Severe Symptoms of Menopause? | Here's Why

Severe Symptoms of Menopause? | Here's Why
Severe Symptoms of Menopause? | Here's Why | Source

Severe Symptoms of Menopause?

Are you suffering from severe symptoms of menopause or perimenopause? Have those folks closest to you said:

  • Suck it up, it can't possibly be that bad. So you're just a little warm. Take off that sweater.
  • If you lived a healthier lifestyle, maybe it wouldn't be such a problem.
  • Don't take hormone replacement therapy! It's too dangerous. Do you really want to take pills for the rest of your life?

I've read many articles that dismiss the discomfort that women experience when going through perimenopause (& often even after menopause). But there are those of you who know the truth of how bad it can really get. How debilitating the symptoms can be. How diminished your life can become.

You're not alone!

Many women are suffering needlessly from the symptoms of perimenopause or menopause. Often these symptoms are so severe that they can affect a woman's:

  • personal & professional relationships
  • physical & mental health
  • quality of life

With the information below, I hope to encourage new understanding of the facts while at the same time, negating the over-popularized myths.

Which menopausal symptoms are affecting you the most?

See results without voting

Perimenopause: (or menopausal transition) means "around menopause" & refers to the time period during which a woman's body makes its natural transition toward permanent infertility. 12 consecutive months without a menstrual period is the official marker for when the perimenopause period is over & menopause has been reached.(The Mayo Clinic)

Menopause: a natural biological process, is defined as occurring 12 months after your last menstrual period and marks the end of menstrual cycles & fertility. (The Mayo Clinic)

Hormone Replacement Therapy for Menopause | The Truth

Hormone Replacement Therapy is no longer considered an ominous prescription. Here's the truth! Along with personal stories, evidence based links & links to further reading. Enjoy! Please click here > Hormone Replacement Therapy for Menopause | The Truth

Affected Age Group

Perimenopause normally starts sometime between the late 30s to early 50s. Medical sources say that symptoms can continue for up to 10 years.

However, I’ve heard from women in their 70s that say while their symptoms have become gentler, they never disappear entirely.

Other women either experience no symptoms at all. Or perhaps they are not attributing their symptoms to hormonal changes. Symptoms such as irritability ...

The True Cause of Moodiness: Pamela’s Story (49)

My husband & I were driving over the Lions Gate Bridge toward Stanley Park to enjoy the autumn leaves & then out for dinner afterwards. Nice, right? Yet, I was irritated. Overwhelmingly!

Thankfully my husband was driving & we were quiet. This gave me time to figuratively “step outside myself” & assess the situation. I could not detect even the tiniest trigger for my irritation. There was nothing! So although the emotion was huge, I was able to realize that it was also unreasonable.

I wanted to enjoy the evening! So, I started to list (in my mind) all the great things about that particular evening & then about my life.

After a while I was able to “talk myself out” of that feeling of annoyance.

But I realized that I wouldn’t always have the time, privacy or the presence of mind to reign-in my emotion as it had required a huge amount of energy & self-awareness. I visited my doctor & now use HRT.

Menstruation includes a negative feedback loop where estrogen & progesterone regulate one another.
Menstruation includes a negative feedback loop where estrogen & progesterone regulate one another. | Source

Estrogen & Progesterone: The Negative Feedback Loop

Women have both estrogen & progesterone at varying levels in their bodies all their lives.

During a woman's fertile years the hormones estrogen & progesterone moderate one another (keep each other in check). Their circulatory levels (within the blood) cause the menstruation cycle.

Estrogen & progesterone levels (using other hormones) are balanced by a negative feedback loop. This means (for example) that if too much estrogen is circulating it causes certain hormone stimulations that decrease the production of estrogen.

During perimenopause & menopause, the ovarian production of the hormones estrogen & progesterone diminishes as part of the biological progression toward infertility. The hormones become unsynchronized & the negative feedback loop is disturbed.

No wonder perimenopause & menopause cause women to suffer at the hands of powerful symptoms!
No wonder perimenopause & menopause cause women to suffer at the hands of powerful symptoms! | Source

What's The Purpose of Progesterone & Estrogen?

Both Estrogen & Progesterone are responsible for the development & maintenance of the female sexual characteristics & for pregnancy related functions.

However, Estrogen is ALSO responsible for:

  • Acceleration of burning fat
  • Increases protein anabolism (precursor to tissue building)
  • Improving lubrication of & thickening of the vaginal wall
  • Increasing blood vessels to the skin
  • Thermoregulation
  • Involved in collagen production
  • Aids in stimulation of osteoblasts to form new bone (thereby maintaining bone density)
  • Involved in balancing mood
  • Voice pitch
  • Hair pattern
  • Helps control fluid & electrolyte balance
  • Defends against heart disease & arthrosclerosis.

Estrogen has so many different & important jobs in a woman's body. It's just logical that without estrogen, things can become quite uncomfortable!

Estrogen can decline to the point that it no longer does its "other jobs" within the body.
Estrogen can decline to the point that it no longer does its "other jobs" within the body. | Source

Estrogen can decline to the point that it no longer does its "other jobs" within the body. Consequently, the symptoms can be so severe that they wreak havoc in the lives of otherwise healthy, well-adjusted women.

I Can't Live Like This: Simone’s Story (47)

Is the room warm? Or is it just me?

My hot flashes start off mildly. However, if my estrogen further declines, the hot flashes tend to gather strength.

