Many women experience symptoms of menopause around their mid-40's as their reproductive capabilities come to an end. These symptoms can be both emotional and physical.
The are symptoms of menopause associated with the lowered production of estrogen and progesterone, two female sex hormones, thus menopause is the time that marks the end of your menstrual cycles. It's a natural biological process, but the symptoms can disrupt your sleep or and lower your energy.
Believe it or not, there are 34 physical symptoms of menopause.
34 Symptoms of Menopause (And What You Can Do About Them)
Did you know menopause can cause many side effects besides moodiness and hot flashes? Here are 34 symptoms of menopause and some tips for dealing with them.
1. Hot Flashes
This is probably the most familiar of the 34 symptoms of menopause. Hot flashes are a sudden sensation of warmth spreading through the body. It creates a flushing, or redness, particularly on the face.
Hot flashes can be a rollercoaster ride, and though not all women experience them, more than half do.
2. Irregular Periods
A wide range of conditions can cause irregular periods, though during menopause the most common cause is a hormonal imbalance. Your periods may come earlier or later than normal, and bleeding could be lighter or heavier.
Fatigue is another of the 34 symptoms of menopause caused by hormonal changes, thus chronic fatigue in menopause can have a drastic impact on daily life, putting a strain on relationships, productivity, and your quality of life. The characteristics of fatigue may include decreased attention span, irritability, and apathy, leaving you devoid of energy.
4. Memory Lapses
Memory loss in menopause affects people in a variety of ways, but typically it's merely a memory lapse. Women approaching menopause often complain of memory loss or loss of concentration, misplaced keys, forgotten appointments and social occasions. When these memory lapses occur, it's wise to consult a doctor for medical advice.
5. Night Sweats
Night sweats are typically classified as severe hot flashes that occur during sleep. For many women, night sweats disrupt sleep and may cause stress in your waking life. These episodes can range from mild to intense and are caused by hormonal imbalance.
6. Loss of Libido
Don't confuse a loss of sexual desire with sexual function. Loss of libido can be caused by hormonal imbalance or by menopause symptoms themselves, such as vaginal dryness or depression.
7. Vaginal Dryness
Vaginal dryness occurs when the moistness in the lining of the vagina disappears. When estrogen levels drop during menopause, it causes a lack of lubrication. Vaginal dryness can be one of the most emotionally distressing of these symptoms.
8. Mood Swings
Many people think of mood swings as something women experience even when not going through menopause. But in menopause these mood swings are due to hormonal changes because low levels of estrogen can cause irregularities in the brain.
9. Panic Disorder
Panic disorder includes debilitating emotional episodes manifested by overwhelming anxiety and fear, and can result in feelings of dread, rapid heartbeat, shallow breathing, and feelings of extreme terror.
10. Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infection is caused by the lowered estrogen levels and the changes in urinary tracts making you more sensitive to infection.
Bloating is also among the 34 symptoms of menopause, and is characterized by a feeling of tightness or a swollen belly. This is typically caused by estrogen deficiency that lowers levels of bile. If you experience persistent bloating, contact your doctor.
12. Hair Loss or Thinning
Hair loss in menopause is caused by estrogen deficiency because hair follicles need estrogen to grow and stay healthy. Your hair may become drier and more brittle, and might even fall out in the shower or while brushing.
13. Sleep Disorders
You will likely experience a lack of restful sleep. Sleep disorders are a direct symptom of menopause, but many experience this lack of sleep due to the anxiety related to other symptoms.
An episode of dizziness can last a few seconds or for a longer period of time. These episodes can cause falls, which negatively impact daily life. Women who suffer from unexplained dizzy spells should consult a doctor.
15. Weight Gain
Not surprisingly, a lot of women are surprised by their sudden weight gain. The hormonal changes related to menopause have a significant impact on weight gain and fat redistribution. During menopause women should exercise and change their diet in order to revitalize their body's metabolic rate.
Incontinence in menopause usually happens when the internal muscles fail to work effectively, generally because of surgery, age, or childbirth. Overflow incontinence is the absence of the sensation of a full bladder, whereby accidental urination occurs because you don't realize that your bladder is full.
