Read I'm Too Young for This!: The Natural Hormone Solution to Enjoy Perimenopause Online

Authors: Suzanne Somers

Tags: #Health & Fitness, #Healthy Living, #Alternative Therapies, #Sexuality

I'm Too Young for This!: The Natural Hormone Solution to Enjoy Perimenopause (4 page)

BOOK: I'm Too Young for This!: The Natural Hormone Solution to Enjoy Perimenopause
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What I did know was that now I felt different. I was getting used to the ups and downs of the surges of sex hormones and menstrual cycles, as well as the (very welcome) growth of pubic hair, breasts, and sex feelings. Now I felt that I was like all the other girls.

But then my breasts kept growing. (Wow, be careful what you wish for!) I started out at fifteen wearing a scant 32A cup (padded), hardly filling it, and by the summer of my sixteenth year I was an overflowing 34C that could hardly be contained. My breasts grew so big and so fast on my skinny little body that they were a little embarrassing, but I liked the attention I was getting from having them, including attention from my lecherous drama teacher who would say highly inappropriate things to me when no one was around. I got the part of Adelaide in
and Dolls
partly due to my talent, partly due to my shapely, curvy body, and partly because that lecherous one wanted me around. My father didn’t like the new me at all. My body seemed to make him angry, and he would say things like, “For chrissakes, put some clothes on.”


Transitioning into womanhood, like all transitions, is an agitating and confusing experience. It’s a long, bumpy, uncomfortable road; but then you adjust to the excitement, privileges, and challenges of being an adult. This is also a time when your hormones reach their maximum. By the time you are in your twenties and thirties, you enter a period of remarkable high energy, clear thinking, and all the drama of being an adult and building your adult life. You don’t quite know who you are yet in most cases, but you sure are having fun. Your body is the best looking it will ever be; your breasts are high and perky, and your sex drive is off the charts. You are oozing estrogen. For most people this is a time of perfect hormonal balance. Diet affects your hormones at this time like any time, but your youth withstands the assault of binge drinking, hangovers, fast food, quarts of ice cream, and sugary desserts. Somehow you sleep it off, bang down giant cups of coffee, and sail through work until the end of the next week, when you do it to yourself all over again.


Sometime between your midthirties and midforties another series of physical changes begins to takes place. Transitions! In general, this is a time of strength and vibrancy, but now you are
more affected by outside factors and lifestyle choices. And as I just said, things are shifting again. Your periods may become a little erratic, your breasts may get painfully lumpy, and sometimes your periods get lighter or heavier than usual, or you are bleeding between them. You or your friends may be struggling with: infertility, difficulty conceiving or carrying a pregnancy to term, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, sudden weight gain, foggy thinking, memory loss, migraine headaches, cold hands and/or feet, and premenstrual syndrome, even when you’ve never had it before.

You are a little moodier than you used to be and you tire more easily. The kids can get on your nerves in ways they never had before. By the end of the day you can’t wait for that 5:00 cocktail to cool out and relax. You don’t recover from a long trip or a night out as easily, either, and staying home becomes more alluring than constantly running to the next event. You need more sleep, but the sleep you are getting isn’t as sound as it once was. Your muscles strain more easily when you are working out, and when you get out of bed in the morning, you might grunt a little from the stiffness. The fast food you enjoyed in your twenties now gives you heartburn, and drink one too many glasses of wine and you will have a whopper of a headache.

But the big one … you don’t feel like having sex the way you used to. Is it you? Is it him? You don’t know, but it’s depressing and it takes its toll around the house.

Your husband is working as hard as he can to give you the lifestyle you both want. You likely are working two jobs: in your career and at home. You feel “put upon” because he is always gone and you have to do everything. He doesn’t seem to realize all you do and that you are working from morning till late at night being the perfect mom, wife, housekeeper, career woman, and preparing for everyone for the next day while
already asleep under the covers with the TV blaring. You can’t help it when you
get annoyed that he didn’t stay up for you, even though he has an early morning appointment. Could this be PMS? No, you say to yourself. This is real. It’s him. You start to have dark thoughts about breaking out, getting away. But these are just fantasies … aren’t they? Your PMS used to be mild, but now it can carry with it a surge of fury. Plus, you’ve gained a little weight and you can’t seem to exercise enough to get it off. That too is annoying. You ask him if what you’re wearing makes you look fat, and if he says yes, it’s an evening wrecker.

What is happening? You are now at midtransition. Fun, huh?


Just like with puberty, now your hormones seem to be all over the place again. Just when you had gotten used to feeling great all the time, it’s like something has stripped it away. Your hormones are fluctuating up and down, like they have a mind of their own, but the overall direction of them is down, just as your reproductive years are winding down.

In puberty your hormones fluctuate, which is why you cry, yell at your mother, get depressed and feel suicidal if your boyfriend breaks up with you. Plus you hate your body and you feel fat, and your parents are mean and no one understands you.

Then you transition through that passage into your reproductive years and suddenly your cycles are regular. You feel happy and serene, and proud of your abilities to reproduce. And aren’t you something that you have given birth to these incredible children? They are perfect and so is your life. Your husband brings you flowers, and you have great standing-up sex in the shower with the door locked, while the kids are still safely sleeping in their rooms. Life is good. Life is smooth sailing and delicious.

Then along comes perimenopause and the fluctuations start
again, almost like you are back in puberty. You cry for no reason, no one understands you, you are overworked and underappreciated, your body is betraying you, and did I mention, no one in the house understands you?

