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http://fabulously40.com/images/nonono.gifAs we get older, it seems like our visits to doctors become more and more frequent. An ache here, a pain there. Truth is, one way to reduce the number of doctor visits in perimenopause and menopause is to actually schedule a few crucial medical tests. That way, you can nip any pending medical conditions in the bud and get on with your, "I'm-not-gonna-let-this-hold-me-back" life.


Please note: This is not intended to be medical advice. Consult your menopause specialist about the best course of action to take, as every women has unique needs.


Did you know that menopause symptoms can mimic those of other conditions? According to the North American Menopause Society, these symptoms are similar to those of thyroid disease, for instance. Depending on your medical history, it may make sense to undergo medical tests to rule out such conditions.


Am I really in menopause?


Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels are sometimes measured to confirm menopause. Because these levels vary, you can't rely on a single test. If, after several tests, your FSH blood level is consistently 30 mIU/mL or higher, and you haven't had your menstrual period for a year, you're probably a member of the menopause club. Note: If you're using certain hormone therapies (such as birth control pills), an FSH test is not valid. Some doctors prefer to test the Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) levels instead, because they are not affected by birth-control pills. During menopause, AMH levels are decreased.


Blood tests


If you're still menstruating, your hormone panel (blood test) should be done during the first three days of your period. It can test for the following hormones:


  • DHEAS (DHEA sulfate) - a hormone that easily converts into other hormones, including estrogen and testosterone

  • Estradiol- the main type of estrogen produced in the body, secreted by the ovaries. If yours is low it can cause memory lapses, anxiety, depression, uncontrollable bursts of anger, sleeplessness, night sweats and more.

  • Testosterone - Free testosterone is unbound and metabolically active, and total testosterone includes both free and bound testosterone. Your ovaries' production of testosterone maintains a healthy libido, strong bones, muscle mass and mental stability.

  • Progesterone- If yours is low it can cause irritability, breast swelling and tenderness, mood swings, "fuzzy thinking," sleeplessness, water retention, PMS and weight gain.

  • TSH([Link Removed]stimulating hormone) If yours is irregular, you may need to have your Total T3 and Free T4 checked as well.



If you're already in the midst of perimenopause or menopause, here are other important tests to consider:


Bone density


This test, also called a bone scan or DEXA scan, can reveal whether you have osteopenia or [Link Removed], people with periodontal (gum) disease are almost twice as likely to have heart disease.


Remember that, when you're in perimenopause and menopause, it's important to not only focus on "down there," but on your body as a whole. That includes your mental and emotional health as well. Now, more than ever, you need to take time to take care of you. So schedule your tests... then schedule a spa appointment.


Suffering in silence is OUT! Reaching out is IN!


Shmirshky, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.




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