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Signs of menopause: physical and emotional changes that rock your world!

menopause signs,There are hundreds, if not thousands, of lists  available across the internet, about the  physical signs of menopause. What doesn’t seem to be included often enough, are the less obvious, (but very impactful)  emotional signs of menopause. These stirred emotions, are often the  first rumblings that something – (you) – is changing. Emotional change may even arise with or without the ‘classic’ perimenopause (“peri” meaning “around” menopause) physical symptoms.

It’s really  surprising just how ‘early’ perimenopause starts. As estrogen levels begin to fall – generally given as around 44 years of age – perimenopause begins – albeit, slowly. Amongst emotions that may be stirred up,  I’ve noticed the following:

Broodiness – yes, the unexpected longing for a late baby, or even a first baby, can present itself and it’s not always ‘logical’. But then, emotion isn’t logical. And perhaps Nature has a way of having her voice heard as the fertility levels fall and chances of pregnancy do too.

Wistfulness/random tears A sense of wondering “what if….” – (“I’d done that course/married that guy/had a different upbringing”) can permeate your psyche, and even replay in dreams.

Doubt as to current and/or past  choices may be an offshoot of wistfulness . Doubt can create a sense of worry, concern or restlessness and dissatisfaction about who you have become, and the relationships, career choices and family dynamics that are playing out.

Withdrawal. According to Yogic Tantric wisdom, the Mahadeva (Great or presiding oversoul) of this passage in a woman’s life, is Bagalamhukh. She – or her energy field – causes us women to want to withdraw so that we can reflect, reassess and regenerate and come back to the world, post menopause, having left behind what no longer serves us. In the run up to this, a woman may well journey into her ‘past’.

natural menopause, menopause signs,

Anger and tension. It’s not unusual for a woman to feel more angry and tense at this time. Physically, she may be tired or adrenally exhausted, especially if she is a primary carer and has a career too. She may find that what she could normally do easily ,is now draining her.

Anger may arise from feeling overwhelmed and/or under appreciated.  This can cause mass upset across the board, because whereas once, she may have just ‘got on with it’, now,  in the ‘perimenopause pressure cooker’ of unexplained and disturbing feelings (combined with  physical fatigue), anger may volcanically erupt.  When it does, it can really rock the embedded expectations of others around her.

Anger may also emerge as a (not always very graceful)  boundary defence mechanism. It may be the  knee-jerk response to others,  because boundaries/behaviours that may  have been poorly set in the past, now need a radical overhaul. And anger may just be from on overwhelming desire to be heard and seen: in reality, the need for reassurance. Because one thing is for sure, when the foundations of your being rock,  reassurance is massively valuable.

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Support systems and structures are even more important now than ever. Extreme behaviour can lead to extreme consequences. So, if you want to avoid burn out, relationship melt down and potentially loss (to name the most common perimenopause breakdowns) please find people who will truly listen to you. Find people who can guide without judgement, can keep a confidence – for ever – and will be able to reflect back to you what’s valuable, what’s just a trip into the past and what you need to do to keep your sense of self.

 

Oftentimes, physical exhaustion (underpinned in many cases, by adrenal fatigue) makes the emotional symptoms worse. I believe however that it is important – maybe vital – to have an emotional ‘spring clean’ right now, to become more fluent and honest with  your needs and feelings, and to put the past ‘to bed’ The astrological impulses of this time of your life are there to support just that, and I will blog about the Uranian upsurge that is impacting you between the ages of 38 – 44 in future. Meanwhile, the three key things to focus on are: –

 

  1. Remove as much stress as possible from your life, including dietary stressors, too  many late nights, over exercising, overuse of electronic devices, addictions, noise and toxic relationship. I know. That is a big list. Aim to reduce one thing at a time. Honestly, every little does help!
  2. When you need to withdraw then let others know that it’s about you, not them. Time out – an hour, a day – a retreat – with a journal, or simply a place to walk undisturbed, makes ‘space’ for old emotions to surface.
  3. Let the past go with gratitude and ritual. Someone said to me this week that he had boxes and boxes of old photographs. He’s about to move house and really doesn’t want to take them with him but equally couldn’t  bear to just ‘dump them in the garbage’. “So make a ceremony” I said. “Let them go with love and your thanks”. I suggested he  take a few quiet moments, set up a (safe) fire in the garden (an old wok can serve as a fire bucket) or the fireplace (if you have one) and just think on all the joy, happiness, friendship – whatever – these photos recall. Once you have that sense in your heart of being connected – then let it go. And say ‘thank you” – cry, rage, yell, laugh.. whatever you need to do.

