Scientists from the University of Queensland figured out that 48 years old is the average age women begin to experience the symptoms of menopause. Menopause starts when a woman doesn’t have her period for one year. During this time, women may have unpleasant symptoms that are connected with hormonal changes in the body.
Bright Side found out which symptoms a woman has during menopause and how to make this period easier. And at the end of this article, there’s a bonus that talks about eating during menopause.
1. Mood swings
Dr. E.W. Freeman and his colleagues from the University of Pennsylvania conducted a 9-year study of women during menopause. They gathered information by conducting interviews of the participants, through questionnaires, where they discussed symptoms and changes in health.
Through this they found out that during menopause women can have sudden mood swings, even if there is no reason for them. Over time, the mood swings become less frequent along with physiological changes.
2. Hot flashes
Scientists from Emory University studied hot flashes and sweating during the menopause. At first, women feel feverish and sweaty, they get red in the face and neck, and then they feel cold. Healthy women from aged from 45 to 55 took part in this research.
The results showed that these symptoms are detected in 25.7% of women but in women in the late stage of menopause, these symptoms are experienced 52.6% of women. In order to make the symptoms less noticeable, you should exclude certain spices, herbs, and alcohol from your diet. And if you’re a smoker, you should stop smoking.
3. Difficulty sleeping
Sleeping problems are one of the most popular complaints from women who have menopause. In a new research study conducted at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign of women aged 45 to 55 scientists found out that sleeping problems occur at different stages of menopause, but they correlate with depression and hot flashes. Professor Rebecca Smith says that if the other problems are solved, sleep will return back to normal.
Anita Clayton M.D., from the University of Virginia, has estimated that there is a connection between menopause and the risk of developing depression. Also, she came up with some recommendations for women during this period.
Menopause is a normal part of life and most women experience it in a similar way. However, some women become more vulnerable in terms of physical and psychological health. There is a high risk of becoming depressed.
If women go to the doctor in time and get tested for depression, it could help to reduce and even eliminate the symptoms.
5. Memory problems
Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Northwestern University in Chicago showed that women experiencing menopause can have memory problems. 68 women age 44 to 62 who had at least 35 hot flashes a week completed questionnaires about their menopause symptoms, mood, and memory.
Those who had more frequent hot flashes did worse on the tests and they also had memory problems for a longer time than women who had fewer hot flashes. In addition, women who reported more negative emotions did worse on the tests than women who had fewer.
6. Vascular problems
Scientists from the University of Colorado found a connection between menopause symptoms and vascular problems. “The menopausal transition is a vulnerable time for women in terms of vascular health,” said the study’s lead author Kerry Hildreth, MD. It negatively affects the quality of their lives.
You should take good care of your cardiovascular system during this period. Also, you could have swelling in legs and arms and in order to reduce it, you should drink less water in the evening.
Migraine headaches heat up as women approach menopause according to a new study from researchers at the University of Cincinnati. Generally, women have more headaches than men, and their frequency during the menopause can increase by 76%.
“Physicians can prescribe hormonal therapies that level out the changes that occur during the perimenopause and menopause time periods,” says Jelena Pavlovic, the co-author of the study.
A study from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill suggests that the estradiol (a form of estrogen) fluctuation that is common during the menopausal transition may increase emotional sensitivity to psychosocial stress.
More specifically, the results suggest that an estradiol fluctuation may increase women’s sensitivity to social rejection. When this sensitivity is combined with psycho-social stressors women are particularly vulnerable to developing clinically significant depressive symptoms. Physical activity, yoga, and meditation can help with these symptoms.
9. Low libido
Women experience a notable decline in sexual function approximately 20 months before and one year after their last menstrual period, and that decrease continues, but at a somewhat slower rate, over the following 5 years, according to a study led by a researcher at Wake Forest Medical Center.
More than 75 percent of the middle-aged women in the SWAN study reported that sex was moderately to extremely important to them when the study began. Race and ethnicity played a major role in the decline of sexual function, with African-American women experiencing a significantly smaller decline and women of Japanese descent experiencing a much greater decline when compared with white women.
Bonus: Food during menopause
If you have a good diet during menopause, this can ease your transition.
- Eat enough dairy products to get calcium.
- Get fiber from bread, rice, fresh fruit, and cereals.
- Drink a lot of water.
- Limit your alcohol consumption.
- Cut down on sugar and salt.
You should inform your doctor about all the changes that happen to your body during menopause in order to make you feel physically and psychologically better. How thoroughly do you take care of your health?
Illustrated by Natalia Breeva for Bright Side