I hear from women about symptoms they think may be menopausal, but often are just either age related or not connected at all and just coincidental.
But there are few things you may notice and not think they relate to menopause at all, so these are worth considering.
Have you noticed any tingling, numbness, or a throbbing or stinging pain in your limbs? If you are experiencing reduced blood flow to a specific part of your body then you may be experiencing symptoms of poor circulation.
Mostly seen in the extremities, such as your legs and arms, but may also occur in wrists or feet as numbness or loss of sensation swell as changes in skin temperature and swelling in the feet, legs and/or fingers.
This condition can be related to high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol levels so check those on a regular basis and if you are a smoker, then time to stop as that will make it worse.
The other thing to avoid is long periods of immobility such as lots of time sitting, so get up regularly and try to have some form of exercise each day. Fish oil supplements have proved helpful for some women and for the cramping\tingling feeling it may be a magnesium deficiency so check that too.
Breast tenderness and nipple pain
Breast tenderness is reported by many women as part of their hormonal cycle and the accompanying nipple pain means increased sensitivity so your normal bra or clothing can really make your nipples sore and tender.
This is down to those fluctuating hormones, more usually at perimenopause, that usually tends to occur during the perimenopause, when the levels oestrogen suddenly increase.
Synthetic progestins and hormones in the Pill/Coil/HRT are associated with such side effects so balance this with bioidentical progesterone but always check with your doctor about any changes at all in the breast.
If such discomfort is prolonged or there is any discharge from the nipple this may be nothing, but always best to be checked.
Feet on fire?
This is certainly one I know all about as at night I am often found with my feet kicking over the duvet at the end of the bed so my feet are free and in some nice, cold air!
Hormonal balance is always affected by stress and that can deplete the B vitamins so top up on those as this may be one of the causes. Bioidentical progesterone is a natural relaxant so having good, balanced, levels will also help wit stress and anxiety.
Joint aches and pains
If you are also suffering with your joints, as well as hot feet, then this could also indicate that you have higher levels of uric acid. As well as affecting your joints, it could lead to a painful form of arthritis called gout.
The best remedy is plenty of water to keep your kidneys flushed to remove the uric acid crystals so drinking plenty of water is a must.
Suggested natural remedies include cider vinegar or nettle tea but there are some things that definitely increase the risk of gout if you are susceptible.
Certain medications such as diuretics and beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors used to treat high blood pressure or an abnormal build-up of fluid in your body, and low-dose aspirin – used to reduce the risk of blood clots as well as niacin (vitamin B3) – used to treat high cholesterol.
Eating foods that contain a high level of purines can increase your risk of gout so avoid or limit red meat, seafood and offal.
Water is brilliant for reducing the risk, but other drinks are not so good. Alcohol can raise the level of uric acid in the blood and beer, fortified wines like port, and spirits do this more than wine.
If soft drinks are more your thing then some research has found that drinking sugar-sweetened soft drinks and drinks with high levels of fructose (a naturally occurring sugar found in many fruits) had an increased risk of gout.
Clearly maintaining hormone balance is the key to reducing the risk for menopausal symptoms (particularly reducing your risk of oestrogen dominance) and if you have a specific issue you need to address then these articles will help: