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Menopause Fatigue And Joint Pain

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Switch To Low Impact Exercise

SOLUTION TO Arthritis Pain and Menopause Symptoms! | Menopause and joint pain

Hips, knees, hands, shoulders, and fingers are among the most affected by menopausal joint pain. High-impact activities like running, playing tennis, or high-intensity interval training can make the pain in these areas worse. If youre accustomed to activities like these that may be worsening your joint pain, consider switching to low-impact exercises. For instance, stationary biking, walking, using the elliptical, swimming, or yoga.

Certain yoga poses may help relieve joint pain. Read our guide to the best poses for joint pain. If you take a class, arrive a few minutes early and let the instructor know about your concerns so s/he can help you make adjustments to place less stress on painful joints.

Staying active is a good idea, regardless, as it comes with many health benefits. If youre overweight or know that you have underlying osteoarthritis, getting regular exercise can be especially beneficial as excess weight can add extra stress to your joints.

When To Seek Professional Help For Joint Pain

Nagging, unabating joint pain should be assessed by a medical professional, even if it temporarily resolves with OTC medication. Its also important to understand that joint pain can be caused by conditions other than menopause. These can include lupus, fibromyalgia, or other conditions.6 Consider seeing your healthcare provider if:

  • Bone pain is so severe it wakes you up from deep sleep
  • Joint pain comes on suddenly for no obvious reason
  • Sudden joint pain or swelling can be linked to a medication/drug you have taken
  • The pain is interfering with your ability to enjoy life

Resources

  • https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-01427-7#:~:text=Previous%20studies%20have%20identified%20estrogen,for%20estrogen%20in%20these%20tissues.
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17335973/#:~:text=Supplementation%20with%20omega%2D3%20PUFAs,p%3D0.003)%2C%20and%20NSAID
  • https://www.verywellhealth.com/severe-joint-and-muscle-pain-arthritis-2249981
  • Drink Plenty Of Water

    Since dehydration can have such a negative impact on your joints, one of the first things you should do if you experience joint pain is to make sure you are drinking enough water. You should be looking to drink around 1.5-2 litres of plain water every day, over and above other drinks, such as coffee and tea.

    If your joints are sore or creaky first thing then ease off as the day goes on, it may mean that you are really dehydrated during the night, so make sure that you drink a small glass of plain water about an hour before bed â this is really important if you are getting night sweats as these will dehydrate you further.

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    Diet For Menopause Joint Pain

    Your diet is hugely important in both preventing and managing health issues, and menopause joint pain is no different. “Try to eat a healthy, balanced diet that is high in fibre with lots of fruit, vegetables and wholegrain foods,” advises Clare.

    Eating the right foods can improve a range of menopause symptoms. The key is to consume lots of nutrients from various food groups.

    The foods that most directly impact joint and bone health include:

    “You should also try to avoid large quantities of saturated fats. If you are suffering from hot flushes, try to make a note of what seems to bring them on – for some people it is alcohol and for others caffeine,” adds Clare.

    How to ease joint pain during the menopause

    • 9min

    How To Ease Joint Pain During The Menopause

    Pin on 34 MENOPAUSE SYMPTOMS

    Menopause joint pain is one of many possible menopause symptoms. Lifestyle adjustments, including changes to your diet and exercise routine, can soothe aches and pains and help to prevent osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. There are also other treatment options, including hormone replacement therapy , over-the-counter medicines, and menopause supplements.

    01-Apr-22·8 mins read

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    What Causes Muscle Aches And Pains

    If you start to get aches and pains in the menopause, oestrogen is likely to play an important part. Oestrogen affects your cartilage as well as the replacement of bone, and so plays a part in inflammation and pain. Replacing oestrogen with HRT has been shown to benefit all of these areas .

    That said, the cause of your muscle aches may be unrelated to the menopause. Poor posture particularly sitting in the same position looking at a screen, may be the culprit. Stress can also cause muscle tension and pain.

    Sexual & Other Health Considerations

    The loss of oestrogen at the menopause can lead to problems like vaginal dryness and lack of libido.

    Did you know? It is normal to get less wet with sex. This is called vaginal dryness. It is very common. Dr Jane Davis

    Vaginal dryness can be incredibly uncomfortable and impact on quality of life. It may include your vagina feeling sore in general or during sex, it may cause itching or an increased need to pee. It could even lead to urinary tract infections . This can lead to general discomfort but also affect your enjoyment of sex.

    As well as vaginal dryness affecting interest in sex, you may experience a drop in libido around menopause. This can be caused by changing hormone levels or your general mental wellbeing.

    As mentioned above, a lack of oestrogen can also affect the bladder, meaning you need to go to the loo more often or increasing incidence of UTIs.

    You may feel embarrassed to discuss these symptoms with your GP, but theres no need to suffer in silence, there are treatments out there which can change your life.

