Is your mind getting fuzzy these days? Do you have problems focusing. Is your memory failing you?

If you are a woman aged 35 and above, and your mind seems to be falling apart, is it due to your imagination, or could there really be something wrong with your body?

In recent months, I've been finding it very hard to focus. My short term memory was almost as bad as a goldfish, which by the way, has a memory span of 3 seconds. On top of that, I have problems sleeping, waking up several times at night and being unable to sleep after that.

I wondered what was wrong with me. Thought it was all in the head. Then I realized it could be perimenopause.

Menopause has been a known fact for ages, but before that, women display symptoms of perimenopause used to be told it was all in the head.

Actually, that is not the case. The hormonal fluctuations begin long before menopause, sometimes as early as your late thirties, or as late as your fifties. Your diet, stress levels, lifestyle and how well you have been taking care of yourself are all factors involved in the extent of these perimenopausal symptoms. Some women breeze through it. Others, like me, end up suffering the full blown works in my late thirties.

Diet and lifestyle play a big part on how badly perimenopausal symptoms hit, or if they even bother you at all. Japanese women, with their high soy diet that is low in animal protein hardly have these perimenopausal symptoms, while women in the western world are often hit badly by it.

I did not know what was causing my memory loss and insomnia. At that time, I was overweight. Often,when I visited a doctor, the doc would advise me to go for a diabetes checkup just in case. All doctors, from the East to the West, told me I had to lose weight, but the diabetes scare was what did it. I knew I had to lose those pounds. So I ran everyday, and ate less than before (though still a lot by normal people's standards)

I found that running in the morning helped me to sleep better at night. My mind became clearer. My depression was less severe. Soon, I was running for the psychological effects, like the runner's high, the clearer mind and better sleep at night, more than for my weight problem. I managed to drop 2 dress sizes as a result.

I also started taking evening primrose oil which helped me a lot when I was young, with my menstrual cramps. It is indicated for hormonal imbalances and helped with my mood swings. I also use pueraria to help me manage my monthly cycle.

Overall, a woman needs not worry about perimenopause.
You do need to watch your lifestyle. Quit smoking. Reduce stress. Drop the harmful lifestyle habits, like drinking too much alcohol, in order to lessen the impact of perimenopause.
Get some exercise. Running weekly, going for aerobics classes, walking, swimming or cycling or dancing are just some of the things you can do to keep fit, and reduce the impact of perimenopause.

Eat phytoestrogen-rich foods like soy, or herbal supplements that are rich in phytoestrogen (like evening primrose oil) to balance your hormones.

That way, perimenopause shouldn't be much of an issue.

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