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Menopause side effects that people usually don’t talk about

The fluctuating hormones during menopause can cause hair loss and the problem can last for several months.

Menopause marks the end of your menstrual cycles. But the side effects that it causes can take a toll on one's daily life.

Written by Longjam Dineshwori |Updated : October 1, 2020 8:59 AM IST

Period discomfort is really annoying. But if you think that menopause can make your life easy as you will no longer have to deal with uncomfortable menstrual cycles, you're unaware of its side effects. Menopause brings about a lot of changes in the body that you will realize only after entering this phase of life. Besides the irregular periods, there are many other things about menopause that people usually do not talk about. Here we will talk about those lesser-known side effects of menopause.

What is menopause? It is a natural biological process that marks the end of your menstrual cycles. This indicates that a woman is transitioning from a reproductive to a non-reproductive phase in life.

How will you know if you have entered menopause? Menopause is diagnosed if you've gone without a menstrual period for at least one year. Menopause can happen in your 40s or 50s. For most women, it starts around 51.

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The transition doesn't happen overnight. It is a gradual process and the first sign of menopause can begin 10 years before you officially enter this phase. However, each woman may experience it differently. Below are some unwanted changes you are likely to experience during this biological process.

Hot flashes that last for years

A hot flash is the sudden feeling of warmth in the upper body, usually most intense over the face, neck, and chest. It can also cause sweating. Hot flashes are is one of the most common symptoms of menopause. They may begin in perimenopause, the period around the onset of menopause, and can last for seven to 10 years. They occur at different times for different women. Hot flashes may also lead to heart palpitations, anxiety, and tension. It may disrupt sleep, resulting in fatigue and mood changes.

Extreme Tiredness

The hormones - estrogen, progesterone, thyroid, and adrenal - fluctuate a lot during menopause, which can take a heavy toll on your energy level. This is because all these hormones are involved in regulating cellular energy in the body. So, when you enter the non-reproductive phase, you may feel exhausted and fatigued all the time.

Weight Gain

Gaining some extra kilos is common after menopause. It is said that women gain an average of five pounds during menopause. But some women may gain much more. Some studies linked hormonal changes to increased abdominal obesity. Weight gain during menopause may increase your risk for breast cancer, depression, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.

Thinning hair

Women entering menopause may suffer hair loss and the problem can last for several months. Blame the fluctuating hormones for your bad hair days. During the pre-menopausal stage, estrogen levels decline and testosterone in the bloodstream gets easily converted to DHT (Dihydrotestosterone). This reduces blood flow to the hair follicles, which leads to thinning of the hair. Your hair may also become dry and brittle.

Dry and Flaky Skin

The skin tends to become extremely dry after menopause. As estrogen levels drop, oil production in your skin also decreases. This causes the skin to become extremely dry, leading to a flaky complexion. Moreover, the skin's ability to retain water and produce oil diminishes with age. Menopause combined with aging can greatly impact your skin health. Therefore, menopause is the time to upgrade your moisturizer. You need a richer, more hydrating moisturizer to prevent skin dryness.

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