Friday, November 2, 2007

Hot flashes and other common menopause symptoms

Menopause is a natural life process for women. It

usually occurs in your early or mid-forties, and,

unfortunately, it is accompanied by a number of

symptoms that can be quite concerning to most

women. Some women experience very few changes

during this time, while others report noticeable

symptoms. The more you know about menopause, the

better prepared you will be to manage any

menopause-related problems that might come your


These symptoms can be an indication of menopause:

Achy joints - hot flashes - temporary and minor

decrease in the ability to concentrate or recall -

changes in sexual desire - extreme sweating -

headaches - frequent urination - early wakening -

vaginal dryness - mood changes - insomnia - night

sweats - conditions commonly associated with PMS


Also, increased allergies, rapid heart beats,

breast soreness, tenderness, sudden weight gain,

hair loss, electric shock sensation, in body or

head, osteoporosis, fatigues.

One of the first symptoms most women see in

menopause is irregular or missed periods. When

menopause starts to occur, the estrogen and

progesterone levels, stimulated by the ovaries,

are seriously decreased. This means that the

ovaries no longer get the signal to release the

egg, which means that a woman will often notice a

disruption in her normal monthly cycle.

Another common symptom of menopause is a hot

flash. More than seventy five percent of women who

go through menopause experience hot flashes, in

varying degrees of severity. This makes a woman

feel flush. For example, she can be standing in a

room that is only seventy degrees, but she will

overwhelmingly feel as if someone has turned the

temperature up to ninety degrees. In the very next

moment, though, she may feel as if the room is

only forty degrees, and she is suddenly shivering.

These hot flashes can be accompanied by other

symptoms like dizziness, heart palpitations, or

faintness. Most hot flashes last up to ten

minutes, but not all women experience them to that

terrible degree. Some women simply acknowledge

them and move on. Poor diet and stress levels in

the woman's body have been shown to have a

negative effect on the entire process. Most women

will experience this symptom for five to six

years, though some women have them for the ten to

twenty years prior and following menopause.

Hot flashes typically lead to another common

symptom of menopause, insomnia. Because hot

flashes can occur both during the day and through

the night, many women will find that they wake up

drenched in their own sweat. Often they must get

up to change their clothes and their sheets to

escape the level of sweat that the body has

produced. If a woman is a light sleeper anyway,

and most are after they have children, it can be

impossible for her to fall asleep again.

Interestingly enough, though, night sweats aren't

the only thing that cause these sleep

disturbances. The hormone levels in the blood also

have an effect on the quality of a woman's sleep.

Fixing these hormone levels can sometimes

eliminate sleep difficulties.

Learning to identify the common symptoms of

menopause can help you learn to deal with them on

a much healthier level. Be sure to contact your

doctor if any of your symptoms are causing serious

problems in your life.

Birgit Jurock lives in Roberts Creek on the

Sunshine Coast in British Columbia. Read more

articles about menopause at

Birgit Jurock lives in Roberts Creek on the

Sunshine Coast in British Columbia.

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