 

Remember, this too WILL pass – and with the coming of your “Second Spring” you’ll emerge, like Persephone, triumphant with the seeds of another new you safely embedded in your psyche!

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Menopause symptoms – signposts to change

menopause symptomsAre you surfing the web just now, looking to piece together the symptoms you are experiencing because you wonder – if it could be menopause? (And perhaps you’re hoping it isn’t – you’re not ready yet!).

Perhaps your medical practitioner has told you “you’re too young – come back in a couple of years and I’ll test your hormone levels”. Or maybe you’ve been told that this is the run up to menopause and you’ll need HRT now to keep your symptoms at bay.

That’s it, for most women in the west (this phenomena doesn’t affect women in other countries in the same way). On offer – HRT, anti-depressants and a pat on the back. You’ve reached the end of your productive road and the medical profession don’t have the time, money or interest to look any deeper than this being a fault of your ovaries. Even though many would love to and a rare few specialise, it’s still not a sexy area of medicine.

 

The story seems to be that your ovaries have it wrong?  Apparently (according to whom I know not but someone will tell me ) it is not time for them to reduce estrogen production. I challenge that.

Your lungs now how to draw air in, your heart knows how to beat – your thyroid is constantly calibrating what needs to be done in your system – your body knows what to do  and when. But this seems to have been overlooked especially following the whole ‘estrogen failure’ thing from the 60s.

 

So. Is menopause an illness? No. It is a natural life event. Can it give rise to symptoms that need treatment? Yes, it can if they are allowed to become severe.. And the best way to manage them is to prepare your body for the change even before perimenopause arrives. Makes sure you do and make sure, please, that women you know do to. It matters. It matters that we stay well and live to enjoy the ‘third third’ of our lives.

 

In a nutshell – here are the usual signs and symptoms  of menopause that medical and other practitioners describe: –

 

  • Irregular periods.
  • Vaginal dryness.
  • Hot flashes.
  • Chills.
  • Night sweats.
  • Sleep problems.
  • Mood changes.
  • Weight gain and slowed metabolism.

Please remember – anything that worries you – especially bloating that doesn’t go away, or very heavy periods (and if there is a persistent low back pain and a feeling of fullness) MUST be checked out thoroughly by a medical practitioner qualified and interested in womens’ health.

But what about the emotional component of these changes? Irregular periods not only throw you into a tangle when it comes to planning – an event, an outfit – a stay away from home – but that stability is leaving and that can make you feel vulnerable. Likewise, vaginal dryness – a new barrier to confident love making perhaps – can leave you feeling like a slightly broken piece of equipment. Sleep problems not only make your day foggy  and hard to deal with but affect weight – leptin that should be produced to (in a healthy way) suppress appetite, is impacted as is the rest of your metabolic system.

In this short piece, I won’t give a run down of every response to every symptom, but I can give you a rule of thumb to apply.

 

  1. Decrease stressors (including foods and environments, people and self-imposed pressures) so that cortisol production is slowed. This is critical.
  2. Increase periods of rest, peace and calm. This is also critical – your adrenals must – MUST – be healthy now so that they can pick up some of the estrogen production.
  3. Ask for help.

From a Yogic/healers perspective what I see is the constant energy drain from an energy body we refer to as the sacral chakra. Think of your womb space as being a resource of personal energy that is leaking. This centre (chakra) also has a correspondence with the throat chakra and it’s so often the case that women do not or will not express their needs -their simple, basic needs – for support – and in perimenopause – they – you – will absolutely be challenged to stand up for them. To stand up for yourself.

 

I work exclusively with women who want the best experience of menopause. A passage that is about to a new place of deeper power, passion and peace. You too can experience the deeper meanings and mysteries of perimenopause, learn the tools and practices that make this a learning and growth experience like no other – buckle up and talk with me.

 

You can find my video series on YouTube where I give more information on the symptoms.

 

menopause symptoms