Symptoms of Menopause
Understanding Menopause Symptoms
Menopause symptoms are very common in middle-aged women. In fact, more than 70% of them will eventually experience menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, loss of libido, etc. These menopausal symptoms are mainly caused by changing hormone levels in the female reproductive system.
Estrogen levels drop dramatically during perimenopause. This decline in estrogen levels results in a hormonal imbalance, causing the common menopause symptoms. These changes can be quite varied from person to person, but most women will experience menopause symptoms in a more severe fashion during this time of life. Estrogen levels will not recover in postmenopause, which can raise new health concerns or continue to cause menopause symptoms. The symptoms can be effectively treated, however, with herbs for menopause.
The symptoms of menopause usually last for the whole menopause transition (until the mid 50s), but some women may experience them for the rest of their lives.
What symptoms should I expect?
Most women can expect to experience menopause symptoms at some point, but each woman will experience them in a highly individual way. In fact, this variability is probably the one undeniable fact about menopause symptoms that every woman should remember.
We have grouped the 34 menopause symptoms according to its main characteristics. There are 5 groups: 1) Common Symptoms; 2) Changes; 3) Feelings; 4) Pains; 5) Others.
GROUP 1: Common Symptoms
These menopause symptoms are more common than any of the other 34 menopause symptoms, which is why woman should be informed about them.
Hot Flashes: A hot flash can be described as a feeling of extreme heat in a variety of areas all over the body, often associated with a racing heartbeat, skin flushes and perspiration. Herbs for menopause are particularly effective for hot flashes.
Night Sweats: A night sweat is a nocturnal and often more extreme type of hot flash. Night sweats can be powerful enough to wake you up night after night, either due to feelings of uncontrollable heat, or from feeling cold due to excessive perspiration.
Irregular Periods: Women generally maintain a relatively constant (if somewhat variable) menstrual cycle. Period cycles can vary from 23 to 35 days, but they are defined as regular if your periods occur at roughly the same date each month. At a certain age, menstrual cycles begin to fluctuate considerably, making them highly difficult or even impossible to chart.
Loss of Libido: Women suffering from loss of libido find themselves unable to respond to their partner's sexual advances or to initial sexual activity on their own. This can have serious repercussions in the health of a couple.
Vaginal Dryness: Vaginal dryness can be described as a loss of the familiar soft and moist qualities of the vaginal lining, which may be accompanied by itching and irritation. With the decline of estrogen levels during menopause comes dryer, less elastic vaginal tissues.
GROUP 2: Changes
This group involves the menopause symptoms that produce a change in female mental or physical health.
Crashing fatigue: Crashing fatigue can be a complex, disabling condition. This severe form of exhaustion and poor stamina is typically not improved by bed rest. In short, it's a persistent, overwhelming feeling of weakness.
Difficulty Concentrating: Short-term memory and cognitive function in general is often affected during menopause. Most women who suffer difficulty concentrating can remember old events, but not recent information or occurrences (like the name of a new acquaintance).
Hair loss or thinning: All women notice hair loss or thinning at some point in their lives. Hair loss in women generally does not result in total baldness, however. Instead, most women experience hair thinning, which is a loss of hair density.
Menopause Sleep Disorders: Menopausal women often have difficulty getting restful sleep. They awaken frequently and in general suffer from insomnia. Frequency of insomnia often doubles from the amount a woman may have had pre-menopause.
Weight Gain during Menopause: Unusual weight gain, especially around the abdomen, is another indicator of fluctuating hormone levels. Menopausal women often experience weight gain as their metabolism slows down with age.
GROUP 3: Feelings
Here you'll find all the menopause symptoms that influence your humor and psychological well-being.
Anxiety: Anxiety involves a combination of negative emotions such as nervousness, apprehension, and fear, and is often associated with physical sensations including heart palpitations, chest pain, and/or shortness of breath. Hormonal imbalance is often the major source of anxiety in menopausal women. Declining estrogen levels can affect mental as well as physical health.
Depression: Depression is a considerable deterioration in mood for an extended period of time, accompanied by loss of interest in usual activities, sleep and eating disorders, and isolation from family and friends.
Disturbing Memory Lapses: It's normal to occasionally forget the name of a new acquaintance or misplace the car keys, and many women find that these lapses in memory occur more frequently during menopause. Typically this is not the sign of a serious problem, but an indicator of low estrogen levels and other age-related stresses.
Mood Swings: Mood swings are usually experienced as sudden, unexplained emotional changes, for instance, going from being giddy with laughter to suddenly feeling upset and irritable. Hormones like estrogen and progesterone have a significant effect on emotional health because they are key in controlling serotonin levels (the chemical that plays an important role in regulating mood).
GROUP 4: Pains
Includes the several menopause symptoms that cause harm in women's bodies. The menopause symptoms that produce physical pain are:
Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis is a degenerative bone disease where the bone becomes increasingly thin and brittle. In menopausal women, the loss of bone density experienced with osteoporosis is often caused in part by declining levels of estrogen. Estrogen plays a role in the body's bone maintenance system, and without it, bone cell renewal drops off and bone density decreases.
Menopause Migraines & Headaches: Menopausal women may experience more severe and migraine headaches then ever before. These severe pains can last from 4 to 72 hours, and are sometimes associated with nausea, an increased sensitivity to light and sound, dizziness, and blurred vision, along with other symptoms. These severe, frequent migraines and headaches can prove to be incapacitating for some women.
Breast Tenderness: A light degree of breast tenderness is to be expected during menstrual periods, pregnancy and breast-feeding. The symptom usually disappears after these periods end. However, most women will experience more intense breast tenderness when approaching, during and after menopause.
GROUP 5: Others
These menopause symptoms are less common but may be experienced to some degree when approaching, during or after menopause.
- Aching, sore joints, muscles and tendons.
- Bouts of rapid heart beat.
- Burning tongue, burning roof of mouth, bad taste in mouth, change in breath odor.
- Changes in body odor.
- Changes in fingernails: softer, crack or break easier. Dizziness, light-headedness, episodes of loss of balance.
- Electric shock sensation under the skin and in the head.
- Feelings of dread, apprehension, doom.
- Gastrointestinal distress, indigestion, flatulence, gas pain, nausea.
- Gum problems, increased bleeding.
- Incontinence, especially upon sneezing, laughing.
- Increase in allergies.
- Increased tension in muscles.
- Itchy, crawly skin.
- Sudden bouts of bloat.
- Tingling in the extremities.
Which herb should women try?
Today women are looking for relief from their menopause symptoms with herbs. Phytoestrogenic herbs and non-estrogenic herbs are good in relieving menopause symptoms, but recent studies show that non-estrogenic herbs have no side effects because they help the body to produce its own hormones instead of introducing hormones like the phytoestrogenic ones. Learn more about non-estrogenic herbs