Perimenopausal and Weight Gain/Loss

kfuog
kfuog Posts: 24 Member
So, I'm perimenopausal. You know: not in menopause. Not experiencing all the full blown hot flashes and night sweats. Still have my period, but it's irregular. And I'm having issues with weight gain. I think it's water retention--just as it is leading up to a period--but it seems to be constant. If I'm not actually menstruating, I seem to be retaining water.

Is anyone else experiencing this, and what did you do about it?

I already consume very little salt, so adjusting that won't help me much. I work out pretty vigorously for at least an hour 7 days per week. I am counting my calories and have been under consistently. Today I changed my goals to weight loss just because even with exercise and keeping within my calorie goal I seem to slowly go up. When my body finally decides it no longer needs to retain the water, I don't drop to where I was, but stay a little higher.

While I would welcome concrete suggestions in response, this post is mainly me wailing and inviting other women to share their wailing and venting on the topic of being perimenopausal. What's happening with your body and mind? How are you coping?

My cycles have always affected my mood, from the nightmares I have just before my period starts to the *****iness during the day. These symptoms have become exacerbated with me as well. Dark chocolate helps, but then there is the weight gain issue.

I'm just kind of hoping that I'm not alone in going through this.
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Replies

  • NJL13500
    NJL13500 Posts: 433 Member
    I'm afraid that I won't be much help because I am experiencing everything that you are describing! I can't really even monitor my periods because I use the Mirena IUD and I don't get real periods with it. For the past week my boobs have also become unbelievably tender and swollen up at least a cup size.

    I am planning on calling my doctor today to make an appointment and find out if it might be perimenopause. I'm about to turn 43 and I know that it might be relatively early, but I sure would like to find out what the heck is going on with me.

    I weighed 130 pounds 2 1/2 months ago and have gained almost 10 pounds since then. I've been logging and exercising. At first I thought that it was water retention, but then I can get down to about 133 and then I shoot right back up to 137 or so.

    I am interested to see what responses you get but also to say that you are not alone. Thanks for your post!
  • kfuog
    kfuog Posts: 24 Member
    NJL13500, I really hope that it is something simple for you. 43 is young for perimenopause, but everyone is different. Good luck!
  • Eowyn61Rox
    Eowyn61Rox Posts: 1 Member
    No, you're definitely NOT alone in all this "perimenopause" crap. I am 52 and for the last couple years my periods (which I had hoped would have magically gone by now) are now becoming unpredictable for the first time in my life. One month it's super heavy and seems like it will never end--the next month it's barely there, and then it will sometimes even skip a month (which sets off a flurry of wishful thinking that "this is it!, it's gone" only to get it the next month twice as bad). ((HEAVY SIGH))

    I don't have any of the menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, or huge mood swings... but, I have experienced some occasional night sweats.

    But compounding all this is the fact that, try as I might, it's seems almost impossible to lose weight now! Simple portion control actions that worked in the past are definitely not working now like they did... and even exercise doesn't seem to take it off.

    Maybe it's like you said, it's water retention... but I drink A LOT of water, which should help to remedy that, and still have major trouble losing weight. I bought the book "Walk Your Butt Off"... I hope that will help. Have you or anyone else found some good ways to lose the weight? (By the way, I've tried pretty much ALL the weight loss systems out there that use "other-than-normal, store-bought-food" and am not going back to them).

    Anyway, it's nice to hear of others experiencing the same thing... I hope this is over soon, I certainly won't miss my period when it's finally gone!
  • FattieBabs
    FattieBabs Posts: 542 Member
    Exactly this for me too! Irregular periods, some night symptoms err all rather annoying. Last year my weight shot up 6kg in a very short period of time for no apparent reason. Had my thyroid checked but all ok so what to do? Suffered from really bad leg cramps that had my waking up screaming.

    Started MFP in September in around 1600 a day and lost 20 pounds xmas but then stalled. Trying to doing weight training 2-3 times a week and slowly losing inches but the scales are hovering around 100-102 kg and wont budge! did the whole TDEE thing and upped to 1700 . slowly, very slowly starting to lose again! it is hard but i am convinced it is possible. i slip up frequently and drink too much wine which doesnt help!

