What Are Menopause Symptoms & Which Age Do They Start?

Dieser Artikel basiert auf wissenschaftlichen Studien

Menopause | Start | End | Early Signs | Common Symptoms | Test | Relief | Conclusion | FAQ | Studies

Menopause symptoms can be challenging for many women.

The onset of hot flashes, sleep disturbances, mood swings, or sexual dysfunction can be problematic. Furthermore, metabolic changes often support menopause weight gain.

In this article, you will learn everything about menopause and its symptoms. In addition, you will find proven methods to relieve menopausal symptoms naturally.

What Is Menopause?

Menopause is the permanent absence of menstruation for at least 12 months (Peacock et al. 20221).

The process of this slow change in the female body that occurs years before menopause is called menopausal transition or perimenopause.

Once menopause has occurred, a woman can no longer become pregnant naturally (Takahasi et al. 20152).

Menopause is a natural aging process, aging by which the ovaries produce fewer reproductive hormones.

Going through menopause decreases the production of the following hormones:

  • Estrogen
  • Testosterone
  • Progesterone
  • Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
  • Luteinizing hormone (LH)

As a result, the ovaries, urogenital organs, bones, and arteries change (Peacock et al. 20223).

What Are Menopause Symptoms?

The decline in estrogen production by the ovaries during menopause can lead to physical, psychological, and vasomotor symptoms.

The latter affects the nerves of the blood vessels and are particularly noticeable as hot flashes, night sweats, and migraines (Peacock et al. 20224).

Many women also experience metabolic changes that can lead to weight gain and, in some cases, insulin resistance (Tchernof et al. 19985).

Due to hormonal fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone, which sometimes regulate periods, menopause can cause physical and emotional discomfort.

The signs of menopause are experienced very differently by affected women. Among these, the following factors can significantly influence menopausal symptoms (Davis et al. 20156):

  • Age at which menopause occurs
  • Physical health
  • Mental well-being
  • Lifestyle and diet
menopause symptoms in women

At Which Age Do Menopause Symptoms Start?

Usually, women’s menopause symptoms occur after the age of 45. However, the menopausal transition is a slow process, as the natural decline of estrogen and progesterone already begins in the 30s.

How Long Do Symptoms of Menopause Last?

Symptoms of menopause last an average of 7.5 years. In contrast, in women who were premenopausal or early perimenopausal when first signs occurred, they lasted 12 years on average (Avis et al. 20157).

On average, menopause occurs at age 51. After that, women spend up to one-third of their lives post-menopause (Peacock et al. 20228).

However, in post-menopause, changes in cognitive abilities are due to aging rather than hormonal transformations (Santoro et al. 20169).

Early Menopause Signs

Premature menopause affects about 1% of women under 40  (Okeke et al. 201310).

Early menopause, on the other hand, is when it occurs between the ages of 40 and 45. This early menopause affects about 5% of women (Peacock et al. 202211).

Women who experience an earlier onset of menopause have an increased risk of osteoporosis, cardiovascular, neurological, and psychiatric disease, and mortality in general (Shuster et al 201012).

Early menopause is often associated with the following symptoms (Okeke et al. 201313):

  • Psychological symptoms
    • Poor concentration
    • Sleep disturbances
    • Depression
    • Anxiety
    • Irritability
    • Cancer phobia
    • False pregnancy
  • Physical symptoms
    • Joint pain
    • Skin atrophy
  • Vasomotor symptoms
    • Hot flashes
    • Night sweats
    • Headaches
  • Urogenital symptoms
    • Vaginal dryness
    • Pain during sexual intercourse
    • Sexual dysfunction
    • Frequent urination
    • Incontinence
    • Bladder infection

Common Symptoms of Menopause

In addition to common vasomotor symptoms (75% of women), women also report increased physical, mental, and urogenital symptoms as they approach menopause (Santoro et al. 201614Peacock et al. 202215Tchernof et al. 199816):

