As your body starts aging, you start experiencing a lot of changes, especially during the years leading up to menopause. Irregular bleeding, hot flashes, and loss of libido are some of the common changes that occur during these years. You may write them off as normal changes, but they are not so all the time. In some cases, the symptoms you experience are a result of hormonal fluctuations, but they can also be signs of dangerous or life-threatening health issues. You need to keep a tab on your health and need to visit the doctor regularly. Knowing the exact condition of your health and taking care of any health issues before they get worse can save you from unnecessary complications. Here are some perimenopausal changes that may not be normal.
1. Hot Flashes
Hot flashes are considered normal when you are in your 40s or 50s because about 80 percent of perimenopausal women experience them. But such waves of body heat can also be triggered by an overactive thyroid, or they may be due to Hodgkin’s lymphoma. If your thyroid is the cause of your hot flashes, then you will experience other symptoms like heart palpitations, weight loss, frequent urination, and extreme fatigue. Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a type of cancer that starts in your white blood cells. It is often accompanied by other signs such as swelling of the lymph nodes in your armpits, neck, or groin; fever and chills; extreme fatigue; and unexplained weight loss. It is recommended to get a thorough examination of your body if you experience any of these symptoms.
2. Heart Palpitations
Your heart may race during perimenopause because of the release of epinephrine, or adrenaline. This is because a drop in estrogen levels triggers a response similar to that of a fight-or-flight situation and your heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure increase. But you should not always assume such heart palpitations to be harmless. You should get a cardiac evaluation done because an irregular heartbeat can be a symptom of atrial fibrillation, which is the abnormal firing of electrical impulses that cause the top chambers of your heart to quiver.
3. Irregular Bleeding
Irregular bleeding is quite common during perimenopause. Since your hormone levels keep changing during this time, you may experience spotting or irregular bleeding, and your period may be longer during some months than others. And in some cases, you may not get your period at all. You may feel that you have nothing to worry about, but you should make it a point to consult your gynecologist about the irregularities, which may simply be a symptom of perimenopause or may be caused by uterine or cervical cancers. The sooner you know about your health condition, the better your chances of survival are.
4. Low Libido
There is no doubt about the fact that perimenopause can take a toll on your sexual desire. When your hormones are acting all crazy, it can get difficult for you to get in the mood. But, low libido can be a symptom of depression too. You feeling depressed and your loss of libido can go both ways. You may feel depressed because of your decline in sexual desire or your depression may contribute to your loss of interest in sex. Whatever the case, if you are constantly feeling depressed, it is better you talk about it with someone, especially a psychiatrist who can give you professional advice.
5. Mood Swings
As you transition into menopause, it is common to experience mood swings. Hormone fluctuations, interrupted sleep, daily life stresses, aging, concerns about body image, and infertility can cause a lot of mood swings. One moment you are happy and the other, all your tensions flood into your mind, leaving you stressed and cranky. Though some of you may be able to overcome your mood swings, hormonal-induced moodiness can cause others to become severely depressed. The depression that occurs during perimenopause is usually very complex. You need to talk to your doctor and get an effective treatment that is available.