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Are you tired? Really tired? Sweaty? Have a funny taste in the mouth? Got acne? Sore breasts? Are you only in your 40s?

You might be going through the perimenopause.

Several female friends all in their 40s have asked me about symptoms they’ve been experiencing. Whilst I always tell people to check with their GP about anything that concerns them,  I thought it might be useful to list some of the symptoms that these ladies have been worried about, that I believe might be linked to the menopause.

Whilst most websites and doctors will say you can expect to go through the menopause in your 50s, every woman is different. and you might experience symptoms in your 40s or even earlier that signal menopause is usually a few years away. This is called perimenopause, but sometimes it’s difficult to tell if you’re going through it.

Some women have very few symptoms while others experience several. Some of the most common might include:

Irregular periods
Hot flushes
Trouble sleeping
Mood swings
Vaginal dryness
Drop in sex drive

These symptoms are usually triggered by drops in levels of oestrogen and progesterone which are two female hormones made in the ovaries.

Your doctor can often diagnose perimenopause based on your symptoms and it is advisable to discuss your concerns with them and rule out anything else.

Here are a few other, less common symptoms that might be linked to the menopause:

  1. Strange/metallic/bitter taste in your mouth

Eileen Durward of AVogel says:

“A metallic taste in the mouth can indicate low levels of zinc, so you may find a zinc citrate supplement 15mg daily helps.

However, the menopause does put tremendous strain on the whole system so you may find a multi-mineral with, at least that amount of zinc in it, much better for you.

You may also find a couple of months on Milk Thistle Complex helpful too as mouth problems can be associated with a sluggish live which is very common in the menopause.

It is also a good idea to get this checked by your dentist as well.”

2. Panic Attacks

Accelerated heart rate, usually brought on by anxiety, hot sweat or flushes can lead to panic attacks. These can be extremely frightening but take heart as they can be controlled. Caffeine, alcohol and lack of sleep play their part in frequency of attacks. Exercise will help cut down the number of them as will cutting out caffeine and alcohol.

Drink plenty of water and take up meditation or yoga or similar to help control your symtoms. My trick, whenever I had an attack, (which was inevitably at night) was to throw a leg out of bed, make contact with the floor with my foot, and sing a song to myself. It calmed me down in no time.

Herbal remedies that may help with panic attacks include:

Passiflora –  native to South America and the East Indies and was traditionally used as a nerve tonic.
Valarian root – which contains a number of plant components with calming effects on the nervous system.
Emergency Essence – a combination of flower essences designed to help out in an emergency such as a panic attack.

3. Breast Soreness

Tenderness or soreness or even enlargement of the breast or breasts can occur, usually a few days before bleeding begins. You might also have painful or tender nipples possibly due to oestrogen excess.

However, all lumps found in your breast and any concerns you have should be immediately taken up with a doctor.

There are others and I’ll look at them in my next post. Remember though:

If you are in any doubt about symptoms you are experiencing, seek medical assistance.