How Do You Know You Have Menopause – The word menopause means “hot flashes” – but it’s more than that, and it’s important for women to know.
Most women will experience at least one change-induced symptom (an average of seven), usually starting around their mid-40s.
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The NHS warns: “Some of these can be quite serious and significantly affect your daily activities.
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This doesn’t just stop time. Sex hormones work throughout the body, from the brain, skin, vagina and more.
That means the symptoms of menopause are varied, and women don’t know which cards they’ll be dealt until they hit it.
Some women don’t know that their problems, from “brain fog” to panic attacks, are caused by menopause.
Raising awareness of the impact of menopause is one of the main aims of The Sun’s Fabulous Menopause Matters campaign – backed by doctors, politicians and a host of celebrities – including Lisa Snowdon and Davina McCall.
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London-based GP and author Dr Philippa Kaye reveals exactly how menopause can affect the whole body in her book ‘The M Word’.
And don’t forget – no woman should have to suffer from these debilitating symptoms if they affect their lives.
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It is not uncommon for hot flashes to become a hallmark of menopause, as they are the most common symptom.
According to a Sun Fabulous survey of 2000 women who have reached or are going through menopause, 70% of women experience hot flashes.
Hot flashes can last anywhere for a few seconds or minutes, and although usually concentrated in the chest and neck area, can spread to the entire body.
Dr. Philippa says it’s due to a malfunction in the body’s temperature regulation system, which helps us sweat when it’s hot and shiver when it’s cold.
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“Although this center is sensitive, it does not respond to changes in the half degree Celsius range – except during perimenopause, when the body seems to respond to small changes, such as a room or having a hot drink,” says Dr. Philippa.
“We’re not sure exactly why this happens, but it’s thought that altered levels of estrogen affect the production of brain chemicals like serotonin and noradrenaline, which then seem to disrupt the process. functioning of the conditioning center.”
“Progesterone is sometimes called the sleep hormone because its high levels can cause sleepiness by increasing levels of a neurotransmitter (brain chemical) called GABA,” says Dr.
Add to that, night sweats, joint and muscle pain, and the constant thinking that accompanies depression or anxiety, and it’s the recipe for a sleepless night.
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“Some women find that PMS symptoms, such as irritability or low mood, worsen during perimenopause,” says Dr.
“Symptoms of anxiety include: feeling tense, scared or even panicked and those fears seem persistent and may be excessive for any problem, even though they may not be a specific problem.
“It can also have physical symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, palpitations, hand tremors, nausea, muscle tension, trouble sleeping and feeling restless.”
Irritability and mood swings are also a common feature of menopause, which can be confusing for those around them.
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Too many women deal with suicidal thoughts alone during menopause, as our survey found it affects up to 3%.
All are linked to the effects of rolling hormones on mental health, causing anxiety, depression and low self-esteem. Or it may not have an obvious root cause.
If you feel unable to talk to a friend or loved one, call someone like Samaritans (phone 116 123).
Or maybe you forgot your keys, or turned off the stove in the kitchen – around 16% of women experience memory or concentration impairments due to menopause.
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“So it feels like nothing is clear anymore and you can’t focus on anything. This can lead to difficulties at work and at home, but can also be incredibly frustrating and unsettling.
“There are particularly high levels of estrogen receptors in the hippocampus, which are important for memory and emotion, so it is conceivable that these receptors may be affected.”
“If you have migraines related to your period and your cycle time is getting shorter, you will get more migraines. However, some women find that after menopause, they no longer have migraines – ultimately benefiting!”
24% of women who said they gained weight during menopause would be glad to know it wasn’t necessarily their fault.
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Women may notice that they have an extra tire in the middle even though they don’t remember to change their diet.
“Estrogen affects how and where we store fat, and it’s reduced estrogen levels that mean fat accumulates around the belly, changing your shape,” explains Dr. Philippa.
More than one in ten (12 percent) of women say they experience vaginal dryness during menopause.
This can cause discomfort from rubbing, itching, pain when urinating, urinary tract infections and foul-smelling discharge (due to infection).
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It can also strain relationships, make sex more painful, less enjoyable, or even kill the mood before things even begin.
Dr Philippa says that vaginal dryness tends to be a later symptom of menopause because the tissues of the vagina lose their elasticity – and therefore the ability to stretch during sex – in response to a decrease in estrogen over time.
Thanks to the change in pH levels in the vagina, there is also less production of glycogen – a protective bacteria in the vagina.
“These changes alter the bacterial and fungal flora in the vagina, making infections, including urinary tract infections, more likely,” says Dr.
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Libido is a non-medical term for your sexual desire, and many women complain that it goes away during menopause, while others see it increase.
Dr Philippa says everything from anxiety, fatigue, irritability, sweating and vaginal dryness can make women reluctant to have sex.
It is not only a drop in estrogen, but also in testosterone – the male sex hormone, which women also produce in smaller quantities.
“Testosterone is produced in the ovaries from puberty, but the amount produced gradually decreases, so when you reach menopause, your levels are only half of their maximum levels,” says Dr. at the age of 20.
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Testosterone is also associated with sexual pleasure and excitement, which may explain why even when women can lie between sheets of paper, they no longer enjoy it.
Our survey found that around 7% of women also blame menopause for thinning hair, while other statistics put the number closer to a third.
Hair loss often occurs around the hairline, temples and crown of the head, which can make it difficult for women to feel that the curls make them feminine.
“Lower estrogen levels mean hair spends less time in the growing phase, so it can’t grow as long as before falling out,” says Dr Philippa.
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At the same time, women can face more facial hair, as Dr. Philippa says: “Low estrogen levels mean there is not enough to counteract the effects of testosterone.”
Menopause has a big impact on the skin, because collagen and fat storage (which gives you that plump look) is dependent on estrogen.
But for others, they may experience breakouts for the first time, as Dr. Philippa says: “Estrogens have an acne-fighting effect. When the levels drop, it seems to reveal the effects of testosterone, and testosterone can win.
“Testosterone can stimulate the sebaceous glands, causing them to produce thick sebum, which is why some women notice oily skin and mature acne can appear.”
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“Nails are made of a protein called keratin, which is the same protein that makes up hair, even though hair and nails have completely different textures!
Dr. Philippa says joint and muscle pain or stiffness is common in the neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists and knees. Maybe it’s worse in the morning.
“It’s thought that estrogen can act as an anti-inflammatory, and when levels drop, joints become inflamed, making them swollen and painful,” she says.
“If you have palpitations that last more than five minutes or are accompanied by dizziness, shortness of breath or chest pain, please seek emergency medical advice.”
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Email us at [email protected] or call 0207 782 4104. You can WhatsApp us on 07423 720 250. We also pay for videos. A woman’s body goes through countless changes throughout her life. From early adolescence through the reproductive years and beyond, your body goes through many changes. One such important biological change – menopause – is part of this life cycle. According to a study by the NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information), almost 1.5 million women go through the menopause transition every year. However, only a few people understand what menopause is and how to transition to menopause.
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