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The most common postmenopausal symptoms are generally caused by the decline of the hormone estrogen in women. The severity of ailments can be different for each person. Hot flashes, night sweats, and insomnia are among the acute symptoms. Weight gain and changes in the skin are also quite common over time. Many women experience mood swings, loss of concentration, and a decreased sex drive, but some are affected more than others. Aching joints and sore muscles are often also attributed to menopause.
Vasomotor flushes, commonly referred to as hot flashes, are the overwhelming feeling of heat that virtually takes over the upper half of the torso, face, and neck. It can last from 30 seconds to several minutes. Some women call it, "my personal sauna". Of all the common postmenopausal symptoms, hot flashes are probably the most bothersome.
Night sweats are similar to hot flashes except they occur during sleep. It is not uncommon for a woman suffering from this symptom to wake up in the middle of the night with soaked bed sheets caused from sweating. She may kick off the covers in frustration and to relieve the heat, only to find she is cold again just moments later. Night sweats can also contribute to insomnia, although some women experience difficulty sleeping even without night sweats.
Some common postmenopausal symptoms can affect personality, such as loss of concentration, depression, and mood swings. Caused by the decline of hormones, many women can experience crying jags one moment followed by fits of laughter the next. Memory loss can also accompany a lack of concentration.
Weight gain over time is also quite common. Women can find it difficult to reduce the excess bulk that inevitably develops around the mid-section and thighs. Muscle aches and joint pain are also common postmenopausal symptoms, and can often be relieved with weight-bearing exercises.
As the process progresses, skin changes, such as the reduction of elasticity, is often noticed. The skin can begin to wrinkle and some women find that it is often dry and itchy. Nails can become brittle and a change in hair growth is evident. Sometimes, facial hair can appear around the chin or increase on the lip area. At the same time, hair may stop growing as think on the legs or other areas of the body.
Another of the common postmenopausal symptoms includes a decreased libido. The loss of a woman’s sex drive can be attributed to the decline of the estrogen hormone, but is also usually related to pain or discomfort during intercourse as a result of vaginal dryness. Urinary incontinence is also a common compliant among postmenopausal women.
Suntan12 - My sister was recently tested for thyroid irregularities and the doctors told her that she was suffering from very low estrogen levels and may have actually entered menopause.
She kept feeling sluggish and could not lose weight no matter what she did. It also turned out that on top of being menopausal she also had a hypothyroid.
Now she is treating her menopausal symptoms with hormone replacement therapy and is getting medication for her thyroid as well as a series of vitamin B shots. She had to alter her diet because sugary foods rich in carbohydrates actually slow down the metabolism and can make you gain weight over time.
She also began to exercise daily by walking for 45 minutes and started to do some weight training exercises. So for she has lost 45 pounds.
Comfyshoes - I heard that too. I think that exercise and eating healthy can do a lot to stabilize your mood and make you less irritable.
I know that the serotonin levels in the brain rise as we exercise which gives us that great relaxed feeling after we workout. They say that certain foods also promote the increase in serotonin.
For example, ripe bananas are said to elevate one’s serotonin levels after you eat them. Also, eating foods rich in Omega3 fatty acids are great for the heart and have antioxidant properties that aid symptoms of low estrogen.
When you eat foods rich in Omega3 fatty acids your skin becomes softer and more supple as a result which reverses the effects of the drier skin that you experience because of your low estrogen levels.
It sounds like many of the symptoms of low estrogen levels occur both in perimenospause and post menopause.
Pre menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, irritability and weight gain usually begin in a women’s forties and increases in intensity as a women ages.
There are hormone replacement therapies that can help a women restore her estrogen levels so that she will not only have more energy but will also make her feel more vibrant.
Hormone replacement therapy is really not recommended for women that have a high risk of breast or ovarian cancers because these diseases are very sensitive to hormonal changes in a women’s body and may raise the risk of cancer even more.
It is best to talk to your doctor about your medical history to see if this is a viable option.
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