The Ultimate Menopause Survival Guide: How To Soothe The 25 Symptoms

January 01, 2020

Many ladies get caught off guard.

The hot flashes… 

Sudden bouts of lethargy… 

Violent & erratic mood swings.

And if that’s not enough.

At night, we find ourselves soaking through even the thickest bedsheets.

Welcome to the world of menopause.

If any of these sound familiar, don’t be alarmed! 

They are normal symptoms that come with “the change”.

In this article, we’re going to dive deep into the 25 most common symptoms and the 3 stages they usually occur at - perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause. 

Note: Many of these symptoms can come all at once and at different stages. We compiled them based on typical occurrences. 

It’s a long post, so grab a cup of coffee and get comfortable as we go through the symptoms, the science and most importantly what to do for quick relief!

 

 

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Here’s what we will be covering

The 3 Stages Of Menopause and Their 25 Symptoms

  1. 10 Perimenopause Symptoms

    1. Hot Flashes
    2. Mood Swings
    3. Insomnia
    4. Chronic Dry Eyes
    5. Menopausal Acne
    6. Indigestion
    7. Fatigue & Low Energy
    8. Panic Attacks & Anxiety
    9. Focus & Concentration
    10. Spotting During Periods

  2. 9 Menopause Symptoms

    1. Menopausal Rage & Irritability
    2. Bloating & Gas
    3. Menopausal Migraines
    4. Weight Gain, Menobelly
    5. Dry And Brittle Skin
    6. Hair Loss, Hair Growth
    7. Loss Of Libido
    8. Brain Fog & Forgetfulness
    9. Menopausal Depression

  3. 5 Postmenopause Symptoms  
    1. Osteoporosis
    2. Heart Palpitation
    3. Water Retention
    4. Lower Immunity
    5. Urinary Tract Infection

Let’s start!

Stage #1: Perimenopause

Perimenopause symptoms & remedy

What is Perimenopause?

Perimenopause starts when ovaries start to weaken and age. This creates fluctuating levels of female hormones - estrogen and progesterone

This change is usually sudden and could happen a few months to about 10 years before menopause, and most ladies tend to experience this anywhere between 35-50. 

It is also going to be the first time ladies start to experience symptoms like hot flashes, intense mood swings or sudden adult acne breakouts. 

Top 11 Symptoms You Can Expect With Perimenopause

Symptom #1: Hot Flashes

It can hit you out of nowhere.

A sudden feeling of heat accompanied by a flushed face and profuse sweating drenching your clothes.

Hot flashes affect up to 70% of women going through (peri) menopause and are one of the biggest reasons why ladies opt for HRT. 

It’s uncomfortable, tiring, and disruptive to our lives.

For some ladies who have it worse, they might experience this up to 20 times a day!

After the hot flash is over, some ladies experience an “after chill”, where they’d be sweating profusely for a second and then suddenly start feeling cold and clammy. 

Hot flashes may also present themselves in the form of night sweats. 

Ladies get woken up from soaking through clothes and bedsheets. This means the bed and linen are left wet and chilly - obviously affecting sleep.

But why does this happen?

While studies are still unclear, likely research suggests that hot flashes happen when estrogen levels fluctuate and affect our internal “thermostat”.

This can cause glands to go haywire and make your body thinks it’s overheated, triggering perspiration to cool our body.

Stress and anxiety can also trigger hot flashes.

Natural Remedies, Go-To Health Foods & Quick Relief Tips:

  • Prebiotics. Studies by Neurochemistry International have shown that Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) helps with stress reduction which in turn helps reduce the frequency and severity of hot flashes.

    FOS can be found commonly in bananas and blue agave - a Mexican plant that is a popular base ingredient of tequila. Other than FOS, galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) also reduces stress symptoms which in return reduces the frequency and severity of hot flashes.

  • Red clover. This is a herbal medicine that soothes hot flashes. It also has a fermented form that research shows to be working even better at soothing hot flashes.

    Red clover is also useful for bone density loss or high cholesterols. It is available as a tea or there are many herbal supplements available.

  • Evening primrose oil. Evening primrose oil is high in omega-6 fatty acids that help to reduce inflammation. It has been clinically tested to soothe hot flashes, especially in reducing the severity.

    However, as it is an oil, it can turn rancid easily. It is important to get your evening primrose oil from a good source to avoid it being of poor quality or contaminated.

Symptom #2: Mood Swings

One moment you’re laughing…

The next you’re screaming in angry fits.

In fact, some ladies have mentioned how they have snapped at their husbands for being annoying even if their husbands were just breathing.

These are some of the signs of mood swings during menopause.

But what causes a mood swing? 

As our bodies produce less estrogen, there is less estrogen to regulate several hormones - serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine - which has mood-boosting abilities. 

As estrogen helps support brain function like cognition, it can cause us to have periods of forgetfulness that can lead to frustration and mood swings as well.

While it doesn’t affect everyone, ladies with low estrogen and low progesterone hormones tend to be more susceptible to this.

Natural Remedies, Go-To Health Foods & Quick Relief Tips:

  • Practice mindfulness. Follow these 3 “D-A-U” steps to mindfulness. Step 1, when your emotions swell up, take a Deep Breath and empty your mind. Step 2, Acknowledge Your Emotions and let yourself feel the negative emotions, do not repress them. Give yourself 10 minutes collect your thoughts. Step 3, Understand That It’s Not You, It’s Your Hormones Acting Up and move on to your next small task. This simple 3 step process allows you to break out of unresourceful states of mind and focus on things you can control.