    Did you know? You can still get pregnant once your periods have stopped. The simplest approach may be to assume youll need contraception up to your 56th birthday. Dr Jane Davis

    Tips for managing

    Did you know? Vaginal oestrogen is a brilliant solution and is very safe for most people. It plumps up the vaginal skin allowing it to produce your natural lubrication again. Goodbye sandpaper sex. Dr Jane Davis

    Ask your GP about

    Headaches

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    How To Treat Joint Pain Caused By Menopause

    The good news about menopausal joint pain is that it can be managed or even eradicated. There are a number of ways you can treat joint pains. The most common type of treatment options includes diet and lifestyle changes, alternative medicine, prescriptions from a dermatologist, therapy, and medications.

    Diet

    Having a balanced diet has been attributed to easing joint pain during menopause as well as solving other symptoms of menopause. In addition, eating healthy will help keep weight in check as it is a major factor that worsens joint pain.

    To begin with, eat a diet that is rich in calcium as it will help to strengthen your bones and keep them healthy. Office of Dietary Supplements pointed out that calcium should be accompanied by foods rich in magnesium such as whole grains, nuts, and dried fruits to enhance the absorption of calcium into the bones. If a diet rich in calcium and magnesium cannot be achieved, then use supplements that provide those two important bone-strengthening minerals.

    As stated by Goldberg and Katz , also eat diets that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin C such as fish and berries as they are antioxidants that reduce inflammation and pain.

    What Home Remedies Are There For Muscle Pain

    Acupuncture for knee pain, muscle pain, menopausal symptoms and fatigue.

    There are many lifestyle changes and self-help measures which can help to ease menopause muscle pain. These include:

    Exercise. Regular but gentle exercise, such as walking, cycling or swimming can help to loosen muscle tension and lessen muscle pain. Exercise also releases feel-good endorphins. These are chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers.

    It can also improve your mood and the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress hormones in the body that cause your muscles to tense.

    Stretching. Gently stretching your muscles can also help ease tension, stiffness and muscle pain. Mindful stretching, together with deep breathing, can also aid relaxation and reduce stress hormones in the body.

    Magnesium. Low levels of magnesium in the body can cause muscle aches and muscle cramps. Magnesium is known as the relaxation mineral so its important to make sure you include foods which are high in magnesium in your diet, such as nuts and seeds, dried fruit, dark leafy vegetables and pulses such as beans and lentils.

    You can also take a magnesium supplement, either liquid magnesium or a magnesium citrate capsule between 200 and 400mg a day.

    Iron. Muscles aches can also be caused by low iron, so an iron tonic or supplement would also be worth trying. You could also try adding more iron-rich foods to your diet, such as red meat, eggs and dairy.

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    Did You Start To Experience Any Additional Arthritis Symptoms

    I went to my GP a handful of times as I had been having a few difficult months and every time my bloods were okay. I was then referred to rheumatology, offered counselling and anti-depressants. Also, I was advised to go back on amitriptyline due to my pain and fatigue levels.

    The next time I called my surgery, I spoke to a female GP and she said, Has anyone spoken to you about menopause? and I said, No, I havent thought about it.

    We had a fantastic conversation and she suggested that I start on the HRT pill first, this did nothing and so I went onto the HRT patch. I didnt know what to expect as I didnt know if the pain and fatigue were due to my arthritis or something else.

    Gradually, I noticed my mood lift, and this helped me to manage my pain better. I decided to come off the contraceptive pill after I had advice from a homeopath who I met at a networking event. I didnt have a period, only some initial spotting on and off and period pain.

    I had lost my sex drive and that has come back since being on the HRT patch!

    Did You Get The Support And Advice You Needed

    Now looking back, I dont feel I got enough support, or information. Each thing was treated separately, irritable bowel syndrome, pain, mood swings, etc. When I did my own research, all I could find was information about fibromyalgia and not anything about links to the menopause.

    I just learnt to get on with life and focused on sorting everyone else out, not always taking time to give myself attention.

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    How To Help Ease Menopause Symptoms And Stay Healthy

    Step one: Stick to your RA treatment plan and work closely with your doctor to help keep the disease under control. Treating rheumatoid arthritis aggressively minimizing all signs of inflammation is the best option, advises Dr. Lockshin. The more aggressively you treat RA, the less cardiovascular disease occurs. Some research suggests women do have improved well-being on estrogen hormone therapy, says Dr. Mollard, but the risks such as increased cardiovascular disease or breast cancer risk can outweigh the benefits for many patients. Current recommendations are to consider hormone therapy only to relieve severe menopausal symptoms, says Dr. Lockshin not secondary effects, such as rheumatoid arthritis control. Instead, women with RA should consider menopause a call to action to live your healthiest life, says Dr. Mollard. Eat healthy, exercise more, and quit smoking to help keep your heart healthy and help manage both RA flares and hot flashes. Yoga may help ease symptoms, according to a CreakyJoints member so might meditation.

    Here are more specific strategies to ease symptoms and boost health:

    How Can Muscle Aches And Pain Be Treated

    Joint Pain in Menopause

    If youre concerned about aches and pains or have swollen, stiff and painful joints, rashes, weight loss or if you feel unwell, we would advise you to see your GP to discuss your symptoms. They are likely to arrange further investigations and a referral to a specialist may be needed. If your joint is hot, red or swollen and you feel feverish and unwell, you should seek urgent medical attention by calling 999.

