The unseen and unrecognised symptoms of menopause: beyond hot flushes and periods
Menopause is a natural phase in a woman’s life, often associated with hot flushes and period irregularities. However, there’s a spectrum of symptoms that remain unseen and unacknowledged, impacting women physically, emotionally, and socially.
Let’s delve into the often-overlooked aspects of menopause, shedding light on symptoms like irritability, anger, rage, anxiety, and loss of self-esteem that may not be immediately associated with this life transition.
The Unseen Symptoms
Irritability, anger, and rage
Hormonal changes during menopause can disrupt mood regulation, resulting in heightened emotional responses. It’s akin to reliving the emotional rollercoaster of adolescence, a challenge compounded when managing teenagers in the household. Many women find themselves feeling disconnected and struggle with a sense of identity shift.
Surprisingly, anxiety can manifest a decade before menopause sets in, often leading to the prescription of antidepressants. Activities like driving may become unexpectedly challenging, as heightened anxiety affects daily tasks, making even routine activities like making a phone call a daunting prospect.
Loss of self-esteem
Perimenopause frequently sees a decline in self-confidence. The focus on physical changes, from thinning hair to widening waistlines can lead to insecurities. This can also really affect how you cope in the workplace. Often women may find themselves avoiding meetings, presentations, or promotions, doubting their abilities and contributions. Establishing a support group becomes invaluable during this phase, providing a safe space to share experiences.
Our top tips for managing your menopausal symptoms:
Use a Symptoms Tracker:
Tracking symptoms can be a crucial tool for starting conversations at home, work, or with a healthcare provider. Suffering in silence should never be the norm. Download our free symptom tracker here.
Regular physical activity releases endocannabinoids, the body’s stress-relieving hormones. Every movement counts, even just building in a ten-minute walk after lunch can contribute to overall well-being.
Maintaining balanced blood sugar levels is essential to better manage your menopause. Including protein with every meal and snack helps prevent spikes and dips, minimising the body’s cortisol production.
Insomnia is a common challenge during menopause. Lifestyle changes, such as avoiding excessive alcohol consumption and trying natural remedies like tart Montmorency cherry juice, can significantly improve sleep quality.
HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy)
HRT remains a proven method to alleviate various menopausal symptoms, including anxiety, sleep problems, and hot flushes. However, not everyone can, or wants to, take HRT. Whether you take HRT or not, consider therapies that can help with your symptom control such as hypnotherapy, acupuncture or cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT).
Navigating the supplement landscape can be tricky, but magnesium is a known ally during menopause. Found in green leafy vegetables, nuts, and whole grains, magnesium supplements or topical applications offer relief.
Simple techniques like box breathing can be discreetly practised during work meetings, providing a quick and effective way to manage stress. Take a moment to try it out: breathe in for a count of 4, hold for 4, breathe out for 4 then hold for 4. Adjust the count to suit your natural breathing pattern.
The importance of talking about menopause cannot be overstated. Seeking support from friends, family, and support groups creates a network that eases the challenges of this life transition. Why not join our private Facebook group?
In conclusion, menopause extends beyond the visible symptoms, encompassing a range of emotional and psychological challenges. Acknowledging and discussing these aspects not only brings awareness but also empowers women to navigate this phase with resilience and support. Whether through lifestyle changes, medical interventions, or a robust support system, addressing the unseen symptoms ensures a smoother journey through menopause, fostering holistic well-being.
If you’re feeling unsure about how to navigate menopause, get a copy of FAQs on Menopause. No question is too embarrassing, naive, complicated or simple – everything you want to know answered. Available on Amazon
Contact MenoHealth today to learn more about our award-winning training and support sessions. Let us join forces to create a future where organisations retain their talent and nurture their team by offering an inclusive and supportive environment for everyone experiencing menopause. Contact us today!
Watch our free workplace support session on the hidden symptoms of menopause