  • Try a PQQ supplement. Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) helps boost mood as well as energy, concentration, attention and working memory. Found naturally in Kiwi, Papaya and Tofu, PQQ also shows signs of reducing cortisol levels in the body that results in better sleep and mood. It might also help to boost focus and concentration. So, you’ll do better work and your mood lifts when you’re being productive.

  • Tryptophan. Serotonin can help relieve depression and anxiety. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that is essential in creating serotonin. Tryptophan is also commonly used to treat insomnia and sleep disorders like sleep apnea. However, research does not have conclusive results on tryptophan’s effectiveness in treating insomnia. Tryptophan can be found in foods high in protein like chicken, eggs, cheese, fish and turkey. 

Symptom #3. Insomnia

Like sleep?

You can forget about it when going through the change.

Up to 40-50 percent of women rank menopausal insomnia as one of their top complaints.

Many take 30 minutes or longer to fall asleep. Some get fewer than six hours of sleep on three or more nights per week. Most wake too early.

And almost all women do not feel rested or refreshed after sleeping.

Sleep apnea (breathing problems), lack of REM sleep (needed for high cognitive function in the day) and night sweats are also big issues.

The lack of sleep impacts our daily lives and can disrupt simple things like entertaining dinner guests or doing housework.

Natural Remedies, Go-To Health Foods & Quick Relief Tips:

  • Invest in cool bedding, mattress & pillows. Memory foam is notorious for trapping heat, this will not end well! There are latex/hybrid mattresses out there with built-in cooling comfort layers. If you want to go for a small test to try it out, go for cooling pillow sheets made of silk, breathable cotton or gel-infused covers.

  • Blackout curtains. Many ladies are light sleepers and a bit of light can disrupt a peaceful night. Go for blackout curtains if you suspect you’re light sensitive, just remember to set your morning alarm in case it works too well.

  • Valerian Root. A native herb to Europe and parts of Asia, this is a remedy for insomnia, anxiety and psychological stress. It’s a great nutrient to add to your daily supplementation if you need a light natural ‘sedative’ for an overactive brain.

Symptom #4: Chronic Dry Eyes

61% of women going through menopause experience dry and itchy eyes, but only 16% realize that it’s due to menopause!

It may even sting, burn, get irritated and get bloodshot.

Some ladies also likened it to having grains of sand flinged into their eye (a gritty, annoying feeling).

If your eyes get inflamed, there might also be abrasions on your eye’s surface. More severe cases also can cause a stringy discharge and blurred vision.

Why does this happen?

When hormone levels fluctuate, tear production starts to decrease and there are fewer tears to lubricate your eyes. If you’re on antidepressants or anti-histamines, they might also be contributing to this.

Natural Remedies, Go-To Health Foods & Quick Relief Tips:

  • Sunglasses. For avid athletes who are frequently outdoors, you can protect your eyes from drying out too fast with sunglasses that help to block the wind and dry air. 

  • Avoid contact lenses. Many contact lens wearers will find their eyes feels drier after wearing lenses. The contact lens blocks most of the essential oxygen flow to the eyes. Without oxygen, your eyes will have trouble developing natural tears. No matter if they are “moist” contact lenses or not!

  • Omega-3 fatty acids. They are good for your heart and your eyes as they are high in antioxidants. A 2011 study found that eating unsaturated fatty acids can effectively treat dry eyes. It would be good to eat at least 2 portions of fish a week. Fishes that are high in omega-3 fatty acids are oily fish such as salmon, tuna, or mackerel. 

Symptom #5: Menopausal Acne

Menopausal acne is another common symptom.

This is typically linked to the fluctuation of estrogen levels in the gut. 

Hormonal adult (menopausal) acne typically forms on the lower part of your face including the bottom of your cheeks and around your jawline.

Acne breakouts in your 40s may also be due to the increase of androgen hormones like testosterone and increase of cortisol levels. 

Ladies who have chosen to go through Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) might still experience menopausal acne because some HRTs use an influx of the hormone progestin to replace estrogen and progesterone.

This new hormone introduction can still cause breakouts.

Natural Remedies, Go-To Health Foods & Quick Relief Tips:

  • Tea Tree Oil. This natural remedy has reportedly helped many ladies decrease inflammation for angry, red type acne. If you’re thinking of using it as ‘spot’ treatment, remember to dilute with a carrier oil such as coconut or olive. 1 drop of tea tree oil to 6 drops of carrier oil is a good gauge.

  • Green Tea. Again, this is a good remedy for reducing inflammation. Having 2-3 cups a day for 2 weeks or so should help clear up inflammation from acne. This is on top of your regular skin routine.

  • Vitamin A. This is an antioxidant and promotes the healing of acne lesions. Direct forms tend to come from retinoid creams, lotions, and masks. An alternative would be Vitamin A rich foods like broccoli, spinach, and other dark green leafy vegetables. Moringa Leaf, a herb we use in our thermogenic probiotic formula for menopausal weight loss is rich in vitamin A

Symptom #6: Indigestion

It might have been 2 hours since dinner, but you still feel full and uncomfortable.

Other times, you might even feel abdominal pain together with a burning in your chest with a lot of burping.

And it doesn’t stop there - some ladies also complain about constipation, diarrhea, nausea, and decreased appetite.

Why does this happen?

Estrogen helps keep stress hormones low and our digestive system running smoothly. So when estrogen runs low, all these symptoms of indigestion start popping up.

