"I'm afraid I'm losing my mind",
"I feel so angry all of the time",
"I want to just run away and hide from everything some days",
"I don't feel like myself at all anymore", "I'm waking up with my heart pounding during the night",
"I'm losing my hair and I'm hot/cold a lot of the time",
"I'm worrying and having panic attacks",
"I'm crying at every silly little thing",
"My joints ache so much I'm afraid that I might have cancer" and
"I feel suicidal"
These are just some of ways that women are describing the experience of peri/menopause for them.
Peri-menopause is the term used for the hormonal state that can typically occur from 44-54 years of age and Menopause from 55 years. Every body is unique so this is a rough estimate.
It's a time that traditionally grandmothers and mothers would have carried on with their respective lives in a "grin and bear it" fashion and it was rarely spoken about between the generations.
Thankfully the tide is slowly turning on this collective silent suffering and the burden of womens experiences is being shared and spoken about openly more and more amongst women of all ages. High profile celebrities like Davina Macall and Meg Matthews and politicians like Nicola Sturgeon have all spoken openly about their own struggles and fears with regards to this "natural time of life."
The main symptom of "hot flashes" are the mainstay of the medcal professions enquiries about how a woman is experiencing the "change" but there are roughly 34 known symptoms that can occur at this time of life.
Some of the lesser known ones are:
- Brain fog/memory issues
- Vaginal dryness
- Decreased sex drive
- Increased sex drive
- Mood swings
- Joint pain
- Panic Disorder/Panic attacks
- Breast Soreness
- Thinning hair
- Disrupted sleep
- Heart palpitations
- Digestion changes/issues
- Burning mouth
- Tingling extremities
- Electric/zapping sensations in the head/body
- Muscle aches
- Altered sense of taste
- Body Odour changes
- Weight gain
- Hair loss
- Brittle Nails
- Bad breath
- Suicidal thoughts
There's clearly a lot more of those symptoms going on than just the "hot flashes/flushes" and yet they are rarely spoken about in polite society.