Hot flashes. Depression. Feeling just plain irritable for no reason at all. It’s the dreaded M word:Menopause. It’s “the change”.
Ahh, the menopause journey. With no clear starting or ending point, sudden twists, turns and roadblocks, menopause is most certainly a trip. Menopause is the time in a woman’s life when her menstrual cycle and her ability to reproduce stop. And as a result, a long list of physical and emotional menopause symptoms occur, triggered by decreased estrogen and progesterone levels in the body.
Some women will even go as far as to replace their hormones to remedy the discomfort. While hormone replacement can provide significant symptom relief, it is not without risk and must be undertaken judiciously. Non-FDA approved pellet therapies are particularly dangerous as hormone levels tend to shoot well above normal and then gradually decline.
Typically, women in the United States are likely to experience menopause symptoms between the ages of 40 and 58. Women tend to reach menopause around the same age as their mothers and sisters.
If you are in your forties and going down that path to reach menopause, you can expect the following menopause symptoms:
Common Menopause Symptoms
Physical Menopause Symptoms
- Irregular periods
- Loss of libido
- Hair loss
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Vaginal dryness
- Weight gain
- Memory lapses
- Joint pain and stiffness
- Frequent urination
- Dry skin
- Digestive symptoms
- Food cravings
- Pain with intercourse
- Loss of bone density
- Increased cholesterol levels
Emotional Menopause Symptoms
- Mood swings
- Feeling less social
Let’s go into a bit more detail about these 4 common menopause symptoms.
Hot Flashes/Night Sweats
One of the most complained about menopause symptoms are hot flashes. Although the name implies they are gone in a flash, hot flashes and night sweats can last between 30 seconds and 10 minutes. It could be a sudden feeling of heat in targeted parts of your body or all over. That sensation of warmth can instantly creep up on you causing flushing or redness to your face and chest. Night sweats can interfere with your sleep creating irritability and fatigue.
Mood Swings and Depression
It’s all-too common for women to report menopause symptoms of frequent crying, mood swings, depression and irritability. These can be caused by lower levels of estrogen and can lead to anxiety and even insomnia.
As estrogen lowers, we develop a slower metabolic rate. You may start noticing changes to your body composition and fat distribution, specifically a thickening around the waist. That lack of estrogen can increase fat storage which makes it difficult to lose weight.
It’s common to feel less interested in sex when going through menopause. It could be due to the emotional changes and physical changes (vaginal dryness) that menopause brings or just because sex can be more physically uncomfortable.
If you have noticed any menopause symptoms, you don’t have to suffer in silence.
In some places of the world, where plant based diets are the norm (and where shifting to this part of your life is treated as a celebration rather than a disease) menopause symptoms are virtually non-existant.
Many of us believe that we are as healthy as we can be and often assume that aches, pains, heart disease, vision trouble, cancer and memory problems are unavoidable consequences of aging. If you’ve expressed your concerns to your medical professional, you probably feel like no one is listening, prescriptions are being thrown at your symptoms and no one is searching for the root cause of your ailment. Don’t settle for less than you deserve.