As if weren’t enough that we middle-aged moms are having to deal with teenagers and often times a husband or significant other who is having a major identity crisis, we are also blessed with physical mayhem of our own. If you haven’t reached this time in your life you may want to stop reading. I don’t want to fill your pretty wrinkle-free head with dreadful thoughts of your future. If you have a house full of toddlers and little people who are sucking the very life out of you, know that it will get better. And then it will get worse.
A year or two ago I started waking up in the very early morning. Not on purpose. Being a beautiful sleeper has always been a precious skill that I was blessed with. I fall asleep the second my body is horizontal and I have always stayed asleep all night long. Until I didn’t. When I noticed a trend of waking up at about 3 or 4 every morning, often covered with copious amounts of sweat, I googled why this might be happening. One of the answers was peri-menopause. Doesn’t that phrase have a ring of doom to it? Here are some of the symptoms of peri-menopause:
Mood swings, sudden tears, unexplained anger
Hair thinning or loss
Feeling like you’re hanging on by a thread
Disturbing memory loss
Wacky period (changing frequency, duration and often getting heavier)
Tingling in hands and feet
Oh my gosh, I had every one of these! Now that I’m not pregnant constantly like I used to be, I rarely go visit my OB/GYN. But I felt like a visit was finally in order. My doctor and I had a nice chat and he told me in his kind and compassionate way that it looked my baby factory was in the process of shutting down operations. So I wasn’t going totally mental and falling apart! There was a reason for all of these issues! And, naturally, because this is related to girl stuff and not guy stuff, there is very little research and medical relief. Nobody in the medical field cares about crazy old ladies. If this were related to men’s impotence somehow, there would already be a cure.
Left to my own devices I hunted around the interwebs until I found something that might be able to help. I tried an herbal supplement that really worked for me. It has Black cohosh, red clover, Asian ginseng, St. John’s wort and a few other things. It’s called Estropause by Irwin Naturals and you can find it on Amazon here.
It was quite gentle and the changes came about slowly without me waking up the next day and feeling like a totally different person. The night sweats and emotional distress lessened gradually.
After a couple of months I ran out and forgot to order more. I figured maybe things had stabilized and everything would go a little smoother from here on out. Fast forward a few months to last Autumn. I started falling apart all the time. Every little setback would make me feel completely undone. There was nothing happening in my life that should have made me feel that way. I was having to not go to parties I had RSVPed for because social situations (especially large groups of people) made me totally lose it altogether. I had a bit of a breakdown when it was time to go to the church Halloween party that I normally dress up for and love. I simply could not go. It was much too overwhelming. I cried for half an hour when it was time to load up the kids and ended up staying home.
After wondering if I was completely insane, a tiny voice in my head said, “hey, what about those herbal pills?” Like the dunce I am, I had completely forgotten about them. I got on my computer as fast as I could and ordered a bottle. Within a week or two I was feeling so much better again. I make sure I take them regularly (if I skip a couple of days, it doesn’t make too much of a difference). My mood has improved significantly; night sweats are pretty much gone.
I do have to make a disclaimer here: I have always been a really even-keel person, emotionally. I haven’t ever had to take meds for depression or anxiety. So I think my “fix-it” for peri-menopause was pretty small. If you tend to have really deep emotional stuff that you’re already dealing with, this might not be strong enough for you. But I would rather start with some mild herbs and see if that works, knowing that some serious alternatives might be required. But I had good luck with this and maybe some of my fellow over-40 sisters might too!
ps. If you buy this from my Amazon link I get a few pennies. But otherwise I am not compensated for my views.