A very few lucky women sail through menopause with minimal symptoms. They have usually been very healthy prior to menopause. However, they are the exception. Most women will have at least some symptoms. These can range from a mild sensation of feeling warm, to a beet red face and drenching sweats that leave the sufferer with wet hair and clothes soaked in sweat. As you can imagine, this can be especially disconcerting to a woman who’s in the middle of a business meeting.
A woman may have trouble falling asleep or she may awaken at 3 a.m. unable to get back to sleep. Sometimes she has both! Sleep is the body’s time for rejuvenation when new tissues are made or repaired. When this vital restorative time is short- changed, symptoms like chronic fatigue, weight gain, irritability, palpitations, headaches, and migraines can develop.
Dizziness is another symptom that occurs in menopause. Episodes are usually mild and short-lived lasting only a few seconds. Occasionally dizziness may be debilitating. Alice was a 54-year-old woman who came for menopause management. She had been a confident businesswoman and she told me, “My life is falling apart and I feel like a cripple!” She was suffering off/on unpredictable bouts of dizziness of such severity that she would have to hold on to the wall to keep from falling. The dizziness had been going on for months, and she’d undergone a very extensive evaluation from a neurologist, a neurosurgeon and a cardiologist. Because all their testing showed NO cause for her dizziness, she was pronounced NORMAL and sent on her way! She had not actually sought me out for the dizziness but rather had resigned herself to her plight. However, after I started her on topical HRT, she never had another bout of dizziness. She was ecstatic to finally be rid of that debilitating symptom! I’ve never seen another menopausal woman with such severe dizziness but her case taught me to recognize the possibility that it may be related to low estrogen.
Excerpt from “Outliving Your Ovaries” © 2012 by Marina Johnson MD. Dr. Johnson has no financial conflicts of interest or ties to any pharmaceutical company. Her only objective is determining the most effective, safest therapy for patients.