    If your aches and pains are related to the menopause, there are several things that can help.

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    Case Study: How Drinking More Water Can Make A Big Difference

    Who doesn’t love a success story? I was so pleased with this one, I had to share it…

    Since dehydration can have such a big impact on your joints, one of the first things I often recommend to menopausal woman who are feeling achy and sore is to drink more water. This is exactly what happened when Margaret asked my advice on joint pain during menopause.

    Hot Flushes And Night Sweats

    The hot flush is experienced by up to 80% of those going through the menopause and is the most common symptom. Often accompanied by extreme sweating , a hot flush is caused by changes in hormone levels upsetting the part of the brain that regulates temperature. Basically, your body thinks it is overheating even when it isnt, and things like hot drinks or alcohol, eating spicy food or sitting in the sun can exacerbate symptoms.

    A night sweat is a hot flush that happens at night the sweat is a chemical reaction that opens up the blood vessels in the skin causing a feeling of sudden heat. Sweat is released to dispel that heat.

    Hot flushes usually last from three to five minutes and can vary in severity. Some women find them nicely warming but around 20% are instantly drenched and scarlet in the face. This can impact on work, social occasions and disrupt sleep.

    Hot flushes usually continue for about two years, but some women continue to have them post-menopause.

    Did you know? Whilst we all know about hot flushes, did you know that anxiety and low self-esteem can get much worse around menopause?Dr Jane Davis

    Tips for managing hot flushes

    Download our helpful menopause symptoms tracker to keep a note of the symptoms youre experiencing.

    Insomnia

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    When To See A Doctor About Menopause Joint Pain

    • you have a joint that is red, hot and very painful
    • you have had an injury and think you might have broken a bone
    • you have a high or low temperature and feel very unwell or dizzy, have a fast heart rate or fast breathing
    • youre feeling confused, drowsy or have trouble speaking
    • you havent peed all day

    You should see a doctor as soon as you can if you have:

    You should make an appointment to see your doctor if you have generalised joint pains during the menopause but no other worrying symptoms. Also speak with your doctor if your symptoms are not getting better with self-care measures or if they keep coming back.

    Sleeping On Your Back

    Menopause joint pain at night

    Place a pillow under the folds of your knees so that your knees are at a level slightly higher than your pelvis. This position reduces the pressure on the lower back. Increased pressure on the lower back can lead to pain and disc degeneration which can interfere with sleep as well as cause daytime discomfort.

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    Other Causes Of Joint Pain

    Dr. Levy-Gantt notes other factors which can cause or exacerbate joint pain. Some of these, such as weight gain, are also often associated with menopause. Extra weight puts extra stress on the joints, increasing stiffness and reducing mobility, she says.

    Diet can also have an impact. Processed foods and simple carbohydrates can cause inflammation in joints, as well as adding to weight gain, she adds.

    How To Manage And Reduce Symptoms Of Joint Pain During Menopause

    Home treatments can often be effective at reducing joint pain that is not associated with a serious, underlying health condition.

    If you have discomfort in an isolated area, consider icing it for 10 minutes at a time.

    Compression sleeves or bandages can also help, particularly if you have achy knees.

    If joint pain is limiting your ability to function and enjoy life during menopause, short course doses of over the counter , anti-inflammatory medications, such as Advil and Ibuprofen may be a good option for you. Topical pain relievers can also numb the area, reducing the sensation of pain. Its always best to check with your healthcare provider first, since they know your medical history and can advise on the best treatment plan.

    Its also important to honor your body. If you feel unable to exercise vigorously, opt for a gentle walk, or a short yoga session. Swimming and water aerobics are also good choices.

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    Menopausal Women And Fibromyalgia

    Menopausal women also feel the effects of fibromyalgia, making their experience worse. Some of the symptoms that intensify during menopause are achiness and soreness, leading to more anxious and cranky episodes.

    Fibromyalgia symptoms tend to mimic perimenopausal indicators, which include pain, tenderness, lack of quality sleep, and trouble with memory. These symptoms can also lead to depression.

    Connection Between Menopause And Joint Pain

    Menopause and joint pain

    While joint pain is a common side effect of aging, is it also a symptom of menopause? Stiff joints that are swollen or even warm to the touch may be caused by changing hormone levels, though some medical professionals believe that this pain is not a direct result of menopause. Rather, the lower estrogen levels associated with menopause can increase the risk of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis in women over 50, resulting in the joint pain that is being attributed to menopause itself.

    Osteoporosis is the thinning of the bones and can be accelerated by the lower levels of estrogen seen in menopause. Thin and brittle bones put women at risk for developing osteoarthritis, which is characterized by swollen and painful joints. While there may not be a physical link between menopause and joint pain, they often occur around the same time and symptoms of menopause may put women at risk for developing conditions that can cause joint pain.

    Another factor of joint pain in menopause is dehydration. When the body is dehydrated then uric acid can accumulate, which triggers inflammation in the joints. Because estrogen is a key player in fluid regulation it also plays a role in your dehydration levels. You see, when estrogen levels drop, so does the bodys ability to hold on to the fluid.

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