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    Perimenopause Symptom?? Adrenaline Surge
    kari69 posted:

    I am a 43 soon to be 44 year old woman who has had 31 day cycles with a 6-7 day length in period most of my life, but recently I have been getting them every 25 days and this last one only lasted 3 days. In January, I had two periods in a month for the first time ever. This doesn't bother me, what is bothering me is the re-occurrence of anxiety, heart palps and now I have been dealing with an "adrenaline surge" feeling in my chest every night when I lay down to sleep, it sometimes takes me 40 minutes to fall asleep because of them. I remember vaguely getting these last year but they only happened very very sporadically, now it's nightly. I'm a little worried, but I do have a doctors appt next week, hopefully to check my hormone levels but from what I am reading, if I am still having periods, doing hormonal testing isn't the correct thing to do?
    Thanks for any help!!
    Mary Jane Minkin, MD responded:
    Dear Kari69,
    Good question. From what you are describing, I would think you are having early perimenopausal type symptoms, with significant hormonal fluctuations. You are indeed correct that hormone levels may or may not be helpful in interpreting what is happening. One option, if you are in good health, and a non smoker, would be to consider a few months on a low dose birth control pill; they would shut down your own ovarian action, and give you fixed levels of hormones-and you could see if all your symptoms clear up-so do discuss, as you have planned, these symptoms with your health care provider, and look at the options. (and remember, birth control pills do not slow down the perimenopausal process; they just mask symptoms-and hey, that's OK!)
    Good luck,
    Mary Jane

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    For more information, visit the North American Menopause Society website