35 Symptoms of Menopause
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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.

  1. Hot flashes, flushes, night sweats and/or cold flashes, clammy feeling (see note)
  2. Irregular heart beat
  3. Irritability
  4. Mood swings, sudden tears
  5. Trouble sleeping through the night (with or without night sweats)
  6. Irregular periods; shorter, lighter periods; heavier periods, flooding; phantom periods, shorter cycles, longer cycles
  7. Loss of libido (see note)
  8. Dry vagina (see note)
  9. Crashing fatigue
  10. Anxiety, feeling ill at ease
  11. Feelings of dread, apprehension, doom (see note)
  12. Difficulty concentrating, disorientation, mental confusion
  13. Disturbing memory lapses
  14. Incontinence, especially upon sneezing, laughing; urge incontinence (see note)
  15. Itchy, crawly skin (see note)
  16. Aching, sore joints, muscles and tendons (see note)
  17. Increased tension in muscles
  18. Breast tenderness
  19. Headache change: increase or decrease
  20. Gastrointestinal distress, indigestion, flatulence, gas pain, nausea
  21. Sudden bouts of bloat
  22. Depression (see note)
  23. Exacerbation of existing conditions
  24. Increase in allergies
  25. Weight gain (see note)
  26. Hair loss or thinning, head, pubic, or whole body; increase in facial hair
  27. Dizziness, light-headedness, episodes of loss of balance
  28. Changes in body odor
  29. Electric shock sensation under the skin and in the head (see note)
  30. Tingling in the extremities (see note)
  31. Gum problems, increased bleeding
  32. Burning tongue, burning roof of mouth, bad taste in mouth, change in breath odor
  33. Osteoporosis (after several years)
  34. Changes in fingernails: softer, crack or break easier
  35. Tinnitus: ringing in ears, bells, 'whooshing,' buzzing etc. (see note)

NOTES:

  • 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 intercourse
  • 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:

  • hypothyroidism
  • diabetes
  • 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.

* Note added by ProjectAWARE group.

 

 

 

 

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Updated 06/29/2011