"My symptoms drove me crazy for two years before I was diagnosed with perimenopause"
Published: 2nd March 2020
Claire Dunwell, a patient of Dr Louise Newson, wrote this heartfelt article for The Sun, explaining how she struggled with perimenopausal symptoms for years before being diagnosed.
After turning 40, Claire started suffering from a variety of symptoms such as migraines, anxiety and heart palpitations - all of which were unusual for her as she had always been positive, healthy and happy. After several trips to her GP, Claire was no better off and had been prescribed painkillers, antidepressants and beta blockers. She had no idea that her symptoms could be a result of her changing hormone levels.
At 42, after finally being diagnosed as perimenopausal, Claire searched for a solution and found Dr Louise Newson and the Newson Health clinic in Stratford-upon-Avon. Dr Newson explained to Claire that women can experience symptoms for up to 10 years before their periods stop and for some, the perimenopause can be just as draining as the real thing. Claire was prescribed an oestrogen gel and progesterone tablets and said "To say that it has changed my life is an understatement. The migraines are gone, the anxiety has stopped, and I feel like myself for the first time in two years."
Speaking of the perimenopause, Dr Newson says "Most women get some symptoms linked to changing hormone levels during perimenopause. Some have symptoms for a decade before the menopause. Guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) says that if a woman is over 45, we don’t need to test for perimenopause or menopause. If they’re 40 to 45 tests can be useful, and if they’re under 40 it’s important to get a diagnosis. In these situations a woman experiencing menopausal symptoms should seek help and advice from a doctor who specialises in the menopause."