    Good luck with it all but be careful not to go too low on cals because if you stall you have nowhere to go! Look at weight training as well as cardio. Friend me if you like but be aware that I am trying to eat at a higher cal level and don't exercise as much as I should!
  • scorpiotwinkles
    scorpiotwinkles Posts: 215 Member
    I am 51. I have managed to lose a lot of weight over the last year. I weight lift with hardly any cardio due to knee problems. I eat as clean as I can and drink loads of water. My weight comes off in chunks. I NEVER weigh regularly, the scales are my enemy! If I weighed every week (which I used to do) it messed with my head because it never seemed to move. I weigh monthly or even six weeks apart. I seem to lose nothing for six weeks then bam 7-10lb can go - although not now cos I have less to lose and it's more about keeping the strength training going and allowing my loose skin to catch up!

    Don't under eat though - if I don't eat enough calories to maintain my exercise I stall.
  • FattieBabs
    FattieBabs Posts: 542 Member
    I would just like to say that Scorpio T is one of my role models!
  • happydispatcher
    happydispatcher Posts: 56 Member
    I am 47 and have been going through menopause for well over a year. I started having symptoms after I had my tubal ligation when my son was born in 2007. I struggle with the flashes, mood swings etc. and it is almost impossible for me to lose. Recently I upped my calories hoping that was the issue. After reading that lifting weights burns more fat than cardio I am leaning towards doing more lifting. I also have this issue with the scale. I tried weighing every day to teach myself just how much my weight fluctuates so I don't stress out so much. I used to enter any time I showed a change in weight but then learned that if I entered a gain I got very discouraged so now I only enter the losses. I wish there was a magical solution. Trial and error seems to be my norm.
  • FattieBabs
    FattieBabs Posts: 542 Member
    I log my weight most days in my food notes section but only publish losses. It is taking a long time but I do feel so much better. I am very lucky in having some motivating friends on here that don't criticise me too much when I fall but pick me up and help me to get on with it...... this is the longest I have ever stuck with diet wise and I know it will take ages but I am determined to get there. Exercising does help with the menopausal symptoms, I just wish the scales would move! Oh well.... good luck everyone
  • larsensue
    larsensue Posts: 461 Member
    So, I'm perimenopausal. You know: not in menopause. Not experiencing all the full blown hot flashes and night sweats. Still have my period, but it's irregular. And I'm having issues with weight gain. I think it's water retention--just as it is leading up to a period--but it seems to be constant. If I'm not actually menstruating, I seem to be retaining water.

    Is anyone else experiencing this, and what did you do about it?

    HOLY COW ME TO! I went to the doctor to get my thyriod and blood checked but everything is normal..... I can bloat up to 3 inches every day!! it is so horrid. I end up looking 6 months pregnant by noon and have to change my pants or suffer all day being uncomfortable!
  • scorpiotwinkles
    scorpiotwinkles Posts: 215 Member
    I would just like to say that Scorpio T is one of my role models!
    THANKS BABE!:flowerforyou: :blushing:
  • H1L5
    H1L5 Posts: 68 Member
    I started the menopause when I was 49, I'm now 63. I have put on a stone plus and all of it has gone around my waist :-(. It is much harder for me to lose the weight now than it used to be. My first bit of advice is lose it now before it starts to get really difficult.
    Next have you though t about HRT? I have never felt so well as I did when I was on it. No hot flushes, no sleepless nights, no faffing about ineffectively with the simplest task, no mood swings, no aching joints.
    I stopped it when there were health scares, but I think opinion has changed. Osteoporosis is a hidden symptom of the menopause and HRT is good at maintaining bone strength. The down side is a very small increased risk of breast cancer, which I don't have in my family.
    Also for dieters make sure you are eating calcium rich foods to protect bones. Dieting and menopause together could seriously affect them.
  • pepperpat64
    pepperpat64 Posts: 423 Member
    I just found your post when searching "perimenopause." I'm 49, having similar problems as you and suspect that's what it is as well. I've never had such a hard time shaping up, especially with all the exercise I'm doing and how well I generally eat. My periods are still more or less on time but I think that's because I take birth control pills, which have a regulating effect. I'm going to stop them after my current batch is finished to see if my periods get more wacky, and I'm hoping it also helps with my stubborn weight loss (or lack thereof) problem. I joined MFP only a week ago I'd like to add you as a friend if that's okay. Since we're in the same perimenopause boat, maybe we can help each other out. :-)
  • onwarddownward
    onwarddownward Posts: 1,696 Member
    Hi, I am in the same boat. I am 48 and had my first hot flash at age 43. I was sitting at a local craft show and after getting home, thought I had gotten a sunburn, turns out it was my first hot flash. I get them facially. They feel just like a sunburn.

