My periods started becoming irregular in my late 30s (i'm 45 now) a couple of years ago I started getting hot flushes and night sweats, so I went to the doctor for a blood test - and sure enough I am menopausal.
I'm still getting periods, although they are hard to predict
I am tired all the time because my nights are just a series of short naps in between throwing the bed covers off and pulling them back on again while I sweat and freeze and thrash. I cant sleep with my partner for this reason and we have separate rooms. The lack of sleep is drving me nuts and I wonder if I can survive another umpteen years.
I also have arthritis in my knees and notice it flares just before my period, or when my period should be.
I'm wondering does all this stuff stop after menopause? Theres plenty of info on what to expect during menopause, but what happens afterwards? Will I be in a permanent arthritis flare? Will I ever sleep soundly again? Is there light at the end of the tunnel?
This is a very good question and while there are many speculation no one has answered the question why menopausal symptoms actually stop in some women and not in others. All women suffer with decreased hormonal levels after "transition" but not all have symptoms that they are aware of, which is not to say that on cellular level even without symptoms things are not changing. As you are in transition, and that is the time of greatest hormonal fluctuation, your symptoms are most severe. The bio-identical hormonal replacement using trans-dermal creams could be very helpful during transition, and thereafter. If you feel uncomfortable with that option, increase your intake of omega 3 fatty acids. They are known as fish oil or krill oil and gave a general anti inflammatory effect.