Eat Foods That Can Help To Ease Joint Pain
Your diet is really important when it comes to your joints because what you eat can impact how your joints feel. While some foods can trigger joint pain or make it worse, others can have a positive influence on your joint health.
Reducing inflammation is a key part of reducing joint pain and improving overall joint health.
Some of the most beneficial anti-inflammatory foods include:
- Omega-3-rich foods â these contain oils which have a positive effect on inflammation â examples include oily fish such as herring, mackerel, sardines, salmon and tuna. Walnuts, almonds, chia seeds and soybeans are also rich in omega-3 fatty acid.
- Antioxidant-rich foods â chemicals called anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants that help reduce inflammation. You can find them in brightly coloured fruit and vegetables such as cherries, raspberries, blueberries and broccoli.
- Other anti-inflammatory foods – Many fruit and vegetables have properties which reduce inflammation so try and keep to a healthy diet with lots of fresh food such as pineapple, apples, avocados and mushrooms. Other foods which can help include virgin olive oil, coconut oil, dark chocolate and spices such as ginger.
Talking To Your Doctor
Dont wait to seek help for pain. Most menopause-related pain can be reduced or eliminated with at-home remedies, medical treatment, or lifestyle changes.
The type of discomfort you have may determine what type of doctor you see. You may want to start with your gynecologist.
A good way to prepare for an appointment is by writing down your symptoms. The more specific you are, the better. For example, are your headaches on one side of your head, or all over? Are you able to tell if the pain you feel during intercourse is within the vagina, or in your vulva? The more detail about the pain you feel, the better armed your doctor will be to analyze your symptoms and help treat them.
Your doctor will give you a blood test to determine your hormone levels. You may also get tested for hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid. This condition presents many symptoms similar to those of menopause.
Pain, discomfort, and other symptoms of menopause can be treated different ways. Pain-reducing treatments include:
- Over-the-counter pain medication, such as NSAIDs may help with joint pain, or with headache.
- Ice packs can help reduce knee and lower back pain.
- Dietary supplements, such as evening primrose oil, may help reduce breast tenderness.
Talk to your doctor before you begin at-home treatments, to determine the benefits vs. the risks for you.
Painful intercourse can diminish your quality of life if left untreated. Some treatments include:
Alternative Medicine For Muscle Weakness
Alternative supplements and medicine involve very little or no risk, but they can also be a very efficacious way to treat muscle problems. Regarding herbal supplements, there are two principal kinds that can be taken: phytoestrogenic and hormone-regulating herbal supplements.
Phytoestrogenic herbal supplements
Estrogenic compounds contained in some plants such as soy are used to compensate for a deficiency in estrogen. This can help relieve hormonal imbalances, a common cause of muscle weakness.
These supplements are primarily effective for women in perimenopause, who more commonly have low estrogen levels. Such herbs may not be effective for women in other life stages, such as pregnancy.
Hormone-regulating herbal supplements
These supplements, including Macafem, stimulate natural hormone production in the body by supporting the ovaries and endocrine glands, which allows the system to produce hormones more efficiently. This results in a balance of not only estrogen, but also all of the hormones that influence muscle weakness.
Such supplements can be considered the safest and most natural way to treat hormonal imbalances, and because they promote natural hormone production, they can be taken throughout a woman’s life.
In addition, some other supplements can aid in the treatment of muscle pain, or at least make it more manageable. These include vitamins and other natural herbs.
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Hormonal Causes Of Muscle Weakness
Hormones – the body’s signal messengers – regulate almost every process in the body, from mood to metabolism to menstruation. When hormones are out of balance – often due to natural fluctuations throughout the course of reproductive life – some symptoms and disorders can arise. The hormones testosterone, estrogen, cortisol, and progesterone all have an effect on muscle tone, mass, and function. A disruption in the levels of any one of these hormones can upset their complex interaction and cause muscle problems.
This interplay of hormones greatly affects muscle function, so times of hormonal flux may result in symptoms of muscular discomfort. Therefore, muscle weakness is more likely to occur during certain stages of the female reproductive life – namely puberty, pregnancy, post-partum, and menopause. See the boxes below for more detail about muscle fatigue in each of these stages.
Puberty, the stage in which a young woman’s body begins developing and secreting reproductive hormones in waves. These hormone fluctuations, as well as other factors, can cause muscle pain.
Menopause is the stage when levels of reproductive hormones gradually decline and menstruation begins to cease entirely. During this time, muscle weakness is most often caused by a hormonal imbalance, but other factors can also influence muscle strength.
What Are The 34 Symptoms Of Menopause
The 34 symptoms of menopause is a list of common symptoms that can occur before or during menopause. They include hot flashes, irregular periods, mood changes, and more.
Menopause refers to the stage of a females life during which their period stops. It typically occurs around the age of 4555 years. A female has entered menopause if at least 12 months have passed since their last period.
