How Is Menopause Diagnosed
If you believe you are going through menopause and have concerns, talk to your doctor. Menopause does not require an official diagnosis unless you want to confirm it. Your doctor may order a blood test to check your hormone levels. They will check for estrogen as well as a follicle-stimulating hormone .
What Can I Do About Sore Breasts And Sore Nipples During The Menopause
Many women experience sore breasts and sore nipples during the menopause. Although it can feel uncomfortable, a light massage or natural balm might help to relieve your pain and tenderness.
- Use a soothing balm: We love balms that pair moisturising ingredients with active essential oils. Find a balm that contains ginger to help bring warm relief to your body. Lavender is also known to help reduce inflammation in the body. Simply apply to your breasts and nipples as needed.
- Try heat:Sitting for a few moments with a warm heatable wrap might help to increase circulation to your breasts and soothe any pain youre experiencing. Some wraps come scented with a delightful lavender smell, so you can calm your body and relax at the same time.
- Adjust your bra: Wearing bras made of bamboo or gentle, comfortable fabric can help to relieve pain caused by wires, straps or other fabrics digging into and irritating your skin.
Joint Pain In Perimenopause And Menopause
Joint pain, or menopausal arthritis as its sometimes called, can cause aches, stiffness and sometimes swelling around the joint. The pain or discomfort is usually worse in the morning but can improve as the day goes on. However, persistent joint pain can cause flexibility and mobility problems making everyday life more difficult.
The pain is more likely to be in the joints that generally get a higher daily impact such as your hips and knees. Having said this though you can also get pain in your hands and fingers too. I suppose thats not surprising when you think how hard your hand and finger joints work each day.
Its worth bearing in mind that the joint pain could be due to normal wear and tear over the years and might not necessarily be due to the menopause.
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What You Can Do To Help Yourself
The best things for burning feet are a vitamin B complex because low vitamin B5 can also be an issue here. So, vitamin B complex, maybe round about the 50-milligram mark, taken with your breakfast.
If you’re getting the achy joints as well, then you may find that a couple of cups of nettle tea each day can be very helpful. Taking one of the cups in the early evening, maybe, can help to eliminate the uric acid. But, definitely remember the water first for this one.
Sleeping On Your Back
Place a pillow under the folds of your knees so that your knees are at a level slightly higher than your pelvis. This position reduces the pressure on the lower back. Increased pressure on the lower back can lead to pain and disc degeneration which can interfere with sleep as well as cause daytime discomfort.
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How Can A Holistic Approach Help Me With Menopausal Arthritis
One question we are often asked is, Does menopausal arthritis go away? Unfortunately there are some permanent changes brought about by both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis but there is a lot you can do to limit their impact.
A holistic approach to medical issues takes into account both your mental and physical health, and recognises that your body is an interconnected system. In other words, what happens in one part of your body, including your mind, can have significant impact on another part. There are several approaches you can take that will help alleviate the symptoms of arthritis.
How Does Menopause Affect Bone Health
The older a person is, the greater their risk of osteoporosis. A persons risk becomes even greater when they go through menopause. When your estrogen level decreases during menopause, you lose more bone than your body can replace. This makes your bones weaker and more likely to break. To keep your bones strong, its important to get enough calcium and vitamin D in your diet. These help your body absorb calcium. Your doctor can suggest ways to get more calcium through food, drink, and, possibly, a calcium supplement. They may also suggest that you take a vitamin D supplement to help your body process calcium. Ask your doctor what amount of daily calcium and vitamin D is right for you.
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Breast Pain In Perimenopause And Menopause
Breast pain is not unusual during perimenopause, in fact its quite common. It can happen in one or both breasts. Once your periods stop and youre in menopause breast pain should decrease significantly and for most women it will stop completely. It has been noted though, that women who take hormone replacement for their menopause may continue to get breast pain.
Breast pain can be either cyclical or non-cyclical. Its usually cyclical as part of your monthly cycle but when your monthly cycle has become irregular breast pain becomes non-cyclical and can happen at random times. During perimenopause you can experience pain in your breasts even if you dont then have a period.
