Ever since I started seeing that I actually had lots of value to share on my blog albeit, in a totally different direction to what I originally intended, all these amazing ideas have been popping into my head of things I really want to share with you. So keeping in the theme of openly talking about what it is like to be journeying through my forties and discovering all sorts of new crazy and sometimes shitty things about myself, I thought I would share with you how I managed to deal with and overcome some horrible issues that my raging (Wanna-be teenage) hormones were doing to me.
But first I may need to give you a little biology 101 lesson, about what exactly is going on in the body of a 40-year-oldwoman experiencing Perimenopause (currently where I find myself at).
*Disclaimer* I am not a medical professional. Information in this blog is given as a result of research I have done myself. Always consult a professional if you are unsure about your symptoms. I also want to say from the offset that I am only talking about dicey moods here, I am not talking about bonified medical conditions of depression, anxiety or other clinical disorders. That is another kettle of fish entirely. I don’t in all honesty believe those struggles can be dealt with correctly with what I am about to share with you, for that you need to see a qualified professional.
So here we go. Before a woman reaches actual menopause, there is a period called perimenopause. It’s usually around the stage of your entrance into your middle age where you feel you can’t possibly be in menopause because you are too young, but are still experiencing many of the symptoms commonly associated with menopause, and often you may start thinking you are going mad or there is something dreadfully wrong with you. Perimenopause is on average apparent for about four years but can begin up to 10 years earlier or even only a few months before you reach menopause. There is no hard and fast rule. Symptoms of perimenopause may begin very mildly, but they will become more apparent as you progress on to actual menopause.
So what actually happens in Perimenopause?
Biology 101 (I told you)
When we experience perimenopause, our egg-producing follicles in our ovaries may become resistant to FSH (follicle stimulating hormone), which is what makes ovulation happen. Because our bodies are meant to ovulate it tries to produce a whole bunch of extra FSH which can cause our estrogen levels to skyrocket. But then there is the progesterone factor and because our bodies don’t produce matching levels of progesterone a roller-coaster effect results, which can cause all sorts of symptoms. I thought I would list a few of them below. Perhaps you already have or are experiencing some of them. They are in no particular order.
- Difficulties sleeping (Full insomnia on this side)
- Low or crazy Libido
- Irregular periods (Very heavy or very light)
- Vaginal dryness
- Hot flashes (Yes, these are the most widely talked about)
- Increased need to go wee.
- Depression or the blues
- Fatigue or lethargy
- Mood swings
- Sore breasts
Ok, so now that you know about the kind of fun you have to look forward to, I thought I would discuss one of my main issues that I have been dealing with since I started experiencing some of these symptoms last year, and that particular one is Mood swings or just a crappy mood in general. Now the mood is a funny thing, it can be affected by a whole bunch of external factors…. say about most or all of the other symptoms on that list. So besides already being affected by your raging hormones, it is amplified by things like lack of sleep, exhaustion, and hot flashes to name a few. Let’s not even talk abut the intimacy issue. It took me a little while and a few misses but I managed to find a way to get my mood at a reasonably stable point without taking any prescribed medications or hormone therapies. I am just not emotionally ready for that yet. I want to emphasize that these are things that worked for me and none of it is from a professional standpoint (because I am not a professional)
One of the very first symptoms that I experienced was major issues sleeping, I just couldn’t settle down. It didn’t matter how early or how late I went to bed, I just could not fall asleep and if by chance I did fall asleep normally then I would wake up at anything from 2-4am and be wide awake and then not be able to go back to sleep. I tried warm baths, reading, all the normal tricks but nothing worked. I did a lot of research because I really didn’t want to take sleeping tablets and I just couldn’t find anything that stood out to me as something worth trying. My mod was really being badly affected by my lack of sleep and so something had to give. After doing quite a bit of research I realized that my body was probably lacking some important minerals and also that my blood sugar was potentially unbalanced which was most likely affecting my sleeping.
So what worked in the end you say?