You are on your way to menopause, something you don’t even want to think about because you haven’t even figured out perimenopause. How could you be experiencing it anyway, as you feel you are way too young for this. Aren’t you?

Eventually you will transition into menopause where your hormones are just low and steady, maybe leaving you feeling flat and lifeless.

This is being a woman! It ain’t for sissies, and it’s why we’re so strong. Don’t worry. You are going to be just fine once you learn how to take care of yourself through this major transition.

It’s very exciting to know that today we have emerging science and cutting-edge doctors who have stepped out of the dark and into a new light, declaring the status quo to be obsolete. There is a solution, a healthy and pleasant way to make all the transitions of your life something you will look forward to experiencing. This new approach is backed up by science and clinical studies and is great news for young women; you do not have to go through all the ups and downs associated with perimenopause and eventually menopause. These life transitions can be made enjoyable, if you know what to do.

The new approach is about knowledge and the power that accompanies knowledge. Clearly, lifestyle shifts relative to diet, sleep, and exercise are crucial, but the advancements made in natural hormone replacement are the new game changer. This book is meant to inform you about what is happening in your body and clearly show you the safety and efficacy of natural hormone replacement, giving you many options to take away any fears you may have surrounding their use.

This book offers hope. You can sail through your transitions
and enjoy the quality of life I am enjoying. You can make each new passage upbeat, comfortable, and sexy, if you take advantage of this new thinking.

Now that we know how it all works, that we females are complex and fabulous, let’s more closely investigate why you are feeling the way you’ve been feeling and look at the symptoms that are part of the process we call perimenopause.


Thirty-five is when you finally get your head together and your body starts falling apart.

—Caryn Leschen


It started with an itch! A maddening, “drive you crazy” kind of itch; I’d try not to scratch, but eventually I always gave in. My legs were a mess. I couldn’t figure it out. What was causing this? I figured I had some kind of allergy that even anti-itch creams couldn’t seem to help. My doctors didn’t connect it to hormonal decline.

Then, as I explained earlier, I lost control of my moods. When Alan confronted me, I was mortified and terrified. Had I been acting that badly? Was I “flying off the handle” that often? Was I taking out my bad mood on him
that frequently
? I’m going to
shamefully admit to all the above. I also have to say this moment with Alan got my attention. I was putting our solid, loving, unbelievably wonderful love affair in jeopardy. I certainly did not want to do that.

In my first books on hormones, I labeled the common symptoms that erupt during menopause as the Seven Dwarves:

1. Itchy

2. Bitchy

3. Sleepy

4. Sweaty

5. Bloated

6. Forgetful

7. All Dried Up


Well, those dwarves might be smaller during perimenopause, but they are still as mighty!

Dwarf #2, Bitchy, had taken up full-time residence in our house. My sunny disposition was gone. It’s hard to have a big smile on your face when you can only sleep three hours nightly, and you are sweating and tossing and turning, first hot then cold. Not to mention that constant “noise” in your head that won’t shut up, as well as a total loss of sexual desire (remember Dwarf #7, All Dried Up?). Yes, I did feel crazy, because I didn’t want to act this way. I wanted things to be as they had been before. But I didn’t feel in control and to add insult to injury, Dwarf #5, Bloated, was with me all the time!

I went from doctor to doctor and I was offered every drug available: antidepressants, antianxiety meds, sleeping pills, blood pressure pills, cholesterol medications. One old doctor even patted me on the back and said, “The drug companies know best, dear.”

Oh my. That’s when I knew I was on my own. I did not want
to go down that path of the women I watched before me who were on the “menopause cocktail” of drugs that conveniently shut them up. Prozac, after all, may make you feel better. But you don’t have a Prozac deficiency, you have a hormone deficiency!

Foggy brains and brittle bones have been the experience women have observed in their other friends so they feel it is normal; miserable, but normal. Women deal with their misery by going to lunch and commiserating with each other. They drink too much wine and get happy laughing about their symptoms. Oops! Senior moment! Hello, Dwarf #6 (Forgetful). Wine makes you temporarily feel good; and women are starving to feel good and to be understood, if only for a couple of hours at lunch. But too much wine does backfire as you’ll read a little later, resulting in more weight gain and, because it has yeast, more bloating and discomfort.


Hormonal loss can indeed make you feel like you are going crazy. You don’t know who you are anymore, and you can’t rely on feeling good each day. Perimenopause is the transitional stage from normal menstrual periods to no periods at all. It may start in your thirties or forties and it will continue until you reach the final stage, menopause, probably sometime in your fifties. You are transitioning. This process and the cluster of symptoms that often come with it can start ten years before actual full-blown menopause.

Perimenopause is a natural phase of life, and in many cases it is a difficult transition. When you don’t understand what’s happening and don’t know how to manage it, or
you can manage it, then your health and your sanity can be challenged.

Long before your final period, your hormones start to become
amazingly unpredictable. That final period comes at the end of the process, not the beginning. This is why it is so confusing to young women. How could they be in perimenopause when they still have their monthly bleed?

The discomfort and symptoms you are feeling are all a result of declining and shifting hormones in your body, and these little messengers cause an array of symptoms we’ll fully explore in this chapter. Before we do, let’s first talk a little about this term you hear so often but that you may not yet fully understand: hormones.

BOOK: I'm Too Young for This!: The Natural Hormone Solution to Enjoy Perimenopause
12.67Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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