perimenopause

Cauliflower Moment…the “mid-ages” is a time when you finally feel like you are getting your life together …and then your body starts falling apart

Between the ages of 30 and 55, most every woman (and now many men, too) experiences body changes that can be associated with hormones. I felt like I had almost all of the hormone changes listed in every article and that most came on without any prior warning or my being very aware of the changes until the signals were shouting out at me.

When we started seeing similar symptoms exhibited in the different aged women in our group, and also began seeing problems in the men, we had to ask ourselves what was going on?

Here’s the list of the most common of the hormone imbalance symptoms. Any sound familiar to you?


  • Abdominal bloating (had it – hated it)
  • Unexplained and undeserved weight gain (wow I gained 20lbs in 3 months!)
  • Blood Sugar irregularities (food cravings! Sweets and chocolate!)
  • Low energy/ low libido (felt tired and lazy more often – not making excuses, really didn’t feel like having sex)
  • PMS/ mood swings (not even going to admit to this one)
  • Forgetfulness, difficulty focusing (yes! So frustrating!)
  • Hypertension (not a problem yet, but did get dizzy and have restless legs)
  • Difficulty Sleeping all night (woke up often every night with my mind spinning – tired all day long)
  • Night sweats and/or hot flashes (yuck! Sheets drenched, putting air on and off)
  • Breast tenderness, cysts, cancer (painful and scary on all counts)
  • Hyperplasia, fibroids and/or heavy periods (such a painful, inconsistent, embarrassing mess!)
  • Swollen feet, cold hands and feet (yes, yes, yes)
  • Dry hair, skin, nails (add – hair loss and graying, wrinkles and thinning nails)
  • Arthritis and/or inflamed, painful joints (every prior injury decided to make itself present)
  • Migraines/ headaches (the worst because they came so frequently)
  • Increased allergies both sinus and skin (had rashes, sneezing, sensitivity to foods and increased colds)
  • Depression (it wasn’t all in my mind – it was a hormonal effect)

What was going on? Are we all doomed to suffer these changes for the rest of our lives? If more than a few symptoms resonate with you, and your connecting to some of your own cauliflower moments…then read on to learn more about the what and how of hormones.

Here’s topics we will discuss in this and the following articles:   

  1. How are our hormones used in the body?
  2. What causes hormones to become imbalanced?
  3. What are the dangers?
  4. What is progesterone’s “feel good” effect?
  5. What can we do to reverse and eliminate these hormonal changes?

How are our hormones used in the body?

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I’m not sure about you but I really didn’t have a good understanding of exactly how hormones were used monthly in my body. Here’s what I learned in a short overview.

 

This is the Hormone Pathway:

  1. Cholesterol produces Pregnenalone. Pregnenalone is converted directly into DHEA and/or progesterone.
  2. DHEA converts to testosterone and estrogens. Additionally, progesterone converts to estrogens, cortisol, and aldosterone.
  3. Estrogen is released into the body
  4. This increases the water in the cells
  5. This creates inflammation
  6. This leads to increased cell production
  7. This also increases the storage of fat

____ all in preparation for a healthy environment for egg fertilization ____

  1. Progesterone is released
  2. This stimulates sexual desires
  3. This releases proteins to strengthening of the lining for the fertilized egg.
  4. If the egg is fertilized
    1. progesterone stimulates the growth of blood vessels that supply the lining of the womb (endometrium)
    2. stimulates glands in the endometrium to secrete nutrients that nourish the early embryo
    3. then prepares the tissue lining of the uterus to allow the fertilized egg to implant
    4. helps to maintain the endometrium throughout pregnancy 
  5. If you do not get pregnant
    1. progesterone reduces the estrogen’s inflammatory process
    2. it acts as a diuretic to release the stored water
    3. stimulates the menses to rid the body of the lining cells within the uterus

Click to learn What causes hormones to become imbalanced?