34 might seem like a strange number, but mother nature doesn’t always work in organised ways. But the truth is that over the years researchers have found 34 different symptoms that all point to a single condition – menopause. It’s something that all women go through at some point in their later lives, and it can present in a lot of different ways. This can make it difficult to recognise, especially if your symptoms aren’t matching the ‘well known’ menopause signs.
But that doesn’t mean you have to suffer through it. Today we’re going to show you want those 34 symptoms are, and how acupuncture can help you manage them more effectively.
The 34 Symptoms of Menopause
Hot Flushes: One of the most common symptoms of menopause. Hot flushes affect around 75% of menopausal women, so they tend to be the biggest giveaway. They make you feel very overheated and sweaty, and can cause a rising redness on your chest, neck and face.
Night Sweats: Night sweats are basically hot flushes that happen at night, and leave you feeling sweaty and unpleasant when you wake up. If they are severe enough, they can also disrupt your sleep.
Irregular Periods: Menopause is all to do with coming to the end of your reproductive cycle, and so as you go into it your periods will start to dissipate. This is because your hormone production decreases, and you may notice they start getting irregular before they stop completely. You might also find your get some symptoms (like PMS), but no actual bleeding,
Mood Swings: Mood swings affect 27% of menopausal women and can make you feel like a teenager again!
Vaginal Dryness: Your natural lubrication is maintained by your oestrogen levels, and since menopause causes them to drop, you might find yourself feeling a bit dry down there. It might even become uncomfortable or painful, especially during sex, so make sure you’ve got some lube on hand.
Decreased Libido: Men’s sex drive is controlled by testosterone, while women’s is controlled by oestrogen. And as we’ve already mentioned, these levels drop drastically during menopause, which can reduce your sexual appetite.
Headaches: If you experienced headaches during your periods, then unfortunately you are likely to get headaches throughout the menopause as well.
Breast Soreness: Any time your hormones change dramatically (periods, pregnancy and menopause), you tend to feel it in your breasts most. This might be a familiar soreness, but it will wear off.
Burning Mouth: Not a very common symptom, but as well as vaginal dryness, your saliva production can slow down too, leading to something called ‘burning mouth syndrome’.
Joint Pain: Not all joint pain signals arthritis! Menopause is a common time for women to develop musculoskeletal symptoms.
Digestive Problems: Your digestive system is the most sensitive system in your body, which is why it’s the first to go wrong when you go through major changes. Changes in hormones are definitely major changes, which can lead to stomach upsets like bloating, indigestion, constipation, diarrhoea and cramps.
Electric Shocks: Because of all the changes going on in your body, you may notice that you experience more electric shocks, particularly just before you get a hot flush.
Muscle Tension: Holding your body tightly is goes along with the anxiety and stress of menopause, and can make your muscles feel sore and strained.
Gum Problems: Around 10-40% of menopausal women will experience gum problems and a metallic taste in the mouth.
Tingling Extremities: While it’s not hugely common, you can experience tingling on any part of the body, usually the feet, hands, arms and legs.
Itchy Skin: During menopause your body is producing lower levels of oestrogen, and along with that goes lower levels of collagen. This means your skin might start to feel thin, dry and itchy.
Fatigue: While you might be as busy as usual, you may find yourself feeling extremely tired and drained.
Anxiety: Along with mood swings, you may also experience feelings on anxiety. Around 1 in 3 women experience anxiety during menopause, and appropriate treatments can help.
Disrupted Sleep: So much is changing in your body, it’s not surprising that you may struggle with disturbed sleep or even full blown insomnia.
Hair Loss: Most people know that men lose their hair as they get older, but most don’t realise that women can too, leaving you with thinner, limper hair.
Memory Lapses: Thankfully memory lapses during menopause are common and temporary, so will settle down once menopause has passed.
Difficulty Concentrating: The brain doesn’t work as hard during menopause because oestrogen is the hormone that pushes it to burn glucose for energy. With lower levels of oestrogen, you end up with a lack of focus and concentration.
Weight Gain: If you’re not careful about what you eat and exercising properly, the hormonal changes in your body can cause weight gain – just like when you first start taking hormonal contraception.
Dizzy Spells: Vertigo and dizzy spells are pretty common, caused once again by that pesky drop in oestrogen.
Bloating: Along with weight gain you might notice some bloating. This is usually the first symptom many women notice, even when they are still having periods.
Stress Incontinence: A lot of women will already have experience of this due to childbirth, but it can increase around menopause.
Brittle Nails: Low oestrogen can leave your nails feeling brittle, prone to snapping and breaking.
Allergies: Even if you never had a problem with allergies before, you might find you get them now, as your hormones are very closely related to your immune system.
Irregular Heartbeat: Lower oestrogen can overstimulate the nervous and circulatory systems, which can lead to heart palpitations and an irregular heartbeat.
Body Odour: Not only can the menopause make you sweat more, but the change in hormones can also actually change your natural scent and make you sweat more.
Irritability: Feeling irritable and snapping is another very common side-effect, and can also leave you feeling sad or depressed.
Depression: In more extreme cases, the low feeling can turn into full blown depression – which is 4 times more likely to affect menopausal women.
Panic Disorder: Menopausal women are much more susceptible to panic attacks than almost anyone else.
Osteoporosis: With menopause your bone density can drop by up to 20%, putting you at increased risk of osteoporosis.
How Acupuncture Can Help
As you can see, that’s a pretty wide range of symptoms! And even if you only have a few of them, you could end up trying to keep up with so many remedies to solve them. But you don’t have to. Acupuncture is a gentle, natural, non-evasive and effective way to deal with the symptoms of menopause – mainly because it works to balance the hormones. By balancing your hormones at a time of unrest, you can reduce or eliminate a lot of the side-effects of menopause and make the whole experience a bit more comfortable for you.
To find out more about the benefits of acupuncture during menopause, just get in touch with us today to book your free consultation.