Read the full video transcript below
Hello, and welcome to my weekly video blog. And today on A.Vogel Talks Menopause, I'm going to go through the rest of our top 10 symptoms that have been asked about within the last year.
Question 6: Is joint pain a menopause symptom?
Number six, this was such a surprising one to us right at the very beginning and that is joint pain. We couldn't believe the number of women who were coming to us who had aches and pains, joint pain, joint inflammation.
They were going to their doctor and being told after tests that there was nothing wrong with them and they were going, "Well, yes, there is. I'm in a lot of pain." And having looked at a lot of the research, we've realised that joint pain is very, very common in the menopause. It's mainly due to falling oestrogen affecting the hydration of the joints and affecting the flexibility of the ligaments and tendons and between the two, that can be enough to affect your range of movement, the ease of movement, and also just the way that your joints are feeling.
There's lots of things that you can do here to help yourself. We've got links for all these little questions as well, so you can see in detail the best ways to look after yourself. But the number one tip for joint pain, drink lots of water, plain water. It can make a huge difference to your joint health, and this is one little secret that I really don't want to be a secret, so just try that if you're having problems with your joints.
Question 7: My periods have come back. Is this normal?
Number seven is, "My periods have come back. Is this normal?" Within the first year of stopping periods, yes, you know, your periods can come and go, you can miss them for six months, you can miss them for a couple of months, and then they come back. And this sort of see-sawing can go on for quite a long time before your periods calm down.
It's not quite so common after the first year, but we still get a number of women who are asking, "I've gone six months without a period. Is this normal?" In general, yes, it can be as well. Very often, it's just a last fling. Your hormones are going, "I just want one more go before I stop for good."
It can also be due to stress, it can be due to things like if you've been put on medication, it can be due to starting very strenuous exercise, it can also be due to improving your diet, and this seems quite a strange one. If you suddenly flood your body with lots of extra vitamins, and minerals, and nutrition, very often, the body will go, "Great. I'm feeling better. I'm going to have another shot of the hormones."
All we would say here is that if you have gone more than a year without a period and they come back, just get this checked out by your doctor. Other issues such as fibroids, a prolapse, cyst, or polyps can cause the bleeding as well. It's a lot less common after two years, so if you've missed a period for over two years, and your periods come back, you need to look at things, "Have you still got the coil in?" because this could be a particular problem and just get this checked out by your doctor as well to make sure that nothing else is going on here, too.
Question 8: My breasts are sore. Is this normal in the menopause?
Number eight is breast tenderness, irritability, and soreness. This is really common in the peri-menopause. A lot of women find that as they approach their periods, that their breasts get really tender sore, even go up, maybe a couple of sizes, and it could be very, very, very uncomfortable.
I know this was one of my symptoms and I just absolutely hated it. One of the best things for this is water. You get extra dehydrated as you approach a period, and breast tissue is a bit like a sponge, so if you're getting dehydrated, generally, the body will look at storing water anywhere it can and our breasts are a lovely place in which to do it.
So, remember, plenty of water. It can also be due to the hormonal fluctuation. If your oestrogen is going up and down like a yo-yo, then that can affect the breast tissue as well, so if you're in the peri-menopause and your periods are still reasonably regular, herbs such as Agnus castus can work really well for this, too.
Some women find nettle tea great. Other women find, maybe, a kelp supplement can be helpful in this situation, so it is perfectly normal.
If your periods have stopped and you suddenly start to get breast pain, then, again, within the first couple of years, hormonal changes are still going on and it can still affect breast tissue, but please, any changes to your breast in any way, shape, or form, please get them checked out by your doctor.
This is really important. The other thing that happens is that breast size, and shape, and tissue can change quite dramatically in the menopause, and if you are wearing the wrong size bra, especially if you're wearing underwired ones, that can cause breast pain and tenderness as well.
So get yourself checked regularly. A lot of the big department stores offer a free service. I went a few years ago and was so utterly, utterly embarrassed to find that I had been wearing the wrong bra size for probably about 15 years. So this is one, get yourself checked at least once a year, and it's a lovely excuse to buy some new underwear as well.
And the difference it can make to your posture and the way you look, believe me, can be absolutely staggering, so this is something that's well worth doing.
For more information:
Head over to my blog ‘Breast changes and discomfort’ for more information on tender and sore breasts during menopause, as well as lumpy breasts and sensitive nipples.
Question 9: Is anxiety a menopause symptom?
Number nine is anxiety. This is one of the really horrible menopause symptoms because we're not talking sort of general anxiety. This can be very deep-seated anxiety. It can start first thing in the morning.
It can last all day. It can affect the quality of your life. There's quite a few herbs that will help. You can look at the hormonal balancing ones such as our Menopause Support or black cohosh. You need to support your nervous system here, so things like lots of magnesium and a really good vitamin B complex roundabout 50 milligrams at least once to twice a day.
You could try:
Lamberts Vitamin B-50 Complex Tablets
Lamberts most popular B Complex, this is a balance formula of B vitamins with all the B's presented at much higher levels. These higher levels are frequently recommended by nutritionists. These one-a-day tablets are taste free and coated.
Acupuncture can be wonderful for anxiety, so this is certainly something that's well worth looking into. But again, if you try all these self-help tips, and the anxiety doesn't get better, then, again, just check with your doctor. Some women do need that little bit of extra help, just to get them through this particular phase.
Question 10: I am losing my hair, what can I do?
And number ten is problems with your hair. So we're talking about hair loss, we're talking about hair getting thinner, more brittle, just losing its luster. The important thing here is other health issues can creep into the peri-menopause and the menopause and affect your hair.
So if you find that you're losing hair quite quickly, if it's changing quite quickly, please go to the doctor and ask to be tested for low iron even if you're not getting periods, for thyroid function, for low vitamin D, and low B12. All of these can come in at this particular time and cause a whole raft of symptoms that look very like menopause ones, so it's always good to double-check to make sure that you've ruled these out.
If everything comes back clear, then you know that you're looking at something menopausal and then that's the time to start something. Look at your diet. Your protein needs go up in the peri-menopause and the menopause, so make sure you're getting plenty of really good protein on a regular basis. Look at your diet. Are you getting enough variety of foods to give you all the vitamins and minerals that you need?
Our body is going through huge changes, both physically and emotionally. And if you're not getting enough nutrition, then your hair, and your nails, and the skin are usually the first ones to suffer because the body doesn't see these as being vital for our survival, although for us, you know, having problems with your hair can be absolutely devastating.
So just look at your day-to-day life, look at your stress levels as well, check your diet, and remember the water. Dehydration can affect the hair, too.
So I hope you've enjoyed these 2 weeks and our top 10 tips. If any of you have any questions on this, if any of you have sorted any of these issues yourself and would love to share, that would be absolutely great.
All you need to do is scroll right down to the bottom of the page to the comments bit, and leave your questions with us. So I'll look forward to seeing you next week for another edition of A.Vogel Talks Menopause.