What can you say about being in your 20s and 30s? You didn’t really think much about it—youth and time seemed endless.
Once you are 40 and beyond, you realize just how youthful and perfect you were but that time was slipping away.
Your body was perfect. You thought nothing about wearing shorts, or bathing suit, or even a mini dress. Every part of your body was smooth and firm (I miss that look).
By the time we hit our thirty’s, some women may see small wrinkles and slight sagging in the face, but still look good. There were those women who seemed to stay forever young looking.
Many of us had no idea the damage we were doing to ourselves on the inside. The things we did was out of ignorance. The damages to our bodies and health started to manifest themselves by the time we turned forty.
The damages were very subtle at first, then fully blown by our sixty’s and seventy’s. Good nutrition and exercise makes all the difference in how we look and feel by the time we’re at our senior years.
I remember being in my late forties. One day while putting on my make up, I thought to my self “I don’t see the signs of aging like wrinkles, no darkness under my eyes, smoothes firm skin, but I did have a few gray strands of hair. So all in all, I was still looking good.
Fast forward a few years – I was still looking good in my 50s, but I found that when I wore my hair back in a ponytail, I would get a slight lift in my skin which in turn made me look younger. OK, I thought…it’s starting (meaning the sagging).
I never considered the changes that were going on in the inside (out of ignorance) for worrying about my fading youth. I didn’t realize it then, but taking care of the inside will manifest itself on the outside.
Your later end shall be greater than your first, the Bible says. Oh, my dear Sisters, a better life — a great life is here, dispite the seasons of change we go through. Knowing what to expect in our physical bodies will prepare for life in our new season.
The Beginning of the Change
Shortly before menopause you will probably experience changes in your period. Heavy bleeding during periods is not uncommon. You may even experience light periods. You’re going into menopause. Just because you’re facing menopause, doesn’t mean pregnancy can’t happen—-you are still menstruating! This period of change is called “Perimenouse“.
What’s happening is, your ovaries start shutting down their baby making function, causing the hormones they produce — estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone — to fluctuate and decline. While this is happening, not only may you notice heavy bleeding, but other symptoms like hot flashes, breasts tenderness, longer/shorter menstrual cycles, acne, loss of libido (sex drive) vaginal dryness, anxiety, depression, and trouble sleeping.
When I look back over the years, I now understand what was happening to me. It kinda makes me angry now because the older women in my life never talked about this…they didn’t warn me.?
That heavy flow I mentioned earlier?….the floodgate so to speak is when estrogen surges, you bleed very heavily and often unpreparedly. Then it slows back down.
Heavy bleeding and other typical premenopausal symptoms are also sometimes a sign that your thyroid is either overactive or underactive. Get tested to be sure. Not all women experience all the symptoms, but many do. It’s just not a pretty picture.
In the Thick of It – Halfway Done
Menopause is a significant source of hormonal imbalance. Menopause is the time in a woman’s life when her ovaries stop the production of hormones. You get pretty much of the same symptoms that you get in Perimenopause but basically without the mentrual cycle, even though in my case my periods were extremely short and light compared to when it was normal.
Because so many women were not aware of what was happening during the Change, some believed that they were actually pregnant! Hah! (been there – and thought that)?
So that you won’t think you’re losing it, or before you let your imagination go into overdrive, here’s a list of symptoms you may experience during menopause:
- Hot flashes of course, flushes, night sweats, cold sweats, feeling clammy?
- Irregular heartbeat
- Exacerbation of existing conditions
- Mood swings, sudden tears
- Increase allergies
- Trouble sleeping through the night?
- Weight gain?
- Loss of libido?
- Hair lose/thinning?
- Vaginal dryness?
- Anxiety, feeling ill at ease?
- Feeling of dread, apprehension, doom?
- Disorientation, mental confusion
- Memory lapses
- Itchy, crawly skin
- Aching, sore joints,
- Increased tension in muscles
- Breast tenderness
- Indigestion, flatulence, gas pain, nausea?
- Dizziness, light-headedness?
- Change in body?
- Electric shock sensation under the skin?
- Tingling in the extremities?
- Bad taste in the mouth, change in breathe odor
- Gum problems
- Osteoporosis (after several years)
- Change in fingernails – softer, crack, break easier
OMG! It’s no wonder this was not discussed!
Is It Over Yet? – Postmenopause
You’ve entered your season of Postmenopause when you have not had a period after 12 consecutive months. This is pretty much the end of hot flashes and lessen severity of mood swings.
However, many health issues can arise with lowered estrogen levels — heart disease and osteoporosis are among the conditions that can come along during postmenopause.
What Can Be Done – A little Help Please?
Bioindentical Hormone Replacement Therapy may help with those awful symptoms and give you back some peace of mind. Bioindentical Hormone Replacement Therapy uses naturally derived hormones from plants. These hormones most closely resemble naturally occurring human hormones and are free from unnatural chemicals.
Progesterone may help. It keeps us balanced and is a natural anti-anxiety and stress reliever. It balances cortisol levels and calms the brain by increasing GABA. GABA is Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid, an amino acid that is the second most common neurotransmitter in the brain. Without GABA a person would constantly remain on edge, anxious, and not have the ability to relax.
It may help lower blood pressure and help protect your heart. Progesterone may also help protect against breast cancer, help with weight by instructing the body to burn food that you eat for energy instead of storing it as fat. It may helps improve seritonin levels and promote better sleep, restore libido in many people and protects thyroid. Progesterone may lower insulin levels and help you have a better lipid profile (fat like substance found within the blood stream).
It’s like a youth hormone!! Where to get it?! It’s available without a prescription, over-the-counter. A jar of USP Progesterone can be under $30.
Caution: Conventional hormone replacement therapy uses synthetic animal derived hormones (such as the pregnant horse urine used in commonly prescribed Premarin). Premarin does help with monopausal symptoms but there are too many cautions.
There are books to read that will help you manage menopause naturally:
Stay Young and Sexy with Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement: The Science Explained by Lane Leonard
A New Season
We are truly fearfully and wonderfully made. The Seasons of a Woman’s Life are so complex and wonderous, there is so much that can be accomplished because our greater responsibilities (raising kids, work, etc) are pretty much behind us (at least for most of us). Live life to the the fullest with God as your guide.
Trees are beautiful no matter what the Season
Be Blessed Everyone and Be a Blessing