The years leading up to menopause are called the menopausal transition, or perimenopause. This stage can also come with symptoms, which may last for several years sometimes up to 14 years.
This article will look at the 34 symptoms of menopause and what may help.
Menopause and perimenopause can cause a range of symptoms, including the following.
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What Are Bloating And Water Retention
Bloating occurs when a person feels the abdomen to be really tight. Most of the time, this tightness is associated with flatulence of frequent passing of gas. Usually, the bloating period lasts from several minutes to a few days, depending on the management.
Water retention, on the other hand, is the pooling of water in the body. Instead of letting the water out of our system, the body tends to keep it inside. Normally, water has to pass through the kidneys to be filtered, and water that is not absorbed and used by the body is excreted.
With water retention, the water remains in other parts of the body and does not pass through the kidneys. This often results in having very concentrated urine, manifested by dark yellow to amber-colored urine.
Although these two symptoms may sound and work differently, they often come together. In fact, they are highly related and could come from a single cause, especially during menopause.
Triggers Of Muscle Weakness
Some risk factors may make women more susceptible to muscle weakness triggers, on the other hand, are factors that immediately provoke a feeling of pain, tension, or weakness. Avoiding these triggers as much as possible can help prevent or reduce muscle soreness.
Keep reading to learn more about the signs and symptoms of muscle weakness in order to know what treatment would be best depending on the cause.
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Calcium And Vitamin D
A combination of calcium and vitamin D can reduce the risk of osteoporosis, the bone loss associated with menopause. The best sources are from calcium-rich and vitamin D-fortified foods.
Doctors are currently reconsidering the use of calcium and vitamin D supplements. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force advises that healthy postmenopausal women don’t need to take these supplements. According to the USPSTF, taking daily low-dose amounts of vitamin D supplements , with or without calcium supplements , does not prevent fractures. For higher doses, the USPSTF says there is not enough evidence to make a recommendation. In addition to possible lack of benefit, these supplements are associated with certain risks, like kidney stones.
However, calcium and vitamin D are important nutrients. Supplements may be appropriate for certain people including those who do not get enough vitamin D through sunlight exposure and those who do not consume enough calcium in their diet. They are also helpful for people who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis. Talk with your doctor about whether or not you should take supplements.
The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends:
Vitamin D is necessary for the absorption of calcium in the stomach and gastrointestinal tract and is the essential companion to calcium in maintaining strong bones.
Hormonal Impact On Peripheral Neuropathies
Imbalances of certain hormones can lead to a buildup of toxic substances that impact and ultimately precipitate peripheral nerve damage. Among the most common hormonal causes is diabetes. This condition occurs when the body either does not produce enough or does not properly synthesize the metabolic hormone called insulin. That said, unequal concentrations of sexual and reproductive hormones such as testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone might also have an adverse effect on peripheral nerves. Further complicating this problem is that hormonal imbalances often appear or worsen as people age.
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Lifestyle Changes For Muscle Weakness
The first level of treatment entails the least amount of risk but also the most self-discipline. Small lifestyle changes can help with all muscular discomfort, whether it is weakness, cramps, aches, pain, or soreness. A healthy diet, regular exercise, and healthy habits are the keys to lifestyle adjustments.
These changes may help reduce the symptoms of muscle weakness, but they do not necessarily address the hormonal imbalance that underlies many cases of muscular discomfort, so further treatment may be desired. Alternative medicines are an excellent way of treating muscle weakness naturally and safely.
Why Is Fatigue A Common Symptom Of Menopause
As you enter the perimenopausal period, your hormone levels rise and fall in unpredictable ways. Eventually, your female hormone levels will decrease until your body stops making them completely.
The same hormonal changes that cause symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats can also affect your mood and energy levels, leading to fatigue. Those hormone variations can also make it harder for you to sleep at night, which can leave you feeling tired during the day.
Even if youre in your 40s or 50s, fatigue isnt necessarily due to perimenopause or menopause. All of the following can cause fatigue:
- alcohol and drug use
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Issue : Fluid Imbalance
Now, number two cause is fluid imbalance. We know that falling oestrogen can interfere with the hormones that control the water balance in the body, which means you can get dehydrated absolutely anywhere as you go through the menopause and very often, you’re not even aware of this particular problem.
So low oestrogen causes it. Very few people are drinking enough water in this day and age, it’s all tea, and coffee, and fizzy drinks, and fruit juices. It can also be the fact that you’re getting hot flushes and night sweats. That would dehydrate you as well, and that will interfere with your whole water balance.
Other Less Common Causes Of Muscle Weakness
While muscle weakness and muscle pain are commonly caused by a hormonal imbalance, other much less common disorders can also lead to muscular discomfort, such as thyroid disorders and other forms of muscular dystrophy.
Continue reading to learn more about the risk factors and triggers that can affect the development of muscle pain.
