Hi, I'm 48 years old and mother of a healthy 5 year old and 8 year old to my Dr's. amazement.....and mine! Several years ago, I began having very irregular periods, periodic sleeplessness lasting only a couple nights every month or so and then a couple of periods lasting 4 or 5 weeks. Currently, it's been 4 or 5 months since my last period. About two weeks ago, I began experiencing pretty extreme ongoing anxiety coupled with worse than ever nightsweats. I know I'm probably close to menopause but my questions is which hormone (or lack of) is causing the severe anxiety and excessive night sweats? What is really strange is just prior to this I had headaches everyday and very sore breast. I was under the impression sore breast were due to excess estrogen but how can this be when I haven't had a period in 4 or 5 months? I am going to make an appt. with my Dr. this Monday but in the mean time, this anxiety is awful and need some reassurance and support.
When menopause is first approaching, there is more estrogen and not enough progesterone. The periods don't come because without the addition of progesterone, the lining cannot be shed as a period. Instead, it may cause irregular bleeding. Many times this is associated with an irregular heart beat called palpitations and disturbed sleep, both of which can cause headaches and anxiety.
It is good you are going to see your doctor. He/she can get a blood test for FSH which if elevated will show you are in perimenopause. If there is a need based on your history and exam, more testing can be done. While your symptoms are most likely due to perimenopause, it is important to be evaluated to eliminate other causes.
Machelle M. Seibel, MD
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