Menopause

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I never considered myself a hormonal person and yet on turning 40, after a period of sustained stress and ill health, I developed over the following years many of the symptoms on the list above.

Prior to being diagnosed as coeliac in my late 30’s I had always been healthy and relatively stable in attitude – how was I now on this emotional rollercoaster?

I had experienced anxiety during my relationship breakdown and was unsettled to find similar symptoms had become a bit of a feature in my life. It seemed to take much of my energy to manage feelings and continue to function.

In a busy stage of life with young children, I put the tiredness, poor memory and anxious thoughts down to the juggling challenges of parenthood, particularly as a single parent.

 I spent months trying establish what was happening within my body to cause me to feel like I did…

With increased night sweats and mood swings I tried all kinds of dietary and alternative supplements, spoke to friends, colleagues, read, googled and sought support from my Gp. After some blood tests I was a bit shocked, but relieved, to be diagnosed as menopausal. 

The concept was okay, I’d had children, but the symptons were much more tricky!

Heading into the menopause early, I was really unprepared! Why was this happening after sailing relatively unscathed through puberty and into adulthood? 

After a year or so of struggling with a variety of symptoms and little relief HRT was seriously discussed by my Gp. With teenagehood looming, and my increased irritability I was rapidly running out of options. Being a long way off fifty the benefits outweighed the negatives as these were hormones my body ideally should still have. Trying a couple of different brands and doses finally found the combination which improved many of my symptoms.

Still continuing on HRT today, anxiety is the main one which continues to raise its head from time to time! 

When you don’t have anxiety you can’t imagine what it is like so I’d have weeks of being okay and between bouts it seems irrational and unbelievable it is so debilitating. So you push on…

I have since read much around anxiety, the menopause, coeliac disease, the human brain and hormones, whilst the  challenges continue. The role of hormones and the fine balance between these are well demonstrated as below. 

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With several factors unbalancing your health, it makes sense it will take some time to even begin to restore some normality. This model helps explain the complexity and the delicate balancing interplay of several feel good chemicals which affect your mood.

I’ve found trying to understand what is happening in my body and mind has helped me to manage symptoms over time. However self acceptance has been one of the biggest challenges!

 

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