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Unexplained mood swings are a common symptom of people going through the menopause.

Confessions of a Menopausal Woman

menopause Feb 18, 2022

First published in the Bailiwick Express.

Night sweats, rages, "missing word syndrome" and "meno belly"... One islander has shared a raw and honest account of the "tumultuous journey" of menopause.

Night sweats, rages, "missing word syndrome" and "meno belly"... One islander has shared a raw and honest account of the "tumultuous journey" of menopause.

In the first of a series of articles for Express on the topic, Trudi Roscouet, a local voice on menopause awareness and education, had this to say...

When the menopause arrives, you start asking questions: what’s going on, am I a lunatic? Is this the “new me”?

One minute I’m fine, and then someone says a wrong word. POW! I’ve gone.

Caught up in a tornado, anger personified. I want to stop myself, but I can’t. I’m spiralling and HE IS GETTING IT!

I want to say that I can’t help it, but it doesn’t come out. My mind is racing, and my heart is beating about 100 times a minute.

I want him to stop. Just say nothing. A hug, an apology: would that help? Yes, of course it would. I want him to hold me and tell me everything will be ok…

…but will it? Why is this happening? That’s all I want to know.

I’m a balanced individual (although some may argue with that, of course).

My understanding is that it’s all to do with oestrogen and progesterone. I am a normal 51-year-old (I mean, I was), but when the menopause came everything started to change.

First to arrive was the night sweats – yup, one leg in, one leg out. Both in and then both out, followed by a spontaneous combustion from inside.

Waking up and being drenched in sweat. That is so NOT attractive!

As oestrogen drops and rises faster than a sprinter's heartbeat, so do my symptoms.

There is no real way of knowing if you are going through the menopause, except maybe by knowing your mum or elder sister’s age when they started this tumultuous journey.

After a routine blood test to check my thyroid levels, it was only then that I was told that mine had started. I was completely unaware of what was lying ahead of me.

I was a personal trainer. I knew how to lose weight. Less calories in, more calories out = weight deficit. So, why the issue now?

When I asked the female doctor she said, “welcome to the menopause, and the meno belly!” This was not what I needed to hear.

I had personally trained many women. When the “older” ladies said they couldn’t lose weight, I thought they weren’t doing something right. "It’s easy - just listen to me!” I thought. I learned the hard way, of course.

Back to the original question - why is this happening?

Oestrogen is the KING of hormones – there are oestrogen receptors in every cell of our body. Our brain misfires along its neurotransmitters and this can cause mental issues: anxiety, depression, foggy brain, irritability, anger, forgetfulness, and the classic “missing word syndrome".

…and that’s just what’s going on in our heads. So, let’s do a body scan; and yes, our metabolism, digestive system, our heart, and our bowels – everything is affected! As we move through this series, we will be looking at other symptoms and how our bodies try to deal with them.

Until next time – remember it’s not the “new you”! It’s just the menopause.

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