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Early Premenopausal Symptoms

premenopausal symptoms

Questions And Answers

Q: Are my mood swings and headaches premenopausal symptoms? I'm only 37!

A: Don't worry, your symptoms are perfectly normal, as most people know, it's not uncommon for mood swings, headaches and a host of other symptoms to be linked to a woman's menstrual cycle.

This is usually referred to as PMS (premenstrual syndrome).

What's more, some women report that the closer they get to menopause, the worse their PMS symptoms get, reports Ellen Freeman, Ph.D., director of the PMS research program at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

So while "premenopausal" isn't the best way to describe your symptoms, this is probably all your sister meant by it.

The good news is that while PMS symptoms may increase as you get older, Dr. Freeman's research has found that they "are likely to diminish around menopause and disappear altogether after menopause," she says.

In the meantime, simple lifestyle changes may provide relief if symptoms are mild.

Dr. Freeman suggests deep breathing exercises, yoga, limiting alcohol and caffeine and eating a diet high in complex carbohydrates, such as brown rice and whole grain breads and pastas.

Menopause Already?

Consider Medication

If that doesn't do the trick, talk to your doctor about medication. Headaches often respond to over-the-counter pain relievers, like acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

For tougher migraines, your doctor may offer one of the newer prescription "triptan" drugs. If mood swings are severe, a prescription antidepressant may help.

While it can be frustrating when PMS symptoms get worse, relief is available and, best of all, they won't last forever.


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Early Premenopausal Symptoms
Author Tanna Mayer
Updated January 6, 2013

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