Some menopause symptoms are so common and so widely discussed among women that we nearly expect them to happen even before we go through “The Change.” (Hot flashes, anyone?) But other menopause symptoms can be just as commonly experienced, but not so commonly talked about. Let’s change that.
Women from all walks of life reach menopause at some point in their middle age after their childbearing years. And the vast majority of women have reported experiencing some menopause symptoms — a whopping 4 out of 5 women, to be exact. As embarrassing and unpleasant as some menopause symptoms can be, educating yourself can help you prepare for acknowledging them and treating them as needed. Moreover, it serves as a helpful reminder that when it comes to menopause, we women are (quite literally) all in this together.
via Getty Images
Weird Menopause Symptoms
Brittle nails. Don’t freak out if your nails seem drier than usual. According to EverydayHealth.com, lower estrogen levels can lead to dehydration, which can affect your nails just as much as your skin. It’s as good a time as any to push the fluids and eat a healthy diet!
Dental issues. Thanks to the estrogen levels getting lower, your whole body is actually getting drier—including your mouth. And dry mouths can lead to tooth decay and bleeding gums, among other things. To avoid these problems, practice good dental hygiene every day, and see a dentist about any concerns you might have.
Loss of breast fullness. Lots of women notice after menopause that their bras seem much looser than they were before. Due to the change in estrogen levels, your breasts may not be as full as they used to be.
Thinning hair, or even hair loss. Because of the fluctuation in hormones, thinning hair and hair loss can be very common. According to Prevention.com, the best way to manage this is by using mild shampoos and conditioners, and avoid any chemical treatments that could potentially weaken your hair even more.
Libido going up. Prior to starting menopause, your body can have a dramatic surge in estrogen, which may make your sex drive increase. Despite all the other physical changes happening, you might want more sex than you did before menopause!
Feeling dry “down there.” Going back to decreased moisture in your body, it’s not uncommon to experience vaginal dryness. Loss of elasticity down there can also cause discomfort and even slight bleeding during intercourse. According to MayoClinic.org, water-based moisturizers and lubricants specially designed for that region may help.
Weight gain. Thanks to menopause slowing down your metabolism, it’s not unusual to gain weight during or even menopause. Many women do, so it’s nothing to be ashamed about!
See what your hair, skin, and nails can reveal about your overall health below!
clues about health brittle hair
Broken, split hair is a symptom of Cushing's syndrome, a rare condition caused by excess cortisol. Other symptoms include high blood pressure, fatigue, and back pain.
clues about health yellow nails
When nails take on a yellowish hue, it could imply a fungal infection — or an internal issue like a lung infection, liver disease, thyroid problems, or diabetes.
clues about health dull hair
Dull, limp hair can indicate a nutritional deficiency; you could be particularly low in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamin B12, and iron.
clues about health dark circles
Sure, they'll cost you extra time with your makeup concealer, but dark under-eye circles can also indicate deficiencies in your kidneys, high sugar levels in your bloodstream, or even dehydration.
clues about health feet
If the skin around your heel or the ball of your foot is dry, cracked, or flaky, it may be a warning sign of a thyroid condition — especially when accompanied by weight gain, numbness, or vision problems.
clues about health hair falling out
Thinning hair that falls out in clumps could mean hypothyroidism (especially if you're also tired, gaining weight, and have joint pain), but it can also be a sign of anemia, a deficiency in iron.
clues about your health raised skin
Patches of red, raised, irritated skin may mean you have psoriasis, which tends to flare up after age 50 and is often set off by a stressful event, like a death in the family. You may also be at risk for psoriatic arthritis and even heart disease.
clues about health dandruff
If you notice yellow or white flakes in your hair or on your shoulders, you may have seborrheic dermatitis caused by yeast on the skin or an inflammation of the skin.
clues about health cracked nails
Cracked, brittle nails can be caused by frequent cleaning and dishwashing without gloves, but it may also be a sign of hypothyroidism, a condition where the thyroid works too slowly.
clues about health dry skin
If you have dry, intensely itchy skin that's accompanied by fatigue or weight loss, your doctor may want to rule out more serious conditions like thyroid problems, renal disease or certain cancers.