I have been a bit out of sorts these days (actually, when I think about it, I’ve been a bit off since before Christmas last year), and I’ve put it down to the usual stress a breastfeeding mom undergoes when her little piglet is a year old and shows no signs of weaning herself. Then I came across this website and this list caught my attention. The 35 Symptoms of Menopause.

I looked long and carefully at the list and made an honest assessment of the symptoms that I have experienced.

The 35 Symptoms of Menopause

This list of common symptoms that occur during perimenopause (the phase before menopause actually takes place) 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.

  1. Hot flashes, flushes, night sweats and/or cold flashes, clammy feeling (see note) *check
  2. Irregular heart beat *Haven’t checked, so I’ll say probably not.
  3. Irritability *check, oh most definitely *check
  4. Mood swings, sudden tears *check
  5. Trouble sleeping through the night (with or without night sweats) *check
  6. Irregular periods; shorter, lighter periods; heavier periods, flooding; phantom periods, shorter cycles, longer cycles *check
  7. Loss of libido (see note) *I don’t think so 😉
  8. Dry vagina (see note)
  9. Crashing fatigue
  10. Anxiety, feeling ill at ease
  11. Feelings of dread, apprehension, doom (see note)
  12. Difficulty concentrating, disorientation, mental confusion *check
  13. Disturbing memory lapses *check
  14. Incontinence, especially upon sneezing, laughing; urge incontinence (see note) *check
  15. Itchy, crawly skin (see note) *check
  16. Aching, sore joints, muscles and tendons (see note) *check
  17. Increased tension in muscles *check
  18. Breast tenderness
  19. Headache change: increase or decrease
  20. Gastrointestinal distress, indigestion, flatulence, gas pain, nausea *check
  21. Sudden bouts of bloat *check
  22. Depression (see note)
  23. Exacerbation of existing conditions
  24. Increase in allergies
  25. Weight gain (see note) *check
  26. Hair loss or thinning, head, pubic, or whole body; increase in facial hair
  27. Dizziness, light-headedness, episodes of loss of balance *check
  28. Changes in body odor
  29. Electric shock sensation under the skin and in the head (see note)
  30. Tingling in the extremities (see note) *check
  31. Gum problems, increased bleeding *check
  32. Burning tongue, burning roof of mouth, bad taste in mouth, change in breath odor
  33. Osteoporosis (after several years)
  34. Changes in fingernails: softer, crack or break easier *check
  35. Tinnitus: ringing in ears, bells, ‘whooshing,’ buzzing etc. (see note)

I just scored 18 out of 35. That’s 51.4%. Does that mean I’m perimenopausal? But wait, there’s more…

NOTES:

  • Symptom 1 (flashes) Hot flashes are due to the hypothalamic response to declining ovarian estrogen production. The declining estrogen state induces hypophysiotropic neurons in the arcuate nucleas of the hypothalamus to release gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) in a pulsatile fashion, which in turn stimulates release of luteinizing hormone (LH). Extremely high pulses of LH occur during the period of declining estrogen production. The LH has vasodilatory effects, which leads to flushing.
  • Symptom 7 (loss of libido) For some women the loss is so great that they actually find sex repulsive, in much the same way as they felt before puberty. What hormones give, loss of hormones can take away.
  • Symptom 8 (dry vagina) results in painful intercourse
  • Symptom 11 (doom thoughts) includes thoughts of death, picturing one’s own death
  • Symptom 14(incontinence) reflects a general loss of smooth muscle tone
  • Symptom 15 (itchy, crawly skin) feeling of ants crawling under the skin, not just dry itchy skin
  • Symptom 16 (aching sore joints) may include such problems as carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Symptom 22 (depression) different from other depression, the inability to cope is overwhelming. There is a feeling of loss of self. Hormone therapy ameliorates the depression dramatically.
  • Symptom 25 (weight gain) often around the waist and thighs, resulting in ‘the disappearing waistline’
  • Symptom 29 (shock sensation) "the feeling of a rubber band snapping in the layer of tissue between skin and muscle. It is a precursor to a hot flash"
  • Symptom 30 (tingling in extremities) can also be a symptom of B-12 deficiency, diabetes, alterations in the flexibility of blood vessels, or a depletion of potassium or calcium
  • Symptom 35* (tinnitus) one of those physical conditions that seems to manifest in some women at the same time as menopause. It can be associated with health conditions such as hypothyroidism and heart disease, and is a known side-effect of many medications, including aspirin (salicylates) and Prozac.

SOME OF THE 35 SYMPTOMS MAY ALSO BE SIGNS OF THE FOLLOWING:

  • hypothyroidism
  • diabetes
  • depression with another etiology
  • other medical conditions

Now they tell me. I think I’ll just go and pretend to have whatever other medical condition…

So it’s come to that, has it…


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6 thoughts on “So it’s come to that, has it…

  1. Gelay good for your mom! kakainggit … i’m not really sure what this is, kasi naman the rule of thumb is if you get it early you’re more likely to lose it early din (menses, i mean). Gusto ko pa naman sana humirit pa ng one more baby…:neutral:

  2. So you mean to say those girls who experienced precocious puberty/adolenscence eh maagang magmememopause? EEEKK! I experienced puberty at the aged of 7-9 pa naman! 😕

  3. Gel, rule of thumb is hardly scientific, but I found this other article online International variability of ages at menarche and menopause: Patterns and main determinants. Very interesting read after I got through the statistical gobbledygook, especially when they discuss the variables that contribute to the onset of menarche… fascinating!

    And here’s an even better read: Imaginis: The Breast Health Resource, the section on menopause.

    But hey, you’re a young girl! Tsaka mo na basahin yan! :mrgreen:

  4. Bambit, I almost killed myself laughing while reading your entry! My mother who is 54 now is still in “menopausal denial stage.” I have no idea what to do with her… too much complaints about being menopausal… what’s the big deal? Or am I missing something entirely?:neutral:

  5. sepikmom, you’re not missing anything… you’re just not there yet! 😆

    tell your mom HI for me, and that she is not alone, that although I am 10 years younger than she, i believe everything she says, and that the only thing we can look forward to when this is all over is the big chunk of budget we save on soap and feminine pads!
    :mrgreen:

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