This is certainly not to scare you, but these symptoms are a good thing to know that you’re not going mad!
You might get a couple (or maybe more) of these, unfortunately it’s all part of the menopausal journey.
The sooner you tackle each symptom, the easier this time (and your life) will be.
Irregular Periods – due to hormonal imbalances. They can vary from light, to heavy, to spotting, to none for months, and then hey ho, here we go, and another one arrives. – Be careful during this time as you can still get pregnant, until you haven’t had a period for at least 12 months (using contraception for 2 years is safer).
Hot Flushes – are the most common symptom of menopause and over half of women suffer with this. It’s like a sudden feeling of heat spreading through your body (generally upper body, face, arms, neck and face).
Night Sweats – are BIG hot flushes and will occur conveniently when you’re asleep and wake you up! Again, caused by hormonal imbalances.
Memory Lapse – (commonly known as ‘Brain Fog’). Lack of concentration, forgetting what you’re doing later/tomorrow or why you went into a room etc. For the majority of women, this goes back to normal after the menopause, but if you’re at all worried, seek an appointment with your Doctor.
Tiredness – changes in your hormones can reduce your attention span, cause you to be irritable and generally make you feel totally exhausted.
Loss of Libido – those pesky hormone imbalances again, which can cause a loss of sexual desire and vaginal dryness, making lovemaking quite uncomfortable.
Vaginal Dryness – oestrogen levels dropping during the menopause and the moisture disappearing in the lining of your vagina causes a lack of lubrication.
Bloating – a swelling and feeling of tightness in your stomach. It means your oestrogen levels are dropping and the way you digest food changes. Changing your eating habits can really help, but if it persists, see your Doctor.
Hair Thinning or Loss – your hair follicles need oestrogen for growth, when this depletes, your hair becomes more brittle and drier which will be noticeable when washing, brushing, or even your scalp becoming more visible.
Mood Swings – these become more frequent during menopause due to your hormones changing and the lowering levels of oestrogen.
Sleep Problems – or restless sleep. This is often the case because you’re anxiety levels are increased due to your other symptoms!
Palpitations – like fear, anxiety, a feeling of doom which results in your heartbeat increasing, your breathing becoming shallower and a feeling of terror or panic.
Urine Infection – again, due to your lowering oestrogen levels, this can make you more sensitive to infection.
Weight Gain – the changes in your hormones can have a significant impact on your weight, especially noticeable around your middle area. Your metabolism is changing, so your eating habits and exercise regime will have to change too.
Incontinence – due to your internal muscles failing to work efficiently, generally due to childbirth, surgery, or good old age! You have no idea when your bladder is full so it ‘leaks’, often during jumping, running, laughing or sneezing!
Dizziness – be mindful of this, it can last for a few seconds or maybe longer which can end up in a fall. If this happens to you, please consult a Doctor.
Digestive Problems – fluctuating hormones and the effects of stress can cause problems in the way your body digests the food you eat.
Headaches – this is quite common for a lot of women and is generally due to an imbalance in your hormones because of the reduction of oestrogen. If your headaches become severe, cause you to become confused, or is accompanied by a high fever then see your Doctor.
Allergies – like itching eyes, sneezing, rashes, dizziness, swelling or cramps. If you’re worried, see your Doctor.
Burning Tongue – lips, or mouth, bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth. This can occur post menopause!
Change in Body Odour – perfectly normal but totally not wanted!
Osteoporosis – this is caused by a drop in oestrogen which causes your bones to slowly degenerate due to a loss in bone mass and density.
Itching Skin – because of the rapid loss and slowing down of collagen due to the lowering levels of oestrogen at the beginning of the menopause, can cause skin to get dryer, thinner and look less youthful.
Brittle Nails – again, due to hormonal imbalances and low levels of oestrogen can cause dehydration to not only your body, but skin, hair and nails.
Tension in your Muscles – a feeling of strained or tight muscles in your neck, shoulders and back, or maybe an increase of stiffness, soreness, aches and pains throughout your body. If you have poor nutritional eating and rarely exercise, these will be a lot worse than women who are fit and have a healthy diet.
Tingling – feeling like ants crawling over your skin, or a burning sensation. Tingling in your extremities could be due to anxiety, poor blood circulation, or even other serious health conditions, so get an appointment with your Doctor, just to check.
Irregular Heartbeat – your nervous and circulatory systems can over-stimulate due to a deficiency in your oestrogen levels. This can cause an irregular heartbeat, palpitations and arrhythmias. If you get any of this, go to your Doctor immediately, just to be on the safe side.
Difficulty Concentrating – also known as ‘Brain Fog’ and is quite common, especially at the beginning of menopause. You have trouble remembering things, even names, a bit like a mental block. Again this is due to an oestrogen deficiency and generally returns to normal after menopause.
Insomnia – quite often this is because of night sweats and the imbalances in your hormones.
Anxiety – this is very common during menopause because of the reduction in oestrogen and magnesium levels, which play a vital role in regulating your mood.
Depression – again, a menopausal symptoms and can happen at any time, at any age.
Breast Pain – or tenderness in one or both breasts can happen due to your hormones changing. If it persists for a couple of months, is severe or you start getting lumps (which can be down to your hormones), then consult your Doctor, just to be on the safe side.
Joint Pain – early treatment can often bring a cure, or lessen the chance of developing arthritis.
Electric Shock – this sensation feels a bit like a rubber band being snapped between your skin and muscle, normally just before you get a hot flush. Although unpleasant, it’s usually brief and is a result of fluctuating oestrogen levels.