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Are Tender Nipples A Sign Of Menopause

Headaches Dizzy Spells Or Vertigo

How to ease breast pain during menopause

Have you ever woken up first thing in the morning to the room spinning as if youve had one too many the night before? This feeling is known as vertigo and, along with dizziness, is another symptom of the perimenopause caused by a drop in oestrogen levels.

Falling oestrogen and progesterone levels are also the cause of headaches in menopausal women and some women may even experience migraines for the first time during perimenopause. Women who suffer from headaches around their period due to low oestrogen levels may find headaches increase as they transition to the menopause. But after menopause, some women find that headaches, in particular, migraines lessen.

Sore Nipples: 15 Reasons For Sensitive Tender Or Painful Nipples

Jenny Hills, Nutritionist and Medical Writer Health

Experiencing the discomfort of sore nipples from time to time is an annoyance that most women have to put up with. Nipple pain can be caused from something as simple as chaffing or allergies to clothing, or it could be caused by an infection. Changes during the menstrual cycle can also cause nipples to become sensitive, tender, or hurt more than usual. Very often pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding complain that their nipples become very sore.

Unfortunately, painful nipples can also be accompanied with other symptoms that can add to your discomfort. Infections in the glands around the nipples can result in some discharge, or the area around the nipple can become dry and cracked. In some cases, you could have some nipple itching, tenderness, or notice that your nipples are red and swollen.

Most of the time, sore nipples are not a sign of anything serious, and are more of an irritation. Some home remedies to help alleviate the pain and discomfort of sore nipples include cold or warm compress, aloe vera, apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, or tea tree oil. In rare occasions, sore nipples with some unexplained discharge could indicate a more serious condition that needs attention by a doctor.

In the article, you will find out the many reasons why your nipples hurt and what you can do to about it.

Digestive Problems And Bloating

Low oestrogen levels can result in less fluctuating cortisol levels which increases blood sugars and slows down digestion. As oestrogen plays a role in the function of the gastrointestinal system, low levels can cause bloating, indigestion, acid reflux, stomach cramps along with nausea, flatulence, constipation, and diarrhoea.

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Breast Changes During Menopause

By the time a person with a uterus and ovaries reaches their late 40s to early 50s, perimenopause has likely started. Perimenopause is the transitional phase leading up to menopause, the time when monthly periods have stopped for 12 months. During perimenopause, a person often starts noticing some changes in their breasts.

During perimenopause, breast changes often occur cyclically due to fluctuating hormonal levels. These breast symptoms start when the monthly cycle begins and then subside a few days later. When menopause occurs, hormonal levels continue to decrease, causing more changes in the breasts. These changes include:

  • A lower density of breast tissue
  • Increased fat tissue in the breasts
  • Shrinking and sagging breasts
  • Breast or nipple itching

When To See A Doctor About Sore Breasts

Menopause Tingling Nipples Level Hormone + Cppc2013 ...

Most breast pain or soreness isnt anything serious, and can usually be treated at home or with medicines prescribed by your doctor.

However, there are some warning signs to look out for. Rarely, pain in your breast can be a sign of a heart attack. Call an ambulance if you have breast pain and any of the following:

  • chest pain a tightness, squeezing, or feeling of pressure in the middle of your chest
  • pain in other parts of your body it can feel like pain is moving from your chest to your arms, neck, jaw, back and tummy
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • an overwhelming feeling of anxiety similar to a panic attack

You should see a doctor about breast pain if:

  • it doesnt get better, or painkillers dont help
  • you have a high temperature, or you feel hot or shivery
  • your breast is red, swollen or hot
  • you have a lump on your breast that is very painful
  • you have a hard lump on your breast that doesnt move
  • you have a lump in your armpit
  • one or both of your breasts change shape
  • you have nipple discharge, especially if its bloody
  • you have a rash or changes to the skin on your breast or around your nipple
  • your nipple has sunk into your breast
  • theres a history of breast or ovarian cancer in your family

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Anxiety Depression & Mood Swings

Research indicated that 61% of perimenopausal women experienced low mood.

Sleep problems caused by perimenopause symptoms such as night sweats, lead to sleep deprivation which in turn can cause anxiety and/or depression.

“Neuroscientists have found that sleep deprivation fires up areas of the brain associated with emotional processing. The resulting pattern mimics the abnormal neural activity seen in anxiety disorders” according to PsychCentral.com,

In addition to poor sleep quality, anxiety, and depression, along with low mood are associated with low levels of serotonin. Oestrogen influences the production and breakdown of serotonin, so lower levels of oestrogen will impact serotonin levels in women going through the menopause.

Poor sleep can also have an impact on your levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Your cortisol levels rise and fall throughout the day, with levels being higher first thing in the morning. But a lack of sleep can cause your cortisol levels to rise and stay high which can impact mood, including feelings of anxiety and depression.

