Admit it or not, there is a point when you may have gotten so sick of your period. Therefore, out of sheer frustration, you thought “I can’t wait for menopause to happen”. But just after a few months of experiencing the menopause symptoms, you change your mind. And sometimes, you just want to get your menstruation back.
But before we focus on menopause symptoms, let’s understand what is menopause.
Menopause literally means “last period”. A normal part of women’s ageing process; in fact, it is as normal as getting your period. And, just like with menstruation, menopause have its challenges, which can be tougher.
So there is menopause, how about peri-menopause?
Perimenopause is when the ovaries gradually decrease producing eggs. And this leads to less female hormones oestrogen and progesterone. Hence, leads to a progressive irregularity of the monthly period until it stops.
Menopause symptoms can be tough
You can categorise the symptoms into physical experience and emotional upheavals. And most women experience a range of both. Here are some of the most popular or rather, infamous menopause symptoms.
One, hot flashes is a sudden spread of warmth and heat spreading over the body; thus, producing a flushing or redness. One of the most apparent menopause symptoms, hot flashes is noticeable in the face and upper body. In addition, it can range from moderate flushing to an intensely strong sensation of fiery heat.
Two, night sweats. If hot flashes happen in the morning, night sweats, happen at night whilst you sleep. Another common menopause symptoms, experiencing night sweats vary from person to person. Also worth noting that some women experience intense bouts of sweating. In fact, in severe cases, it disrupts their sleep that leads to increased irritability and stress during the day.
Three, irregular period. This is when your monthly period comes earlier or later than before. It may involve lighter or heavier bleeding than usual. And it can last for a shorter or longer time than usual. Furthermore, it can also be accompanied by skipping periods and “spotting” or bleeding between periods.
Four, breast pain is a generalised discomfort or pain when one touches or apply pressure to the breasts. Hormonal changes are the main reason for breast pain, soreness or breast tenderness. And it can be either in one or both breasts.
Fifth, muscle tension happens the when muscles, mostly around the neck, shoulders and back feel tight or strained. Generally, you can experience increased aches, pains, soreness and stiffness throughout the body. Another result of low oestrogen levels, which lead to a rise in cortisol — known as a stress hormone.
Other physical symptoms reported are:
Fatigue is an ongoing or persistent feeling of weakness, tiredness and low energy levels. Therefore, it is more than just feeling sleepy or drowsy. You may be experiencing fatigue if you feel apathy, irritability, and decreased attention span.
Sleep disorders happen when you either wake up several times during the night or not being able to sleep at all. And it extends to the wee hours of the morning. Some women may find that their sleep is less restful and becomes increasingly difficult. This experience can last from five to seven years prior to actual menopause.
Weight gain that is specifically noticeable around the waist. Decreased metabolic rate is the main reason why weight gain happens. During menopause, women need fewer calories. And if the diet stays the same, the possible result is weight gain. Therefore it is important to change diet and regularly exercise to revitalise your metabolic rate.
Still others are:
Loss of libido is another result of hormonal imbalance, predominantly androgen deficiency. Possible causes are vaginal dryness, depression, or even some prescription drugs.
Vaginal dryness happens when the usually moist and soft feeling of the vaginal lining disappears. This can lead to itching and irritation. Decreased oestrogen levels make vaginal tissue become drier, thinner and less elastic. Therefore, sex may become uncomfortable and the vagina becomes frequently itchy, easily irritated and more prone to infections.
Headaches are quite a common occurrence even among women with regular menstrual cycles. These normally happen just before the monthly period or at ovulation. “Menstrual migraines” is . So, it is no surprise that menopause can cause headaches, but the intensity varies.
Bloating is characterised by swollen belly or a feeling of tightness. Other characteristics are discomfort or pain in the stomach area. Estrogen deficiency is the main reason, which results in low levels of bile.
Emotional symptoms include:
Mood swings. Some women experience a roller coaster of emotions. At some point, they may feel great and high-spirited. Then in another instance feel sad or down. And this can be sudden and intense.
Irritability is a pervading “bad mood”. This can be accompanied by feelings of stress, reduced patience, and tolerance. Sudden bouts of anger or frustration over matters that may seem trivial to others also characterize irritability. Hormonal changes as a result of low levels of circulating oestrogen are the main culprit. It then has an adverse effect on the neurotransmitters in the brain, which is responsible for regulating mood. Plus, stress as a result of other symptoms can also lead to irritability.
Depression or feeling sad can be normal or even necessary during life’s challenging times. It can still be considered normal when it happens for a short period of time without warning or reason. However, if this feeling persists or affects daily life to the point of a person not being interactive, it can signal a depressive disorder.
Watch out for the following symptoms. These may signal a more serious depressive behavior. Loss of interest in usual activities, sleep and eating disorders and withdrawal from family and friends.
Anxiety or feelings of agitation and loss of emotional control are the common characteristics of anxiety. During menopause, there is a sudden drop in oestrogen levels circulating in the body. Thus leading to reduced production of neurotransmitters responsible for mood regulation. These hormones are called serotonin and dopamine.
Looking for nutritional support during menopause?
Wouldn’t it feel great if you could support your body during the menopause? And embrace this new stage in life? With that in mind, we have decided to put together a list of our customers’ top picks of supplements to help manage menopause symptoms.
To help support sleep disorders:
Remifemin Sleep Tablets 120
To help support changing hormonal levels:
The 30 PLUS formula combines the internationally studied cimicifuga racemose. Also established as effective, it combines natural amino acids, nutrients, and vitamins. Altogether these support the body’s natural hormonal balance.
Clinicians Women’s Hormone Support Capsule 90s
Plant-based nutrient on supporting healthy oestrogen levels.
We’d love to hear from you with tips about how you support your body during menopause. What products have you tried? Got any advice for other women? Please leave us a comment or two below.
Please take a few minutes to share this post using the social buttons to your left. And spread the word to other women.