The ABC’s of Menopause
A is for:
Allergies and Anxiety. Menopause-related hormonal changes can lead to excess histamine release and a higher risk for seasonal, food, and pet allergies in menopausal women. You may experience an increase in sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, itching, and rashes.
Hormonal shifts and a decline in estrogen can increase the risk for anxiety, panic attacks, and even depression in women during menopause. Natural treatments for anxiety include dietary intervention such as a magnesium-rich diet, staying hydrated, getting enough exercise and sleep, yoga, and meditation.
B is for:
Bloating, Breast tenderness, Brittle nails, Body odor changes and Burning tongue!
There might be an increase in bloating, as well as abdominal discomfort, tightness, and swelling in the pelvic area. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day and avoiding a high-sodium diet can help decrease bloating.
Breast tenderness and swelling is symptomatic of menopausal-related hormonal changes. Avoiding caffeine may also help relieve breast tenderness and fibrocystic changes.
Hormonal irregularities and decreased collagen production associated with menopause can lead to brittle nails as a result of dehydration, which is not uncommon in menopausal women.
Changes in body odor may result from hormonal changes, which can cause an increase in perspiration. Menopausal-related anxiety can also alter body odor.
Some menopausal women may experience a condition known as “burning mouth syndrome,” which can cause burning sensations on the tongue, lips, soft palate, and lining of the cheeks.
C is for:
Concentration… or lack of it! Some menopausal women may have mild memory deficits and concentration problems. Trouble sleeping can also cause problems with concentration and memory.
D is for:
Depression, Difficulty concentrating and Dizziness.
Depression may be a symptom of menopause as a result of shifting hormone levels. While it is common to feel sad or down every now and then, persistent feelings of sadness that are disruptive to your life may indicate a depressive disorder and should be evaluated by a mental health professional.
Changes in estrogen and other hormone levels can cause dizziness and lightheadedness during menopause.
E is for:
Electric shocks. Electric shock sensations underneath the skin are reported by some menopausal women.
F is for:
Fatigue. Menopause can cause fatigue and weakness. As your hormone levels plummet, your energy levels also decline.
G is for:
Gastrointestinal and Gum problems. Many menopausal women experience gastrointestinal problems such as an increase in gas, bloating, nausea, constipation, and diarrhea.
Many women experience bleeding gums and inflammation, as gingivitis is common during menopause as a result of declining circulating estrogen levels.
H is for:
Hot flashes, Hair loss and Headaches. Most women going through menopause experience hot flashes as a result of the body’s declining estrogen supply. A flash is an uncomfortable feeling of heat that travels throughout the body, especially the chest, neck, and head, leading to redness or flushing of the skin.
Estrogen is important to healthy hair and hair growth. When estrogen levels decrease during menopause, gradual thinning, or even sudden hair loss may occur.
I is for:
Incontinence, Irregular heartbeat, Irregular menstrual cycle, Irritability, and Itchy skin.
Low estrogen can cause pelvic muscle weakness and loss of bladder control during and after menopause. Women report urinary leakage when laughing, sneezing, and coughing, and even total loss of bladder control in certain cases.
One of the most alarming symptoms of menopause is a pounding, irregular heartbeat. Estrogen deficiency can stimulate the circulatory and nervous systems, leading to a cardiac arrhythmia.
As a result of perimenopausal hormonal imbalances, irregular menstrual cycles can occur. This is typically the first telltale sign that menopause may be approaching.
It is common for menopausal women to feel irritable. Feelings of irritability may also lead to mood swings.
Itchy skin is linked to decreased collagen production which causes the top layer of the skin to thin and dry out.
J is for:
Joint pain. Optimal circulating estrogen levels help prevent joint inflammation, and when estrogen levels decline during menopause, it can cause joint pain, inflammation, and morning stiffness.
L is for:
Loss of libido. Menopausal women may experience a decrease in libido as a result of hormonal imbalances.
M is for:
Memory lapses, Mood swings and Muscle tension.
Lapses in memory are not uncommon in menopausal women. Problems remembering where things are or missing important appointments may occur.
During menopause, women often experience mood swings, however, they can vary in intensity and frequency.
Menopause can cause muscle tension and pain of the neck, shoulders, spine, and back in some women.
N is for:
Night sweats. Night sweats, or intense hot flashes that occur while you sleep are common during menopause. They can wake you up during the night, disrupt your sleep, and leave you drenched in perspiration.
O is for:
Osteoporosis. Loss in bone density begins during perimenopause, which raise the risk for osteoporosis, a bone-thinning, degenerative disease. It is typically a disease associated with low estrogen levels and advancing age.
P is for:
Panic attacks. Some menopausal women may develop increased feelings of anxiety, fear, and depression, which can trigger panic attacks.
S is for:
Sleep disorders. Insomnia is common in menopausal women, and may be associated with vasomotor symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats.
T is for:
Tingling extremities. Certain menopausal women may experience tingling sensations on their extremities as a result of declining estrogen levels and changes in collagen production.
V is for:
Vaginal dryness. Vaginal tissue atrophies, dries out, and becomes less elastic during menopause as a result of low estrogen levels.
W is for:
Weight gain. Menopausal women often gain weight or experience fat redistribution, typically in the abdomen, which is related to metabolic changes and hormone fluctuations.