Right my lovelies. We have finally reached the last day of writing about possible menopause symptoms and so today’s festive offering is …
On the 10th day of menopause my body gave to me: hair redistribution, wrinkles, fatigue, dry & itchy skin, loss of libido, changes in body odour, brittle nails and new or increased allergies. Blimey. That’s quite a list.
Women report hair loss & thinning from the head, and other areas such as pubes / eyebrows / eyelashes. Meanwhile hairs can suddenly start growing in new, and unwanted, places such as on the chin or elsewhere on the face. Some poor women even resort to daily facial shaving. Meanwhile the hair on our head can change in texture to be more wiry and less soft.
While that’s going on we also have the drop in oestrogen, in turn, causing a drop in collagen which leads to our skin becoming thinner, drier, more flakey and less youthful in appearance. Hence we may see an increase in wrinkles and looking older. Many women also experience itchy skin all over their bodies and scalp as the skin thins and dries out. Even if you’ve never used a body moisturiser you may find you now need one.
So there we are, growing a beard and looking more wrinkly, but at least our nails will still look nice right? Wrong. Nails can become more brittle and more liable to split or crack. Sigh.
Allergies can become worse and we may become allergic to things we never used to have a problem with. In particular there may be a worsening of hay fever, asthma and dermatitis. This is due to the link between our hormones, which are now all over the place, and our immune system. Similarly as we age we naturally produce less lactase, the enzyme needed to digest lactose from dairy products. This could result in more bloating or discomfort after eating certain foods.
Some women experience changes in body odour and, even with great personal hygiene, can feel pretty stinky. Made worse by the increase in sweating or hot flushes that I previously wrote about (day 6 I think that was).
Fatigue is another pretty common symptom. Even after feeling like you’ve had a good night’s sleep (which can feel like a small miracle in itself – see day 3!) some women can feel very fatigued with a lack of energy or no real interest in going out & doing things. Your get up and go may have, well, just gone. Apparently hormones such as estrogen regulate energy use at a cellular level, so when hormone levels drops during menopause, so too do energy levels. Oh.
We may already have lost all interest in sex due to our lack of sleep, dryness in the vagina, feeling sweaty, growing a beard, being irrationally really pissed off with our partner, painful joints etc. But, if all that were not reasons enough, just our hormonal imbalance, predominantly androgen deficiency, can apparently cause a fall in libido.
Phew we’ve got there. I think after 10 days of menopause I have finally mentioned all of the relatively common symptoms that menopausal women may experience. However if you are experiencing some new weird body or mental sensation that I haven’t mentioned, it’s pretty likely to do with the menopause too! And for the fellas out there well done on sticking with the 10 days of menopause and not jumping ship. It’s probably helpful to have an inkling into what your partner / work colleagues / friends etc may be experiencing.
Tomorrow I’ll write about some resources that can help. Please like / share / comment & chat to your friends. The more we start talking the more we can all feel normal-ish. Sue X