3 Unusual Symptoms of the Menopause
Most women anticipate menopausal symptoms to be about hot flushes and night sweats, however declining oestrogen in the body along with other hormonal changes can actually cause a number of different symptoms. Below are some of the more unusual symptoms and tips for addressing them.
Itchy Skin - declining oestrogen levels can lead to a loss of elasticity in the skin. As a result skin can become tight and itchy, especially at night. Moisturise the skin daily and keep hydration levels up. Also look to increase intake of good oils; omega 7 in particular can help with dryness.
Altered sense of smell - some women find that their sense of smell can become more acute and this can lead to some familiar smells suddenly becoming overpowering. This may lead women to change their perfume. Women also sometimes report that perfume smells differently on them. Changes to heat regulation, caused by oestrogen fluctuation, can cause increased sweating. Hormonal changes can also alter the balance of skin bacteria which can change the smell of our sweat and our general body odour. Using herbs can help balance the body as it experiences hormone fluctuations. Common herbs used include black cohosh, agnus-castus and dong quai.
Losing confidence at work - this can be a particularly upsetting and alarming symptom for women and they may not immediately associate it with the menopause. Changes in oestrogen and testosterone levels can affect confidence and motivation. They also affect language skills and memory function, so at times, women may find it hard to remember new information or retrieve old information. Along with phytoestrogens, herbs to improve memory such as ginkgo and rosemary could also be used.
Some women choose to go on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) while others find it doesn’t work for them or doesn’t address all their symptoms. Other women would prefer not to take HRT and want to explore more natural alternatives. Whatever you decide to do, a consultation with a Medical Herbalist is a great way of getting impartial and trustworthy advice on how best to positively navigate this phase of your life. Consultations can look at diet, lifestyle, stress management and mental and emotional health so you can take a truly holistic view of your health and get tailored advice and support to meet your individual needs. To find your nearest Medical Herbalist go to https://www.nimh.org.uk/find-a-herbalist
Please consult with your herbalist or health practitioner before using any herbs/supplements if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, on medication or have underlying health issues.
Nikki Biddiss BSc (Hons), MNIMH is a Medical Herbalist, Aromatherapist and Cognitive Coach. She co-owns and runs a herbal clinic and shop Napiers the Herbalists in Glasgow 0141 339 5859. Follow Napiers Glasgow on Instagram and Facebook.