Menopause is a physiological period in women's lives, conditioned by hormonal changes. It´s the permanent cessation of menstruation, due to the progressive deterioration of the ovaries functions. This pause in egg production will cause a marked decrease in estrogen levels.
This decrease in estrogen levels in the blood is responsible for the appearance of the symptoms that characterize menopause.
Symptoms of Menopause
Since menopausal symptoms can be caused by changes in hormone levels, it is not possible to anticipate how often women will develop symptoms and how severe they will be. Talk to your doctor if any of these symptoms are interfering with your daily life:
Changes in menstruation
This might be the first thing you notice. It may be that your periods are no longer regular, or change the duration (shorter or longer). You may also bleed more or less than usual. But these are all normal changes.
It is a sensation of warmth that arises in the chest and radiates to the neck and face and that can be accompanied by intense sweating. They usually last a few minutes, although they can be longer. Most hot flashes last between 30 seconds and 10 minutes. They can occur several times in an hour, a few times a day, or just once or twice a week.
Sexual desire can be influenced by discomfort during sexual intercourse, due to vaginal dryness.
Burning of the genitals, frequency and urgency of urination, and an increased frequency of UTIs may appear. Also characteristic is the loss of skin elasticity and changes in breast texture, size, and consistency.
You may experience sudden mood swings or feel irritable near menopause. Scientists don't know exactly why this happens. It's possible that stress, changes in the family such as children who are growing up or parents who are aging, a history of depression, or feeling tired may be causing these mood swings.
Around middle age, some women begin to have trouble getting a good night's sleep. Night sweats may be waking you up and making it hard for you to fall asleep again.
Osteoporosis is a systemic disease that causes weakening and decrease in bone mass, which is accentuated with menopause due to the abrupt cessation in the production of estrogen.
The decrease in hormones is one of the main causes of osteoarthritis, that is, the wear and tear of the articular cartilage. The most common areas of the body to suffer from this ailment are the hands, knees, hips and spine. Approximately 80% of women who suffer menopause have joint pain.
Changes in body odor
Many women have described that their body odor has changed or appeared for the first time since menopause. Let's see why this is...
Menopause Body Odor
When estrogen levels drop, the hypothalamus receives erroneous signals indicating overheating. As the body tries at all costs to "cool down" there is excessive sweating, which can lead to the appearance of bad body odor.
This change in body odor can occur because of hot flashes and night sweats, panic attacks, and anxiety.
There are 3 areas where you can perceive these changes in body odor:
Armpits: This is the main area where we perspire, which can cause us to feel stinky body odor more often. A solution for this is to use deodorants or anti-aspirants as Duradry.
Feet: It`s another common part of the body through which we perspire. It is very likely that if we use antiperspirants in our armpits, perspiration will find another outlet through our feet, which also generates a bad smell.
Groin area: It is probably one of the parts of the body that worries us the most and gives us the most shame. The changes in its smell are due to changes in estrogen levels affecting vaginal discharge and the bacteria (of the good ones) that we have there.
How to Handle Changes in Menopause?
The goal is to prevent the change due to menopause from being as less drastic as possible.
One of the things you can start doing is lifestyle changes. A healthy and balanced diet is always essential, since the consumption of certain nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, can help with the symptoms of menopause.
Quitting smoking and limiting alcohol consumption are two other changes you should make to prolong your health. In addition to exercising, at least 3 times a week to preserve muscle mass and prevent damage to bones and joints.
Some experts also recommend including foods with phytoestrogens or taking some supplements to help with symptoms.
Phytoestrogens are plant base compounds that act in a similar way to natural estrogen, balancing hormone levels, which helps control body odor and other symptoms of menopause. Foods with phytoestrogens include soy, alfalfa, oats, tomatoes and flaxseed.
On the other hand, foods rich in Zinc such as wheat germ, oysters and pumpkin are also recommended. Zinc deficiency has been linked to excessive perspiration, which results in bad body odor.
Another mineral that is also related to excessive sweating is magnesium, it has also been linked that its deficit produces excessive sweating and unpleasant body odors, although the exact mechanism that causes these symptoms is still unknown. Magnesium is abundant in spinach, nuts, seeds, and fish.
Additionally, it is recommended to avoid sweating and b.o triggers , such as some foods (red meat, spicy foods, onions and garlic) and carbonated drinks, alcohol or caffeine.
The good news is that if sweating and body odor is caused by menopause, they usually decrease over time.