What menopause symptom bothers you most?
We recently asked our followers on Instagram “What menopause symptom bothers you most” and within a few hours 175 people replied with some heart-felt comments such as, “It would probably be easier to list what I don’t have!”
This snapshot demonstrates just how multifarious menopause is. It’s not surprising really when you consider the symptoms often begin sooner than we expect and can continue for years, some hardly noticing and others being swamped by their symptoms.
You might expect that hot flushes would top the list; after all this is the stereotypical way menopause is represented and it’s certainly a very bothersome symptom, but it was ‘low mood/ crying’ that had the most impact with 13% saying this was the worst thing. Turbulent hormones have a massive effect on our emotions; it’s like going through adolescence in mid-life and tears flow suddenly and without notice or even any particular reason.
Next and in joint place (forgive the pun) – was joint painand insomnia. As oestrogen levels dip our joints can become stiff and sore, similar to arthritis. Often women stop exercising because of these aches and pains, yet this just makes matters worse. Keeping active and strengthening muscles may seem counterintuitive but it’s vital to help reduce pain and stiffness.
Insomnia often begins way before women are aware they are peri-menopausal or having night sweats. It’s particularly common to drop off to sleep but wake in the early hours and then go fast asleep when the alarm is due to go off. This chronic lack of sleep has a real impact on your ability to function especially at work and is often blamed for not being able to concentrate or feeling forgetful.
9% said anxietywas their biggest problem, some said it was “crippling.” Women can find that something they’ve done for years without a second thought – such as presenting at a meeting, driving somewhere unfamiliar – suddenly becomes a huge challenge and the source of great anxiety or even panic attacks.
Next and in equal measure was brain fog, weight gain and excessive sweating with comments such as, “Brain fog causes so many arguments at home” and “I’m dripping with sweat when I’ve just got out the shower and I’m not even hot!’
And the list continues with exhaustion, vaginal dryness, loss of libido, dizziness and night sweats. Having just one of these to cope with would be more than enough but women often have several simultaneously.
Whatever your symptoms, it’s good to know that you’re not alone and there are millions of others feeling the same way. We at MenoHealth will cover each of these symptoms in our blogs, on our forum and at our weekly MenoClasses where we can support each other through the ups and downs of menopause.