Common Menopause Symptoms and What You Can Do (By Deon Hall Garriques)
Menopause has many symptoms that can impact the entire body, ranging from emotional, mental, and physical. On average, there are 34 symptoms, however, others may suggest that there are up to 100 symptoms.
Menopause symptoms occur as a result of the fluctuations in the hormones and if one hormone is out of balance, that impacts all our hormones and we experience hormonal imbalance (they work like an orchestra) which results in a multitude of symptoms.
Hormones are chemical messengers that are produced by glands (the pituitary gland, the thyroid gland, the parathyroid glands, the pancreas, and the gonads) in your endocrine system. This messenger system is made up of feedback loops between hormone-secreting glands and your organs and circulatory system.
During menopause, the ovaries no longer produce most of a woman’s estrogen and progesterone, the adrenals now produce about 50%. Cortisol levels may increase, which creates more problems with stress and other hormonal changes.
Stress and Your Hormones (Adrenaline & Cortisol)
When stress levels are high, the adrenal primarily focuses on making cortisol for the fight or flight response triggered by the amygdala (part of your brain responsible for processing emotions) instead of making estrogen and progesterone. Therefore, properly managing stress will ensure that a woman will have enough estrogen during the transition from perimenopause to menopause.
As the ovaries continue to produce less estrogen, the body tries to find other sources of estrogen. One of the primary areas for estrogen storage is in the fat cells and as such, your body creates more fat cells to store more estrogen which explains why many women gain weight, especially in their mid-section during the transition from perimenopause to menopause although she is taking all the right steps to control her weight.
Common Menopause Symptoms
Most of the symptoms associated with menopause are similar to those of perimenopause and could include:
Difficulty losing weight
Lack of energy and fatigue
Brain fog or memory loss
Hot flashes and night sweats
According to studies,
80% of women have symptoms
25% have severe symptoms
77% are not aware that what they are experiencing is related to menopause
50% of women do not see a medical practitioner
Given the emotional, mental, and physical changes occurring during menopause, it is important to educate yourself on the impact of these changes on your overall health and well-being.
What You Can Do
Adopting lifestyle changes and other protocols can help to support hormonal balance and reduce the effects of most symptoms.
Consuming good quality proteins at every meal.
Taking high-quality supplements including vitamins D, C B complex, zinc, and magnesium. Magnesium can help to relax and promote better sleep.
Good quality sleep. Start by establishing a consistent bedtime and waking up at the same time daily (7 days a week). Note there is no such thing as making up sleep, what is lost is lost; that is not not how your body functions. According to the National Institute on Aging, studies show that cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia improves sleep in women with menopausal sleep problems.
Using certain essential oils can be used to support sleep (lavender), calm anxiety or other emotional issues (adaptive), and reduce hot flashes (peppermint)
Get at least 30 minutes of exercise daily.
Get at least 20 minutes of sunlight daily, if possible, depending on where you live.
As it relates to hot flashes and night sweats, in addition to the above, here are a few things you can do:
Avoid spicy foods, caffeine, or alcohol, and smoking. These are triggers that can make hot flashes worse.
Dress in layers so that you can easily remove or add as your body temperature fluctuates.
A fan can become your best friend.
Explore different mind-body modalities. Some studies have shown that hypnotherapy and mindfulness meditation could help with the management of hot flashes.
Consult with your healthcare practitioner about other treatments that may be appropriate to help reduce your hot flashes.
In Good Health,
DISCLAIMER: This information is not intended to provide medical advice. The purpose is to provide education and a broader understanding to my readers. Always seek the advice of your qualified healthcare provider before making any dietary or lifestyle changes. I do not recommend or prescribe, or recommend changing dosage or discontinuing, any prescription medications or pharmaceutical drugs.
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Source: National Institute on Aging, Women of a Certain Age, healthline.com