As every woman knows, menopause – marked by 35 menopause symptoms that include hot flashes, mood swings, aching joints, and other unpleasant changes to both mind and body – often seems like puberty in reverse. Fortunately, enough women have gone through it already that there’s no shortage of tried-and-true ways to make the experience easier, alleviate some of the more troublesome menopause symptoms, and make this the easiest of the three certain things in life for you to deal with.
Often quoted for his quick wit and the depth of his intelligence, Benjamin Franklin famously remarked that the only two things certain in life are death and taxes.
Perhaps Mr. Franklin should have consulted his wife prior to making such a broad assertion: as any woman will attest, the third certain thing in life, for us, is menopause.
The 35 Menopause Symptoms You Need to Know
This is a definitive list of common menopause symptoms that occur during perimenopause and menopause and was developed from using submissions to our forums, real-life experiences of thousands of women around the world, and through the input of the Author of Menopause A to Z (Dawn Olsen).
All of these myriad of symptoms have been experienced by numerous women and were either cyclical and/or sporadic in nature, or responded to treatments (both traditional pharmacological and alternative medicine ) which has been shown through years of research known to help address the hormonal imbalances brought on by menopause.
- Disturbing memory lapses or loss
- Irregular heart beat (see palpitations)
- Mood swings, sudden emotional shifts
- Insomnia or similar trouble sleeping through the night (with or without night sweats)
- Irregular menstrual periods
- Loss of libido in varying degrees
- Vaginal Dryness
- Crashing and often sudden fatigue
- Anxiety, feeling ill at ease
- Feelings of dread, apprehension, doom
- Tinnitus: ringing in ears, bells, ringing, buzzing etc.
- Hot flashes and/or night sweats or cold flashes, often associated with a clammy feeling
- Itchy, dry, and/or crawly skin
- Aching, sore joints, muscles and tendons
- Increased tension in muscles
- Breast tenderness
- Headache change: increase or decrease
- Gastrointestinal distress, indigestion, flatulence, gas pain, nausea
- Sudden cases of bloat
- Exacerbation of existing conditions
- Increase in allergies
- Weight gain or weight loss
- Hair loss or thinning, head, pubic, or whole body; increase in facial hair
- Dizziness, light-headedness, episodes of loss of balance
- Changes in body odor
- Electric shock sensation under the skin and in the head
- Tingling in the extremities
- Gum problems, increased bleeding
- Burning tongue, burning roof of mouth, bad taste in mouth, change in breath odor
- Osteoporosis (often after several years)
- Changes in fingernails (density, softness, cracking, etc.)
- Difficulty concentrating, disorientation, mental confusion
It’s not always Menopause – check with your Doctor!
It is important to keep in mind that a number of the 35 menopause symptoms noted above can also be signs of other underlying conditions, such as hypothyroidism, diabetes, depressions, or scores of other possible medical conditions.
Many other disorders, such as thyroid disease, pituitary disorders, and adrenal disorders may result in similar symptoms to menopause, but you likely won’t be considered menopausal. In addition, an extreme change in your weight, your exercise routine, or your use of certain drugs can cause the cessation of your period, without any other menopausal symptoms. This is usually temporary.
Again, if you’re experiencing any menopause symptoms, see your doctor. If you’re young, tests will be run to rule out more serious health issues prior to a diagnosis of premature menopause.
For many women, early menopause causes an increase in some of the psychological menopause symptoms – many women fret about having their reproductive options taken away from them too soon, or feel that menopause is indicative of aging – while these are natural emotional responses, know that, other than your reproductive system, you’re still as young and as sexually capable as you otherwise would be.
Of course, if you’re having severe emotional problems due to premature menopause, you should speak openly with your physician.