Premenopause or Perimenopause
What is the difference?
There is sometimes confusion over the terms premenopause and perimenopause. It’s understandable since the terms are often used interchangeably and both refer to changes that take place as a result of 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 a woman’s hormone equilibrium is changing. During premenopause 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 may 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. Follicle Stimulating Hormones (FSH, a pituitary hormone) levels may also fluctuate between normal and elevated levels.
Hormone replacement therapy can help women feel better throughout this natural change by relieving many of the symptoms caused by the hormone imbalances.
Why do hormone testing?
One of the reasons that the Age Management Center conducts preliminary hormone testing is because there is often confusion over the symptoms women are experiencing and whether or not they are actually perimenopause. This distinction is critical because sometimes presenting symptoms are misleading and there may be other underlying metabolic conditions causing the symptoms, such as food sensitivities, heavy metal toxicity, Adrenal Fatigue, Metabolic Syndrome, and beyond.
Did you know, for example, that many women who experience what they think are perimenopause or menopause symptoms discover that the problem is actually a thyroid disorder? Symptoms of thyroid disorders can mimic perimenopause symptoms and unless you consult with a doctor, telling the difference between them can be almost impossible.
Until you determine the source of your symptoms, it can be difficult to find the right treatment. At Age Management Center of New England, we’re here to help you navigate women’s health by providing information and treatment options to enhance your lifestyle. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule your initial consultation.