ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

You Don't Have to Suffer the Severe Symptoms of Menopause

Updated on December 11, 2016
Sylvia Leong profile image

20 years as a therapist & trainer, Sylvia is hell bent on clientele health | Tackling health & lifestyle concerns with the written word.

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

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

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:

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

  • (National Institute on Aging)
  • (National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute)

Also the textbook "Principles of Anatomy and Physiology"

- by Tortora & Grabowski


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)