The pain can vary in type and intensity. There can be burning, soreness, throbbing or sharp stabbing pains. The duration and type of pain varies from woman to woman and you can have a different type of pain at different times.
When my periods were regular, and I was in the middle of my cycle, I would get tenderness in my breasts particularly on the left side. I also had a few sharper pains too. Now that my periods are irregular I still get breast pain. It tends to be a sharper, stabbing pain though and can be very severe at times. You may experience breast pain in a different way from me or you may not experience it at all.
Its important to check your breasts and armpits regularly for signs of change. Look out for:
- Increase in size
- Change in appearance such as puckering of the skin
What You Can Do
Dr. Anna Barbieri, MD
Pro tip #2
Progressive muscle relaxation is a great way to relieve stress, relax the body, and decrease/manage pain. The best part? You can do it anywhere! All it entails is tensing each muscle group for 10 seconds, then releasing. We suggest starting at the top of your body before moving down to your mouth, jaw, ears, right & left hand, lower & upper arm, back, stomach, etc.
Dr. Anna Barbieri, MD
Pro tip #3
Looking for more relief from aches & pains? Consider capsaicin cream, which is applied topically and works by decreasing natural substances in your body that help pass pain signals to the brain. You can find this cream at any drugstore. Pro trivia tip: capsaicin is a chemical compound first isolated from chili peppers,
Were all about equipping you with the know-how to understand your symptoms, and we especially emphasize the specific, tangible ways to manage them. Our goal is to empower YOU to take charge of your menopause journey, starting today.
A quick note about product recommendationsElektra Health is not paid to feature any products. We just like them and think you might too, though we cant guarantee any results.
You Feel Beyond Your Years
Hormone interruption has many women suffering joint pain, which really adds insult to injury, leaving you feeling like you cant enjoy the activities you like to do.
Many women are concerned that this is not normal but perimenopause actually affects most women at some stage in their lives. If you are suffering, youre not alone and it is worth asking for help. It may be as simple as revisiting contraception choices or it may be worth exploring gentle and appropriate hormone replacement therapy . Talking about it is the first step to taking back control of your quality of life.
Contact us about perimenopause treatment
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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:
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Lesser Known Menopause Symptoms
You always knew menopause would happen. You may have even looked forward to getting rid of those bulky pads, contraceptive devices, and tampons youve been using. You expected some hot flashes and maybe a few cranky days, but assumed those probably wouldnt be much worse than getting through a long summer heat wave and then it would be all over. What you possibly didnt know is that there are countless other symptoms that science is constantly learning about regarding the menopausal process.
If youre between the ages of 40 and 65 and in some cases even a bit younger you may be suffering with those very symptoms right now. Your body begins to change several years before menopause actually takes place, during the period known as perimenopause. This is the time when periods start to become irregular, along with some other unwelcome physical and emotional developments that you never anticipated.
Studies Support Weekend Warrior Lifestyle
The list of menopausal side effects is extensive from mood swings, to hot flashes, fatigue and more and while achy, swollen joints are a common side effect of aging, recent studies have found that they can also be a side effect of menopause. The primary female hormone, estrogen, protects joints and reduces inflammation, but when estrogen levels drop during menopause, inflammation can increase, the risk of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis can go up and the result can be painful joints.
To explain further, osteoporosis, which causes bones to be brittle and weak due to hormonal changes found in women going through menopause, put women at risk for developing osteoarthritis, which is characterized by swollen and painful joints. So, while there may or may not be a direct physical link between menopause and joint pain, the two often go hand-in-hand.
How to Recognize Menopausal Joint Pain:Menopausal joint pain is usually worse in the morning when joints are stiff from disuse overnight, but tends to lighten up as the day progresses and movement increases. Joints that are most frequently affected during menopause are the neck, jaw, shoulders, wrists and elbows though other joints in the body may experience pain as well. The discomfort is commonly described as stiffness, swelling, shooting pains and even a burning sensation after working out.
