13 Feb Menopause Symptoms
Menopausal symptoms are often summed up to hot flashes and night sweats although that couldn’t be further from the truth. Both hot flashes and night sweats are symptoms of menopause but there are many more, often subtle symptoms, that are not commonly attributed to the menopausal transition but are indeed symptoms linked to declines in ovarian function. Because many symptoms appear before you realize that you may be in perimenopause, you may not attribute the more subtle menopause symptoms such as achiness, moodiness, feeling down, or your brain feeling foggy to menopause. But there’s a high chance they are! Being able to recognize potential symptoms and understanding why they might be happening, can help in lowering anxiety and feeling helpless. There’s power in knowledge!
Menopausal symptoms fall into four categories to include vasomotor, psychosocial, physical, and sexual.
Vasomotor symptoms (VMS)
About 75% of women experience VMS
Hot flushes, night sweats, sweating
Anxiety, impatience, poor memory, depression (prior depression is the highest risk factor for subsequent depression). In addition, reduced levels of neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin) can cause changes in brain function and behavior, and declines in cognitive function, mood, and memory.
Body aches, fatigue, insomnia, weight gain, changes in skin appearance, migraines
Vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, avoiding intimacy, lack of sexual desire
I know, I know, this all sounds very scary and depressing but this forum is not designed to scare you into expecting the worst. Its purpose is to inform you of changes that will happen and that can come in all forms and intensities. Every woman is different; some women experience all symptoms to the extreme but there are also women that don’t experience any symptoms at all. It is impossible to predict what your experience will be. My goal is to equip you with the knowledge to be able to identify changes that are attributable to the menopausal transition and how to successfully and hopefully happily transition through this time in your life. In the coming posts, I will give you tips on how physical activity and nutrition can help, as well as share information on treatments.
Stay curious, unafraid, and armed with knowledge!
– Dr. Maria Luque