10 Menopause Symptoms Nobody Talks About
Menopause is not a sudden event, but it is a natural process of change that women in their 40s or 50s experience. It’s a phase in a woman’s life that often brings about mixed emotions. Women may look forward to it as it signifies the end of worrying about pregnancy or wearing white pants. Yet, they also dread menopause because of all of the symptoms that are known to be associated with it—hot flashes, night sweats and mood changes.
However, these are not the only symptoms associated with menopause. There are a range of symptoms a woman may experience and many of them have to do with the fluctuations in the important female sex hormone, estrogen. Here are 10 symptoms that no one talks about, which may come as a surprise to you.
10. Sugar cravings
Estrogen is responsible for many functions, including good mood. When the levels of estrogen decrease during menopause, so do beta-endorphin levels. This causes feelings of sadness and loneliness to become more prevalent. Apparently, this is responsible for sugar cravings in menopausal women as they desire the endorphin boost that sugary foods provide.
To help conquer your cravings, try grabbing a fruit instead of a chocolate bar or mix your sweets with nuts or a glass of milk to allow a gentler increase in blood sugar.
9. Loss for words/memory problems
It may be surprising to know that estrogen actually plays a role in memory formation. Though research is still needed in this area, what scientists do know is that estradiol binds to receptors in the cell membrane which activate a cellular pathway necessary for memory formation in the hippocampus. The pathways specifically lead to the formation of new synapses and structural changes in synapses (which are the means by which neurons pass signals on to other cells), thereby enhancing memory.
You can imagine, then, that when menopause begins and estrogen levels decrease, that memory starts to fade. Women experiencing menopause may have difficulty remembering new information or retrieving memories that are already stored. Hormone therapy may be one way of treating this, but doctors also recommend getting adequate sleep to keep the mind sharp.
8. Dental problems
How could menopause possibly affect your teeth? When estrogen levels decrease, your entire body gets drier, including your mouth. This is because estrogen normally causes an increased blood flow to the mucous membranes, causing them to thicken and moisten. So, with less estrogen, your mouth becomes drier, posing a problem for your teeth. A dry mouth causes bacteria to grow, lead to tooth decay and make your gums bleed. To treat this, you must be sure to drink plenty of fluids and take extra care of your mouth.