  • Psychological symptoms
    • Mood swings
    • Poor concentration
    • Sleep disturbances
    • Depression
    • Anxiety
    • Irritability
    • Cancer phobia
    • False pregnancy
  • Physical symptoms
    • Dry eyes, mouth, or skin
    • Skin atrophy
    • Joint pain
    • Muscle pain
    • Sensitive breasts
    • Hair loss or thinning
    • High blood pressure
    • Bone loss
    • Metabolic disorders
    • Insulin resistance
    • Weight gain
  • Vasomotor symptoms
    • Hot flashes
    • Cold flashes
    • Night sweats
    • Migraine
    • Palpitations
  • Urogenital symptoms
    • Vaginal dryness
    • Pain during sexual intercourse
    • Sexual dysfunction
    • Decreased libido
    • Irregular periods
    • Heavier/weaker periods
    • Frequent urination
    • Incontinence
    • Bladder infection

How to Test for Menopause Symptoms

Usually, menopause is diagnosed based on symptoms, medical history, and menstrual data because estrogen and FSH levels constantly fluctuate during menopause transition.

On the other hand, if the doctor orders a blood test, the levels of the two hormones are determined.

This test determines estradiol (E2), the form of estrogen produced in the ovaries and essential for ovulation (Freeman et al. 200717).

When estradiol levels are persistently low, FSH levels are persistently high, and menstruation has been absent for more than 12 months, menopause is considered to have occurred.

On the other hand, urine and saliva tests from the drugstore are considered unreliable.

How to Reduce Menopause Symptoms Naturally

In addition to fertility hormones, the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone are particularly affected by the changes of menopause.

During menopause, estrogen levels can fluctuate greatly.

Because estrogen is essential in regulating insulin, blood glucose, metabolism, appetite, and body fat distribution, low estrogen levels are associated with weight gain (Mauvais-Jarvis et al. 201318).

Therefore, menopausal women gain abdominal fat more easily due to low estrogen levels (Lovejoy et al. 199819).

Moreover, estrogen is directly involved in regulating the fat-storage hormone insulin. Therefore, if estrogen levels decrease, you gain body fat more efficiently.

Accordingly, it is no surprise that the hormonal changes of menopause likewise favor the development of insulin resistance (Yan et al. 201920).

In summary, these severe changes in energy balance and metabolism pose the following risks (Mauvais-Jarvis et al. 201321):

  • Obesity
  • Fatty liver
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Inflammation
  • Arteriosclerosis

In addition, the decline in sex hormones makes it more difficult for the body to build new muscle mass, further slowing metabolism (Maltais et al. 200922).

Fortunately, lifestyle factors can promote muscle mass maintenance, balance hormones, and reduce insulin resistance and inflammation even during menopause.

If you get your hands on the critical factors, you can reduce body fat and help achieve and effortlessly maintain a healthy weight. And now, let’s take a closer look at how this can work.

yoga helps to reduce menopause symptoms

Intermittent Fasting

Many women going through menopause try to reduce their excess weight with diets. But conventional calorie reduction promotes muscle loss and can severely limit basal metabolic rate even years after dieting (Fothergill et al. 201723).

Intermittent fasting, on the other hand, not only boosts metabolism but also protects muscle and bone mass from age-related degeneration (Drenick et al. 196424Rudman et al. 199025).

Moreover, intermittent fasting is the most effective and safe way to lower insulin levels and counteract insulin resistance, diabetes, fatty liver, and obesity naturally (Catenacci et al. 201626Halberg et al. 200527).

This fact is supported by a study in which more than 100 overweight women were able to reduce insulin levels by nearly one-third and increase insulin sensitivity through intermittent fasting (Harvie et al. 201128).

In addition, studies show that intermittent fasting can lower inflammatory markers contributing to weight gain and insulin resistance (Faris et al. 201229).

Balancing feasting and fasting also stabilizes blood sugar levels, which are often responsible for sweet cravings.

A study on uncontrolled eating behavior shows us supporting evidence. Intermittent fasting reduced cravings and depression after just two months and improved the participants’ own body image (Hoddy et al. 201530).

