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"I am 38 years old; could I be premenopausal?"

ZocdocAnswersI am 38 years old; could I be premenopausal?


I am 38 yrs old and I have irregular periods and most of the time I have no energy. I sometimes get hot flashes suddenly. Without energy, it is hard to exercise and so I've put on some weight and I feel discouraged. I think I may be starting pre-menopausal. I also think that maybe I need tested for thyroid issues, maybe even a biopsy. Please help.


You need to see your primary care doctor, rather than dealing with these issues yourself. There are many different potential explanations for your symptoms, but the first step is a thorough physical examination with your primary care doctor. They can help determine what additional testing you might need. For example, lack of energy could be caused by a problem with the thyroid gland, but also by stress, depression, and anemia or another nutritional deficiency. Hot flashes could be associated with a problem with the thyroid gland or with low levels of hormones. However, hot flashes are also a very subjective symptoms, and so they can occur in the setting of stress as well. Irregular periods, similarly, can be caused by many different things. You are definitely right that thyroid problems are on the list, but other issues as well, including polycystic ovarian syndrome also need to be ruled out. It would be unusual for a 38 year old woman to be going through menopause; if there were evidence of that, it would be very early and would require a more extensive workup to determine the cause of your premature ovarian failure. Please make an appointment with your primary care doctor!

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