- I started taking a Magnesium and Calcium supplement before bed every night
- I included the simple ingredient Cinnamon in everybody’s kitchen into a warm drink before bed. There are all sorts of references to using it in bedtime teas for sleep but I literally just put a teaspoon full into whatever I drink before bed. I have a little concoction that I make at the moment which contains other ingredients in it which I will get to further along this post.
- Of course getting to bed a regular time and not being overstimulated before bed can help so I do try to keep this as constant as possible.
Voila, I have been sleeping so much better and just this one thing alone has made such a marked difference. Although I have been prone to a few night sweats, I haven’t really experienced much in the way of Hot Flashes and I do believe that Cinnamon is also really great for dealing with those, so lets’ see.
Although it isn’t listed above, another thing I really struggle with is Dry Skin and other skin issues like eczema and unfortunately also suffer from Candida overgrowth at times. Besides sloshing on liters of Epimax at night all over and having to use the occasional bit of cortisone or antifungal meds I was getting rather fed up and it was really affecting how I felt about myself and in all sorts of ways that affected my daily mood. I’ve heard a lot of very positive things about Apple Cider Vinegar and have tried to drink it in the past in some hot water each morning because it is apparently excellent for Auto-immune disorders like my Rheumatoid Arthritis but I just couldn’t stomach it. So when I read up about it again and saw that it is really effective for skin problems I thought I would give it another try. This is what I do to get it down now and it includes my trusty Cinnamon. Within 3 or 4 days The terrible red rash on my Forehead is gone and guess what so is my monthly hassle with candida and My skin is not super itchy anymore, that was something else that was keeping me out of my sleep because just as I would try and settle suddenly my skin would absolutely start crawling and it was awful!
This is the mix I have been using as my night time drink. (Honestly, I hardly taste the Vinegar)
1tsp Apple cider Vinegar ( It could be up to a Tablespoon a day)
1/2 tsp Cinnamon powder
1 tsp Raw Honey
1/2 tsp Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 Cup of Boiling water.
Sip it slowly while reading your favorite book before bed. I promise you will be in dreamland in no time.
Since about the end of 2015 I started experiencing very strange menstrual cycles, suddenly they were super heavy and incredibly painful where this had never been an issue before. They also lasted sometimes up to 8 days and on other months only 2. It was very disconcerting. The cycle length was also not at all constant. Sometimes 23 days, sometimes 31 days. Really was a lucky packet. But someone I know told me about something called Maca Powder which is apparently a Peruvian Superfood with a massive array of benefits and it is totally nontoxic. I had nothing to lose, so I eventually caved and tried this product (I was a little skeptic as I often am but it’s proved me wrong). It is a powder although you can also get it in tablet form from other companies. This one I mix up in a smoothie or with some warmed milk because it tastes like Horlicks and it has made the world of difference. It has had more than one benefit. Not only has it totally regulated my cycle, my periods are almost entirely normal again and not nearly as painful as they were, I also don’t get those annoyingly painful sore breasts now either just before my cycle is due. It is also a natural aphrodisiac so trust me when I say it has helped in that department too. This stuff is gold and it is absolutely worth the price tag.
So as you can understand from the few symptoms listed above, my moods were in a dire state and because of them and I really was going through quite an emotional rollercoaster. I can quite honestly say that in the last 2 months of doing these 3 things it has changed dramatically. This is not always going be the case I am sure. As I go further along this journey I am going to need a little more help in the form of HRT or something like that but I am not quite ready for that yet. I am just happy I have found something that is working for now and I’ll stick with it for as long as it works.
I also want to add that these are not the only changes I have made. I also include some exercise now which helps with getting the right hormones the feel good ones working properly and I also have taken to doing some meditation either when I wake up or in the evening and this has also been a wonderful contributor to feeling better.
So even if you aren’t menopausal but struggle with any of the above, I can highly recommend you give them a try. They have meant a world of difference to me and I can promise you, to my family and colleagues also. Although I have only linked to a few articles in my post explaining some of the benefits of the things I am using, there is so much available to learn on the interwebs. Do yourself a favor and so and have a search. You will be quite surprised how these seemingly irrelevant ingredients in your home can help you so much.
What have you tried to help balance your moods? I would love to hear about it. Please leave a comment below and also let me know if you try any of these tips of mine.