Yesterday I went to the doctor’s office for a physical checkup. As usual, they put me on a weight scale. When the nurse announced my weight, I almost jumped off the floor – I was 5 pounds heavier!
How could it be? I have been the same weight for 15 years. And honestly I feel the same – in fact I am always more concerned about losing weight than gaining weight. “Is your scale accurate?” I asked with suspicion. The nurse smiled – perhaps at my denial – and said, “Yes it is.”
Later, my doctor asked me various questions about my energy level, menstrual cycles and sex drive. He gave me an education about hormone changes, as women get older.
Ok, that’s good to know. But I’m still in my thirties. Isn’t it too early? He must have read my face because he quickly qualified, “In the next 15 years, if we decide, we could use some bio-identical hormones to give you a boost.” Then he ordered some blood tests. Well, we’ll see how it goes.
This is good news. It gives me a reason to understand this potential issue earlier, so that I may be better prepared for the changes to come.
According to Dr. Geoffrey Redmond, a recognized authority in women’s hormones, a majority of the 42 million American women between the ages of 35 and 55 suffer from vulnerability to their hormones.
Appearance, emotions – and even sex drive – may be affected. Symptoms include thinning hair, persistent acne, mood swings, low energy, the loss of pleasure in sex, weight gain, irregular periods, and pain. Dr. Redmond explains that all too many women experience hormones miseries even in their thirties – way before menopause.
The interesting thing is that the problem is not the hormones themselves, because lab tests on hormones are often normal, but how a woman reacts to them. It may be unfair, but some women are simply more sensitive to the normal jobs hormones perform – to regulate bodily functions and rhythms. If you are a hormonally sensitive woman, you probably know it.
Below is a list of symptoms, provided by Dr. Redmond, for self-awareness and understanding. If these symptoms become persistent or severe enough to interfere with your life then you may want to consult your doctor for medical attention.
Changes in Thoughts and Feelings
- Mood swings, whether they are premenstrual or not
- Crying for no reason
- Irritability – flying off handle easily
- Fatigue/lack of energy
- Decreased memory
- Trouble concentrating
- Dizziness, light-headedness
- Feeling anxious or “wiped out” an hour or two after eating
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- Loss of interest in sex
- Difficulty losing weight
- Food cravings
Changes in Skin and Hair
- Dull complexion, loss of feminine glow
- Increased oiliness
- Redness on nose and “butterfly area”
- Thinning of hair on the scalp
- Increased hair on face or body
- Breast fullness or pain
- Pain or discomfort when combing hair
- Unpleasant sensation when touched
- Excessive fluid retention
- Aches in muscles or joints
- Generally feeling terrible
Changes in Menstrual Cycles
- Infrequent periods (usually more than five and a half weeks apart)
- Too frequent periods (usually less than three and a half weeks apart)
- Very heavy periods
- Prolonged bleeding
- Cramps that are more than mild
- Difficulty becoming pregnant
Changes in the Pelvic Region and Vagina
- Loss of pleasure with sex
- Chronic pain or pain with intercourse
- Vaginal infection that never quite goes away
Do you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above – or a combination of them? If you do, don’t feel bad because it is not fair to blame yourself when hormones have made being cheerful impossible. Luckily there are ways to protect ourselves from the roller coaster rides of hormones.
Liver Cleanse Detox and Repair Formula (support liver functions)
Dim Plus (improve estrogen metabolism)
Amazing Grass Super Foods (clear excess estrogen and alkalize the body)
Chasteberry (proven to help treat low progesterone and regulate menstrual cycles in more than 60 years of clinical research, including 5 randomized trials)
Vitamin B6 (one of the best vitamins to boost progesterone)
Progesterone Cream (bio-identical hormonal support)
Support Adrenal and Thyroid Functions
Adrenal Health Daily Support (promote overall hormone balance)
Thyroid Support Complex (support energy and metabolism)
Once Daily Organic Whole Food Vitamin Supplement (provide essential nutrients for health and hormone balance)
Liquid Iron (support healthy blood)
Omega 3 Fish Oil (reduce inflammation and promote overall health)
The Hormone Cure, by Dr. Sara Gottfried
Cooking for Hormone Balance, by Magdalena Wszelaki