At Wildgoose Wellness, Menopause Physiotherapy is something of a passion. There seems to be very little out there to help women through one of the most difficult times in life so this is an area we really want to help with. We offer a comprehensive menopause consultation / Menopause MOT. This lets us take a detailed look at each individuals menopause related symptoms and may involve a pelvic examination, so we can both treat and recommend ways to help live a normal life at this difficult time.
What is the difference between Menopause and Perimenopause? Good Question. Perimenopause is a prelude to the ‘full on’ Menopause. It is at this time when you might start to experience some small changes, especially in your menstrual cycle. Below is some detailed information on the many symptoms of Menopause & Perimenopause, did you know there are over 30 symptoms? If you feel that you are experiencing any of these symptoms then book in for an MOT and we will get you back on the road to wellness.
Here is a list of symptoms related to Perimenopause/Menopause
1. Irregular periods – Most women find irregular periods to be one of the major first signs they are in perimenopause. This can include spotting, heavy bleeding, dark blood, long and short cycles, and missed cycles. Once you have gone 12 months without a period, you are officially in menopause.
2. Hot flashes – introducing the most common and well-known symptom of perimenopause. The cause of hot flashes are currently unknown. But there likely linked to several hormonal factors that affect the hypothalamus in your brain, which is the body’s thermostat.
3. Night sweats – These are hot flashes that may be experienced while you sleep. Many women find that the loss of sleep due to sweats debilitating.
4. Loss of Libido – Due to a decrease of sex hormones (primarily oestrogen and testosterone) many women experience low sex drive during perimenopause. You can try to boost your sex drive by taking testosterone eg. Testagel.
5. Vaginal dryness – Low levels of oestrogen decrease blood supply to the area, which can lead to vaginal dryness and atrophy. Intercourse can be painful without lubrication, a good lubricant can really help decrease discomfort.
Mental Menopause Symptoms
Due to a decrease in oestrogen, your mental health can really suffer during perimenopause. Oestrogen can help regulate several neurohormones which help with mood stabilization. These neurohormones include serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine.
6. Mood swings – with neurohormones being affected by changing oestrogen levels in perimenopause. It is no surprise that women often go through many ups and downs. Aerobic and strengthening exercises, getting adequate sleep, eating healthily, and reducing stress can help stabilise your mood.
7. Brain fog – Oestrogen also supports cognitive functioning. The decrease in oestrogen during perimenopause can cause some women to feel extremely forgetful or to report having a “fuzzy brain”.
8. Panic disorders/attacks – fluctuating hormone levels can cause feelings of panic, anxiety and heart palpitations.
9. Anxiety – Feelings of anxiety can develop during perimenopause and you are more likely to have anxiety if you have a history of anxiety.
10. Irritability – When you look at the overall symptoms of menopause, it is no wonder women feel irritable. Lack of sleep, hormonal changes, and irritability can all be part of this transition.
11. Depression – If you have a history of depression – such as postpartum depression increases your risk of having depression in perimenopause.
12. Difficulty Concentrating – Many of your cognitive functions can be affected, including attention span and attention to detail – all hormone related.
Physical symptoms of menopause
13. Hair loss – Oestrogen and progesterone help hair grow and stay on your head for a longer period of time. Many women find their hair becomes thinner at this time.
14. Unexplained Dizziness – This can sometimes be related to anxiety, fatigue, or hot flashes. However, dizziness is also associated with medical conditions such as high blood pressure, so talk to your doctor if you are experiencing frequent and/or severe episodes of dizziness.
15. Fatigue – Many women experience fatigue due to fluctuating hormones. Lack of sleep due to sleep problems in perimenopause certainly doesn’t help.
16. Sleep problems – symptoms such as night sweats and anxiety can cause sleep problems, which also increases fatigue.
17. Bloating –water retention and lack of oestrogen receptors in the gut can lead to bloating and blenching,
18. Weight gain – Many women experience an increase in weight gain and particularly notice an increase of fat around the abdominal region.
19. Stress incontinence – This is typically due to weak pelvic floor muscles which can be partly due to aging, childbirth, and a reduction in muscle mass. Some women experience urine leakage with laughing, sneezing, coughing, or lifting.
20. Brittle nails – A decrease in oestrogen can lead to a decrease in collagen, elastin, and keratin, which can affect overall nail and skin health.
21. Osteoporosis – Many women can experience osteoporosis due to aging, a decrease in oestrogen, and loss of muscle mass.
22. Irregular heartbeat – The perimenopausal period can be marked with some changes in your heart function. Many women experience non threatening hearth arrhythmias and an increase in heart rate and palpitations.
23. Allergies – Many women can develop allergies to certain things in their environment or diet when they start perimenopause.
24. Changes in body odour – Some women find they develop a different odour. A combition of hormonal changes and increased sweating with hot flashes can cause change in body odour.
25. Headaches and Migraines – Once again, fluctuation in oestrogen is typically the cause of headaches and migraines in perimenopause.
26. Breast pain – Tender breasts are a direct result of fluctuations in oestrogen that cause tenderness to breast tissue.
27. Joint pain – The evidence is unclear whether or not joint pain is due to perimenopause of the aging process. Nonetheless, many women notice their joints become sore and tender starting in perimenopause.
28. Burning mouth – Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) is partly caused by the decrease circulating oestrogen, which in turn reduces saliva production and creates a metallic taste in the mouth. Hormonal changes are just one cause of BMS so consult your doctor if this symptom is affecting your quality of life.
29. Electric Shocks – Some women experience an unpredictable shock sensation that frequently signals the start of a hot flash. The cause of this painful sensation?
30. Gum problems – Perimenopausal women are at greater risk for bone loss with the decrease in oestrogen. Bone loss in your teeth lead to receding gums and tooth decay.
31. Digestive Problems – Unfortunately, the digestive system is not excluded from the list. Women report symptoms ranging from nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramping, and constipation.
32. Dry and itchy skin – Perimenopause sucks away moisture from the tissues and skin. The same effect is occurring in the area of the vulva.
33. Tingling Extremities – Paraesthesia is the official term for unexplained tingling in your arms and legs.
34. Muscle Tension – Oestrogen serves as a regulator of muscle cell energy. Therefore, with low oestrogen levels, muscles tire and tension more easily due to a heightened presence of cortisol hormone.
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