Menopausal women whose hormones are out of balance may struggle with sleep problems.

In an intermittent fasting study conducted on 14 women, participants experienced the following improvements in sleep patterns after just one week (Michalsen et al. 200331):

  • Reduced awakenings
  • Fewer leg movements
  • Longer REM sleep
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Increased energy level
  • Improved concentration
  • Emotional balance

Improved sleep also positively affects other psychological symptoms of menopause, such as mood swings

(Triantafillou et al. 201932).

Ketogenic Diet

After fasting, the ketogenic diet is the most effective method to regulate insulin naturally because healthy fats, such as extra virgin olive oil, around which this diet revolves, hardly stimulate insulin production.

On the other hand, carbohydrate-rich foods cause blood sugar and insulin levels to go through the roof.

In contrast, studies show that low-carbohydrate diets increase insulin sensitivity, leading to better blood glucose and lipid levels (Boden et al. 200533).

Accordingly, another study supports that a low-carbohydrate diet is better for menopausal weight loss than a Mediterranean diet, a low-fat diet, or one that meets U.S. Department of Agriculture dietary guidelines (Ford et al. 201734).

Moreover, the release of satiety hormones is proportional to the number of fatty acids consumed in the diet (Pironi et al. 199335).

For this reason, the ketogenic diet counteracts cravings and keeps you full longer.

Furthermore, a ketogenic diet protects against muscle protein catabolism during a calorie deficit (Manninen 200636).

Thus, keto may counteract age-related muscle degeneration better than other diets.

Last but not least, studies can also demonstrate a mood-stabilizing, antidepressant effect of the keto diet (Brietzke et al. 201837).

Yoga

Especially for menopausal women, yoga has long ceased to be an insider tip that recent meta-analyses have confirmed.

According to these studies, yoga is a safe method to alleviate vasomotor, urogenital, and psychological symptoms of menopause, such as depression and sleep disturbances. Participants reported overall well-being and quality of life with yoga (Cramer et al. 201838).

Accordingly, a brand-new randomized controlled trial observed that yoga could significantly improve vasomotor, psychosocial, and physical symptoms of menopause.

According to the researchers, one-year yoga practice is one of the preferred non-hormonal, lifestyle-modifying interventions for improving the quality of life of menopausal women (Swain et al. 202139).

Another study agrees with this conclusion, which states that yoga therapy can reduce hot flashes and night sweats. These researchers go even further, claiming that even short-term yoga can reduce psychological and physical risk factors for cardiovascular disease (Vaze et al. 201040).

Ease the Signs of Menopause Without Drugs

The hormonal changes of menopause bring a variety of possible symptoms. The most common symptoms are vasomotor ones, such as hot flashes, night sweats, or migraines.

In addition, declining reproductive hormones can lead to muscle pain, bone loss, depression, sleep, and metabolic disturbances.

Fortunately, lifestyle changes can counteract these symptoms of menopause.

In particular, intermittent fasting and a ketogenic diet can boost metabolism and muscle building while counteracting mood swings and cravings.

Therefore, these two natural approaches are guarantors of weight loss starting at age 50, without the need for potentially dangerous medications to do so.

Learn more about how women can balance hormones naturally without effort in my new book:

Intermittent Fasting 16/8 for Women: Achieve Hormone Harmony to Lose Weight Fast Without Losing Your Mind – Incl. 30-Day Fasting Challenge and Meal Plan.

Menopause Symptoms FAQ

How do I know if I'm in menopause?

If you have not had your period for at least 12 months, you are in menopause.

What is the normal age for menopause?

51 is the average age where menopause occurs.

What are the 3 stages of menopause?

Perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause are the three stages of menopause. Menopause is the lack of menstruation for 12 months, and post-menopause is the time afterward. Perimenopause is the period of transition into menopause.

What are the seven symptoms of menopause?

Hot flashes, night sweats, migraine, vaginal dryness, irregular periods, sleep disturbances, and mood swings are seven common symptoms of menopause.

Studies ▾

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