There are many symptoms of menopause, some well-known, some surprising and some a little strange! Today I take a look at some of the stranger symptoms you might experience, explaining what causes them and what you can do about them.
What are some of the stranger symptoms of menopause?
They can be caused by hormonal fluctuations, but they are not picked up as being menopausal. And sometimes they can be that little bit difficult to treat because the doctors are just not aware of them as a menopause symptom. So, let's go through some of them.
1. Foul body odour
Sounds awful and for the women that experience body odour changes, it can be extremely distressing. What can happen is that there can be several chemical reactions that happen on the skin when you get a lot of sweating or hot flushes. A lot of it has to do with the hormonal balance that you have as an individual and it can be also due to the type of bacteria that may be present on your skin.
There are two main ones, one of them where you might think that you smell very much like vinegar or a kind of oniony odour. The other one is that you can smell a bit like rancid fat.
As I say, these are very distressing. Washing will not take them away because it's a chemical reaction that's going on in the skin. Very often, the very thin film of oil that's on our skin traps these odours and ordinary washing and showering just doesn't help to get rid of them. I've heard of some women who have been showering themselves, five or six times a day, trying to get rid of this and nothing seems to help.
So, what you need to do in this situation? First of all, deal with the hot flushes and the sweats. If you can get that under control, then it's less likely to be this ongoing chemical reaction on the skin.
You can look at specific soap. There is a soap I've been told can help called Persimmon soap. You probably need to Google it or ask at your local health food store if they stock it. That can sometimes help.
Drinking green tea and making sure that you're getting plenty of antioxidants in your body, too, can help to improve the health of the skin.
This is something that maybe acupuncture could help with, too, if it's to do with the imbalance of the hormones. You can check with your doctor, just in case, there is something like an endocrine imbalance going on. So, if you find that these tips don't help, then this is something that maybe you should speak to your doctor about.
We know as well that diabetes can cause skin odours, too. So, this is something to also get checked out by your doctor, if nothing else works here.
The other thing that can happen is that if we use antiperspirants, they block our underarms, which is what they're supposed to do. But in menopause, your temperature regulation can go completely haywire and the underarms are one of the main areas of the body, where your body can regulate its inner temperature by sweating under the arms.
My Self-Care Tip: Try a natural deodorant to keep you fresh and odour-free
Natural deodorants are much kinder to the skin and help to kill off any of the bacteria that cause odours. Watch my self-care video below to find out more about the natural deodorant range which I recommend - Salt of the Earth:
Another thing to remember, too, is that as in pregnancy, our sense of smell can change during menopause. And we may think we smell, when in fact no one else notices. If you know someone really well, you could maybe just ask them if they find that you're smelling a little bit peculiar these days. Because if it's just your sense of smell, then there's really nothing that you need to do.
2. Jaw pain
This is a really strange one. Some people say that they find that it gets uncomfortable for them to chew or they might find that they're clenching their jaw because of anxiety and stress that's causing a lot of pressure. Very often, this can be due to past dental work you've done. Remember, in the menopause, that past damage and injury to the body can manifest itself again because that particular area has got a little bit weaker.
So, if you've started to get jaw pain but you can remember, maybe 5, 6,10, 20 years ago, you had a lot of work done on your teeth, then it could be because the mandibular joints here have been overstretched.
Supplements such as glucosamine sulfate, to strengthen everything, may be of benefit.
You could also maybe seek the advice of a Craniosacral Osteopath, who can maybe do a little bit of manipulation to get everything back in place.
It may even be one to two years after your periods have stopped. In most instances, all that's happening is that your body is still producing a hormonal cycle every month, but the hormones are very low. They are not high enough to trigger a bleed. But these hormones can still be high enough to give you all the usual symptoms of PMS.
So, it could be things like period pain, cramping, you might still get the breast tenderness, you might still get the irritability and the anger. Very often, a magnesium supplement can put this right quite quickly. You're looking at maybe 200 milligrams, twice a day. Magnesium is great, just for calming the uterus down, to decrease the spasming that's going on.
However, going through the menopause, you can get things like fibroids. You can have a prolapse, where the womb can start to shift position. Or it could be things like cysts or polyps can develop. And these can cause pain and discomfort as well. So, if things like the magnesium don't help or you find that every month these pains are getting worse, please get this checked out by your doctor, just to rule out these other potential triggers.
4. Heart flutters
These can feel really strange. This is one of the ones that I had and it's just your heart just seems to go all over the place, there are extra beats, there are missing beats. It sometimes feels like there's a trapped butterfly in there trying to get out.
So, if this is something you're getting regularly, then I recommend that you do a little diary. Write down, for maybe a week, all the things that you're eating and drinking and when.
And then figure out when you're getting your symptoms and you may find that it's something external that you're doing, or eating, or drinking that's causing this. Again, if you're worried at all, if nothing helps, please just get this checked out by your doctor.
This is a strange one, but becoming more clumsy is common during menopause. I've had women say that they start banging into doors, they started scraping their car, they can't judge how to get into their driveway. Women find they're knocking over things they're trying to pick things up, and finding that they're completely way off.
What can happen is that your eyesight can change, just due to the changing hormone levels and that can affect your spatial awareness. So, you think you're going in a straight line but you're not. I know for me, again, this is another one of mine. I couldn't park my car straight for about two years, no matter what I did. I just had to accept the fact that for that length of time, my car was always going to be at an angle in the car park.
With all of these symptoms, they are normally just phases in the menopause. So, these are things that you might get symptoms for a few months. You might get them for a few years, like me, with my car.
But they do tend to resolve themselves at some point, so just bear in mind that there usually is an end to these very strange symptoms.
I hope you found this helpful. If any of you have other symptoms, maybe you just clicked, "Oh, that might have been to do with the menopause," we would love to hear about your strange symptoms and also how you helped yourself.
Menopause Support can provide support to the body through all stages of the Menopause but is especially useful when broad range of symptoms such as hot flushes, irritability, tiredness, pains and aches, vaginal dryness etc kick in.
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Support for all stages of the menopause
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A herbal dietary supplement containing soy isoflavones, magnesium and hibiscus extract for all stages of the menopause.
Hello lovely ladies, my name is Eileen and I have worked in the Education Department at A.Vogel for over 18 years, lecturing and advising on many health concerns via the Helpline, including the menopause and its dreaded symptoms.
My own personal experience of going through the menopause (and surviving it), which I regularly blog about, as well as that of hundreds of menopause women who ring the helpline or email me every day, allows me to offer my guidance, advice and sometimes just a much needed shoulder to cry on, to menopausal women all over the world.
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Menopause support – Soy Isoflavones for all stages of the menopause