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Can You Correct Hormonal Imbalances
Yes. We treat hormone imbalances of all kinds with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy . This treatment works to restore your hormonal profile to the way it looked before a major transition like menopause.
These plant-based hormones are called bioidentical because theyre chemically identical to the estrogen and testosterone your body makes.
When you come to us for treatment to address any type of hormone imbalance, we discuss your medical history and perform blood tests so we can learn as much as possible about whats going on. Armed with this information, we create a customized BHRT treatment plan for you.
When you receive BHRT, we carefully insert hormones into your body via pellets placed under the skin in your hip or buttocks area, after your treatment area is numbed.
This safe treatment takes just 30 minutes or less, and you enjoy results starting anywhere from a few to 10 days post-treatment. The pellets remain in your body for several months and release hormones gradually over that period.
Exercise Tips For Staying Active
Keeping active can help reduce body aches and tone muscles, making you less susceptible to injury. If you find that aching knees make running, dancing, or brisk walking difficult, try using knee sleeves. They provide compression, which can help keep active knees comfortable. They also make injury less likely. You can also forgo the running track for the pool. Swimming is an easy-on-the-body alternative and may help you get your mind off of any pain you are feeling.
Other ways to reduce pain can include deep muscle massage, acupuncture, heat or cold application, and hypnosis. If you smoke, or have other habits which adversely affect your health, work on eliminating them. This may increase feelings of vigor, improve circulation, and reduce stress, which may all help to reduce pain.
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How Menopause Affects The Skin
Well take a look now at 8 of the main skin problems many women encounter around the time of menopause.
What To Do To Receive Menopause Muscle Pain Relief
If a woman has entered the age of climacteric changes and has menopause muscle and joint pain, she needs to take the following steps to achieve menopause muscle pain relief:
- Examination of a gynecologist once a year.
- Consultation of the endocrinologist with the study of hormonal levels once a year.
- Ultrasound examination of the pelvic organs.
- Determination of biochemical markers of bone resorption and bone formation.
A menopausal patient suffering from menopause joint muscle pain should also inevitably:
- improve the spring function of the feet and reduce the load on the joints of the legs and spine, use orthopedic insoles or make individual insoles to gain menopause muscle pain relief.
- undergo treatment aimed at relieving pain, including analgesics, therapeutic droppers, blockades, physiotherapy, acupuncture, hirudotherapy. If on the basis of the examination, osteoporosis is diagnosed, hormone replacement therapy is prescribed.
- lead an active lifestyle with obligatory morning exercises: one can walk more, go Nordic walking, swim, and go to the gym.
- eat foods that contain Calcium and Vitamin D, sodium, and protein. During menopause, 1000 mg of Calcium and 600 IU of Vitamin D are needed to be consumed daily, with food or with supplements.
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Can Menopause Affect My Sex Drive
Yes, menopause can affect your sex drive but it doesnt mean your sex life is over.
Dealing with the physical and emotional symptoms of menopause can make you feel less sexual desire. The symptoms can also affect your sleep and lower your energy which might make you not so into sex. Vaginal dryness and decreased sensation can also feel like a turn-off. Its also normal to feel a range of emotions, including anxiety, sadness, or loss while going through menopause.
If you lose interest in sex during this time, itll probably come back when your symptoms stop.
A pretty common symptom that can affect your sexual desire is vaginal dryness, which can make sex uncomfortable or even painful.
For symptoms that affect your sex life, trying one or more of these things can help:
Use water- or silicone-based lube when you have sex. You can buy lube at most drugstores or online.
Give your yourself more time to feel aroused. Moisture from being aroused protects sensitive tissues.
Have sex and/or masturbate more often. This increases blood flow to your vagina, which helps keep your vaginal tissue healthy.
Some people may actually find that they want to have sex MORE after menopause, because they dont have to worry about getting pregnant. This may give you a sense of freedom to enjoy a renewed and exciting sex life.
Menopause is a natural biological process. And while it marks the end of your ability to get pregnant, it definitely doesnt have to be the end of your sexuality.