How Many Symptoms?!?

I recently read an article that suggested there are 34 (and counting) symptoms to the menopause. It got me thinking …

I left off my tale of menopause a few years after my surgery, when the HRT had been ceased, migraines, weight gain (2 1.2 stone / 35lbs / 15kg – take your pick), mixing and matching herbal supplements, squirting gels or pellets up my lady parts, skin falling off and itching, and generally feeling pretty rough.

Nothing had prepared me for this – I had an idea that the menopause was hot flushes and night sweats, with a bit of ‘pregnancy brain fog’. My mother’s experience of menopause was when I was too young to recognise what was happening.

I was only 9 when Mum had her ‘full’ hysterectomy (she had ovarian cancer), I was not aware of any of her struggles. My grandfather, her father, died the same year and she suffered with depression following her operation. This was in the mid 1970s, part of her treatment included electro-shock therapy, which left her confused and lacking in short-term memory. The medication she received left her dazed and not very alert. Her cancer returned and metastasised, it was a long journey of more chemotherapy and radiotherapy and she died in 1978. It was not for many years that I questioned what had happened, her diagnosis, illness and treatment. I assumed her depression was grief related, mental health issues and brain fogs caused by the medication. When I look back with greater understanding, I wonder just how many of her problems were caused by a surgical menopause.

In the meantime, the years following my own surgery began to take on a bizarre rollercoaster ride of migraine and other issues. My consultant for the migraines was excellent, he told me he couldn’t cure me but would work with me to make the condition manageable. Medication, injections, changes in diet, lifestyle and teetotal; eventually I got rid of the migraines (focal, cluster, ice pick, retinal and chronic).

But then there was the other stuff … which brings me back to the 34 (and counting) symptoms of the menopause. This is the list, with it is my check for each symptom I have experienced over the years. I thought I was going mad … and the medical profession thought I was a hypochondriac.

In following posts, I’ll explore some of these symptoms, what I thought was happening, but having finally understood that these relate to oestrogen, what I have done to treat / mitigate them.

Take a look at this list … please! Not to see what I have been through, but to identify your OWN symptoms!

1.      Irregular periods 2.      Hot flushes ✔️ 3.      Vaginal dryness ✔️
4.      Night sweats ✔️ 5.      Mood swings ✔️ 6.      Bloating ✔️
7.      Sore breasts ✔️ 8.      Weight gain ✔️ 9.      Changes in libido ✔️
10.    Headaches ✔️ 11.    Pain in joints ✔️ 12.    Electric shocks ✔️
13.    Burning tongue ✔️ 14.    Problems with gums ✔️ 15.    Digestive issues ✔️
16.    Dry and itchy skin ✔️ 17.    Anxiety ✔️ 18.    Tingling sensation in the extremities ✔️
19.    Sleeping difficulties ✔️ 20.    Difficulties in concentration ✔️ 21.    Dizziness ✔️
22.    Fatigue ✔️ 23.    Loss of hair ✔️ 24.    Memory lapse ✔️
25.    Brittle nails ✔️ 26.    Tight muscles ✔️ 27.    Stress incontinence ✔️
28.    Changes in body odour ✔️ 29.    Irritability ✔️ 30.    Allergies ✔️
31.    Irregular heartbeat ✔️ 32.    Depression ✔️ 33.    Panic disorder ✔️
34.    Osteoporosis

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