Headaches in menopause are linked to the effects of hormonal imbalance. When the body begins to slow its production of estrogen, you might experience more and worse headaches. The more severe headaches, accompanied by confusion or high fever can indicate a serious health condition and might require medical attention.
18. Burning Tongue
Next on our list of 34 symptoms of menopause, is a burning pain on the lips, tongue, or whole mouth, generally occurs after the age of 60. The discomfort of this symptom is often accompanied by bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth.
19. Digestive Problems
Women experience digestive problems during menopause because of hormonal imbalances that disrupt the natural transit of food in the gut and because of the effects of stress on normal functioning hormones.
20. Muscle Tension
Muscle tension during menopause is defined as tight or strained muscles in the neck, back, and shoulders, or sudden increases in stiffness, aches, or soreness throughout the body. Women who are generally fit and healthy are less likely to experience the same level of muscle tension as those with poor nutrition habits and who rarely exercise.
Because hormones impact the health of the immune system, menopause tends to cause an increase in allergies. Some mild symptoms include rashes, itchy eyes, and sneezing. Some women experience more extreme allergic reactions like dizziness, cramping, and swelling.
22. Brittle Nails
Brittle nails results from hormonal imbalance in menopausal women when low estrogen levels lead to dehydration in the body causing dryness in the nails, skin, and hair.
23. Body Odor Change
Changes in body odor is another of the 34 symptoms of menopause. These changes are normal but can be rather bothersome. One way to deal with this symptom is to simply dress in clothing made of more breathable fabrics.
24. Itchy Skin
Itchy skin is one of the first symptoms of menopause because collagen loss is most rapid at the beginning of menopause. When estrogen levels drop, collagen production slows down. This causes the skin to get thinner, dryer and less youthful looking.
This is a degenerative bone disorder, characterized by the weakening of the bone, and a general decrease in bone mass and density. With the drop in estrogen, women experience an accelerated reduction in bone density.
26. Tingling Extremities
This is typically experienced as a burning sensation like an insect sting all over the skin. Tingling extremities can also be a symptom of any number of problems, including anxiety, poor blood circulation, as well as a number of other serious health conditions.
The causes of insomnia in menopausal women are due to the physical changes such as hormone imbalance and night sweats. To cure or prevent insomnia as a symptom of menopause, you should avoid alcohol and caffeine, and try to stay cool while sleeping.
28. Difficulty Concentrating
In beginning stages of menopause, many women are concerned that they have trouble remembering things or experience mental blocks. This can be confusing and stressful. The main reason for this difficulty concentrating is estrogen deficiency. Targeting and treating this hormone imbalance can be a big help.
29. Irregular Heartbeat
Estrogen deficiency can over-stimulate the nervous and circulatory systems, causing irregular heartbeat, palpitations, and arrhythmias. It's important for women experiencing this to report it to their doctor immediately.
Anxiety is caused by the decrease in estrogen in the female body, which lowers the production of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin that play a vital role in regulating mood.
Feeling sad can be normal during life's setbacks, but if such feelings persist, it could signal a depressive disorder. Depression can happen to anyone at any age, and is also one of the 34 symptoms of menopause.
32. Breast Pain
Breast tenderness in one or both breasts can be symptomatic of the hormonal changes experienced in menopause. You should consult your doctor if the pain is severe or persists for a couple of months or more.
33. Joint Pain
Joint pain is the next of this list of 34 symptoms of menopause. Early treatment can often bring a cure or at least prevent you from developing arthritis.
34. Electric Shock Sensation
Another result of fluctuating estrogen levels, this sensation is like the feeling of a rubber band snapping between your skin and muscle, and often occurs as a precursor to hot flashes. These are usually brief, but are quite unpleasant.
Living with Menopause
This list of 34 symptoms of menopause should give you some idea of what to expect as you approach these years of your life. Unfortunately, menopause can be an unpleasant experience, and worse for some women than others.
It's a wise decision to prepare your mind for these coming changes and to also prepare your body by adopting a more healthily lifestyle, by exercising and eating right.
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