With three meals every day, indigestion is a near 24-hour daily battle.

Natural Remedies, Go-To Health Foods & Quick Relief Tips:

  • Peppermint tea. You might think of peppermint as being only for breath mints and toothpaste. However, peppermint tea can help you to relieve indigestion, or if you are feeling nauseous. Brew a cup of peppermint tea to drink after meals will soothe your stomach. Some ladies even breathe in deeply the aroma of peppermint tea before drinking it - it has helped them with nausea as well! NOTE: Avoid peppermint if you know that your indigestion is caused by an existing condition of acid reflux, GERD or ulcers as it might worsen your condition.

  • Ginger. This handy food in your pantry is not only useful for cooking, but it can also help with indigestion caused by having too much stomach acid. Drink about a cup of ginger tea to soothe your stomach (most servings contain 1 or 2g of pure ginger). However, try not to take more than 3 to 4 grams each day as it can lead to gas or slight heartburn.

  • Fennel seed. Native indian communities have traditionally chewed on fennel seeds after a meal to help aid their digestion. To try it, crush it in the palm of your hand, pop it into your mouth and chew on it. If you prefer a tea, put ½ teaspoon of crushed fennel seed in water and allow it to boil 

 

Symptom #7: Fatigue & Low Energy

Lack of motivation…

Low energy…

It’s a constant and overwhelming fatigue that lulls us into bed by 7 pm…

Where we’re feeling tired from just going out for groceries that are just around the corner… 

And causing us to find it tough to get out of bed to do anything even if it is to enjoy ourselves like going to a dinner party with our friends or loved ones. 

Menopause seems to have stolen our mojo!

Our hormones that support energy are changing during menopause - estrogen, progesterone, thyroid, and adrenal hormones. This leaves our bodies tired and trying to work with all the changes.

The changing hormones also leave us with other symptoms like headaches and night sweats that make it hard to sleep and we end up feeling fatigued.

Natural Remedies, Go-To Health Foods & Quick Relief Tips:

  • CoQ10. This is a natural compound that our cells need to make energy. However, as CoQ10 levels drop in our body as we age, we need to supplement our CoQ10 levels. Other than boosting energy, CoQ10 also helps to support heart health, memory and brain functions as well as protect against free radical damage. CoQ10 can be found in organ meats like heart, liver, and kidney as well as fatty fish like trout, herring, mackerel, and sardine.

  • Nutritious high vitamin A and B diet. Your body is like a machine that needs fuel to keep going. If you’re feeling fatigued, it might be because your body is lacking in nutrients. Choose whole, nutritious foods that can provide your body with a wide range of nutrients to have your body functioning at its best. This means minimally processed foods like avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, potatoes, kale, spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, berries, pears, peaches, pineapple, tofu, tempeh, etc. Other than eating right, you also have to eat enough. So, avoid skipping meals.

  • Fatigue-fighting exercises. Moving around gets your blood flowing and your body actually starts to create more energy. This means that the more you move around, the less fatigued you will feel. It does not have to be a marathon, just 15 minutes or more of exercise a day will do the trick. The top exercises to fight fatigue are running, low-to-moderate intensity walking, stretching, yoga, HIIT, rowing and boxing. Please take care to do the exercises that are suitable for your exercise ability.


Symptom #9: Panic Attacks & Anxiety

Always nervous and anxious... 

Restless… 

Tensed up.

Your heart is pounding and you’re finding it difficult to breathe.

Sweat is beading up on your forehead.

If you’ve ever felt this way, you might be suffering from mini-panic attacks.

When you’ve had panic attacks before, you will be more likely to experience panic attacks during perimenopause.

They typically occur for women with low estrogen and progesterone levels and can be amplified reaction to the stress of other menopause symptoms.

Lasting 10-30 minutes, you might notice other signs like heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness as well.

For some, it can seem like a terrifying experience similar to that of a heart attack or a nervous breakdown, but for more serious attacks it’s usually due to increase of cortisol levels or irregular breathing. 

Natural Remedies, Go-To Health Foods & Quick Relief Tips:

  • Regular breathing. Irregular breathing can trigger panic attacks - trying to breathe too fast, or breathing in more than your body can let you. Concentrate on making your breathing even and having deep breaths. 
  • Essential oils. Essential oils are complementary and alternative medicine that is commonly practiced to reduce panic attacks and anxiety. Essential oils for reducing panic attacks and anxiety are lavender, lemon, bergamot and ylang-ylang. These four essential oils have been found to uplift moods and bring about relaxation. There are many ways to use essential oils. They can be mixed with oils to use in massage, or put in diffusers for aromatherapy.
  • Avoid triggers. Alcoholic drinks, caffeine, smoking, and recreational drugs can trigger attacks. 

 

Symptom #10: Focus & Concentration Issues

“What were we talking about again?”

Being constantly distracted is no fun.

You might find yourself reading the same paragraph 2 or 3 times and are still not sure what the paragraph was about. 

The days of being able to focus on one task for hours seems to have quietly crept away.

You might also notice forgetting a few words, misplacing your keys or losing track of conversations. It’s affecting your work life - as you are spending too much time over one task…

It disrupts your personal life - as you have trouble with all the bills and small tasks, that are just piling up waiting for you to clear.

This might be happening to you because when estrogen levels are low, there’s a direct impact on your hippocampus (key in-memory processing).

Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston have found that women who had lower levels of estradiol did worse on memory tests.

