Many of us look forward to but simultaneously dread menopause, the disappearance of monthly cycles with their emotional roller coaster and physical discomfort forever. But first, we have to endure a variety of symptoms that come and go with no warning. Many of these symptoms disturb our sleep or concentration: hot flashes, fatigue, weight gain, mood swings, anxiety, insomnia, headaches and hair loss.
These changes occur because of the biochemistry within our bodies. Estrogen can be elevated at times as we near menopause, causing the mood swings or headaches. The conversion of another hormone into estrogen occurs in adipose (fat) tissue, which naturally increases to body fat (you knew you’d cut back on those brownies!). Also, your body’s metabolic rate naturally falls.
As estrogen levels decrease, the areas in your body with estrogen receptors are affected. Those areas include your bones, brain, blood vessels, central nervous system, and skin; thus, all of those areas experience changes. Low levels of estrogen also reduce the production of an anti-anxiety neurotransmitter, resulting sometimes in heightened anxiety during menopause.
Needless to say, some women stress when menopause rolls around. The important thing is not to over-think it and welcome this natural life change.
These are just some of the ways a woman’s body undergoes change as menopause approaches. If you have questions or concerns about the changes in your body, simply give us a call at 717-840-9885 to schedule an appointment.