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Hay-wire Hormones

07 March 2011

I was delighted to receive an email from Margaret thanking me for the prompt to see her doctor for a checkup and also from Rachel who supports knowing what your bone density is. It's nearing the end of another year, deadlines to meet, Christmas looming, and perhaps your stress is on a challenging level. When I researched for my book Menopause: Women tell their stories I interviewed over a hundred women from around Australia and was surprised to learn that for many women menopause starts earlier than the ball-mark age of fifty: late thirties/early forties.

There are many reasons for this but suffice to say that it brings on unwanted physical and mental changes. One normally doesn't expect menopause at this age so diagnosis is sometimes undetected. Hormonal changes can bring on unusual psychological symptoms such as mood changes, sadness and tears, forgetfulness and confusion, anxiety and depression. Sometimes these symptoms can be attributed to insomnia or other stresses, but it is important that women who suffer from unusual emotional or cognitive symptoms understand the possible connection to menopause and reduced oestrogen production. This is why I recommended in my September article, 'Spring Health Check', to ask your doctor for a reading on your hormones when you have a blood test. It's a good record to have.