The dreaded "change" or menopause, it's not a word that you want to hear. Or maybe you do. However, you feel about menopause, there are 34 menopause symptoms that can help you figure out if that irritability or those hot flashes are a sign that the "change" is coming your way.
Recognizing the Onset of Menopause
For women, menopause is a fact of life. As it approaches, women experience hormonal fluctuations that cause a wide variety of symptoms. For many women, hot flashes are the first indication that menopause is near. However, hot flashes are certainly not the only symptom of menopause.
Not all women experience the onset of menopause in the same manner. Some people begin to experience a few symptoms associated with menopause during their 30s, while others are largely asymptomatic throughout their 40s or even longer. Still other women experience many of the 34 menopause symptoms, often for an extended period of time.
A List of 34 Menopause Symptoms
- Allergies - Some premenopausal women experience increased problems with allergies.
- Anxiety - Women experiencing menopause often report increased feelings of anxiety and stress.
- Bloating - Menopausal women often experience an increased occurrence of bloating symptoms similar to those associated with premenstrual syndrome.
- Breast tenderness - During menopause, women often experience breast tenderness similar to that felt by pregnant women.
- Brittle nails - The hormonal fluctuations associated with menopause can limit the body's ability to produce keratin, resulting in brittle fingernails and toenails.
- Body odor changes - Hormonal changes can lead to increased perspiration and associated changes in body odor.
- Burning tongue - Some menopausal women experience burning tongue pain as well as a similar sensation throughout the entire mouth area.
- Depression - It isn't unusual for menopausal women to become depressed.
- Difficulty concentrating - Some women experience concentration problems.
- Dizziness - Menopausal women often experience unexplained dizzy spells.
- Electric shocks - Some women report feeling electric shock sensations under their skin during menopause.
- Fatigue - Overwhelming feelings of fatigue are among the most frequent and severe symptoms of menopause.
- Gastrointestinal problems - Many people report an increase in various digestive problems (gas, cramping, and nausea) during menopause.
- Gum problems - Some people experience increased problems with bleeding gums during menopause.
- Hot Flashes - It's a fact that hot flashes are among the most common symptoms of menopause. A vast majority of women experiencing this symptom during menopause.
- Hair changes - During menopause, many women observe an increase in facial hair and thinning of hair on other parts of their bodies.
- Headaches - Early in menopause, women often begin to experience more frequent and more severe headache pain.
- Incontinence - Menopausal women frequently experience bladder leakage and bladder control problems.
- Irregular, pounding heartbeat - The feeling of a "running away" heartbeat is one of the most common menopause symptoms.
- Irregular menstrual cycle - Menstrual irregularity is often the first sign that menopause is approaching.
- Irritability - Menopausal women often become very irritable. This symptom is often closely tied to mood swings.
- Itchy skin - For many women, one of the most annoying and constant symptoms of menopause is painful itching.
- Joint pain - Many menopausal women experience increased joint pain and possibly arthritis.
- Loss of libido - Many women experience a significant reduction in libido resulting from the hormonal fluctuations associated with menopause.
- Memory lapses - Difficulty remembering things is a commonly reported symptom of menopause.
- Mood swings - Menopausal women often exhibit extreme mood swings, ranging from bouts of crying to feelings of joy, for no apparent reason.
- Muscle tension - During menopause, some women experience increased muscular pain and tension.
- Night sweats - A large percentage of menopausal women report waking up in the middle of the night sweating. This is one of the most common symptoms of menopause.
- Osteoporosis - This disorder almost exclusively impacts menopausal and post-menopausal women.
- Panic attacks - For some women, the feelings of depression, irritability, and moodiness associated with menopause exacerbate to actual panic attacks.
- Sleep disorders - It's very common for women to develop insomnia during menopause, which is often tied to the experience of night sweats and the extreme fatigue often experienced during menopause.
- Tingling extremities - A large portion of menopausal women report feeling like they have bugs crawling on their arms and legs.
- Vaginal dryness - Because estrogen levels drop during menopause, vaginal dryness is a common symptom.
- Weight gain - Weight gain due to hormonal and metabolic changes is a serious concern for menopausal women.
The Experience Varies
The fact that you experience one of the 34 symptoms of menopause does not necessarily mean that you are beginning to go through it. The experience varies greatly from one person to another, so it's often difficult to pinpoint exactly when menopause is about to begin. However, as soon as you start to notice symptoms, it's a good idea to discuss what you are experiencing with your physician. This will allow you to start making proactive decisions about your health and regarding how you will handle the natural hormonal changes that every woman experiences as time goes by.