This might also feel familiar to those who’ve had kids as many ladies report having symptoms similar to having “mom-brain” during pregnancy.

Natural Remedies, Go-To Health Foods & Quick Relief Tips:

  • Phytoestrogens. Try to include more foods with naturally occurring phytoestrogens such as flaxseeds, soy, chickpeas, sesame seeds. Phytoestrogens mimic estrogen in the body and help to manage your brain’s energy to help you focus.

  • Practice concentration. Your brain needs to practice concentration as well. An ancient Japanese “Red Dot” technique for concentration was to focus staring at a red dot against a green background for a few minutes. Then they would close their eyes and focus on “holding” the imprint of the dot for as long as possible. This has helped many recentre their attention and get back to their tasks quickly when distracted.

  • Cacao. Chocolate improves focus and memory by boosting blood flow. The flavonoids found in chocolate improves the memory function of the brain. But instead of taking the milk chocolate version, go for cacao instead. Cacao is a pure form of chocolate that’s as similar as can be to the original state when it was harvested and preserves much of the nutrients from then.

Take Menopause Quiz

Symptom #11: Spotting During Periods

Spotting or heavy flow?

It’s a common issue during perimenopause.

During this stage, there might be a change to the duration and flow of your period. Some women have observed longer gaps between periods or spotting between 2 cycles. 

On the flip side, others have also reported very heavy flow that might require several changes a day. 

Expect a high level of irregularity depending on which hormones are at a high during your cycle.

Ovulation is triggered by a spike in female hormones - FSH and LH. During perimenopause, your ovaries will age and affect these female hormones. It could cause your ovaries to ovulate less often than before. 

When there is no ovulation occurring, your body produces smaller amounts of progesterone. Progesterone acts as a trigger for the uterus lining to shed. So, there is a longer time period between menstruation and each menstruation might have a heavier flow. 

Especially for couples trying to get pregnant in their mid-30’s, do take note of this symptom to prevent added anxiety from spotting or irregular cycles.

Natural Remedies, Go-To Health Foods & Quick Relief Tips:

  • Ginger Tea. Getting some ginger in your system may help regulate your cycle and relief some period symptoms like cramps. A daily dose of 750 mg - 2000 mg is a good starting point.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar. Taken either with honey or mixed in with soups, this is a good way to restore ovulatory menstruation. ACV is also good support for weight loss and lower blood sugar levels.

  • Vitamin D. This has been studied to help with depression, weight loss as well as better period regulation especially for women with PCOS.

 

Stage #2: Menopause

Menopause Infographics

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What is Menopause?

Menopause starts with the last menstrual period (bleeding) and lasts for 12 months.

But by this time, the mad chaotic stage of the start of perimenopause would be over and ladies would have settled into some sort of equilibrium and found ways to help their symptoms. 

However, menopause would bring a different set of challenges as female hormones start normalizing to a new low.

NOTE: Many of the symptoms experienced during perimenopause may not go away. Things like hot flashes, mood swings and concentration issues tend to persist.

Why do we go through Menopause?

It’s official.

Ovaries stop releasing eggs.

This means there would be minimal production of estrogen.

We start feeling “low”, with the constant need to cuddle in bed and watch Netflix instead of going out and getting drinks with our girlfriends.

 

Next 9 Symptoms You Can Expect With Menopause

Symptom #12: Menopausal Rage & Irritability

How many times have you felt like slapping your partner or colleague hard across the face?

Or suddenly go from feeling pretty stable to intensely resentful?

You're not going crazy.

Here's what's happening:

Similar to mood swings, lower estrogen affects the production of serotonin. And when those levels drop, so do our patience levels.

Serotonin is the key mood regulator and happiness booster, which explains why we can go into fits over seemingly small things.

Especially when amplified with the discomfort of hot flashes, low energy, poor sleep and migraines...

Our temperament can be greatly affected.

Natural Remedies, Go-To Health Foods & Quick Relief Tips:

  • Create awareness with important relationships in your life. Sit down with your partner and inform him/her of the changes you're going through. Help them understand the fluctuations and discomforts. When you're open and calm during this explanation, you'll be able to get a lot more empathy, patience, and love.

  • Bolster Serotonin levels. Getting natural mood lifters, or taking serotonin precursor supplements can help keep you balanced. Phytoestrogens like curcumin also help with swingy moods.

  • Get a creative outlet. It doesn't matter if you're not an "artistic person". Doodling on paper, having a garden, cooking, painting, picking up an instrument. Creation allows you to redirect your emotions and while in that creative state, your mind is tuned in to only focus on that one task. Call it mindfulness, being in a "zone", gratefulness appreciation, essentially your mind is productive and won't focus on negative emotions like anger or stress.

 

Symptom #13: Bloating & Gas

"The tightness or fullness of the abdomen".

Bloating is sometimes painful, and always uncomfortable.

You might have a flat tummy in the morning, but it balloons over the day and looks fully bloated at night.

As a whole are 2 types of bloating that women over 40 experience. Gas and water (we talk about water retention here).

For menopausal gas bloating...

There are a couple of triggers and usually are more prominent if you experienced digestive issues previously during your menstrual cycle.

The most common trigger is poor gut flora due to diet, eating habits and an imbalance of gut bacteria.

Dysbiosis is the technical term for an imbalance of gut flora and typically happens when estrogen levels in the gut take a sudden tumble.

Besides creating bloat that makes your belly pop out and embarrassing gas, dysbiosis can also lead to other digestive issues like constipation and indigestion.

