Menopause can be debilitating and one of the most challenging naturally occurring conditions that comes in every woman’s life. Condition may become much severe and unbearable especially for those women who suffers from fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia as we know, is a serious medical condition where a person suffer from severe unbearable pain in the muscles, all over body.
Studies reveal that fibromyalgia generally occurs in women when they reaches the menopause or perimenopause stage.
And due to concrete evidences available, strong connection between menstruation, menopause and fibromyalgia conditions cannot be denied at all.
According to experts as there are not many differences between fibromyalgia and menopause symptoms, for many of the women it is hard to judge whether they are suffering from fibromyalgia or menopause.
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Menstruation and Fibromyalgia
Severity of pain during menstrual cramps can vary in women. And it generally depends on the woman’s overall health and conditions. But the sad part is, women with early fibromyalgia symptoms usually suffers from more painful periods – as revealed by National Fibromyalgia Association (NFA).
Slowly when they reaches to perimenopause stage, condition seems to get worse.
Understanding Menopause, Perimenopause and Postmenopause
Menopause is basically a biological stage in every woman’s life where they stop having her natural menstrual periods. This permanent end of menstruation is a major sign of aging which marks the end of reproductive years for women.
Menopause is most of the time a natural process. However women who need to undergo removal of ovaries through surgical process, end up getting sudden menopause automatically.
In general, menopause is a gradual process through which woman may experience discomfort and pain for months or few years. It is better described in these three stages:
Perimenopause: This is just the initial phase or starting of the menopause stage which may last for 8-10 years, before the menopause actually occurs. Although this stage usually starts in early 40s, there are instances where woman see the symptoms in 30s as well. Important thing to note is, women still have natural menstrual cycles during this stage and can get pregnant if they want.
Menopause: This is a stage where ovaries stop releasing the eggs and production of estrogen is reduced drastically. Having menstrual cycles is no more a natural state for women in this stage. Symptoms such as hot flashes are most common during menopause. Woman when does not get periods for 12 consecutive months is usually a sign of menopause stage.
Postmenopause: This is a final stage or years after menopause. Although menopausal symptoms eases during this stage, number of other health conditions (like osteoporosis, heart problems, etc.) aggravates due to lowering of estrogen levels. Hormone therapy and bringing changes in lifestyle can help during this condition.
At What Age This All Starts?
For most, average age of experiencing menopause is late 40s to early 50s. Perimenopause for women usually starts during mid 40s. However there are chances of perimenopause getting started in late 30s or early 40s. This usually depend on woman and can vary based on their overall health condition.
Does Menopause Make Fibromyalgia Worse?
Is Fibromyalgia Related To Hormones?
Serotonin is a chemical whose primary function is to control mood as well as to modulate pain in our body. Estrogen is a hormone in women which directly controls and maintain healthy levels of serotonin in the brain.
It has been seen that when a woman reaches menopause stage, ovaries produce very less estrogen. And when estrogen levels in the body drop down, it automatically reduces the production of serotonin which in turn results in unstable mood or mood swings, anxiety, depression, hypersensitivity to any sort of pain.
These all symptoms ultimately ends to worsening of fibromyalgia condition.
Various researches done, reveal that most of the women suffering with fibromyalgia condition are between the age group of 40 to 55. Thus it is more likely that for most of the women, menopause and fibromyalgia is a simultaneous problem.
At times a woman who is already suffering from fibromyalgia, nears to perimenopause or menopause stage also tend to experience severe pain and stiffness in the body parts, mainly in the muscles and joints. The pain in these women was found to be more severe, than in women who reaches menopausal stage without fibromyalgia.
It is always good to speak to your doctor as soon as you find that you are nearing perimenopause stage. This will help you in relieving the severe pain originating due to the menopause symptoms.
Treatment: What Can Help?
It has been seen that few of the symptoms of menopause are quite similar to those of fibromyalgia. In most of the conditions, these include: tenderness, pain, depression, reduced memory and concentration, lack of sleep, etc.
In case if a woman suffers from both of these conditions together, they may have to undergo through worse painful conditions that may be unbearable. At such times, treating fibromyalgia or providing the possible therapies for relieving the symptoms of fibromyalgia alone does not help.
In fact, treating and controlling the symptoms of menopause along with medications for fibromyalgia provides them with good relief. Getting natural treatments like water therapies, acupuncture, acupressure, exercising, yoga, etc. can also provide excellent relief to menopause and fibromyalgia all together.
Socializing yourself in the groups and communities may also help you out in easing the painful conditions. This is also a great way to get rid of your loneliness in such conditions.
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