I'm 44 and I guess my journey to menopause has already started. :rolleyes:
1. How do I know if the signs and symptoms I'm experiencing are related to menopause?
2. What are the more natural ways in dealing with menopause? I am not a big fan of synthetic meds...
3. I think I have bouts of depression as well although nothing major...How can I deal with the mood changes?
The menopause starts with something called the 'perimenopause'; when women normally notice a change to their periods. A woman can actually have light or heavy periods during this stage and the frequency of your periods can also become either more frequent (e.g. every 2-3 weeks) or less frequent (every 2-3 months). Basically your periods change!
Other symptoms will then come which may include: palpitations, hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings, headaches, sleeping problems, vaginal dryness and urinary tract infections.
The average age to go through the menopause is actually significantly older than you are at 52, however, some women do unfortunately suffer from the early menopause. This is more likely if your mother also went through the menopause early. Do you think you have been experiencing some of the signs and symptoms of the menopause? Do you know what age your mother went through the menopause?
You have probably heard of HRT which contains an Oestrogen hormone. There are some natural alternatives available. Actually, exercise such as swimming, running or jogging ('high impact exercise') can help women to experience less severe menopause symptoms. You may also find that keeping caffeine to a minimum and reducing your stress levels helps with some of the symptoms.
There is not a huge amount of research on the natural menopause remedies. However, they include evening primrose oil and soy. I would still recommend you checking with your doctor before taking any of these on a medium to long term basis.
I'm sorry to hear about your depression. Remember that you are certainly not alone with this and many, many women and men suffer with depression. The important thing is not to suffer alone but to keep talking about it and ask for lots of help. You can ask for help from: your doctor, support groups, national helplines, family and friends especially if any of them also suffer from depression. I would advise speaking to your doctor about this too.
Again, eating a well-balanced diet and exercising can help with depression. However, it depends on the severity and type of the depression as to what extra help you need as well.
Please do post back anytime and let us know if you need more support/have more questions about this.