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40 and Not Feeling Fabulous?

40&Fabulous_400Heavy periods, hair loss, fatigue, oh my! If you’re in your 40s and are experiencing these grin-and-bear-it symptoms, here is what may (or may not) be ailing you. (Hint: It’s not just your age.) From Beautiful Inside and Out: Conquering Thyroid Disease with a Healthy, Happy, “Thyroid Sexy” Life.

It can be confusing to women—and their doctors—whether symptoms that show up in our forties are symptoms of a new (or existing) thyroid condition or signs of perimenopause—the period prior to menopause when reproductive hormone levels start to fluctuate. Here are some of the common perimenopause symptoms that can also be thyroid symptoms:

• Irregular menstrual cycle, spotting

• Heavier periods

• Sleep problems/insomnia/frequent waking

• Weight gain/redistribution of weight to belly and waist

• Mood changes

• Lower sex drive/loss of sex drive

• Hair loss

• Itchiness/tingling in the skin, extremities

• Reduced bone density

• Elevated cholesterol levels

• Fatigue, lack of energy

• Body aches and pains

• Brain fog; difficulty concentrating and with memory

• Changes in chronic headaches/migraines

Symptoms that are more common to perimenopause than thyroid disease:

• Hot flashes/night sweats

• Change in PMS symptoms

• Vaginal dryness

• More frequent bladder infections

• Loss of skin elasticity, wrinkles

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