Periods starting to change, they could be becoming heavier or lighter.
Putting on weight even when eating well and exercising
Mood swings from feeling down to up, irritable
Bloating, constipation, reflux and other digestive symptoms
Trouble dealing with stress that can show as anxiety
Vaginal dryness, painful sex
Feeling cold, you’re the one always wearing a jumper.
Perimenopause can last anywhere from 2-12 years and it is when you will have the most symptoms if you get any because not all woman do. Menopause is when you don’t have a period for twelve months.
Did you know that your thyroid gland, the little butterfly shaped gland that sits at the front of the throat can be affected during perimenopause and menopause. This endocrine gland is responsible for many different functions in the body, and it affects every cell in the body.
One of the main functions is to control the speed of your metabolism, this means how your body converts food into energy. Because symptoms overlap and can be shared, some of the symptoms mentioned before can also be due to your thyroid not functioning properly and the reason that the thyroid is affected during perimenopause and menopause is that some of our other hormones start to decrease and fluctuate confusing the body.
Estrogen is one of the main hormones that affects thyroid function, there is a fine balance, if you have too much or too little estrogen it can affect the functioning of your thyroid so what may appear to be menopausal symptoms may be an under active thyroid.
There is a test you can do at home that can help to see if your thyroid is functioning well. It’s called a basal body temperature reading. You just need a digital thermometer and you need to take your temperature first thing in the morning when you wake up with as little movement as possible, so no getting up to go to the toilet or anything else before you take it, keep it on your bedside table. Place the thermometer under your tongue and lie still until the reading is done, record the date and temperature and do this for 3-5 days, 4 days is probably best. Normal temperature readings range between 36.5c to 36.8c, if readings are below 36.4c this can be an indication that your thyroid is not functioning optimally.
Note: this test won’t work properly if you are having broken sleep.