    I don't get night sweats, but I do get hot at night. It's hard because my son Charlie has autism and can't stand to hear night breathing and snoring, so I have to keep the door shut to the bedroom and my husband is a furnace at night. So I don't sleep well.

    I am STILL getting zits, which bugs me. I had my last period in the middle of May and started having period symptoms in mid-June, but it hasn't kicked over so far. I have had fluid retention and cramps, so I take a midol and that helps. I eat watermelon sometimes, too. It's a natural diuretic.

    I was on hormone therapy for it back when I was 44, but I won't take it anymore. It made me sort of insane.
    :noway: :noway: :bigsmile::noway: :noway: Not good.

    I don't know when I am going to go into full menopause. My mom had a hysterectomy, so I have no idea when she would have hit it and my sisters have each already gone through the gate. One is 52 and the other is 56. It's a waiting game, I guess. I'd just like to know when I could take the period gear out of my purse.
  • sabinecbauer
    sabinecbauer Posts: 250 Member
    Welcome, sister. The more the merrier :drinker:

    52, been suffering through this perimenopausal BS for three years or so and counting.

    The horrible news first: the weight gain, alas, is NOT water retention. It's all too real, I'm afraid. Basically it's to do with the body cutting down on estrogen production and, to make up for that, it tries to store the remaining estrogen in a nice, safe place. Yes, you've guessed it! That would be fat on the hips and stomach. Gee, thanks! :angry:

    Basically that's why it's so dang hard to lose weight all of a sudden--the body fights to hang on to every available fat cell. Plus, the lower estrogen levels also allow all kinds of preexisting nastinesses to crawl out from under their rocks. For instance, a surprisingly high number of women will become hypothyroid or (in my case) discover that they've been hypothyroid for decades. Estrogen will mask a multitude of symptoms. Once it's gone, you're on your own. :grumble:

    Unfortunately, knowing all this doesn't help. Much. For me it's particularly bitter, because just before all this rubbish started I'd lost 70-odd lbs and for the first time in my life really was where I wanted to be weight wise. About a year later the creeping menopausal gain started, and I've been fighting it ever since. With exercise and a predominantly clean diet I've managed not to balloon out of all proportion, but it's a constant battle (made worse now because, thanks to a serious foot injury, I can no longer run the way I used to).

    The only light at the end of the tunnel is that it's supposed to get easier again once you tumble out the other end... which, according to my family practitioner, may well be another ten years in the future :noway:
  • NaomiJFoster
    NaomiJFoster Posts: 1,451 Member
    Me too. But actually, there is only one year that is called 'menopause'. That is the 12 months after your last period. There are usually no symptoms during that year or after. All the ugly symptoms are during the perimenopause years. They come in stages, just to make things more fun.

    I'm 45 and can't wait for this to end. I've had 6 years so far of insane and whacked out periods. The hot flashes come and go, I'll get several for a few weeks and then none for a while. The bladder issues are a huge cosmic joke. The forgetfulness and irritability and irrational thinking is awful. But the weight gain was way out of control. I gained 30 pounds in 6 years. Being on here has actually been amazingly helpful.

    I just can't wait for this to be over. I wish my ovaries had an off-switch.
  • Danni3ll3
    Danni3ll3 Posts: 365 Member
    Me too. But actually, there is only one year that is called 'menopause'. That is the 12 months after your last period. There are usually no symptoms during that year or after. All the ugly symptoms are during the perimenopause years. They come in stages, just to make things more fun.

