Q: What are some of the signs and symptoms of perimenopause?
A: The average age of menopause is 51 years old, but the gradual transition until your body reaches menopause, known as perimenopause, can last as long as 10 years. Even if you are a 40 year old woman, you may still be entering this phase of your life.
The most common symptoms are:
Irregular menstrual periods
Hot flashes and night sweats
Memory difficulties (fuzzy thinking)
Unfortunately, there’s not a test that your doctor can do to definitively diagnose perimenopause; however, if you are in the appropriate age group and are having any of these symptoms, make sure to bring them up with your doctor. Many of these symptoms are vague and could be attributed to other conditions that may not have been diagnosed or managed properly.
Dr. Brent Ridge is the health expert for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. You can call and ask him a question live every Tuesday at 2 p.m. Eastern on Sirius Satellite Radio, Channel 112 (1.866.675.6675). You can also follow along as he learns to grow his own food and raise goats on his farm in upstate New York by visiting www.beekman1802.com.
Got a health question for Dr. Brent? E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.