Other surprising menopause symptoms you might not know about


Eileen Durward
@EileenDurward
Ask Eileen


25 July 2022

Today's topic

Today on A.Vogel Talks Menopause, I take a look at 3 more surprising problems and symptoms you can experience during perimenopause and menopause.

I've focused a lot in the past on surprising symptoms and other problems that suddenly appear in menopause. Women often contact me wondering "Is this part of menopause? Is it anything to do with menopause? What's going on here?

So, I thought today, I would look at more problems and symptoms that women have contacted me about, where they're not quite sure if it's related at all or whether something else is causing the symptoms.

So, let's have a look at 3 more of these:

1. Tendonitis

Your tendons are a bit like rubber bands. One end is attached to your muscle and the other end to your bone and they help your joints to move and flex. They give you your range of movements. So, when you move your arm, between your muscles and bones, the tendons are moving. They're stretching and they're contracting.

But what can happen during menopause is that low oestrogen can affect the tendons. They can tighten and they can dry out, so they become a lot stiffer, and this can affect the ease of movement.

The tendons can then become inflamed, which can make movement painful. As well as inflammation, you may also experience heat in the joints.

So, if you're doing any kind of movement, and the tendons get irritated, inflamed, and dehydrated, it's going to cause a huge amount of discomfort and pain. You may find even simple tasks difficult, such as typing or walking.

What can help?

So, what needs to be done here is to treat the inflammation. If you're getting a lot of heat, you would look at herbs such as Devil's Claw, which is known as a natural anti-inflammatory.

Drink plenty of water every day. This will help stop the dryness and dehydration from occurring. It's amazing how many women have come back to me and said that drinking more water has helped ease their pain and discomfort very quickly.

As long as the condition is not too advanced, you could also look at a supplement called glucosamine sulphate. This is known to help to build the material used to make tendons and also ligaments. But it's quite a slow one, so you may not see any improvement for maybe two to three months.

The other thing that may help here is acupuncture. It can be very helpful especially for alleviating pain.

It is really important here to keep your movement up. I know when you feel sore this may be the last thing you want to do; but if you stop the movement completely then the muscles can tighten as well and you can end up doubling the problem. So, it's important to keep active but only to the point where you're not causing extra pain and discomfort.

2. Haemorrhoids (Piles)

These can be extremely uncomfortable. It's basically bleeding from the rectum. For some women, the piles can actually pop out, which makes sitting very uncomfortable.

So, in this situation, there can be several causes. Firstly, we know that blood vessels can weaken generally due to falling oestrogen.

It could also be due to the dryness in the digestive tract. Our digestive tract is one of the mucous membranes of the body and we know that falling oestrogen can affect the mucous membranes, so your digestive tract and the bowel can become a little bit less moisturised and that can affect the blood vessels in that area.

Constipation is a really common factor here, purely because you're just straining the whole time and that will put extra pressure on these blood vessels. And that can then result in haemorrhoids.

It can also be due to problems with the pelvic girdle. If you get something called a prolapse, then the uterus, the bladder, and the bowel can all slightly change position. And that can then put added pressure on the blood vessels in that area, resulting in haemorrhoids.

What can help?

So, for this one, again it's very important to drink plenty of water. This will also help to treat any constipation. You can also add some extra fibre or take a very gentle laxative to get things moving again if needed.

Vitamin C can be really helpful at strengthening blood vessels. Very often, there can be a link between varicose veins and haemorrhoids. So, if you've also started to get varicose veins, then things like vitamin C can be very helpful. The herb Horse Chestnut is known to help with haemorrhoids and also varicose veins.

If you feel the other areas are drying out (so if you're getting vaginal dryness, if you're getting dry skin, dry eyes, or dry mouth), then there is a possibility that the digestive tract is affected as well. You could try a supplement called Sea Buckthorn Oil to help ease any dryness during menopause.

3. Dry lips

This was one of my symptoms. It was so strange. Just suddenly, through menopause, I ended up with dry lips. I didn't have any other dryness, but my dry lips were very annoying and uncomfortable.

Again, this whole area, your lips, your mouth, your tongue, and your throat, are lined with mucous membranes, so these can dry out due to falling oestrogen.

Your lips are on the outside, so they're also going to be affected by the temperature in the room or the temperature outside. Very often, in the winter when you're in rooms with central heating, they get worse. If you're outside in the sun or the wind, they will get worse as well. Dehydration can also cause this symptom.

It could also be due to the type of lipsticks you're using. Some lipsticks contain lots of irritating chemicals in them. Some lip balms are full of nasties as well. As skin gets drier and thinner during menopause, it can also get more sensitive to irritants, so lipstick or lip balms you have used for years could suddenly cause you problems.

What can help?

So, with this one, obviously, loads of water again. Look at the products you're putting on your lips. Go for organic natural lipsticks, organic lip balms, and lip creams too.

You can also try the Sea Buckthorn Oil, which I mentioned earlier for dryness. Take it either as a capsule internally or get the oil and apply that neat several times a day to your lips to help ease dryness.

So, I hope you found this one helpful. If you've had any of these problems, if there are things that you've done to help yourself, please share them with us.

Until next week, take care

You may also find these topics helpful:

3 surprising symptoms of menopause explained

5 unexpected & lesser-known menopause symptoms

4 surprising emotional symptoms of menopause

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