5 symptoms you didn’t know were an effect of the menopause
A question I get asked a lot is ‘how do I know if I’m menopausal and there’s not something else going on?’. Well obviously as everyone is different and each woman has a widely varying experience of the menopause, that’s not a straight forward answer but there are a few key things to look out for that indicate that you may be perimenopausal (the stage before you actually stop your periods and are considered to have gone through it — yes I know it’s confusing!). And that’s what I’m going to talk you through in this article.
5 Signs you may be menopausal:
- Changes in your menstrual cycle
This can be heavier periods, an irregular cycle or changes to the length. Any changes you notice to your menstrual cycle can be a sign of fluctuating sex hormones. Personally I like to track mine with the Flo app so I know what’s happening and am aware of how things are changing. And let’s face it, our busy lives mean that we often forget or are just not sure if things have changed so keeping track on this simple app can help you be more aware. You are said to have gone through the menopause when you have not had a period for a year or more. Sometimes you can go without a period for 11 months and then suddenly get one again which is quite heavy. This is most likely your body having a last clear out so don’t feel too despondent that you thought you were through the other side and now you’re experiencing them again.
2. Your moods are all over the place
One of the main changes caused by declining oestrogen and progesterone levels can be our mood. Whether you feel low, are suffering with periods of anxiety or depression or just find yourself filled with rage at the smallest of things, your mood is a good indication that you may be menopausal. A lot of my clients admit to me that they don’t feel like themselves and their mood changes are effecting their relationships with their partners and children. Know that this is totally normal and that looking at ways to balance your hormones naturally can really make a difference.
3. Feeling tired all the time
Fatigue can often just be assumed to be a side effect of the pressure that we as women put ourselves under. However extreme tiredness particularly after a full nights sleep and it just not easing throughout the day can be a sign of fluctuating hormone levels associated with the menopause. Fluctuating oestrogen, increased cortisol caused by high levels of stress and declining thyroid hormones can all mean that we are just exhausted and that can have a major impact on your work, family and personal life. Looking at the foods you eat, taking time to relax and recharge and addressing sleep issues can all help.
4. Gaining weight around the middle
Did you hit 40 and realise that despite the fact your diet and exercise has remained the same your waist is expanding and you’re carrying excess fat in places you never have before? Imbalanced hormones are more often that not the reason for this change. Oestrogen affects our ability to burn fat and where we store it on our body, and excess cortisol can lead to storing fat around the middle. Getting in control of those two hormones is key to losing weight and being lean in your 40’s and beyond. Tweaking your diet and exercise can make a big difference and you don’t have to just accept that this is part of getting older and going through the change.
5. Unable to focus and concentrate
Forgetfulness, a fuzzy brain, lack of concentration or poor memory all come under the bracket of brain fog. These symptoms are often blamed on us just getting older, but it can be a sign of declining hormone levels during the menopausal years. It can start with you going upstairs and having no idea why, putting things in the fridge instead of the cupboard, or just forgetting names and words and become more prevalent when you are unable to focus at work and having to write everything down in case you forget. It can be really frustrating! The good news is that you’re not going mad and most likely you are perimenopausal and that balancing your hormones will help improve your memory and focus.
If you’re suffering with any of these symptoms and are looking to take control of them naturally through simple diet and lifestyle changes, book one of my Heal Your Hormones calls here to find out how I can support you in making those changes.