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Unexpected symptoms

Unexpected symptoms
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Changes like bruises and extra hair are just a few of the unexpected symptoms of premenopause and perimenopause, the latter being the last four or so years before a woman enters menopause.

Breast pain

Breast pain
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Pesky menopause changes and hormonal fluctuations can cause cyclical breast tenderness (ranging from bothersome to unbearable) even when Aunt Flo isn’t due for a visit. What’s more, since perimenopause causes irregular cycles, it’s nearly impossible to know when your breasts are going to begin throbbing, according to the National Cancer Institute. Your breasts may also feel “more lumpy” than they did before, notes Ellen Dolgen, Menopause Mondays blogger and author of the free eBook, The Girlfriend’s Guide to Surviving and Thriving During Perimenopause and Menopause.

Unexpected bruises

Unexpected bruises
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Perimenopause causes some women to become a bit clumsy – and those minor bumps can quickly turn into big bruises. This is because fluctuating hormones can make skin thinner, making you bruise easier.

Dry eyes

Dry eyes
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Strangely, excessive tearing is a sign that your eyes are desperately trying to make up for a lack of moisture. And you can thank menopause changes and plummeting hormones for those “Cheech and Chong”-style eyes, Dolgen says. Hormones affect the ocular tissues and the composition of tears your eyes produce, resulting in excessively dry eyes and changes in vision (going from near-sighted to far-sighted, for example).

Chin hair

Chin hair
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Don’t be surprised if your tweezers become your new best friend, Dolgen says. For a lucky 15 percent of women, “super human” hair on your chin, upper lip, or cheeks is an all-too-common symptom of perimenopause. And, perhaps what’s worse, the hair on your head may become thin, dry, or brittle.

Heart palpitations

Heart palpitations
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The sudden speeding-up or irregularity of your heart rate is a common yet not often talked about symptom of perimenopause. Studies show that epinephrine and norepinephrine, the neurotransmitters that regulate heart rate and blood pressure, tend to fluctuate in menopausal women, David Portman, MD, a gynaecologist and Women’s Health expert told everydayhealth.com.

These are the 50 best foods for your heart.

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Urinary urgency or leakage

Urinary urgency or leakage
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Pee a little when you do jumping jacks or leak when you cough or sneeze? Gotta hurry up and go right now? It’s likely due to stress urinary incontinence (SUI) or urge urinary incontinence (UUI) – both common menopause changes. Lower oestrogen levels cause the lining of the urethra to thin, says JoAnn V. Pinkerton, MD, executive director of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS). And weakened pelvic floor muscles, often a result of a vaginal childbirth, are also to blame.

Dry skin

Dry skin
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Less oestrogen equals acne and dry and thinning skin for many women in entering menopause, which Dr Pinkerton likens to “reverse puberty.” It’s also common to experience flare-ups or new cases of allergies and eczema during this time, adds Dolgen, whose swears by coconut oil for softer skin and smaller pores.

Body odour

Body odour
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Of course, the excessive sweating that accompanies night sweats and hot flashes can create an unpleasant odour. But there’s another explanation, too: A drop in oestrogen levels tricks your hypothalamus gland into thinking you’re overheated, signalling your body to sweat more.

Here are 14 body odours you should never ignore.

Migraines

Migraines
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Migraines may start for the first time, or worsen, when you start going through menopause because of new hormonal fluctuations, says Dr Pinkerton. The good news, however, is that hormonal migraines usually stop or vastly improve after menopause, when levels are consistently low. In fact, only 5 percent of women suffer migraines after age 60, according to the Migraine Research Foundation.

Learn how to survive the 8 different kinds of migraine.

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