IBS, Celiac disease and gastric reflux are also common when digestive issues occur frequently.

Natural Remedies, Go-To Health Foods & Quick Relief Tips:

  • Peppermint tea or capsules. These tend to work well if you've already been chewing properly and drinking water on a regular basis. Peppermint works by relaxing intestinal muscles which allow stools and gas to move along effectively.

  • Probiotics. Good gut health comes into play on so many levels from the skin to immunity. This is the obvious one. If you're not already on a daily probiotic, this is essential especially if you're going through menopause. You'll feel more energized, regular and alert throughout the day as well.

  • Go for sensitive and easy to digest foods like toast, eggs, sweet potatoes and chicken. While these are often foods prescribed for people recovering from a stomach virus, these are gut-friendly and tasty for sensitive tummies.

 

Symptom #14: Menopausal Migraines

Not again!

Migraine headaches are painful and can put your life on hold for several hours or days. They’re often connected to fluctuations in estrogen.

Women, unfortunately, make up 75% of migraine cases.

There are typically 2 types of migraines, the ones with an "aura" and those without.

"Aura" migraines are headaches with that bring on sensory symptoms like the ones below before a migraine hits:

  • Seeing flashing lights or lines
  • Numbness or tingling in face/hands
  • Mental confusion
  • Distorted sense of smell or taste

While the research is not fully clear, some studies point to changes in the levels of brain chemicals.

This causes inflammation which makes blood vessels swell and press against nearby nerves.

Natural Remedies, Go-To Health Foods & Quick Relief Tips:

  • Lavender Oil. According to 2012 research, people who inhaled lavender oil during a migraine attack for 15 minutes experienced faster relief than those who inhaled a placebo. They can be inhaled directly or applied diluted to the temples. Plus they smell soooo good!

  • Magnesium. Especially for migraines with aura, this can be a big help. If you don't have a supplement, almonds, sunflower seeds, cashews, and oatmeal are some other sources of natural magnesium.

  • Go for fortnightly massages! Circulation and stress are 2 big issues that really pop up during menopause, massages are a great way to take the load off. Hunt for deals on sites like Groupon, Living Social or head over to Chinatown for a Shiatsu-style treatment (usually for about $40).

 

Symptom #15: Weight Gain, Menobelly

“I was thin and active for my entire life. Now, without any eating or exercise changes, my belly looks like I swallowed a balloon.”

You might have felt this way too as you start noticing a shift of fat to the abdomen - a slowly growing MenoPot or Menobelly.

You are not alone.

Hormonal changes during menopause cause more weight to accumulate around women’s abdomen, hips, and thighs. 

This can occur even if you’ve been eating right and exercising. You might even gain even more weight, which are clear signs of low estrogen and progesterone levels.

It also happens because of aging and moving around less as we feel more fatigued with bad sleep.

Natural Remedies, Go-To Health Foods & Quick Relief Tips:

  • Add fiber. Consume a high-fiber diet. It will keep you full for longer so that you consume less. In fact, just eating 30 grams of fiber each day can help to lose weight, lower blood pressure and improve response to insulin. If you consume prebiotics (also a dietary fiber) it will help to keep your gut flora healthy which will help you to maintain your weight.

  • Reduce stress with magnesium. Stress hormones cortisol will cause more fats to gather around your abdomen. And stress hormones will rise if you do not get enough sleep as well. Take some stress-reducing foods. Swiss chard and other leafy veggies have magnesium that helps balance the body’s stress hormones.

  • Look for probiotic strains that promote fat-breakdown in your gut. L.Gasseri is a rare probiotic found in small amounts in fermented foods like Puba (a Brazilian staple). Studies show that after 12 weeks of consuming L. Gasseri, there is an 8.5% impact on weight. This is without making any other drastic changes to their lifestyles or diets.

Take Menopause Quiz

 

Symptom #16: Dry And Brittle Skin

It is common to notice our hair and skin become drier and thinner. 

The next dry spots you might notice is a flaky t-zone or elbows. 

While dry skin can occur over your entire body, it will concentrate around the oil-gland-dense areas. This means your face, back, chest, legs, and genitals.

Dry skin will feel itchy and you have to resist scratching at all costs if you want to avoid scars.

When your estrogen levels are low, there will also be lesser collagen and oil production to moisturize your skin. 

This causes the outermost layer of the skin (epidermis) to start to crack into dry and brittle platelets with gaps in between them. The cracks allow moisture from the skin to escape and our skin gets even more dry.

Natural Remedies, Go-To Health Foods & Quick Relief Tips:

  • Pig’s Trotters. Pig trotters or pig’s feet might sound a little gross, they are rich in collagen that helps prevent wrinkles and enhance skin elasticity. Just be careful to remove the fat from the feet as possible. The asians consider this a delicacy and call it the “beauty food”. Trotters can be found cooked in many ways - braised with soybeans, in black vinegar, in dark soy sauce. Here’s one recipe you could try:https://www.theburningkitchen.com/pig-trotter-vinegar/

  • Add Retinoids to your supplementation. This is essentially vitamin A and it can come in a few forms - retinol. Retinaldehyde, or tretinoin. The retinoids will interact with an enzyme in your skin to repair it and stimulate collagen production. This is safe to use for an extended period of time as long as the treatment does not dry out your skin.