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Increased Sensitivity To Pain
Sleeping poorly is notorious during menopause and research has proved that sleep deprivation increases our sensitivity to pain: a study from the University of California found that sleep deprivation can change the circuitry in the brain in ways that amplify pain.3
Low magnesium can also impact your pain perception,4 as well as causing sleeping problems. Poor levels of this essential nutrient are very common during menopause due to stress and digestive weakness.
Magnesium is also needed to keep your muscles relaxed, so low levels can cause them to tense up and become tight and stiff, which can impact the muscles that the control movement of the joints.
Can Menopause Cause Joint Pain
While aches and pains and joint stiffness are all inevitable as we age, as women approach menopause, typically between the age of 45 and 55, many are often surprised to discover that joint pain is one of the most common symptoms, alongside hot flushes, night sweats, period changes and mood swings.
The average age for menopause is between 45 and 55, so it is little wonder why many women put their aches and pains down to aging.
Joints which are involved in high impact movements such as the hips and knees tend to be most affected. The elbows, neck, shoulders, hands and fingers can also be affected by joint pain.
There are a number of causes of joint pain during menopause including:
- Hormonal changes
- Poor posture
- Increased sensitivity to pain.
Below, I take a closer look at each of these causes and recommend ways to help prevent and treat joint pain during menopause.
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Unsettling Throbbing Menopause Leg Pain It Could Be Restless Leg Syndrome
Restless legs syndrome can be brought on by the menopause. This is down to falling oestrogen levels affecting our circulation. RLS is considered a disorder of the nervous system which impacts on the muscles in the legs. A restless nights sleep caused by this can feed back into the cycle, weakening our immune system.
During the menopause, many women experience tingling or an uncomfortable throbbing, jittery, crawling or shaky sensation in their legs. Not only can this be painful, but these sensations can rob us of our sleep, contributing to fatigue and low energy.
As well as supporting normal muscle function, the mineral magnesium found in green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, fish and avocados, contributes to the normal functioning of the nervous system. Supplementing with the mineral may help settle your legs, so you can feel more comfortable.
Stress and anxiety can also enhance RLS, so finding ways to relax may help to allay your symptoms. Meditation, massage and soaking in a warm bath may help you unwind.
Why Do They Happen In Menopause
Many reasons can cause bloating and water retention in menopause. From aging itself, physical inactivity and hormonal imbalance. Our female hormones estrogen and progesterone play a great role in fluid regulation and excretion, so some organs in the body are affected when they decline. Here are some causes why bloating and fluid retention occur in menopause:
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Is Menopause Fatigue Normal
Its normal for everyone to feel overtired or overworked from time to time. Such instances usually come and go and people are usually able to recover well.
Unrelenting exhaustion, on the other hand, lasts longer, is more severe, and isn’t cured with rest. Its a feeling of constantly feeling drained, zapping your energy and motivation, and causing issues with concentration and your overall quality of life. Fatigue at this level impacts your emotional and psychological well-being, too.
Many women experience symptoms like these while theyre going through menopause. The lack of sleep and constant battle to get consistent quality sleep might catch them off guard. After all, menopause fatigue is not something that is talked about much.
Drink Plenty Of Water
Since dehydration can have such a negative impact on your joints, one of the first things you should do if you experience joint pain is to make sure you are drinking enough water. You should be looking to drink around 1.5-2 litres of plain water every day, over and above other drinks, such as coffee and tea.
If your joints are sore or creaky first thing then ease off as the day goes on, it may mean that you are really dehydrated during the night, so make sure that you drink a small glass of plain water about an hour before bed â this is really important if you are getting night sweats as these will dehydrate you further.
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Possible Causes Of Hand Muscle Weakness
You may notice the muscles in your hands become weaker over time, or alternatively some people experience a more sudden loss of strength. Both can have different reasons:
Hand cramps. These could occur due to repetitive strain injuries – such as from constant typing or painting, dehydration, or pregnancy to name but a few.
Carpal tunnel syndrome. This is due to regular pressure being applied to the median nerve inside your wrist, which can often be a result of repeating an action which involves a tight grip.
Motor neuron disease. This is a complicated condition that can affect people in different ways. It involves the degeneration of motor neurones, which are responsible for carrying messages to and from the brain.
The Search For Reliable Information
The problem for me was that I couldnt find anything that helped me to decide on what might help. I thought HRT wasnt an option for me because of the migraines and looking for alternatives was fraught with marketing claim and counter claim, hearsay and opinion.
I scoured bookshop shelves for information that was sensible, informed and accessible. There were books on womens health that included it as a section usually a short and not very detailed section. One had a bibliography, there were rarely any references. In magazines and on web forums there were people enthusing about wild yams, black cohosh and red clover. In health food shops I felt like I was a marketing persons dream slightly desperate, willing to try anything and unable to discriminate.
Cochrane is a source of reliable, evidence-based information