Try Evening Primrose Oil

It contains high levels of gamma-linolenic acid , an omega-6 fatty acid. Some studies have suggested evening primrose oil may help reduce the inflammation linked with breast pain. Youll need to be patient as research shows it can take a few months before you notice the benefits but many women swear by it so it could be worth trying.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Perimenopausal Breast Pain

Perimenopausal breast pain is not the same as the discomfort you may experience around the time you get your period. Cyclical breast pain occurs just before a womans period and is characterised as a dull, heavy ache in both breasts .Perimenopausal breast pain, or noncyclical breast pain, may feel more like soreness or burning in either one or both breasts . However, breast pain during perimenopause can vary between individuals: for some, the discomfort may feel sharp, or give a throbbing and stabbing sensation .

Breast Pain Menopause Treatment

Sore Nipples Hormone Imbalance – Nipple Tenderness Causes – Cracked Nipple Treatment

Breast pain can have a serious impact on the suffererâs day-to-day life.

Luckily, there are a range of available remedies which can help address menopausal breast pain. Over-the-counter pain medications such as Panadol can relieve pain or discomfort, while other options are designed to treat hormonal causes, such as hormone replacement therapy . HRT will require consultation with a doctor to determine the best option for you and a prescription for the treatment.

Other remedies for breast pain include changing dietary and lifestyle habits to reduce the likelihood of breast tenderness and minimise symptoms. Other methods of addressing menopausal breast pain include:

The Different Types of Breast Pain

Cyclical

Non-Cyclical

Extramammary

Costochondritis

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When To Check With Your Doctor

Most midlife breast changes are normal. But you canât be sure on your own. Talk to your doctor if you notice any of these problems:

  • A lump or a firm or thick area in your breast or under your arm.
  • Nipple discharge fluid or changes, such as a nipple that becomes sunken into the breast, also called “inverted.”
  • Skin changes, such as redness, dimpling, puckering, or ridges that look like orange peel.
  • Unexplained swelling or shrinkage of the breast, especially on one side only.

Most of the time, breast changes are not cancer, but itâs important to get any new or unusual symptom checked out quickly.

Also talk to your doctor about how often you should get mammograms, since guidelines vary. The American Cancer Society recommends one every year, starting when youâre 45. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends offering average-risk patients mammograms beginning at age 40. Other groups advise every 2 years when you turn 50 until youâre 74.

You may need to start sooner if youâre at high risk.

Your doctor can help you decide whatâs best for you.

Association of Reproductive Health Professionals: âPerimenopause: Changes, Treatment, Staying Healthy.â

National Cancer Institute: âUnderstanding Breast Changes.â

Kataria , K. Indian Journal of Surgery. June, 2014.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center: âBreast Changes: Should I Be Concerned?â

Mayo Clinic: âBreast Cysts.â

American Cancer Society: âFibrosis and simple cysts.â

Management Of Breast Swelling And Tenderness

There are many lifestyle adjustments that can help make breast pain and swelling more manageable:

  • Lower caffeine and salt consumption. Excessive consumption of both can be linked to the worsening of swelling and tenderness in the breasts as they can cause water retention.
  • Take more vitamin E. Early studies have proven this vitamins benefits for women suffering from cyclic breast pain and swelling.
  • Wear a well-fitting bra. This may be one of the simplest and most effective ways of reducing breast pain. Wear it while exercising and sleeping when they are extra sensitive.
  • Use warm compresses. Applying a warm compress at the base of each breast can help relieve the pain after a particularly excruciating day.

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Why Do My Nipples Hurt Causes Treatment When To See A Doctor

Have you been experiencing nipple tenderness? If such symptom is not an ordinary part of your menstrual cycle, you may be wondering whats going on with your body.

Sore or tender nipples range from unpleasant to straight out painful. And even if your symptoms are on the milder side of the spectrum, they can be worrisome. Below are 10 of the most common causes of nipple tenderness and what you can do about it.

Sore Breasts In Perimenopause

Menopause Tingling Nipples Level Hormone + Cppc2013 ...

You may find that you have breast soreness that is different or new to you as you enter perimenopause. Some women who had breast pain during the menstrual cycles find that the pain goes away with menopause. However, other women find that it gets worse in perimenopause. Breast soreness is one of the 34 symptoms of perimenopause. And while it is an expected symptom, it is an absolute pain .

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Why Hormone Changes Cause Sore Breasts

In the years before your periods stop completely, the hormones oestrogen and progesterone fluctuate unpredictably. Its these fluctuations that are thought to cause breast pain clinically known as mastalgia some women have breast tissue that is more sensitive to seesawing hormones. Youll probably find the breast pain comes and goes, and your breasts may also increase and decrease in size at different times. Women describe the pain in different ways your breasts may feel very sore and swollen, or it may be more of a dull ache or even a burning or throbbing pain. As the pain is caused by helter-skelter hormones, it should go away once your periods have stopped.