  • Add products with Hyaluronic acid to your skin routine. This is a gooey substance that is found in your skin, connective tissue and eyes. It retains water to keep our tissues moist. That’s why it works so well for dry skin. However, do not apply hyaluronic acid over oil. Hyaluronic acid is water-based and cannot penetrate the oil. So if you would like to apply oils, then do it after you have applied hyaluronic acid.

 

 

Symptom #17: Hair Loss, Thinning & Hair Growth

Whoops.

Finding your hair all over your house and clogging your shower can get even more frustrating for women during menopause. 

The lack of production of estrogen & progesterone during menopause causes our hair to grow slowly and even thin it in the process.

However, along with this common “reason” other major factors such as - increased stress, low blood circulation or a lack of certain nutrients - also contribute to hair loss during menopause. 

The worst part is that - as we start losing hair on our head, some of us might start noticing additional facial hair (around our chin & upper lip) - which can make us feel self-conscious about our physical appearance. 

Natural Remedies, Go-To Health Foods & Quick Relief Tips:

  • Flaxseed. Along with Omega-3, which promotes hair re-growth; Flaxseed contains all the right micronutrients your hair & scalp needs - such as Vitamin E, Vitamin B, Magnesium & Copper. You could either wear flaxseed oil, gel or mask once a week or have one spoonful of crushed flaxseed every day with a cup of warm water every morning for a week to start seeing results.

  • Red wine. Yes, you read it right! The science suggests drinking half a glass of wine per day helps with the circulation of your blood - promoting healthy circulation in your scalp which helps to strengthen blood vessels and reduce hair loss (along with stress).

  • Castor Oil. Usually, your hair grows by about half an inch every month, but with the regular use of castor oil - hair growth can be boosted by three to five times the usual rate. Applying castor oil to your scalp regularly (at least twice a week) will show noticeable results within a few months of use. The best combination, popular amongst most ladies is - 2 parts castor oil, 2 parts coconut oil and 1 part vitamin E oil - which helps boost hair growth. 

 

Symptom #18: Loss of Libido

Sexual problems are more common than you think in menopausal women. 

This is typically caused by the decreased estrogen levels which reduce the blood flow to our vagina, making its lining thinner & dryer. 

What does that mean for us? 

It basically makes it less sensitive to sexual stimulation - that leads to a lack of sexual interest and enjoyment, affecting our relationships in the long run. 

Ladies who have chosen to go through Estrogen therapy have reported higher levels of sexual desires compared to women who did not. 

However, you should discuss with your doctor before you start taking any medication - as introducing new hormones could come with various side effects. 

Natural Remedies, Go-To Health Foods & Quick Relief Tips:

  • Taking probiotics daily for 4-5 weeks may help to increase libido by producing healthy gut flora by increasing healthy bacteria & bringing back it’s natural lubrication - to reduce the thinning & dryness of the vagina in the long run.

  • Black Cohosh is known to have an estrogen-like compound that helps stimulate the female reproductive system. Therefore, many ladies have reported seeing a positive result in their libido after drinking 1-2 cups of warm Black Cohosh tea every day for 2-3 weeks.

  • Food rich in antioxidant. Diet high in antioxidant-rich. Foods helps to increase circulation to your vagina, opening up blood vessels making you strong & flexible at the same time. So, if you’re in a mood to snack - just grab a packet of walnuts, dark chocolate, blueberries or even a cup of green tea a day to help boost your libido.

 

Symptom #19: Brain Fog & Forgetfulness

Besides lack of focus, you might tend to forget more as well. 

You feel “off”, dull and it’s almost like you have “fuzzy wool for brains”.

It’s causing you to be tired, unproductive and unmotivated.

Brain fog is typically linked to the dip in estrogen levels during menopause - as it helps to promote positive activities in our hippocampus (a brain region in memory process). 

Additionally, studies have found that women with lower levels of estradiol (a form of estrogen produced by the ovaries) did worse on memory tests - due to increased levels of brain fog.

Ladies who have chosen to go through Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) might still experience menopausal brain fog as there’s no solid evidence that it benefits the brain. 

Natural Remedies, Go-To Health Foods & Quick Relief Tips:

  • Mediterranean Diet. This idea behind this diet is to eat “good fats”. Junk foods and red meat are kept to a minimum. A 2013 PREDIMED study recruited 7,000 older people and showed that the Mediterranean Diet helped to improve cognitive skills. This diet revolves around an enormous amount of olive oil - it’s four tablespoons each day. Some of the other foods in the Mediterranean Diet is Olive Oil, Tree nuts and peanuts, fresh fruit, white meat, legumes and fish.

  • Vitamin B12. Low levels of Vitamin B12 have been associated with poorer short-term memory & concentration, low energy levels, and even depression. Food like eggs & milk is rich in B12. However, if you’re really low on this vitamin - taking supplements daily really helps boost your memory. You don’t have to worry about these as the excess vitamin (not absorbed by your body) gets released easily in your urine.

  • Turmeric. This super spice is rich in beta-carotene (precursor to Vitamin A) and a potent anti-inflammatory ingredient that prevents plaque buildup in the brain. Additionally, studies have reported that turmeric aids in the breakdown of neutrons and promotes new nerve cells in the brain - reducing memory loss and brain fog in the long run. Avoid brain fog by drinking a cup of Turmeric Latte every night before going to bed (a warm cup of milk with 1/2 tablespoon of turmeric powder)

 

Symptom #20: Menopausal Depression

‘There was a blackness where I would wake up… and I would think, “I don’t see the point in carrying on, I don’t see the point in life.”’

