Hot flushes are one of the most common symptoms of the menopause, as are night sweats and bloating, but the fluctuation in hormones can result in many other physical and psychological issues too. We have put together a list of other menopausal symptoms which may surprise you.
1 – Anxiety, Depression and Mood Swings
Estrogen helps to increase the feel-good brain chemicals serotonin and dopamine, which is responsible for mood regulation. So, what happens when your estrogen levels dip during the menopause? Anxiety, low mood and mood swings!
2 – Forgetfulness
Forgetfulness, having problems concentrating and being unable to get your words out is often associated with dementia, but these can actually be related to menopause. The drop in estrogen can affect cognitive functioning, while other symptoms can include poor sleep caused by night sweats, therefore making it hard to think straight.
This condition is known as nominal aphasia which a temporary state caused by the receptors in the brain being deprived of estrogen. Fortunately, the majority of women find their memory returns to normal once fluctuating levels of estrogen return to normal.
3 – Itchiness
Estrogen plays a key role in maintaining healthy skin and is responsible for stimulating the production of collagen which is a fibrous protein that provides elasticity and support to the skin as well as other tissues.
So, when estrogen production drops during the menopause, it can result in dry, itchy skin. Numerous women have also reported a sensation of numbness during the menopause as well as pins and needles, tingling and pricking of the skin. Additionally, some have reported a sensation of insects crawling all over their skin!
4 – Arthritis
Estrogen is known to have an anti-inflammatory effect in the body, and although the relationship between our joints and estrogen is not fully understood, experts believe that low levels of the hormone can lead to increased joint pain or trigger it for the first time.
Because of the sudden reduction of estrogen production, such as the start of menopause, it can trigger a rapid onset of arthritic symptoms which can affect fingers.
It is commonly known as menopause arthritis and is characterized by bony knobs which are visible on the fingers, with small lumps which appear on either side of the joint. For many women, the condition is only temporary and can be managed by anti-inflammatory medication.
5 – Bad breath
Menopause causes a lack of moisture throughout the body, including the mouth. When your mouth is dry, bacteria find it easier to flourish which results in bad breath. Women who are also going through menopause can be prone to tooth decay and bleeding gums.
6 – Allergies
Because hormones and the immune system are closely linked, menopausal changes can lead to further allergy symptoms or new ones. If you are going through the menopause and find that you suddenly develop asthma, hay fever or dermatosis, the menopause could be to blame.
Our menopause cooling spray can help you beat the heat this summer, as well as helping with the more common signs of menopause.