I’m in that perimenopause phase of life that has some unpleasant symptoms:
- Loss of bone. With declining estrogen levels, you start to lose bone more quickly than you replace it, increasing your risk of osteoporosis — a disease that causes fragile bones.
- Changing cholesterol levels. Declining estrogen levels may lead to unfavorable changes in your blood cholesterol levels, including an increase in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol — the “bad” cholesterol — which contributes to an increased risk of heart disease. At the same time, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol — the “good” cholesterol — decreases in many women as they age, which also increases the risk of heart disease.
These and other effects are from The Mayo Clinic but it didn’t mention the most annoying one:
- Weight gain.
Apparently, perimenopause also seems to give women a soft middle. Despite exercising at the boxing gym three times a week and practicing Vinyasa yoga once a week, I’m still gaining weight at a slow but steady amount. My mom friend Julie says the only recourse to address this change-of-life is to exercise more and be mindful about eating.