There is sometimes confusion over the terms premenopause and perimenopause since the terms are often used interchangeably and both refer to changes that take place around menopause.
PreMenopause refers to anything that happens before menopause which can span months or years.
PeriMenopause is defined as the time around menopause and includes both pre-menopause and early menopause.
During this time the hormone equilibrium is changing and hormone replacement therapy can help women feel better by relieving many of the symptoms caused by the hormone imbalances. During pre-menopause some women may still have periods that are changing over time or becoming irregular (long or short, heavier or lighter, or the discharge may have changed). Other symptoms that may increase include hot flashes and night sweats, insomnia, lack of libido, weight gain, itching, extended PMS, anxiety or depression, mood swings, heart palpitations, water retention, fatigue and many others. FSH (a pituitary hormone) levels may also fluctuate between normal and elevated levels.
One of the reasons that AMC conducts preliminary hormone testing is that there is often confusion over some of the symptoms women experience and whether they are actually peri-menopause. A distinction has to be made since sometimes presenting symptoms are misleading and there may be other under-lying metabolic conditions like food sensitivities, heavy metal toxicity, Adrenal Fatigue, Metabolic Syndrome etc. Did you know, for example, that many women who experience what they think are peri-menopause or menopause symptoms discover that the problem is actually a thyroid disorder? Symptoms of thyroid disorders can mimic peri-menopause symptoms and unless you consult with a doctor, telling the difference between them can be almost impossible.