Monday, February 26, 2007

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.

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

Okay, I'm not going to share which symptoms I have because frankly, they're embarrassing! But I will say that there are at least 12 of them that I have. I wonder how many you have to have before it's official?

I'm excited actually. To be done with all of this...forever? That sounds absolutely wonderful! I did this quiz on one site (I was looking for a site that had you answer yes or no to symptoms and told you how far along you are in the process. I found one once and it said I was still premenopausal.) and it said that perimenopause (where you actually have symptoms) only last 2 to 5 years. That's not what I've heard...but then I know a lot of women who have been on HRT so that would probably make the process longer.

I don't want HRT. Do you know what they do to get Estrogen??? I'm not taking that! I want to do this with proper diet & exercise.

I started looking because I've had COLD FLASHES & the extreme Fatigue...and it seems to be cyclical. I would probably know if I kept better track of these things.

Sorry to the guys & gals who aren't dealing with this yet. And to that gals who are there or close, any sharing would be great. Thanks!


  1. Mood swings and sudden tears...It's what I have and it's enough for the time being. I would love to have just a switch to turn off... the whole process seems endless and it seems I am only at the beginning. Very interesting topic, Renee!!!!

  2. Okay, I'm years from this yet, but I remember well my mom's process. Well. Too well perhaps...

    And um, she's either not done, or the hot flashes never go away!!

    Btw, I would have never guessed you were old enough to be starting any of the stages of menopause!!

  3. I hate to be the one to tell you that perimenopause and all its symptoms can last 7-10 years...that's what my doctor told me and she was absolutely correct...mine lasted 10 years almost to the day.

    Now that I'm past all that, I feel so liberated. Yes, I still get the occasional weepies and rages but for the most part, I've found a wonderful calmness and not having to deal with periods anymore is so wonderful. Keep this in mind as you work your way through the next several years. You can and will survive.

  4. I swear I've been suffering from perimenopause for years and no one believes me.

    I'm not naming symptoms either, but I will say that they are ALL highly annoying!

  5. Mar: I haven't noticed the mood swings yet...perhaps they are there and I just haven't seen them? Ask my family. ;)

    TC: I'm 40. I noticed that my Mom took FOREVER to go through the change...but then her doc put her on HRT and that seemed to drag it out.

    Joan: I found a quiz online about Menopause and one of the questions was how long does it last. I put the answer that had the 8 to 12 year range because that's what most women I know have had to go through...but the quiz said that I was wrong and it was only 2-5 years. Good to know I was right to begin with.
    After being cold all my life and now getting COLD flashes I'm looking forward to a hot flash. I know I'm a fool for thinking like this, but I'm cold and I hate it. My favorite place right now is to sit in my hot car in the sun.

    Denise: I think I've been suffering for years too. I just hope I can get the doctor to listen to me...when I find the time to make the appointment.

  6. Geez, I wonder how close I am to this. My girlfriend who is going through it now keeps telling me she thinks I'm in the beginning stages.

    Everyone has always told me to never, ever take the medicines they try to get you to take to relieve the symptoms.

  7. I would have never guessed you were 40: wow.

  8. Oh lucky you if it is! At least you can get it over with. I was hoping I was starting last year, but no such luck, dangit. Let us know how it goes. I don't mind the gory details. I'm closing in on 40 with alarming speed. (Sigh.)

  9. I have about 13 of the symptoms...I've had my period for so many year that I can't wait for them to stop...however, a friend of mine, who happens to be a doctor, said that your body ages rapidly once your periods stop... That doesn't sound to good to me either...not that I have much say in it.

  10. I went into menopause about three years ago (early). I tried to go naturally but I couldn't handle the hot flashes, night sweats and sleeplessness. I've been on HRT for about two years and it's made a world of difference.

    Here's another minute for you!

  11. yHi, Renee. I got your book in the mail today. Not sure how long it will take, since I sent it media rate (yeah, I'm a cheapskate!) Enjoy.

    I'm nearly 52 and have been having some of the symptoms about a year now. Hot flashes sound good to a cold natured person, until you start having them! Fortunately, mine aren't as bad as some I've heard about. BUT, I do normally sleep with just a sheet on (if anything) and Bob will have the air conditioner going. He's a good man. My biggest complaint so far is moodiness. It's like PMS but it's randomly scattered through the month. I will cry over anything. (Heck, I started crying while watching a rerun of Law and Order the other day when Olivia found out her mom died!) And, yes, some of the others as well. I'm looking forward to getting everything done with!

  12. Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal medicine can be a huge help for perimenopause. No synthetic hormones but it can be a godsend for the nasty sx.