    I'm 45 and can't wait for this to end. I've had 6 years so far of insane and whacked out periods. The hot flashes come and go, I'll get several for a few weeks and then none for a while. The bladder issues are a huge cosmic joke. The forgetfulness and irritability and irrational thinking is awful. But the weight gain was way out of control. I gained 30 pounds in 6 years. Being on here has actually been amazingly helpful.

    I just can't wait for this to be over. I wish my ovaries had an off-switch.

    You are sort of right but then again, sort of not. You can declare that you are in Menopause once you have had a full year of no periods or if you didn't get periods like me due to surgery, your doctor does blood work that lets you know that your ovaries are no longer producing eggs. So you are right in that regard. However, as to the hot flashes stopping once you are past menopause, someone forgot to tell my body. I am well over a year past mine and I am still getting hot flashes and night sweats. The upside is that I hear that the average for this 5 years and I am holding my body to that. It will be 5 years in November.

    Back to the original poster, I have been in my weight loss journey during both perimenopause and menopause so it can be done. It is slow going but it is happening. I count calories and do a lot of walking with a couple of classes of Pilates a week. Good luck!
  • NaomiJFoster
    NaomiJFoster Posts: 1,451 Member
    Me too. But actually, there is only one year that is called 'menopause'. That is the 12 months after your last period. There are usually no symptoms during that year or after. All the ugly symptoms are during the perimenopause years. They come in stages, just to make things more fun.

    I'm 45 and can't wait for this to end. I've had 6 years so far of insane and whacked out periods. The hot flashes come and go, I'll get several for a few weeks and then none for a while. The bladder issues are a huge cosmic joke. The forgetfulness and irritability and irrational thinking is awful. But the weight gain was way out of control. I gained 30 pounds in 6 years. Being on here has actually been amazingly helpful.

    I just can't wait for this to be over. I wish my ovaries had an off-switch.

    You are sort of right but then again, sort of not. You can declare that you are in Menopause once you have had a full year of no periods or if you didn't get periods like me due to surgery, your doctor does blood work that lets you know that your ovaries are no longer producing eggs. So you are right in that regard. However, as to the hot flashes stopping once you are past menopause, someone forgot to tell my body. I am well over a year past mine and I am still getting hot flashes and night sweats. The upside is that I hear that the average for this 5 years and I am holding my body to that. It will be 5 years in November.

    Back to the original poster, I have been in my weight loss journey during both perimenopause and menopause so it can be done. It is slow going but it is happening. I count calories and do a lot of walking with a couple of classes of Pilates a week. Good luck!


    Oh, poop. I was really hoping that it would all just stop when I got to that point, finally.
  • tlwshaw
    tlwshaw Posts: 32 Member
    Me too. But actually, there is only one year that is called 'menopause'. That is the 12 months after your last period. There are usually no symptoms during that year or after. All the ugly symptoms are during the perimenopause years. They come in stages, just to make things more fun.

    I'm 45 and can't wait for this to end. I've had 6 years so far of insane and whacked out periods. The hot flashes come and go, I'll get several for a few weeks and then none for a while. The bladder issues are a huge cosmic joke. The forgetfulness and irritability and irrational thinking is awful. But the weight gain was way out of control. I gained 30 pounds in 6 years. Being on here has actually been amazingly helpful.

    I just can't wait for this to be over. I wish my ovaries had an off-switch.

    You give me hope! I am 51, and have been peri for a couple of years now. However, if menopause is the 12 months, I will reach that mark in October. Maybe then I can sleep without burning up. It would be nice if I could lose some weight a little easier too.
  • littlepinkhearts
    littlepinkhearts Posts: 1,055 Member
    good lord reading all this is very depressing!!! Isn't there some way to speed this *kitten* up? I'll be 52 this year booooo. But I don't feel any where near that, thank goodness. I just started into this stuff this year. I pray it doesn't take years to get past it. God bless us all putting up with this on top of everything else we endure in our daily lives :drinker: :flowerforyou: :drinker:
  • onwarddownward
    onwarddownward Posts: 1,696 Member
    I know people who have hysterectomies suffer for years with menopausal symptoms. I find that embarrassment or upset will trigger a hot flash.