3 surprising menopause symptoms you may not know about


Eileen Durward
@EileenDurward


29 March 2021

Today's topic:

Today on A.Vogel Talks Menopause, I take a look at three more menopause symptoms that may surprise you.

We know the range of common menopause symptoms like hot flushes, night sweats, aches and pains, low mood, and irritability. However, a lot of women can experience strange symptoms, but they're not quite sure if they're anything to do with menopause. And if they are to do with menopause, why is it happening to them?

So, here are three more stranger symptoms that women can experience during menopause:

1. Globus and trouble swallowing

Some women can experience something called Globus, which is the feeling of a lump in the throat where no true lump exists or you're experiencing troubling swallowing when you eat or drink anything.

With Globus, women say they feel as if there's almost a big lump of something stuck in their throat. It can cause problems when swallowing food or drinking.

And with the trouble swallowing, very often, it just feels as if everything's tight or dry in the throat.

And women tell me that if they're having something to eat, everything seems to get stuck and they need to drink a lot of water whilst they're eating.

What's happening with these is that several issues can trigger this. One of them is dryness. And we do know that the mouth and the throat can become extra dry in menopause. The mucous membranes just start to dry out slightly.

It may well be that you're not producing enough saliva in the mouth. And what happens then is when you try and eat something, there's not enough saliva to help to wash the food down past the throat and this is what causes the problem.

With the Globus, very often, it's to do with anxiety that the muscles of the throat can go into spasm. And if this happens once, you know, it can be frightening. You're trying to eat something and everything's getting stuck in the throat, and you think perhaps you're going to choke or you feel that you can't breathe properly.

So, it sets up almost like a panic attack and the next time you go to eat something, already in the back of your mind is the worry that this is going to happen again, which then triggers the exact symptoms.

With these two issues, there are several things that you can do. For dry mouth, you can look at the Sea Buckthorn Oil because that's known to help with dryness in the mucous membranes. If you feel that you're not producing enough saliva, if everything's dry when you're chewing in your mouth, there is a lovely herb called Centaurium, which is known as a bitter. And this helps to trigger the gastric juices.

If it's more to do with Globus, so if you start to get panicky when you're eating, you can look at herbs such as valerian because they're known to help muscle relaxation and anxiety. You could also look at adding in a magnesium supplement, which also helps with muscle relaxation and anxiety.

Obviously, with this one, if you find that nothing is helping, please just get this one double-checked by your doctor. Also, check with your dentist. If your mouth is really dry, there may be an indication that you've got a blocked saliva duct and obviously, these can be treated quite easily.

2. Voice changing

Several things again can happen here. You may find that your voice is getting a bit deeper, maybe a little bit more masculine. You may find that it's getting a little bit weaker.

I've had one or two queries from ladies who are singers and they are finding that they just can't project their voice, their singing voice is getting a bit weaker or a little bit broke up.

Again, several things can happen here. It can be dryness. If you find that your mouth is dry generally, then that can affect the voice box and the whole of the throat area.
It could also be due to testosterone. Women have certain levels of testosterone, too.

And for some women in menopause, the testosterone can increase or it can stay high whilst the other hormones decrease. And that can affect the tone of the voice that can make it quite a bit deeper.

So, what can help with this? You can look at Sea Buckthorn Oil. Remember to drink plenty of water, too, especially if you're doing a lot of singing or talking. A high-strength garlic supplement is also known to help with the voice. But again, if you're finding that your voice is a real problem, just get this double-checked with your doctor.

3. Very smelly sweat

Hormonal changes can cause all sorts of problems with our sweat mechanism and our body heat regulation, but when it comes to very smelly sweat it isn't just about our normal body odour being a bit stronger, which can happen in menopause.

There are a couple of odour problems that can occur in menopause that are due to very specific things that can be quite difficult to treat. And although they're not very common, they are extremely distressing and I've had a few women who have struggled with this one.

So, the first thing is that your sweat can start to smell almost like vinegar, a sort of pickled smell. Now, this is due to something called Propionibacterium.

What's happening here is that there is a specific range of bacteria on the skin and these are breaking the sweat down and the Propionibacterium are the same bacteria that can occur in the fermentation process of vinegar. So, this is why you can end up with this kind of vinegary smell.

The other one is called Nonenal and this can be almost like a fat smell, a very sort of rancid smell. And women tell me that if they suffer from this one, that it's almost like there is a layer of oil on the skin.

The smell that's contained in it can then get on to your clothes, on to your bed sheets, and they have a very, very strong kind of fatty odour that can be practically impossible to wash out of the clothes and bedding.

With this particular one, what often happens here is again, it could be due to high levels of testosterone. That, in itself, gives you a more masculine, sweaty smell. And very often, the more masculine sweat produces more sebum on the skin, and with the combination of bacteria in this whole process, you then end up getting a layer of sort of oil or fat on the skin, which compounds this particular problem.

How do you treat these? They're not particularly easy to treat but there are certain things you can do. First of all, sometimes it can be due to things like constipation, poor elimination, so get your bowels working well. A probiotic can sometimes be helpful. Also, you could look at doing a little bit of a liver detox, just to help the whole process of elimination along.

With the Nonenal, because it's very often due to very high testosterone levels, then I would ask the doctor to check that for you because there may be certain things that they can give, just to help to balance your testosterone. It's said that Persimmon soap can be possibly quite helpful as well.

With both of these problems, you need to allow the body to sweat properly. And one of the things that can be a big contributory factor is antiperspirants because they are going to block the sweat from under the arms and it's going to cause more sweating throughout the rest of the body. So, with either of these two issues, then go for natural deodorants that still allow your body to sweat naturally.

The other quick thing to remember here is that during menopause our smell can change, too, just like when pregnant. Our smell can become much more acute and you can end up smelling things that other people can't. So sometimes, if you feel that you've got a really strong body odour, it's not. It's just the fact that your sense of smell in your nose is picking things up that normally, you wouldn't do.

So, I hope you found this interesting. There are so many strange menopause symptoms. If you have something that you're a little bit puzzled about, then please contact me and I can look into it for you.

Key points to take away from this blog:

  • Menopause can cause several throat problems such as Globus, where you feel like you have a lump in your throat when there isn't one and also trouble swallowing
  • Your voice can change during menopause, becoming more deeper than before
  • Your body odour can change during menopause, but some odour problems can be are more intense and troublesome to treat.

Until next week, take care

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