Many people are aware of common symptoms of the menopause, such as hot flushes and night sweats. However, there are a lot of unlikely symptoms you wouldn’t necessarily expect to experience.
The average age for a woman to go through the menopause is 51, however symptoms start a lot earlier. On average women experience symptoms for 4 years before they actually hit the menopause. This period is called the perimenopause, when symptoms are at their worst.
The most common symptoms of the menopause include:
- hot flushes
- vaginal dryness
- weak bladder
- low sex drive
- difficulty sleeping
- low mood
However, did you know there are actually 34 different symptoms of the menopause! Some of them you would not necessarily associate with the menopause, so it is good to be aware of them, just in case you are experiencing these symptoms and not sure why!
You can experience digestive problem during the menopause. This can include bloating, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, lactose intolerance and heartburn. All of these symptoms can make you feel sluggish. These digestive problems are due to the low oestrogen levels. Oestrogen helps to keep cortisol, the stress hormone under control, so when your oestrogen levels are low your cortisol hormone kicks in. This leads to high blood sugar levels and your digestion to slow down, causing boating, constipation etc. Also, if you have experienced irritable bowel syndrome in previous years unfortunately you will be more susceptible to it during the menopause.
Some foods to avoid which help improve your digestion are:
- Caffeine as it can be known to cause cramps and diarrhoea
- Refined carbohydrates such as white bread, cakes and biscuits – basically, all the enjoyable things in your life!
- Alcohol can cause acid reflux and heartburn
The digestive system is home to trillions of bacteria which support the gut to be healthy, as well as aiding the immune system. Eating fermented foods such as yogurt, tempeh, cheese and sauerkraut, can help top up the level of friendly bacteria. If your diet doesn’t contain fermented foods, you might want to consider taking a supplement such as Solgar Advanced Acidolphilus Vegetable Capsules.
Hormone changes can cause your skin to feel itchy, so much so that you can find yourself scratching all day! This is due to the lack of collagen being produced by the body. In fact, as much as 30% of your body’s collagen can be lost in the first five years after the menopause. So, first things first – get a good collagen supplement! We like Collagen Complex by Golden Greens which is a drink or if you prefer a tablet Solgar Collagen Hyaluronic Acid Complex.
Itchy skin can occur pretty much anywhere, but most likely places are your arms, face, legs, neck and chest. If you find yourself feeling itchy, it’s best to try and cool the skin down and moisturise as much as possible! Menomagic cooling cream is amazing for doing just that – cooling the skin! We recommend carrying round a small tub with you so if you are out and about and suddenly feel the itching kicking in you are well prepared.
Thrush and other vaginal infections
During the menopause the vaginal tissue starts to thin and less mucus is produced. This is due to oestrogen levels reducing. This can unfortunately lead to a lot of yeast infections as the thinner tissue and dryness in the vagina is the perfect environment for bacteria.
A lot of women, if they have thrush, will use an anti-fungal treatment, however this can lower the pH level which can then lead to further thrush problems in the future. Hence the reason that a lot of women find they get persistent cases of thrush.
We recommend treating your vagina to some moisture! YES VM Applicators are amazing. It is a vaginal moisturising gel. Designed to match the typical vaginal environment with no skin damaging chemicals. It relieves dryness and helps with the itching and burning sensations known to come with thrush. If used on a regular basis it can relieve vaginal atrophy and minimise vaginal infections.
Irregular heartbeat or palpitations can happen when you are in the middle of a hot flush. Your heart rate can increase by up to 16 beats per minute during a hot flush. The feeling is terrible and can be very distressing. During the menopause your oestrogen levels fluctuate, these constant changes can, unfortunately, set off heart palpitations.
If you are feeling anxious about your heart palpitations or they start to become more frequent we recommend seeing your GP to discuss the condition further.
The good news is most women find their heart rhythm returns to normal once they are through their menopausal journey.
Some women say that their muscles feel tight or tender. Some even complain that their body feels flu like due to their menopause. This feeling of muscle tension can be very debilitating. Muscle tension is when the muscles have become fatigued or tight due to the fluctuation in oestrogen and progesterone, so you may find that when your muscles are feeling particularly tired your body is producing less hormones.
We do have some tips to help reduce this muscle soreness;
- Try yoga or pilates. They are both great forms of stretching your muscles, especially if you exercise a lot. As we get older sometimes, we need to adapt our regimes to be kinder to our body’s.
- Try a muscle rub. If you are finding that particular muscles are tight or sore, try using a muscle rub. We like FourFive CBD Muscle Rub as it is all-natural, organic, and contains 300mg of CBD .
- Increase your Magnesium intake or include a magnesium supplement on a daily basis. Magnesium supports healthy muscle function, reduces tiredness and fatigue and supports energy-yielding metabolism. We would recommend Nutri Advanced MegaMag Muscleze.
Check your symptoms with the Menodelight Menopause Symptom Tool and find tips and tricks to help alleviate your symptoms.
Use code unlikely10 to receive 10% off any purchase here.
You may also be interested in reading: