Peri Menopause Symptoms 2

Weight Gain

Many women gain weight during Peri Menopause. This is the body’s reaction to the diminishing estrogen levels. Estrogen is stored in our fat cells.

Decreased Sex Drive

Often during Peri Menopause women experience a loss of sexual desire. Some of the factors contributing to this are:

  • Hormonal imbalance – most notably the natural fall of Progesterone production which is crucial to libido – this in itself can wash away sexual desire
  • Vaginal dryness and thinning of the vaginal wall – this is the effect of declining estrogen levels. This can make sex painful
  • Urinary tract infections or stress incontinence may affect a woman’s desire for sex
  • Fatigue caused by hormonal imbalance saps your energy for and interest in sex
  • Adrenal exhaustion lowers the hormones that fuel sexual response

Headaches

Headaches are common during Peri Menopause. Migraines have been associated with hormonal imbalance in some women. Migraines can accompany hot flashes and PMS symptoms in Peri Menopause.

Inability To Concentrate

Fuzzy thinking… what was I saying? Impaired memory and inability to concentrate are common peri menopause symptoms.

You can sometimes forget what you are doing… right in the middle of doing it! Or find yourself re-reading the same sentence? Fortunately, this temporary loss of mental function doesn’t mean you are losing your mind or on the road to getting Alzheimer’s.

It is simply the sudden shifts in hormonal balance the occur so frequently in Peri Menopause that are probably the root cause of “Fuzzy thinking.” Estrogen and progesterone are key neurotransmitters in the brain and when you suffer from hormonal imbalance their levels are in flux. This too shall pass!

Feeling Depressed Or Overwhelmed

Hormonal imbalance in Peri Menopause leaves women more emotionally vulnerable.

Peri menopause symptoms such as this can be caused by the issues that a woman has to face at this time in her life like: changes in career, changes in marriage, children growing up and leaving home, responsibilities of caring for ageing parents and many other stress related issues.

Because a woman can feel more disoriented and confused during this time of change in her life, she is more susceptible to feeling depressed and overwhelmed. If these feelings become acute, she should consult a health care provider.

Mood Swings And Irritability

Peri menopause symptoms such as mood swings and irritability are no fun for anyone. These may seem like two different problems but they are both related to hormonal imbalance. By “mood swing” we usually mean a reaction that isn’t appropriate to what triggered it.

And by “irritability” we mean an angry or impatient reaction to something that happens. An underlying cause of these reactions may be fatigue… and if you are having hot flashes or insomnia you are bound to be fatigued!

But these emotional reactions can also be the result of sudden shifts in hormonal balance which are so characteristic of peri menopause symptoms ( pre menopause symptoms

Peri Menopause Symptoms

Peri menopause symptoms, also known as pre menopause symptoms, occur at the transitional stage between two and ten years before the complete cessation of your menstrual periods.

This is the time when your body moves closer to menopause. Your periods may become less regular and you start to feel symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats.

Peri menopause symptoms can appear in women 35 to 50 years of age. Peri menopause has not been a stage in a woman’s life that has received a lot of attention and as women we can find ourselves experiencing puzzling changes and not know why.

Peri Menopause is not an illness, but a natural process in a woman’s body: what is actually happening is the gradual decrease of estrogen, thus causing hormonal imbalance in our bodies.

Did you ever imagine hormonal imbalance could wreak such havoc on your body? Peri menopause symptoms last for about one year after our last period.

We live in a world which seriously jeopardizes hormonal balance. Physical and emotional stress, birth control pills, HRT, environmental pollutants and nutritional deficiencies are some of the major hormone disrupters, then combine all this with moving into menopause and this can rob a woman of her health, confidence and quality of life.

But with proper support our body is capable of achieving a proper hormonal balance and we can be free of the many unpleasant peri menopause symptoms.

“The Most Common
Peri Menopause Symptoms”

Here are some of the most commonly reported peri menopause symptoms:

  • Menstrual cycles become shorter, long or unpredictable
  • Menstrual flow becomes heavier or lighter
  • PMS
  • Low blood sugar
  • Fatigue for several days before your menstrual cycle
  • Weight gain
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Headaches that can be mild or more severe becoming migraines
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Feeling depressed or overwhelmed
  • Mood swings and irritability

Menstrual Cycles

Menstrual irregularities are one of the first peri menopause symptoms you may notice. Your cycles may become longer or shorter and your menstrual flow may become heavier or lighter.

For most women their menstrual cycles become farther and farther apart until they stop. This is the beginning of true Menopause.

PMS – A Preview Of Peri Menopause

Pre-menstrual Syndrome or PMS, is one of the most common forms of hormonal imbalance affecting over half of all women. PMS can affect any woman who is having menstrual periods, but it most often occurs as a woman approaches her 40’s, and it another of the early peri menopause symptoms.

Women who experience PMS earlier in life are more likely to have a difficult Peri Menopause. Not surprisingly, the symptoms of PMS are quite similar to peri menopause symptoms: bloating, irritability, mood swings, lethargy, food cravings and headaches.

Low Blood Sugar – Cravings

An enormous number of women with peri menopause symptoms crave sugar, carbohydrates or alcohol. You may crave that afternoon snack of potato chips or chocolate chip cookies or that cup of coffee or that extra glass of wine at night. These cravings are a sign that your body has its signals mixed up.

This is all part of Peri Menopause territory. When we are exhausted our blood sugar and/or serotonin are low and the body signals the brain that it needs a pick-me-up.

Fatigue

Do you run out of energy in the afternoon? Find it hard to get out of bed in the morning? Need an extra cup of coffee to keep going? Fatigue is one of the most common peri menopause symptoms. Many women attribute it to age as though it is inevitable to slow down-well, it isn’t inevitable!

The underlying causes of peri menopause symptoms like fatigue is hormonal imbalance causing disrupted sleep, hot flashes, night sweats, adrenal exhaustion due to stress. All of this contributes to low energy.

 

After Menopause Spotting, Should You Be Concerned?

After menopause spotting of course refers to spotting or bleeding after menopause.

As women approach menopause the menstrual bleeding pattern changes with periods usually becoming lighter and shorter in duration. So that once you are in menopause and post menopause there is no more bleeding.

However, there can be unexpected post menopause spotting and bleeding. For the most part this after menopause spotting and/or bleeding can be caused by something benign such as an infection or a tear of the uterine or vaginal lining.

The decline of estrogen levels in menopause cause the vaginal mucosa to become thinner and dryer and less elastic and predisposed to bleed. Sometimes this lining can be broken or easily inflamed and bleed. It can also become injured during intercourse or even during a pelvic exam.

One of the most common causes of after menopause spotting or bleeding is synthetic hormone replacement therapy, especially estrogen replacement therapy.

Women who are on HRT may often develop post menopause spotting because the uterine lining is very sensitive to estrogen, which promotes the growth of the endometrium; the uterine lining that builds up and is discharged during a normal menstrual cycle.

Hence bleeding and spotting so this lining can be released. On the other hand, lack of estrogen may cause the atrophy of the uterine lining in which case the blood vessels of the uterine lining become so fragile as a result of lack of estrogen that they spontaneously break and then bleed causing spotting.

Some other causes of after menopause spotting are the development of polyps and fibroids. These are benign growths that develop in the uterine cavity.

Polyps are most often associated with irregular light spotting, staining or light bleeding. Fibroids may also produce the same light symptoms but are also associated with much heavier bleeding.

Overgrowths of lining of the uterus called hyperplasias may also be the cause of abnormal post menopausal spotting and bleeding.

This condition can have some malignant potential. About 20% of women who have this type of post menopausal bleeding may have cancer of the endometrium, the uterine lining.

What To Watch For In Menopausal Spotting

If you have any unusual or unexplained menopausal spotting or bleeding or post menopausal bleeding, you should consult your doctor.

Endometrial hyperplasia, the abnormal thickening of the uterine wall may indicate a pre-cancerous condition. Endometrial cancer is the highest incidence of cancer in post menopausal women.

However, abnormal bleeding from uterine cancer occurs early in the disease when it is highly curable.

Some of the early signs of uterine cancer are:

  • Post menopausal spotting or bleeding, especially after intercourse. This occurs after there has been no menstruation for 12 months. A watery or blood-streaked vaginal discharge may precede spotting or bleeding.
  • Cramps in the lower abdomen
  • Enlarged uterus
  • In later stages the cancer may have spread to other organs causing abdominal pain, chest pain and weight loss

Some of the options your gynaecologist may use in evaluating after menopause spotting that concerns you are:

  • A D&C;, dilating your cervix and scraping the lining of the uterus
  • A hysteroscopy, looking inside your uterus with a small viewing device inserted through the cervix
  • An endometrial biopsy, taking a small sample in the office without having to dilate the cervix
  • An ultrasound to measure the thickness of the uterine lining

Recent studies suggest that if the uterine lining is very thin, the chance of uterine cancer is lower.

If you are having symptoms of after menopause spotting and you are concerned about being at risk for more serious complications, then make sure you see your doctor for regular pelvic examinations and Pap smears every six to twelve months.

Menopause And Heart Palpitations

Menopause and heart palpitations can give any woman cause for concern.

Many women going through peri menopause have the experience of heart palpitations, the sensation that their heart is pounding in their chest for no apparent reason and it is beating in an irregular and/or forceful way.

Menopause and heart palpitations can indeed be quite frightening.

This symptom of heart palpitations is caused by your heart beating irregularly or by missing one or two beats.

Although heart palpitations can be associated with several types of serious heart-related conditions, it is also common for women during our transition through menopause to experience them, and typically these heart palpitations are not necessarily related to heart disease.

According to the North American Menopause Society, a woman’s heart rate can increase by 8 to 16 beats during a hot flash. It has also been said that heart rates of up to 200 beats per minute may accompany hot flashes during menopausal years.

When heart palpitations occur it is if all of a sudden you are aware that your heart is beating, whereas before it just did its job without us noticing it. Even though these heart palpitations are rarely dangerous, they can be frightening.

What Causes Heart Palpitations In Menopause?

Menopause and heart palpitations, like hot flashes, can range from mild to severe. They may be triggered by electrolyte imbalances from fluid loss, by strenuous exercise or strong emotions.

Heart palpitations can also be caused by an imbalance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, and may be a result of fear and anxiety that aren’t conscious.

There are some common physical and emotional causes that can predispose menopausal women to heart palpitations, and these are:

  • Menopause and heart palpitations – The overuse of stimulants like caffeine (coffee, tea and pop), nicotine, diet pills and medications such as decongestants
  • Menopause and heart palpitations – An overdose of some medications such as antidepressants and thyroid hormone replacement medication
  • Menopause and heart palpitations – Medical conditions like: anemia, thyroid problems and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
  • Menopause and heart palpitations – Stress and anxiety
  • Menopause and heart palpitations – Mitral valve prolapse, a mild deformity of one of the valves of your heart can cause palpitations

How Do I Cope With Heart Palpitations?

There are some simple things you can do to handle heart palpitations when they occur:

  • Menopause and heart palpitations – If heart palpitations occur during an activity then just stop and rest until they subside
  • Menopause and heart palpitations – When heart palpitations just occur unexpectedly take some deep, slow breaths to help relieve any tension and to help you relax

Other things you can do to support your body to prevent heart palpitations include using herbs and vitamins in your diet that are known to be helpful in treating your heart.

Here is a list of some of the main herbs and vitamins that target heart health, and as you will see these are all the same nutritionals outlined as being beneficial for menopausal symptoms:

  • Vitamin B-12, B6 and Folic Acid – helps with stress, fatigue, mood swings and heart health
  • Vitamin E – remedy for palpitations and is known to reduce the risk of heart attack in menopausal and post menopausal women by 36%
  • and Magnesium taken in the right combination helps prevent palpitations
  • Motherwort is an excellent heart tonic

Click here for detailed information on herbs for menopause and heart palpitations.

Menopause And Heart Palpitations Solutions

The good news is that heart palpitations in menopause are usually transient and occur intermittently and there are ways to handle this condition. The chances of heart palpitations in menopausal women being related to heart attacks or heart disease are unlikely.

However, statistically speaking a woman’s risk of developing heart disease does increase significantly after menopause. There is nothing natural or inevitable about the possibility of developing heart disease as women in this stage of our lives, if we take care of ourselves.

Because the heart is so directly associated with and affected by emotions, in fact, midlife is the perfect time to prevent heart disease. We can do this by learning to listen to our hearts, nourish our cardiovascular system with the right foods and supplements and find the courage to change those aspects of our lives that cause us fear and anxiety and no longer serve us.

One final word of advice: If you do have heart palpitations and you have other symptoms such as shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea, pain in the neck, jaw, arm or chest, tightness in the chest, then make sure you do consult your physician.

Side Effects of Effexor

 Effexor, or Venalafaxine, is used to treat anxiety disorders, panic attacks and depression. It’s one of the most-used antidepressants in the USA. But what side effects can you encounter when you use it:

Nausea is the most-reported side effect of Effexor, and occurs in nearly forty per cent of patients prescribed the drug – or two in every five.

Various other digestive problems are also linked to Effexor. One in five patients, just over twenty per cent report having a dry mouth, while fifteen per cent reported constipation. Less than one in ten patients are afflicted with vomiting.

Effexor can also cause problems with balance – dizziness affects one in five patients. A small minority, around six per cent, have problems with blurred vision, and others have problem with eye redness and eye pain.

