Most women are not aware of all the menopause-related symptoms. They often feel that the are not in menopause because they don’t have any hot flashes or night sweats. But when there is asked more question regarding the way the feel, they often respond, “Well, yes, I am tired… yes, I am irritable… yes, I have fuzzy thinking”. The most common response – “Yes, I have gained weight”
The average woman experiences eight different symptoms and almost never realizes that the underlying cause is hormonal imbalance.
Hormonal imbalance causes perimenopause and menopause symptoms. Women hormone levels change throughout their lifetime, and their bodies have the ability to adjust. But at any time their sex hormones shifts, and may become too extreme or happen too quickly for the body to manage them. Especially when you start perimenopause. This is where they then experience the fatigue, moodiness to vaginal dryness and joint discomfort. Most woman may think that it is only a sign of worsening PMS, but it is the start of the menopause transition.
Fluctuations in Estrogen, progesterone and testosterone can determine whether or not you develop symptoms, as woman hormones are more like a big orchestra as a solo instruments. Many practitioners then only look at the changes to progesterone and estrogen when the look into relieving their patients’ menopause symptoms. But it is not that simple. It is more about balancing than a specific hormone levels. Finally, it’s not just your sex hormones: insulin levels, thyroid function and your adrenal health are all interrelated with your sex hormones.
If you would like to know if you are in a perimenopause or menopause, it is best to check in with how you are feeling regularly. As there is no test to confirm if you are in a perimenopause or menopause.
Here are the most common symptoms :
– Irregular Periods
Most importantly, check the changes in your period in terms of the length of your cycle or heaviness of your period. Periods may come earlier or later than before; bleeding may be lighter or heavier than usual; and periods may be brief or go on for what feels like an eternity.
– Hot Flashes and Nights Sweats
Hot Flashes are a sudden, transient sensation of warmth or heat that spreads over the body, creating a flushing, or redness, that is particularly noticeable on the face and upper body. Night sweats are classified as severe hot flashes that occur during sleep accompanied by intense bouts of sweating. Hot flashes can strike once a day, or up to 20 times, causing intense flashes of heat along with increased heart rate, dizziness, headache and even claustrophobia or the feeling of being trapped.
– Sleep difficulties
Most woman find that their sleep is less restful and that getting to sleep becomes increasingly difficult. Tossing and turning, or waking up regularly in the middle of the night.
– Weight gain
Shifting hormones tell your body to store fat in the abdominal area, even if you’ve never had a weight problem before. Also, low testosterone levels lead to a decreased metabolic rate, meaning that from menopause onwards women need fewer calories daily; therefore, women who continue to eat as before will gain weight by default.
– Fatigue/loss of energy
Fatigue can occur even when you had enough sleep, but still feel physically and emotionally drained. Fatigue can be defined as persistent feeling of weakness, tiredness, and lowered energy levels, rather than just sleepiness or drowsiness.
– Forgetfulness or fuzzy thinking
One of the most alarming symptoms for many women is memory changes or fuzzy thinking — but it’s extremely common.
Misplaced car keys, skipped appointments, forgotten birthdays, and missed trains of thought might seem like trivial occurrences, but these can be extremely distressing for women who have never missed a beat before.
– Thinning hair or hair loss
Hair loss, one of the most physically noticeable menopause symptoms, is caused by estrogen deficiency, because hair follicles need estrogen to sustain hair growth.
– Vaginal dryness
Vaginal dryness occurs when the usually moist and soft feeling of the lining of the vagina disappears, bringing about symptoms such as itchiness and irritation. When estrogen levels drop during perimenopause, the vaginal tissue becomes drier, thinner, and less elastic.
– Loss of Libido
Women going through menopause, a sudden drop in the desire for intimacy or sexual activity can be troubling. The main cause of low sex drive for menopausal woman, is caused by hormonal imbalance, predominantly androgen deficiency.
– Joint discomfort /stiffness
A surprise but most common symptom caused by fluctuating estrogen levels are joint pain or stiffness in the back. It is said that more than half of Menopause woman, experience varying degrees of joint pain.
– Food cravings
You may find the cravings you had with PMS are getting worse. This may be due to your body’s increased needs for valuable micro-nutrients, or to the “crash cycle” pattern of fatigue-carbohydrates-fatigue that so many of us fall into with hormonal imbalance.
– Digestive problems
Embarrassing gas, diarrhoea, and constipation can all increase in perimenopause and menopause. This can be caused by hormonal imbalance that disrupts the natural transit of food in the gut, and stress has an adverse effect on the normal functioning of hormones.
Perimenopause can add to your stress level, and can create hormonal imbalances that affect mood and emotional health. Stress hormones directly affect the production and balance of other hormones.
– Irritability and/or moodiness
Feeling angry all the time and snapping at your friends and family doesn’t feel good — for you or them! Outbursts and mood swings are some of the first signs many women notice in perimenopause.
– PMS-like symptoms
You may think stronger cramps, bloating, breast tenderness, headaches or mood swings are due to worsening PMS, but these symptoms are often a sign of perimenopause.
– Feeling overwhelmed
Perimenopause and menopause can compound existing stress levels, causing your body to be overcome with too many demands. Under these conditions, it’s likely you’ll feel overwhelmed and unable to deal with anything.