Most Common and Uncommon Menopause Symptoms

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Understanding Menopause and Perimenopause Symptoms

 

Woah. Who expected this? Perimenopause into menopause is a major transition in a woman’s life, where we may go through a roller coaster of physical and emotional changes. Although, there are about 25% of the population who experience no symptoms at all. To be honest, these are the women I worry most about, because they may not realize problems that are brewing “under the hood” that they can mitigate with the right steps.

Understanding the possible symptoms of menopause is key to help us navigate this transformative journey with confidence.

Let’s explore the most common symptoms of menopause and perimenopause, as well as some of the lesser-known manifestations.

Common Symptoms of Menopause and Perimenopause

1. Hot Flashes: The classic hallmark of menopause. You may find yourself in an elevator or in a meeting and have a sudden sensations of intense heat rising from within. You may start sweating and flushing, but realize you’re the only one in the room pulling off your sweater. This is often due to the loss of estrogen.

2. Night Sweats: This is basically a hot flash while you’re asleep. But it is even more frustrating, because it disrupts sleep. Some women sweat so much they need to change the sheets and their pyjamas. However, even just kicking off the sheets at night without the sweat is a sign you could be heading into menopause.

3. Irregular Menstrual Cycles: Every woman will eventually lose her cycle. Hallelujah! No more pads and tampons. Fluctuating hormone levels can cause irregular periods, including shorter or longer cycles, heavier or lighter bleeding, or skipped periods altogether. Once we hit the “12 consecutive months without a period” mark, we are offically in menopause.

4. Mood Swings: You may notice that certain people trigger you, when they didn’t before. Or you cry for no reason. Hormonal changes can contribute to mood swings, irritability, anxiety, and depression.

5. Vaginal Dryness: Decreased estrogen levels can lead to vaginal dryness, itching, and discomfort during intercourse. No wonder our libido can tank.

6. Sleep Disturbances: Insomnia, difficulty falling asleep, the night sweats, racing mind or waking up frequently during the night are common sleep disturbances experienced during perimenopause. This leads us to our next symptom…

7. Fatigue: When a night sweat or night heat disrupts our sleep, no wonder we are tired. When our estrogen and progesterone are playing see saw, we can also experience days we simply cannot get to the gym or just don’t want to see our friends. 

8. Unexpected Weight Gain: Changes in metabolism and hormone levels may lead to weight gain, particularly around the belly. The dreaded “menopause middle” may have something to do with the loss of estrogen, the loss of muscle and the fatigue we are experiencing when we just can’t get a good night’s sleep.

9. Brain Fog: Some women have a hard time concentrating, memory lapses, and cognitive changes that they may contribute to aging. Hang on! Not so fast. This may sooner be due to a lack of estrogen rather than “age”.

10. Hair Loss or Thinning: You may have caught a thinning hair line around the temples in the miror one morning  or horrified at a photo of yourself where you found a balding head. Changes in hormone levels, particularly thyroid, can affect hair growth and lead to hair loss or thinning. Read this article on how this happens and what you can do about it.

Less Common Symptoms:

1. Joint Pain
2. Digestive Issues
3. Increased Allergies
4. Changes in Body Odor
5. Heart Palpitations
6. Breast Tenderness
7. Changes in Libido
8. Dizziness or Vertigo
9. Increased Facial Hair Growth (Hirsutism)
10. Skin Changes (Dryness, Acne)
11. Ringing ears
12. Itchy ears
13. Phantom smells

Conclusion:

Menopause and perimenopause are natural phases of a woman’s life, characterized by a wide range of symptoms that can vary in severity and duration. While some symptoms are more common and well-known, others may be less recognized but equally impactful. When we understand and acknowledge the diverse manifestations of menopause and perimenopause, women can seek appropriate support, guidance, and solutions to navigate this transformative journey with their doctors to make shared informed decisions.

Remember, every woman’s experience is unique, and seeking support from healthcare professionals and supportive communities can make all the difference in embracing menopause with confidence and vitality. We would love to invite you to our private membership group Biohacking Menopause. This is a safe space where women and professionals offer valuable support and recommendations for managing your symptoms effectively. Join us today!

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