Sleep disorders are another common side effect of Effexor, with around one in five patients finding they experience some sort of disturbance to their sleeping pattern. These include somnolence, or drowsiness, insomnia, or inability to sleep, and continuous yawning.

Anxiety and mental disorders have also been reported as being side effects of Effexor. These include nervousness, anorexia, sweating, impotence, palpitations, and shivering. Memory loss was another recurrent problem, with almost half of patients reporting problems with their powers of recall.

Effexor also causes sexual dysfunction in some patients. Side effects can include impotence for six per cent of users, but abnormal orgasms and ejaculations are twice as likely to occur.

It should be noted that, because Effexor is used to treat depression, which can cause sleep problems, changes to libido and various symptoms related to mental health, it is difficult to pinpoint where patients were suffering these ill-effects because of the Effexor, or because of the condition that caused them to be prescribed the drug in the first place.

The discontinuation of Effexor can also be problematic for patients, and discontinuation symptoms can occur after missing as little as one dose. Symptoms can include depression, panic attacks, impotence, and aggression. To reduce the risk of any problems, patients should not suddenly stop taking Effexor – the dosage should be decreased gradually, with medical advice and supervision.

In extreme cases, Effexor has been linked to suicide. Some studies show that Effexor caused a 1.6 increase in suicide. The usual suicide rate in the USA is eleven suicides for every one hundred thousand people, and so, under this study, Effexor could increase the rate to 17.6 for every one hundred thousand people. However, the nature of the diseases that Effexor is used to treat makes it difficult to explain which factors in any suicide case are caused by any side effects of the drug, and which are caused by the nature of the patient’s illness.

A minority of patients experience severe side effects, which can have a sudden onset. If you or a loved one experience one or more of the of the more serious side effects of Effexnor, including extreme confusion, seizures, acute problems with vision or mania, then you should immediately make an appointment with your local doctor or hospital.

Side Effects of Cymbalta

Cymbalta, or duolextine, is used to treat severe depression, anxiety, diabetic nerve pain and some types of chronic pain, and can also be used to address urinary incontinence. Cymbalta is also known to have a range of side effects; in most cases these are inconvenient and cause a mild level of discomfort, however, Cymbalta is also linked to more dangerous side effects.

Nausea is the most-reported side effect in clinical trials of Cymbalta, with over one in three patients feeling queasy because of the drug.

Sleep disorders have also been linked to Cymbalta. These include insomnia, or difficulty in sleeping, and somnolence, where a patient feels tired much of the time and may need to sleep for unusually long periods of time. However, sleep disorders can also be a manifestation of the mental diseases that Cymbalta is prescribed to combat.

Around one in ten people on Cymbalta have problems with their digestive system. These can include diarrhea, constipation and the loss of appetite. In a small minority of cases, these problems extended to vomiting, indigestion and heartburn.

Headaches and dizziness affect around one in five patients prescribed Cymbalta. It should be noted that, during trials, headaches were also experienced by many of the control group who were given a placebo- the links between headaches, migraines and Cymbalta remain unclear.

Some complaints are experienced by a minority of patients; between two and five in every hundred users. These include sexual dysfunction, cold and ‘flu like symptoms including muscle pain, shakiness, headaches, a runny nose, coughing and a sore throat.  Unusual side effects also include blurred vision, unusually strange or vivid dreams, and restlessness.

Discontinuing Cymbalta can have a number of severe side effects. These include increased aggression, impotence and other sexual dysfunction, depression, mania and suicidal feelings. For this reason, patients should never cease taking Cymbalta without seeking medical advice and support first. Patients often come off Cymbalta through a gradual decrease in doses over a period of weeks of months, as recommended by the manufacturer.

The role of Cymbalta in suicide cases is controversial. In adults, it appears to increase the suicide risk by around twelve per cent. The normal suicide rate of adults in America is eleven per hundred thousand, and a twelve per cent increase raises this to just over twelve per hundred thousand. The drug seems particularly problematic in relation to teenage and young adult cases, where some studies indicate the suicide risk can quadruple or more – however, no extensive research has been completed in this field. As with any drug used to treat major depression, it is difficult to discern whether many suicides have been through drug side effects, or the mental health illnesses they were intended to treat.

A very small minority of patients on Cymbalta may experience side effects that need immediate medical attention. These include anaphylactic reactions – or, in other words, extreme allergic reactions. If you or a loved one is experiencing any serious medical problem, then you should seek urgent medical attention and, if possible, take along any medication that you have been using. Other serious side effects include seizures, palpitations, hallucinations, and suicidal depression, and serotonin syndrome, which manifests itself in twitching, pupil dilation and increases heart rate.