Like a freight train in the distance, I can feel them coming. A tremendous heat builds up from the inside, pushing, stretching, until suddenly spreading out over the surface of my skin. Sweat prickles in my hairline & upon my brow & then my entire upper body & thighs are perspirating. It takes between three to five minutes to dissipate. This makes it difficult to sleep & wakes me up in the night.

If I further allow my estrogen to deplete, the hot flashes become downright violent & are followed up with a cold chill. The cold chill can last up to about half an hour & no matter how many blankets I pile upon myself, I cannot warm up. Of course, until the next hot flash.

This carries on until at any given moment I’m either hot flashing or cold chilling & there’s no in between. I haven’t a hope in hell of knowing what the real temperature (outside my body) is & I’m consistently uncomfortable.

A person cannot live like this. HRT makes all the difference.

What Causes The Symptoms of Perimenopause & Menopause?

The symptoms are caused by changes in ovarian production of estrogen & progesterone. The production is mostly too little, rarely too much & at other times it’s just right! But there can also be:

Estrogen dominance: This is when there is too much estrogen circulating within the body. Causes:

  • Estrogen levels are higher than normal.
  • Progesterone levels are too low & in contrast estrogen levels are too high.

Progesterone dominance: This is when there is too much progesterone circulating within the body. Causes:

  • Progesterone levels are higher than normal.
  • Estrogen levels are too low & in contrast progesterone levels are too high.

What Are The Symptoms of Perimenopause & Menopause?

A woman's hormone levels (& therefore her symptoms) change on a day-to-day basis!

Possibly the most common symptom is disruption of thermoregulation (the body’s ability to keep its temperature within certain boundaries). Estrogen enables the hypothalamus to regulate body temperature. Without estrogen, a woman can experience hot flashes, cold chills & night sweats sometimes to the degree that it severely decreases quality of life.

The most common symptoms are listed in detail below:

(click column header to sort results)
Symptoms  
Estrogen Deficiency  
Progesterone Dominance  
Progesterone Deficiency  
Estrogen Dominance  
Hot Flashes / Night Sweats
x
x
x
 
Cold Chills
x
 
 
 
Insomnia / Chronic Fatigue
x
 
x
x
Headaches/Migraines
x
x
 
x
Urinary Tract / Bladder Infections
x
x
 
 
Incontinence
 
x
 
 
Irregular/Absent Menstruation
 
 
x
x
Heavy Menstruation / Cramps
 
 
x
 
Vaginal Infections
x
x
 
 
Vaginal Dryness / Atrophy
x
 
 
 
Cervical Dysplasia
 
 
 
x
Ovarian Cysts
 
 
x
 
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
 
 
 
x
Uterine Fibroids
 
 
 
x
Uterine Cancer
 
 
x
x
Dry, Thin, Wrinkled Skin
x
 
 
 
Gum Disease
x
 
x
 
Hair Loss
 
 
 
x
Acne
 
x
 
 
Rapid Heart Rate
x
 
 
 
Increased Blood Clotting
 
 
 
x
Puffiness/Bloating
x
 
x
x
Water Retention
 
 
x
 
Weight Gain
x
x
 
x
Decreased Libido
x
x
x
x
Brest Tenderness
 
 
x
x
Fibrocystic Breasts
 
 
 
x
Breast Cancer
 
 
 
x
Low Back / Joint pain, Swelling & Stiffness
x
 
 
 
Osteoporosis
x
 
x
x
Fuzzy Thinking / Poor Memory / Diminished Concentration
x
 
 
x
Anxiety / Irritability
 
x
x
x
Depression
x
x
 
x
Accelerated Aging
 
 
 
x
Allergies / Autoimmune Disorders
 
 
 
x
Thyroid Dysfunction
 
 
x
 

Choose a Healthy Lifestyle

Regardless of whether or not you choose to take HRT, paramount is the decision to choose a healthy lifestyle including:

  • Eat only real food - starting with breakfast each morning.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • No smoking & consume alcoholic beverages in moderation.
  • Participate in fitness including cardiovascular exercise, weight-training & stretching.
  • Sleep 7 - 9 hours a night.
  • Re-organize your life & relationships to reduce stress & increase happiness.

"Follow a hormone-balancing diet: Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, adequate protein, and moderate amounts of healthy fat. Remember to get enough fiber. Estrogen is excreted by the bowel; if stool remains in the bowel, estrogen is reabsorbed."

— Christiane Northrup, M.D.

This Information Does Not Replace Your Doctor's Advice

The decision whether or not to use HRT must be made by each woman accompanied by her physician on an individual basis. Lifestyle, medical history & the medical history of family members are strong factors & must be taken into consideration.

This "living article" is updated & refreshed on a consistent basis. If you would like to help other women by sharing your story here, please email me at: leongorthopaedichealth@gmail.com.

Not only will your identity will remain private, you'll be able to choose your own pseudonym.

All rights reserved; no part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise, without prior permission. Copyright 2014 - 2015.

If you like this article, please share it!

- Sylvia Leong RMT CPT ARS


Medical Sites Used For Research

  • mayoclinic.org
  • webmd.com
  • nia.nih.gov (National Institute on Aging)
  • nhlbi.nih.gov (National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute)
  • health24.com
  • medscape.com

Also the textbook "Principles of Anatomy and Physiology"

- by Tortora & Grabowski

More by this Author


Comments

No comments yet.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working