009

Back to TOP