Many of us know the more common symptoms related to hormonal changes during perimenopause and menopause. Issues such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, insomnia and weight gain. There are a few symptoms that many women do not realize are related to hormones and can be addressed naturally.
Suffering is never acceptable or needed to be tolerated and many women are simply told that their symptoms are just a part of aging and that they simply need to “live with it”. Can you imagine spreading that narrative and telling women that their suffering is “normal”?!
There are 3 symptoms in particular that women are continually surprised to learn can be related to fluctuating hormones during perimenopause and menopause.
1. Joint Pain
Reproductive hormones can be associated with inflammation. When these hormones are in a state of flux in midlife, joint pain can begin to present itself. Estrogen, in particular which has a naturally anti-inflammatory effects and is responsible for lubricating joint spaces can be a culprit if it plunges too low. Women will often describe their pain as “arthritic” in nature and it tends to be transient moving from one joint to the next.
2. Digestive Symptoms
Hormonal shifts during Perimenopause and Menopause can contribute to digestive symptoms in women, especially bloating. Changing hormones can cause your body to retain more water, decrease bile and enzyme production and slow overall digestion resulting in sluggish bowel movements. This slowing can also cause food to ferment in the gut, which produces extra gas and therefore bloating.
3. Skin Issues
Estrogen has many functions throughout the body, including in the skin. High levels of Estrogen seen in younger women help to keep the skin healthy and plump by stimulating the production of collagen, glycosaminoglycans and natural oils. These help the skin to remain supple and hydrated.
When it comes to menopause and skin, your body begins to produce much less Estrogen and you see the effects. Menopause also changes the way your circulation supplies the skin – reduced blood flow and flushing become more common. Hair thinning may be caused by the decrease in another ‘female’ hormone, progesterone.
As hormone levels fall, so does oil production, causing skin to become rough, dry, itchy or flaky. Deficiencies in essential fatty acids and other nutrients contribute directly to dry skin by failing to give your skin cells the materials they need to replenish themselves. This can also make women more susceptible to hormonal imbalance, exacerbating the problem. Conditions such as rosacea, hives, eczema, psoriasis, lichen sclerosis, acne and overall itchy, dry skin can all have an underlying hormonal cause.
Thyroid hormones also stimulate oil glands and when your thyroid hormones are imbalanced, as in the case of hypothyroidism or sub-clinical hypothyroidism, dry skin can be one of the first symptoms to arise.
If you want to take a deep dive into your hormones and get your levels tested, you can purchase your test kit here (consultations booked separately). Purchase hormone test kit.
If you don’t know where to start and would like the opportunity to work one on one with me, then you can book your appointment here. Either way, I would be honored to walk through this journey with you. Book your appointment.