Menopausal depression is another common symptom that is not to be taken lightly. 

It can be a time where women will feel alone, unsociable, angry and upset while having to handle other menopausal symptoms like hot flashes as well.

It’s a lot to handle at one time and for some ladies, it might feel like it’s just too much.

Early symptoms are women feeling sad, worthless and apathetic; constantly tired and nervous; and having severe mood swings, anxiety and negative thoughts.

Why does depression happen during menopause? 

The menopause hormonal shifts causes depression and mood symptoms like sadness, irritability, fatigue and difficulty concentrating. A similar depressive period due to hormones is during postpartum depression.

There may also be life changes during this period that causes women to feel depressed. Your kids may be leaving home, parents might be passing on and there’s worries about retirement and the next phase of life.

The good news is that it will get better once your hormones settle down. Many ladies have said that their depression eventually left them and they did not even have to take antidepressants for it. 

Natural Remedies, Go-To Health Foods & Quick Relief Tips:

  • Aerobic Exercise. This increases your endorphin levels (the feel-good chemical), which has long-term benefits. Exercising regularly, even going down for a walk - for fresh air - can encourage the brain to rewire itself in positive ways. It also helps you keep your mind off things you are anxious or depressed about.

  • Yoga & Meditation. This helps to lower stress hormone levels that is critical to the maintenance of mood, anxiety & depression. Many women benefit from 26 positions found in - Hatha yoga - which includes poses and healing meditation exercises. You could even join a yoga class in your community - that helps you meet people who are positive and recharged after a yoga class.

  • St. John's Wort. St. John's wort is a wild plant native to Europe and Asia that has been used for centuries to treat depression. Studies suggests its active ingredients, including hypericin, hyperforin and adhyperforin, may work like antidepressants. They help to regulate your mood. The best part is that eating St. John's wort has fewer side effects than common antidepressants- like reducing sex drive.

 

Stage #3: Postmenopause

Postmenopause symptoms

What is Postmenopause?

Postmenopause happens when it’s been 12 months since the final bleeding.

A common question at this point would be:

“Can we finally go back to our normal lives?”

However, the troubles don’t end at postmenopause. It is the stage where most of the severe menopausal symptoms start settling down but more health problems come up.

Why do we go through Postmenopause?

Our ovaries have shut down and our female hormones levels are at a new low normal level.

Our body and health status change because of the very low levels of female hormones - bringing with it other health complications.

 

Next 5 Symptoms You Can Expect With Post- Menopause

Symptom #21: Osteoporosis

Bones.

You don't really think of them as important until everything in your body starts hurting.

When estrogen levels drop during menopause, bones lose mass and become more porous.

One of the early signs is things like back pain, loss of height or stooped posture from a collapsed vertebrae.

Osteoporosis also increases the time it takes for bones to heal.

So fractures from falls, bumps or slips can have heavier health risks.

Hip fractures and throwing out your back also common at this stage.

Natural Remedies, Go-To Health Foods & Quick Relief Tips:

  • Calcium-Rich Diet. Dairy foods tend to have the highest levels of calcium, but if you're lactose intolerant or want to skip dairy, there are other sources of calcium, including sardines, spinach. Having almonds as a regular snack is a good idea too as they also have a positive impact on LDL and triglyceride levels.

  • Sweet Potatoes. Magnesium and potassium are 2 lesser-known nutrients that keep your bones healthy. These are found in tasty carbs like sweet potatoes. Throw some in the oven with a little gouda cheese, black pepper, salt, and thyme and you've just made a Masterchef snack.

  • Elastic band exercises. Most doctors typically ask patients to avoid high impact exercise in fear of falls. Elastic band exercises, while they don't improve your bones directly, allow you to strengthen your muscles and flexibility to keep your strength up. They also improve mobility and give you more balance.

 

Symptom #22: Heart Palpitations

Palpitations are irregular heartbeats that can include skipped beats, extra beats (as many as 8 to 16 beats a minute), and a racing heart (as many as 200 extra beats a minute).

If you don't have heart issues but are facing this during menopause, do note that this might be your hormones.

When estrogen levels drop, your heart and blood vessels become stiff and less elastic. Because of these changes, your blood pressure tends to rise, causing hypertension.

Shortness of breath, headaches, lightheadedness, and dizziness are also warning signs of other heart-related diseases.

Natural Remedies, Go-To Health Foods & Quick Relief Tips:

  •  Avoid stimulants like caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, and sodas if you've been consuming higher levels of them. A glass of wine doesn't hurt, but do note that these aggravate palpitations and you'd need to cut down if you want them to stop. Go for alternatives like non-decaf options and juices if you're not a big fan of water.

  • Balance your electrolytes. Electrolytes are molecules found throughout the body that play a significant role in regulating the heart rate. Upping your intake on bananas, avocados, spinach, and potatoes can help with this.

  • 4-7-8 Deep breathing technique. Dr. Andrew Weil teaches this largely for anxiety and impulse control but it works well for this as well. How: Empty your lungs of air, breathe in through the nose for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds and exhale with your mouth in a small "O" for 8 seconds. Repeat up to 4 times.

 

Symptom #23: Water Retention

Puffy eyes?

Swollen ankles?

Stumpy fingers?

Water retention can make us look puffier than we actually are and isn't great for our cameras or self-esteem.

When hormones get out of whack (estrogen specifically), it affects our adrenal glands which control how our body balances water.

The ironic thing about water retention is then only when we're dehydrated...do we actually puff up.

