Friday, 22 Sep 2023

Menopause symptoms: Are you going through the peri-menopause? Telling sensations

This Morning: How face mists can help with menopause

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Many women may believe that the beginning of the menopause is when periods stop but, in actual fact, 12 consecutive months is a sign that you have gone through the natural transition. In the lead up to the menopause, symptoms – due to hormonal changes – begin to appear. And while menstrual changes can be an indication that something is going on, it’s not the only sign.

According to the NHS, dipping hormone levels can lead to anxiety, which can be a debilitating sensation for some.

While the peri-menopause will be unique for each women, many may experience hot flushes.

Hot flushes are sudden and intense feelings of heat and coldness in the face, neck, and chest area, which can also make you feel dizzy.

Such a sensation can appear during the night, which can make falling and staying asleep very difficult.

The peri-menopause could also lead to heart palpitations – the feeling when your heartbeat becomes more noticeable in your chest.

As oestrogen levels deplete, some women may encounter painful headaches and migraines “that are worse than usual”.

Other bodily sensations might include muscle aches, joint pain, and vaginal dryness and discomfort during physical intimacy.

Should you recognise any of these symptoms in yourself, you can speak to a pharmacist for advice about treatments and things you can do to alleviate symptoms.

“Eating well, exercising and looking after your mental wellbeing can help with symptoms during peri-menopause and menopause,” the NHS stated.

To help ease mood swings, low mood, and anxiety around the time of the peri-menopause and menopause, three tips include:

  • Getting plenty of rest
  • Exercising regularly
  • Doing relaxing activities.

As for hot flushes, the advice from the NHS is to:

  • Wear light clothing
  • Keep your bedroom cool at night
  • Take a cool shower, use a fan or have a cold drink
  • Try to reduce your stress level
  • Avoid or reduce potential triggers, such as spicy food, caffeine, hot drinks, smoking and alcohol
  • Exercise regularly
  • Lose weight if you’re overweight.

As for vaginal dryness, there are moisturisers and lubricants you can get over the counter.

If you are struggling with peri-menopause symptoms do speak to your doctor.

You may be told about the benefits and risks associated with taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

HRT helps to replace hormones that are at a lower level as you approach the menopause.

The medication is useful in alleviating hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings, and vaginal dryness.

“Many of these symptoms pass after a few years, but they can be unpleasant and taking HRT can offer relief for many women,” the NHS added.

“It can also help prevent weakening of the bones (osteoporosis), which is more common after the menopause.”

If you would rather keep away from HRT, then leading a healthy lifestyle is your best tool to manage the menopausal period.

In addition to exercise and a healthy diet, which includes reducing caffeine intake, it’s key to help bring down stress levels.

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