September 03, 2011,
C.R. asks from Olathe, KS on September 02, 2011
How Early Can Menopause Start?
Just wondering because I have always heard not until your late fourties or fifties. How true is that?
Added - What are the symptoms?
R.S. answers from St. Louis on September 03, 2011
The 35 Symptoms of Menopause
This list of common symptoms that occur during perimenopause and menopause was developed from the real-life experiences of hundreds of women. All symptoms were experienced by numerous women and were either cyclical in nature, or responded to treatments (both traditional and alternative) known to address hormonal imbalances.
Hot flashes, flushes, night sweats and/or cold flashes, clammy feeling (see note)
Irregular heart beat
Mood swings, sudden tears
Trouble sleeping through the night (with or without night sweats)
Irregular periods; shorter, lighter periods; heavier periods, flooding; phantom periods, shorter cycles, longer cycles
Loss of libido (see note)
Dry vagina (see note)
Anxiety, feeling ill at ease
Feelings of dread, apprehension, doom (see note)
Difficulty concentrating, disorientation, mental confusion
Disturbing memory lapses
Incontinence, especially upon sneezing, laughing; urge incontinence (see note)
Itchy, crawly skin (see note)
Aching, sore joints, muscles and tendons (see note)
Increased tension in muscles
Headache change: increase or decrease
Gastrointestinal distress, indigestion, flatulence, gas pain, nausea
Sudden bouts of bloat
Depression (see note)
Exacerbation of existing conditions
Increase in allergies
Weight gain (see note)
Hair loss or thinning, head, pubic, or whole body; increase in facial hair
Dizziness, light-headedness, episodes of loss of balance
Changes in body odor
Electric shock sensation under the skin and in the head (see note)
Tingling in the extremities (see note)
Gum problems, increased bleeding
Burning tongue, burning roof of mouth, bad taste in mouth, change in breath odor
Osteoporosis (after several years)
Changes in fingernails: softer, crack or break easier
Tinnitus: ringing in ears, bells, 'whooshing,' buzzing etc. (see note)
Symptom 1 (flashes) Hot flashes are due to the hypothalamic response to declining ovarian estrogen production. The declining estrogen state induces hypophysiotropic neurons in the arcuate nucleas of the hypothalamus to release gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) in a pulsatile fashion, which in turn stimulates release of luteinizing hormone (LH). Extremely high pulses of LH occur during the period of declining estrogen production. The LH has vasodilatory effects, which leads to flushing.
Symptom 7 (loss of libido) For some women the loss is so great that they actually find sex repulsive, in much the same way as they felt before puberty. What hormones give, loss of hormones can take away.
Symptom 8 (dry vagina) results in painful intercourse
Symptom 11 (doom thoughts) includes thoughts of death, picturing one's own death
Symptom 14(incontinence) reflects a general loss of smooth muscle tone
Symptom 15 (itchy, crawly skin) feeling of ants crawling under the skin, not just dry itchy skin
Symptom 16 (aching sore joints) may include such problems as carpal tunnel syndrome
Symptom 22 (depression) different from other depression, the inability to cope is overwhelming. There is a feeling of loss of self. Hormone therapy ameliorates the depression dramatically.
Symptom 25 (weight gain) often around the waist and thighs, resulting in 'the disappearing waistline'
Symptom 29 (shock sensation) "the feeling of a rubber band snapping in the layer of tissue between skin and muscle. It is a precursor to a hot flash"
Symptom 30 (tingling in extremities) can also be a symptom of B-12 deficiency, diabetes, alterations in the flexibility of blood vessels, or a depletion of potassium or calcium
Symptom 35* (tinnitus) one of those physical conditions that seems to manifest in some women at the same time as menopause. It can be associated with health conditions such as hypothyroidism and heart disease, and is a known side-effect of many medications, including aspirin (salicylates) and Prozac.
SOME OF THE 35 SYMPTOMS MAY ALSO BE SIGNS OF THE FOLLOWING:
depression with another etiology
other medical conditions
If you have reason to believe you may have one of these conditions, please see your doctor for treatment.
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R.R. answers from Los Angeles on September 03, 2011
A good friend of mine started menopause when she was 28, her mother had started at 35. She was devastated at first but went on to marry and adopt so all is well. Heredity and other factors usually determine when a woman will begin menopause, when your mother and grandmothers began are good indicators.
I went through instant menopause at the age of 38 when I had to have an emergency hysterectomy, but would more than likely have begun within a few years as my mother began at around 42.
H.G. answers from Dallas on September 02, 2011
My mom had us 28 and I remember when I was about 7 she was going through menopause bad so she wasn't even 40. Im nearly 33 and my period is starting to get weird and my pms is getting worse. It can happen before the 40' s hit :(
T.C. answers from Dallas on September 02, 2011
Definitely can be sooner than that. Menopause starts a while before it actually starts (like how that makes sense?). I've known some women who had it start in mid-20's with periods finally stopping in early 30's. That's not typical, but it's totally possible.
As for symptoms, pretty much anything unfun and bad is a symptom...hehe. Hot flashes, mood swings, dizziness, weight gain, fatigue, hair loss, sleep disorder...it goes on. You'll probably find a lot if you do a search for "menopause symptoms".
V.C. answers from Dallas on September 02, 2011
It can start in the 30's. Symptoms are hot flashes, mood swings, irregular or heavy periods. All of the symptoms can be controlled with proper nutrition.
J.M. answers from Seattle on September 02, 2011
As everyone else said, yes, it can start earlier. As I was dealing w/infertility issues I learned that most women lose their fertility about 10 years before actually starting menopause.
You should talk w/a doctor.
D.K. answers from Sioux City on September 02, 2011
I have hit it at 43.
K.. answers from Phoenix on September 02, 2011
There is such a thing as early menopause. My friend is going through it. She's in her late 30's.