Symptoms Of Breast Tenderness

Breast tenderness during menopause can be persistent or intermittent. Some women will experience symptoms in both breasts, while for others, breast tenderness will only affect one breast. The following are the most common symptoms of breast tenderness.

  • Breast swelling
  • Dull, heavy, or aching feelings
  • Discomfort with movement
  • Pain while sleeping
  • Aches

Please read on to learn more about the different types of breast tenderness that can occur during a woman’s life.

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Hot Flushes/night Sweats And Body Odour

Hot flushes and night sweats are the same, the only difference is that night sweats are hot flushes that happen at night!

Hot flushes and night sweats are caused by declining oestrogen levels, this impacts your brains’ ability to regulate body temperature. Your body thinks it is overheating when it isnt and your brain triggers the body to cool down by sweating and increasing blood flow through the skins blood vessels which causes the flush.

Hot flushes and night sweats are common menopausal symptoms and can vary in severity and duration. For about 20% of women, they can be quite severe and cause a lot of distress impacting work, sleep, and overall quality of life. However, for most women going through the menopause, they only occur occasionally.

Experiencing hot flushes and night sweats can also increase body odour. In addition, symptoms such as anxiety create sweat produced in the apocrine glands. Anxiety sweat is fatty and breeds and feeds on bacteria which creates a more pungent smell.

Whats The Best Way To Treat Menopause Breast Pain

Sore Nipples During Breastfeeding TREATMENT AND PREVENTION

The best way to treat breast pain in menopause varies from person to person. First of all, if you have doubts about the type of pain you are experiencing, I would book in with your GP who can take a full history and examination and refer you onto a specialist as required.

It is so important to know whats normal for you, which will be helped by regular self- examination. Read Reds guide here. This helps you know when to manage symptoms at home and when to ask for help.

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You Can’t Touch That Tender Breasts During Perimenopause And Menopause

Hot flashes. Mood swings. Weight gain. Osteoporosis. Just a few of the many symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. Add breast tenderness to that never-ending laundry list. For some women, “tenderness” is a gross and I mean gross!) understatement.

It’s ironic, isn’t it? From our “tender” preteen days, most of us couldn’t wait until that first sign of womanhood. We couldn’t wait to buy — and wear — our first training bra.

Of course, you’ve got to be careful what you wish for. My daughter, Sarah, was a late bloomer and prayed for boobs. They didn’t appear on the scene until she was about 18 or so. Fast forward 16 years, Sarah now writes a wonderful blog called, smilescurlsandbaby — lessons, joys, and laughs in baby making and life! She found pregnancy took her breasts to a whole new letter, Aint Nothin But a G-Thang….Baby….! Now if only we could train our breasts to not be so sore all the time!

Intimacy Interruptus

Pregnancy is not the only life cycle phase that can affect intimacy. During perimenopause, sore breasts can cause marital intimacy to suffer as well. “My breasts are off-limits to my husband when I’m mid-cycle” said one perimenopausal friend. “He can’t even look at them without getting the ‘evil eye’ from me! My breasts are so painful that sometimes I can’t even bear to have the shower head pointed toward them.”

A Different Kind of Fluid Retention

The Shape of Things to Come

The Progesterone Approach

How about Hormone Replacement Therapy ?

Insomnia Trouble Sleeping And Sleep Disruption

During the perimenopause, levels of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone fluctuate and gradually decline as a woman nears the menopause. These hormone changes can have a drastic impact on sleep.

Estimates are that between 40 and 60 per cent of women will be affected by insomnia or another sleep disruption, says Dr Heather Currie, founder of Menopause Matters.

Oestrogen is important for managing the level of magnesium in the body. Magnesium is used by the body to help muscles relax and low levels can make it more difficult to fall asleep. In addition, falling oestrogen levels cause hot flushes and night sweats which can also impact the natural sleep cycle.

Progesterone also plays a key role in as it helps you fall asleep and stay asleep. Fluctuating and declining levels of this hormone will make it more difficult to slip into a deep sleep. It can also impact the quality of sleep, making you feel tired in the morning.

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Memory Issues And Trouble Concentrating

Memory loss or lapses, trouble concentrating and the feeling of brain fog can be worrying but are natural symptoms of the perimenopause and menopause. Up to 47% of the women we surveyed experienced brain fog, reduced memory and concentration during the menopause.

Its a symptom many women do not often associate with the early stages of the menopause instead of putting it down to being too busy or stressed with work or life in general.

Our own research looking at women in the workplace has shown that 43% of menopausal women experience memory issues while at work.

Across all cultures, 34-62% of women experience menopause-related memory changes which often mimic the symptoms associated with early signs of dementia.

A drop in oestrogen levels can result in a lack of focus and concentration, but other symptoms associated with the menopause can also cause memory and concentration issues.

Sleep deprivation as a result of poor sleep caused by night sweats and other symptoms anxiety and increased stress levels due to a lack of sleep can all impact cognitive function and could be the cause of memory issues, trouble concentrating and brain fog.

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