We Need to Chat About Perimenopause and Menopause
I’m supposed to be on vacation this week but I’m crazy in love with my work and the dearthyroid community, and can’t help posting a few thoughts.
Are you in partial recovery from workaholism? Me too. Turns out it’s not so good for your thyroid.
Starting to notice subtle signs of your ovaries inching toward perimenopause? That would be those of you, my friends, who are 35+ and noticing your monthly cycle is getting closer, I.e., it’s every 25 days instead of 28. Hello, dropping progesterone! Or maybe you’re a little more sweaty and sleep disrupted the few days before your time of the month (TOM). Or perhaps, even more fun, your mild PMS has escalated so that now you’re in marriage counseling half the month and sometimes you wonder if PMS stands for “pack my stuff” or even “pass my shotgun.”
These are all signs of estrogen dominance, or low progesterone compared to estradiol.
Even more nefarious is this symptom: in perimenopause, our stress resilience drops in half. Most of us go into survival mode. What used to be fine, managing the kids and work and meals and lunchboxes and consistent libido and needy husbands, become insurmountable. We just need a vacation. A big, long one.
There are predictable stages to this process of adrenal dysregulation: alarm, adaptation and exhaustion. We know where along this continuum you are by your history and your cortisol and DHEAS levels. To complete a questionnaire and/or test yourself, go to Canary Club.
Adrenals in the red? Thyroid trying desperately to overcompensate for the adrenals? Mine used to be. Remember a previous in which I described the see-saw phenomenon of the adrenals and the thyroid? When one is up, the other is usually down. When your cortisol is high, your thyroid function will be lower. Getting your thyroid in better balance will allow your adrenals to ease up in their overtime.
Perimenopause: there is never a more important time to follow some of the values we’ve discussed previously, such as the free T3/reverse T3 ratio (fT3/rT3). Go easy on yourselves and start a program to heal your adrenals along with your thyroid.
Written by Dr. Sara Gottfried
Tags: adrenal dysregulation, DHEAS levels, dropping progesterone, estradiol, estrogen dominance, FT3 and rT3 ratios, libido changes, low pregesterone, subtle signs of perimenopause, symptoms of permimenopause, thyroid overcompensating due to preminopause, We Need to Chat About Perimenopause and Menopause written by Dr. Sara Gottfried