Health & Wellness, Menopause
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Top 15 Symptoms of Menopause- Simply Explained

There are many physical and mental challenges a woman goes through during menopause.  A lot of the symptoms are a result of the domino effect of one symptom leading to other symptoms.

The top 15 symptoms of menopause, include hot flashes, night sweats and mood swings.

Below is the detailed list explaining the physical and mental symptoms of menopause and what you can do to manage them

1. Hot flashes

A woman experiencing hot flashes feels as though her face, neck and chest are on burning/ heat in those regions of the body

Sweating profusely – especially on the upper body

Red blotchy skin

Heart beating faster than normal

Anxiety

Feeling cold suddenly after the temperature subsides

The root cause of hot flashes has not been understood completely. But it is known to be caused by hormonal imbalance. Hormones are required to control the body’s temperature control system/ thermostat.

Imbalance of hormones = Imbalance of body temperature. 

Manage hot flashes:

Dressing in layers- You take off and put back on to feel comfortable at different environment temperatures

Avoiding caffeine, spicy food and alcohol

Practice deep breathing

2. Disturbed sleep

Sleep disruptions are common among women going through menopause. Lack of proper rest can make one feel exhausted, irritable and moody.

Hot flashes can reduce the quality and quantity of sleep too.

Manage insomnia by:

Sleeping in a cool, dark and well-ventilated bedroom

Avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bedtime

Wearing comfortable cotton clothing/ breathable fabric

Exercising

Not taking naps during the day

Sleeping with an empty bladder

3. Weight gain

Hormonal imbalance affects your body’s metabolism/ body becomes less efficient in burning fat or calories consumed. This causes one to gain weight.

How to manage weight:

Have a balanced diet by consuming less carbs and fat in the diet.

Consuming more proteins and fiber

Exercise

4. Leaky urinary bladder

Uncontrolled leakage of urine out of the bladder when not using the restroom.

This is caused because of a less amount of estrogen in the body. Estrogen is required to keep the urinary bladder muscles healthy and contain the urine inside the bladder.

Less estrogen = weaker urinary bladder muscles = urine leakage when laughing, sneezing or coughing

One can also develop urinary tract infections.

Manage a leaky bladder by:

Avoiding diuretic beverages/ beverages that make you want to urinate frequently. Beverages include- Citrus juices, caffeinated beverages and alcohol

Exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that prevent urine leakage.

5. Joint pain – Bones become weak

Women feel weak, legs feel sore and hips feel tight. Feel tired very easily.

Estrogen is required to protect joints from damage.

Less estrogen = weaker joints

Manage Joint pain by:

Increase intake of Calcium, Vitamin D and Magnesium in the diet. Up your intake of green leafy vegetables, eggs, nuts and seeds.

Take Vitamin D and Calcium supplements

Stretching and physical activity can reduce pain and swelling.

6. Sore breasts

Less estrogen = less healthy breast tissue. Making breasts more sensitive.

Manage sore breasts by:

Wear a bra that fits well and supports your breasts properly

Exercise regularly

Apply warm compress

7. Formication

Estrogen is required to produce natural skin oils and keep skin moist.

When estrogen amount less =No natural oils and dryness= Skin feels itchy all the time

Manage skin dryness by:

Applying moisturizers and oils to keep skin moist and supplement to the diet.

8. Dryness in the vagina

Estrogen is required to make the vagina produce a jelly like substance to keep the vagina healthy.

Less estrogen = dry vagina.

This makes sexual intercourse unpleasant.

Manage vaginal dryness by:

Applying lubricants

Regular sexual stimulation also help maintain elasticity.

9. Thinning of hair on the head

Estrogen and progesterone are required for rapid growth of hair. When the amount of these hormones reduce in the body, the hair follicles shrink to result in hair loss.

Reduce hair thinning by:

Increasing protein intake

Adding protein, vitamin and mineral supplements to the diet

Avoid hair products with harsh chemicals

10. Digestive problems

When going through menopause – Less estrogen = more stress hormone cortisol. More cortisol = makes digesting food difficult= bloating, constipation and stomach pain

Manage digestive issues by:

Chewing food properly

Eat slowly

Stay hydrated

Include more fermented foods in your diet like yoghurt

11. Irregular periods

This sign appears in the early stages of menopause. It is one of the first visible signs of it.

12. Uterine bleeding

It is normal and happens from time to time. It is normal to notice this around menopause.

Periods are heavy and frequent. They can start and stop all of a sudden.

You should consult a doctor if you soak up multiple pads in a short duration or you bleed between two cycles, you have shorter cycles or bleed during intercourse. 

13. Forget fullness

Less estrogen = memory loss/ forget fullness

Estrogen is required by the brain to make special brain chemicals for good memory.

Manage memory problems by:

Consuming Omega 3 fatty acids rich foods like salmon (fish)

Adding an Omega 3 supplement like Cod liver oil to the diet

Consuming chia seeds, flax seeds, walnuts

14. Difficulty in focusing

It is seen in the early stages of menopause. It can become worse with poor sleep and mood swings.

Less estrogen and progesterone = problems with focus

Manage memory issues by:

Keeping a reminder notebook handy

Use google calendars to set reminders

Leave sticky notes around the house

Adding nuts and seeds to the diet

15. Depression

Estrogen is required to make happy hormone/ serotonin in the brain.

Less estrogen = less serotonin= blues/ feeling low

Remedies for depression:

Exercising causes the brain to make happy hormone serotonin to boost mood and energy

Seek the help of a therapist/ support group to help you

16. Less interest in sex (low libido)

 Decline in sex drive/ desire to have sex. Women many not feel as warm towards their partner. Decrease in sexual responsiveness and frequency of intercourse.

Treating low libido:

Having an open conversation with your partner about your expectations and needs.

Consulting a sex therapist.

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