Getting Help for Your Perimenopause Symptoms: My Best Advice
I heard from yet another woman recently, who said she is suffering with panic attacks and heart palpitations in perimenopause. But, she was confused because she was also told by several physicians that she is too young to be in perimenopause.
As you all know, just based on the number of posts I’ve written on the subject over the past month, it’s certainly no surprise to me that she would be in perimenopause at the age of 50, and suffering from panic attacks and heart palpitations. But, it does seem to be a surprise to the average physician who sees women for perimenopause symptoms.
It drives me bananas.
As I always do, I assured her that her symptoms were not uncommon or unusual. A lot of women experience them – including me. But, I also felt that my assurances probably didn’t help her that much.
I mean, yeah, I validated her experience, and offered heartfelt compassion and empathy. But then I had to tell her that her health, and any help she got for her symptoms, was going to have to come from her. She was going to have to take charge and be her own advocate.
For someone like me, born under the sign of the ram and the planet Mars, taking charge and beating the bushes for answers to a problem is a natural–and some might even say annoying–inclination. Let’s just say I’ve never been called a passive wallflower.
But for a lot of women it is not a natural inclination, and the thought of having to advocate for their own health is daunting and overwhelming. Especially if they’re already experiencing panic attacks and heart palpitations.
So what’s the answer?
Well, it’s probably not what you want to hear. But the way I see it, you have two basic options. You can hunker down and do nothing, and white knuckle your way through the symptoms, which a lot of women do based on advice from their physician. Or you can roll up your sleeves, educate yourself, and not take no for an answer.
I’m sure it’s pretty obvious what I would do.
I think most of us agree that heart palpitations, panic attacks, and anxiety in perimenopause are not obscure symptoms. Obscure to the average physician, maybe, but not to the average woman going through perimenopause. There is also enough medical evidence to substantiate that low progesterone levels, adrenal fatigue, and even thyroid dysfunction can be potential sources of these symptoms.
So let me reiterate once again. It is ultimately up to you, the patient, to take charge of your health. I’m not suggesting you should self-medicate or randomly throw things at the problem to see what sticks.
I’m saying that if your doctor says you are too young to be in perimenopause, or that your symptoms aren’t related to perimenopause but you suspect differently, then trust yourself, and find another physician who will listen to you. It’s the most valuable piece of advice I can give you.
Don’t miss my final post on hypothyroidism!
Magnolia Miller is a certified healthcare consumer advocate in women's health and a women's freelance health writer and blogger at The Perimenopause Blog.