5 unexpected & lesser-known menopause symptoms


Eileen Durward
@EileenDurward


22 February 2021

Today's topic

Today on A.Vogel Talks Menopause, I'm going to be talking about five unexpected or less well-known symptoms in menopause.

There are so many symptoms in menopause. A lot of them are very well-known, such as hot flushes, night sweats, joint aches, anxiety, loss of libido. But many women get symptoms that are sometimes very puzzling. They're not sure if it's anything to do with their general health or whether they are indeed connected to menopause.

Unexpected or lesser-known symptoms you should know about

So, I thought I would go through five of the lesser well-known symptoms today and explain what can help ease each of these symptoms.

1. Bad breath

Bad breath can be due to several factors. As we go through menopause and our oestrogen falls, this can affect our gums. Our gums can recede, which means that a lot more bacteria can be trapped between the gums and the teeth. And even if you brush your teeth well, sometimes this just isn't enough so this can be a big factor.

It can also be due to the teeth themselves. They can deteriorate. They can get looser. And again, this can be a big contributory factor.

For some women, they find that their mouth gets really dry during menopause. And for others, bad breath can be due to digestive problems, which are also very common during menopause.

And if you find that after you eat, your food just seems to sit in your stomach, if you get a lot of wind, if you get a lot of indigestion, then this can be a factor, too.

What can help?

The first and most important thing is to go to see your dentist for a general check-up, just to make sure that you don't have any gum disease or if there's an issue with your teeth.

Remember the water. Dehydration can certainly be a factor with dry mouth and poor digestion, so drink plenty of water daily. Poor liver function can be another issue, too. The changing hormones can stress our liver quite dramatically and that can impact our digestion.

So, you may find doing a gentle liver detox for a couple of weeks can make a huge amount of difference. If you tend to get a bit liverish or nauseous after eating, then the herb milk thistle can sometimes be helpful.

If your mouth is really dry, then you could try the Sea Buckthorn Oil as a daily supplement.

2. Mid-afternoon slump (Afternoon fatigue)

Afternoon fatigue is something that sometimes affects me even now!
So, this can happen around 2pm or 3pm. You can just feel as if you've hit a brick wall and all you want to do is just curl up and sleep.

Again, there are several issues that can cause this, some of which can be linked to menopause.

It can be what you've eaten for your lunch. A high carbohydrate lunch such as sandwiches, rolls, or pasta, or rice dishes, is very sedating, so maybe look at what you're eating for your lunch.

It could be that cup of coffee that you had earlier on. Coffee will raise your blood sugars then there'll be a really big dip and that can give you that mid-afternoon slump.

My Self-Care Tip: A simple way to beat that mid-afternoon energy slump

If you are feeling fatigued or tired in the afternoon, instead of a cup of tea or coffee, I recommend a different drink to help boost your energy when you need it. Watch my self-care video to find out more:

It can be the fact you've not eaten enough at lunchtime or have you skipped lunch altogether. Our blood sugar balance can go haywire during menopause so it's really important to eat little and often.

If your blood sugar is stable, your energy levels will stay up and you won't get that slump, or tiredness, or fatigue.

It could be dehydration, just as simple as not drinking enough water. By the time your body gets to mid-afternoon, it can be really struggling.

What can help?

So, with this one, drink plenty of water. For lunch, have some kind of protein and fat meal because that will keep your blood sugar stable.

Avoid caffeine. You may find that just having herb teas can help a great deal with this. And these tips can work quickly at helping with this particular one.

3. Chills rather than hot flushes

Some women find that they will get a hot flush or a night sweat and then they will get cold very, very quickly. For other women, they just tend to get cold shivers rather than hot flushes.

If you're getting a hot flush and then a chill, all that's happening here is that during the hot flush or the night sweat, blood is rushing to the surface of your skin to try and cool you down. A layer of perspiration on the skin will very quickly evaporate and that will suddenly lower your temperature and you will start to feel very chilly.

What can help?

If you're just getting chills instead of hot flushes or sweats, then it's normally the same mechanism that causes the hot flushes so you can treat this in the same way. So, you could look at the herb sage for this particular one.

And the other thing is to just have plenty of layers so that if you feel a hot flush coming on, you can take a layer off, and then once you start to cool down really quickly, you can put a layer back on.

If it's just chills that you get, check what time of day it is because if you're getting these at exactly the same time of day, then sometimes it can be due to low blood sugar levels or it could be due to dehydration. And again, this is something that can be easily fixed.

4. Migraines

Now, this can be quite a strange one because some women find that they get pre-period migraines, then when they get to menopause, they disappear, which is obviously a great relief. But other women, as soon as the peri-menopause starts to hit and their periods start to change, they can find that they start to get migraines.

These can be extremely debilitating. You know, some women tell me they have to spend a day or two in bed because they just can't do anything. So, what's happening here is that as you're in the peri-menopause, your hormone levels just before a period can fluctuate quite dramatically. You can get a really sudden fall of oestrogen.

And what this does is this can affect the blood vessels in the neck. They can go into almost like a spasm, and that can then trigger a migraine.

It could also be due to things like low magnesium. And we know that there is a correlation between falling oestrogen and a decrease in magnesium uptake so just some women find that taking a magnesium supplement could be really helpful for migraines.

The other thing it can be is just muscle stress, especially If you're spending a lot of time sitting at your desk.

I'm working from home at the moment. I tend to be less active during the day because, in the office, I'd have to walk about a lot more, go up and down steps, nip in and see other people or do other things, whereas, at home, I'm spending a lot more time sedentary. I'm stuck at my desk. If you are in a similar situation, what happens is your shoulders can get tighter and tighter, and this can affect the blood flow to the brain.

What can help?

If you're doing a lot of sitting, it's really important to get up and move about regularly. Just do some shoulder exercises.

I try and do a few stretching exercises every couple of hours if I can remember. And that can make a big difference for this particular one.

As I mentioned before, extra magnesium, 200 to 400 milligrams a day, if you are getting migraines, loads of water, and just make sure that you're not really, really stressed so you've got tight muscles right across the shoulders.

5. Your urine either smelling strange or changing colour

This is a really common one that not a lot of women realize can be a menopause one. Falling hormones can do it. And some women do find that their urine changes a little bit just before a period.

So again, if you're going into the peri-menopause and your hormones are fluctuating a lot more, this can have a bigger impact on your urine. It can be dehydration. Again, this is a huge factor.

What can help?

Loads of water and honestly, this can work within about 24 hours if you start upping your water intake. The only thing I would say here is if you are passing blood in your urine as well as all these other changes, it's really important to see your doctor because you may have a mild bladder infection such as cystitis. So, it is important to get this particular one checked out.

I hope you find this useful. If any of you have any other symptoms that you're not quite sure if they're to do with menopause or not, then please do get in touch and I'll see if I could help.

Key points to take away from this blog:

  • There are lots more symptoms or ways menopause affect you than just the common ones you hear about.
  • Bad breath, afternoon fatigue, chills, migraines and changes to the smell and colour of your urine are just five symptoms that you might not have heard of before.
  • Upping our water intake to avoid dehydration can help all of these symptoms.

Until next week, take care

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.

  • Made from fermented soya beans
  • Support for all stages of the menopause
  • Also contains magnesium and hibiscus

A herbal dietary supplement containing soy isoflavones, magnesium and hibiscus extract for all stages of the menopause.

TIP: Read why so many women recommend Menopause Support for before, during & after the menopause

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