The 35 Symptoms of Menopause
This list of common symptoms that occur during perimenopause and menopause
was developed from the real-life experiences of hundreds of women. All
symptoms were experienced by numerous women and were either cyclical in
nature, or responded to treatments (both traditional and alternative)
known to address hormonal imbalances.
Click HERE for the credits to the women
who developed this list.
- Hot flashes, flushes, night sweats and/or cold flashes, clammy feeling
- Bouts of rapid heart beat
- Mood swings, sudden tears
- Trouble sleeping through the night (with or without night sweats)
- Irregular periods; shorter, lighter periods; heavier periods, flooding;
phantom periods, shorter cycles, longer cycles
- Loss of libido (see note)
- Dry vagina (see note)
- Crashing fatigue
- Anxiety, feeling ill at ease
- Feelings of dread, apprehension, doom (see note)
- Difficulty concentrating, disorientation, mental confusion
- Disturbing memory lapses
- Incontinence, especially upon sneezing, laughing; urge incontinence
- Itchy, crawly skin (see note)
- Aching, sore joints, muscles and tendons (see note)
- Increased tension in muscles
- Breast tenderness
- Headache change: increase or decrease
- Gastrointestinal distress, indigestion, flatulence, gas pain, nausea
- Sudden bouts of bloat
- Depression (see note)
- Exacerbation of existing conditions
- Increase in allergies
- Weight gain (see note)
- Hair loss or thinning, head, pubic, or whole body; increase in facial
- Dizziness, light-headedness, episodes of loss of balance
- Changes in body odor
- Electric shock sensation under the skin and in the head (see note)
- Tingling in the extremities (see note)
- Gum problems, increased bleeding
- Burning tongue, burning roof of mouth, bad taste in mouth, change
in breath odor
- Osteoporosis (after several years)
- Changes in fingernails: softer, crack or break easier
- Tinnitus: ringing in ears, bells, 'whooshing,' buzzing etc. (see note)
- Symptom 1 (flashes) Hot flashes are due
to the hypothalamic response to declining ovarian estrogen production.
The declining estrogen state induces hypophysiotropic neurons in the
arcuate nucleas of the hypothalamus to release gonadotropin-releasing
hormone (GnRH) in a pulsatile fashion, which in turn stimulates release
of luteinizing hormone (LH). Extremely high pulses of LH occur during
the period of declining estrogen production. The LH has vasodilatory
effects, which leads to flushing.
- Symptom 7 (loss of libido) For some women the
loss is so great that they actually find sex repulsive, in much the
same way as they felt before puberty. What hormones give, loss of hormones
can take away.
- Symptom 8 (dry vagina) results in painful
- Symptom 11 (doom thoughts) includes thoughts of
death, picturing one's own death
- Symptom 14(incontinence) reflects a general
loss of smooth muscle tone
- Symptom 15 (itchy, crawly skin) feeling
of ants crawling under the skin, not just dry itchy skin
- Symptom 16 (aching sore joints) may include such
problems as carpal tunnel syndrome
- Symptom 22 (depression) different from other
depression, the inability to cope is overwhelming. There is a feeling
of loss of self. Hormone therapy ameliorates the depression dramatically.
- Symptom 25 (weight gain) often around the waist
and thighs, resulting in 'the disappearing waistline'
- Symptom 29 (shock sensation) "the feeling
of a rubber band snapping in the layer of tissue between skin and muscle.
It is a precursor to a hot flash"
- Symptom 30 (tingling in extremities) can also
be a symptom of B-12 deficiency, diabetes, alterations in the flexibility
of blood vessels, or a depletion of potassium or calcium
- Symptom 35* (tinnitus) one of
those physical conditions that seems to manifest in some women at the
same time as menopause. It can be associated with health conditions
such as hypothyroidism and heart disease, and is a known side-effect
of many medications, including aspirin (salicylates) and Prozac.
SOME OF THE 35 SYMPTOMS MAY ALSO BE SIGNS OF THE FOLLOWING:
- depression with another etiology
- other medical conditions
If you have reason to believe you may have one of these
conditions, please see your doctor for treatment.
Copyright © 1997-2010 ProjectAWARE.
All rights reserved.
Questions or comments about this site? Email the Website