Low mood and anxiety are ‘less well-known’ menopause symptoms

Earlier this year, the menopause was catapulted into the consciences of many when there shortages of HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy). Fast forward to the autumn and those shortages have been largely resolved. However, the menopause remains, causing a range of symptoms for women around the UK. spoke to Boots pharmacist Bina Mehta about symptoms of the menopause.

First Mehta described the menopause. She said: “Menopause is when your periods stop due to lower hormone levels. Hot flushes are one of the most well-known signs of menopause but there are over 40 signs and symptoms, some of which are more common than others.

“Every woman’s experience will be different and some experience more signs and symptoms than others.

“That’s why it’s so important that we continue to talk about the menopause.”

However, there are some less common symptoms of the menopause for women to look out for.

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Mehta said: “There are some less well-known menopause signs and symptoms, such as low mood and anxiety, feeling forgetful or experiencing ‘brain fog’ and fatigue.

“Changes to skin, nails and hair can also be signs of menopause, as well as weight gain and bloating.”

Furthermore, she added: “I encourage any woman who is concerned, or not feeling themselves, to come and speak to their local Boots pharmacist for personalised advice.

“At Boots, we have advice, products and services available to help women take control of over 40 signs and symptoms of the menopause.”


What are the main symptoms of the menopause?

According to the NHS, the main symptoms of the menopause are:
• Changes to a woman’s periods
• Mental health symptoms
• Brain fog
• Hot flushes
• Difficulty sleeping
• Palpitations
• Headaches and migraines.

Furthermore, the menopause can also cause:
• Changed body shape and weight gain
• Dry and itchy skin
• Reduced sex drive
• Vaginal dryness and pain
• Recurring UTIs (urinary tract infections).

While these symptoms can undoubtedly cause discomfort, there are ways they can be managed.

These range from lifestyle changes to medication.

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Among the things someone can do, the NHS recommends:
• Getting plenty of rest
• Eating a healthy diet
• Having calcium rich food
• Exercising regularly
• Doing relaxing things such as yoga
• Talk to other people going through the same thing.

Should someone decide to take herbal supplements, the NHS says: “Talk to a doctor before taking herbal supplements or complementary medicines”.

While there are things people should do, there are things they shouldn’t do.

The NHS says women shouldn’t smoke or drink more than the recommended alcohol limit during this period.

One of the side effects of the menopause is osteoporosis. The NHS also has six recommendations for how to protect against this developing.

It suggests exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, getting some sunlight on the skin, taking vitamin D supplements, quitting smoking, and cutting down on alcohol.

The reason why vitamin D is suggested is because the vitamin can help keep the bones healthy and strong.

During the winter, when our bodies don’t produce enough vitamin D from the sun, supplements can help to boost levels and protect the immune system.

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