When our adrenal glands in the nervous system get stressed, our body panics and holds on to all the moisture it can which might make our eyes, feet, and hands look extra bloated.

Not just that, hot flashes and night sweat actually amplify dehydration as well.

This dehydration can really aggravate other symptoms like joint aches, stiffness and back pains.

Natural Remedies, Go-To Health Foods & Quick Relief Tips:

  • Drink more plain still water. This goes without saying! It's easier and more fun to have tea or soda, but please get at least 6-8 glasses of plain, still water every day. Dark circles, stumpy fingers, puffy eyes WILL go away within 2-3 weeks.

  • Vitamin B6. Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is a water-soluble vitamin that your body needs for several functions. You cannot produce it so you need to get it from foods like ricotta cheese, salmon and eggs. Bananas, chickpeas, and avocado are also popular options. Alternatively, you can go on a B complex vitamin or look for complimenting supplements with vitamin B6 in them.

  • Stimulate your lymphatic system. Which is a fancy way of saying you need to exercise! Nothing crazy like a full cardio workout. If you're at your desk for 8-10 hours a day, consider a brisk walk around your office block before work and after which can be good convenient stimulation.

Provitalize

 

Symptom #24: Lower Immunity

Wondering why you tend to catch a cold so easily?

Before menopause occurs, women have plenty of estrogen, progesterone, and DHEA, which supports immune function.

But as these hormones decline during and after menopause, women lose this protective boost.

Other menopause symptoms like poor sleep from insomnia can also weaken the immune system due to not getting enough quality rest.

If you're experiencing stress symptoms like weight gain, mood swings, fatigue or hot flashes, that might also produce high levels of cortisol that's proven to weaken immune response.

Natural Remedies, Go-To Health Foods & Quick Relief Tips:

  • Increase Zinc intake. If taken within 24 hours from the time you first notice symptoms of a cold, zinc may shorten that cold by up to 33 percent. Zinc also improves metabolic function and can help with weight regulation especially for people who are already exercising.

  • Probiotics (again). Your gut flora is a big factor when it comes to immunity. Make sure the probiotics you're taking contain the B.Breve strain that helps with immunity and inflammation.

  • Prebiotic. If you're not getting enough fiber in your body, you might be prone to constipation which allows for waste build-up. This directly impacts our immunity if we don't flush it out of the system. Consider adding prebiotics into your daily routine to stay more regular.

Symptom #25: Urinary Tract Infections

Oh boy.

What problem WON'T menopause bring am I right?

Drops in estrogen levels also can lead to recurring UTIs even in your 50s or 60s. Changes in vagina bacteria also contribute to this at this stage of life.

For younger ladies, frequent sex is one of the biggest risk factors for a UTI. Intercourse can cause the bacteria in the vagina to get into the urinary tract.

But at midlife, the main culprits tend to be physical changes, including thinning of vaginal tissue, pelvic organ prolapse, and trouble completely emptying the bladder.

This can create fear of having sex with your partner, being unable to enjoy vacations and take several weeks to feel normal again.

Natural Remedies, Go-To Health Foods & Quick Relief Tips:

  • Probiotics. Specifically lactobacilli strains. These specific strains help produce hydrogen peroxide in urine which is a strong antibacterial. They also lower PH in urine that makes conditions less favorable for bacteria.

  • Vitamin C & Cranberries. You already know that this is the go-to and it works. Even better if taken with probiotics. In a 2016 study, 38 women with recurrent UTIs took vitamin C, probiotics, and cranberries three times daily for 20 days, then stopped for 10 days. They repeated this cycle for 3 months. The researchers concluded that this could be a safe and effective treatment approach for UTIs.

  • Althaea Officinalis known as Marshmallow (not the sweet fluffy one), is an anti-inflammatory herb widely available in powdered, supplement, and tea form. Many people recommend making a strong tea and sip throughout the day.

 

Summary & Final Thoughts: 

Thankfully, not everyone will experience all the 25 symptoms.

Some ladies may not ever experience things like dry eyes, panic attacks or brain fog. Common ones that still rank at the top of the list are hot flashes, weight gain and bloating.

Be sure to have the right supplementation, daily probiotic and nutrients to balance your gut health and hormones.

You'll save yourself a lot of trouble and keep away from many of these annoying symptoms.

One of the simplest ways to ensure that you keep yourself in check is using the “P.I.E Framework” which stands for:

Probiotic supplementation. 

Having a daily probiotic can help relieve and rebalance a lot of these symptoms as it stabilized your gut health. Go for probiotic strains with purposeful functions instead of just high CFU (colony forming unit) counts. 

Strains like L Gasseri help with the breakdown of fat, B Breve helps with inflammation and B Lactis, for example, helps with immunity. Find out what is best for you. This will help a lot with weight loss, digestion and bloating.

Inflammation levels.

Ensure you are keeping inflammation levels in check. This means getting in aerobic and cardio exercises on a weekly basis. Keeping a diet that is low in sugar is also preferred. Having that green tea once or twice a day will also be a good idea. This will help a lot of pain, stiffness and low energy.

Estrogen precursors.

Getting in curcumin with are phytoestrogens or estrogen precursors like flaxseed, nuts, high tannin red wine and soy are good foods to help support and improve estrogen production. These will help a lot with mood swings, hot flashes, and weight loss.

If you’ve found this article useful or noticed that we missed some symptoms out, comment below to let us know and we’ll be sure to add them in.

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