Can Menopause Make Fibro Symptoms Worse?

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Connection between menopause and fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia symptoms are characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, but can menopause make them worse? Fibromyalgia is more common in women than men, so it’s important to understand the connection between menopause and fibromyalgia. Most women diagnosed with fibromyalgia are aged 40 to 55, which also coincides with menopause. Research has shown that fibromyalgia symptoms worsen post-menopause, compared to women who are still menstruating.

Increase in symptoms during menopause

Women have more pain and sensitivity after childbirth and there’s a huge fluctuation of hormones right after you have a child. There hasn’t been a lotta research on the two together, but a lot of women from the research I’ve done have reported having more sensitivity and more pain after childbirth from their fibromyalgia.

Women reported fatigue, headaches, memory problems, sleep disturbances, mood disturbances, and overall pain increasing prior to their cycle. Not all women had issues with their monthly cycle and fibromyalgia, but the ones that did also tend to be the ones that have an increase in symptoms during menopause. And moving on to menopause, around 40 to the age of 55 is typically when women experience menopause.

This is also around the age when many women develop fibromyalgia. While fibromyalgia can also affect men, it mostly affects women. And some doctors have taken note that it happens to be around the time of menopause, in which there is a huge change in a woman’s hormones. It makes sense that there would be a connection between the onset of menopause and fibro as most women are diagnosed during middle age. Research suggests that symptoms can indeed be worse for menopausal and postmenopausal women than for women who are still menstruating.

Hormonal fluctuations

In post-menopause women, the production of estrogen declines by 40 percent, contributing to symptoms like depression, sleeplessness, and anxiety. Hormonal changes in menopause can also trigger moodiness, soreness, and crankiness, which can all be aggravated by the sleepless nights. Furthermore, loss of calcium and other minerals can also contribute to bone aches. The symptoms presented in menopause are quite similar to those in fibromyalgia, so when they are combined they can feel far worse. The general consensus is that the worsening of fibromyalgia symptoms in menopause results from estrogen reduction, but additional research is required to better understand the connection between the two.

Low thyroid hormones

Research has also shown that low thyroid function and decreased thyroid hormones, as well as progesterone and estrogen, can contribute to some major fibromyalgia symptoms, such as fatigue, depression, anxiety, muscle ache, very common fibromyalgia symptoms. But the correlation between fibromyalgia and menopause is still unknown because there’s just not enough research about it. Fortunately, more research is being done to find out if the onset of fibromyalgia has anything to do with low hormones, such as estrogen.


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Natural treatment

Natural therapies have shown to be quite effective in relieving the symptoms of fibromyalgia and menopause by addressing the causes.

  • >Avoid alcohol, sugar, and caffeine as these products can worsen the pain.
  • >Identify and treat any food sensitivity.
  • >Add omega-3 fatty acids as found in fish and flaxseeds to diet.
  • >Eat super green foods like alfalfa and wheatgrass.
  • >Siberian ginseng helps reduce the effects of stress on the body.
  • >Passionflower and Valerian can help promote a restful night sleep.
  • >Black Cohosh and natural progesterone cream reduce fibromyalgia effects in per menopausal women.
  • >Melatonin can help improve insomnia which is critical in treating these medical conditions before they worsen.

Estrogen or other hormone replacement therapies

Symptoms of menopause and fibromyalgia can take a negative toll on one’s life, not only physically but mentally as well. The first step to obtaining symptom relief is speaking out to other women like you. Socializing with others can help you feel connected instead of feeling lonely. You can swap stories and experiences and be a support system for each other. Your doctor may also put you on estrogen or other hormone replacement therapies, which can ease your menopause symptoms.

Once your menopause symptoms are relieved, you won’t experience the impact of fibromyalgia symptoms as much. If your estrogen levels are low, bone and joint pain can occur, leading to many of the symptoms of fibro. If you have been on one type of HRT for a number of years, it does not mean you are on the proper dosage since your body’s needs can change over time. Some women who have had their hormones rechecked have found them to be completely under-controlled, so a hormone check every few years should be a part of your gynecological routine.

Medical treatment for fibromyalgia symptoms in menopause

  • >Magnesium and calcium relaxes the muscles and nerves.
  • >SAMe has proven effective in several studies for treating fibromyalgia and menopause.
  • >5HTP is a supplement that acts as a precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin.
  • >Digestive enzymes taken with meals improve food absorption and digestion.
  • >Acupuncture can be helpful for pain relief and other symptoms associated with fibromyalgia and menopause.

 Low libido and vagina dryness

Also, speak to your doctor about your low libido and vagina dryness, which can be a result of both menopause and fibromyalgia. They can offer you solutions to not only want sex once again, but to enjoy it without pain.

Life style modifications

It has also been suggested that dietary changes might help aid in symptoms, although this is not medically proven. Nonetheless, enjoying a healthy lifestyle is still recommended for improved overall well-being. This involves exercising regularly, eating well, not smoking, managing extra weight, and limiting alcohol consumption. Healthy living, even though it may not be specifically targeting menopause and fibromyalgia, can still work to improve bone strength and cardiovascular health, reduce stress, and enhance other aspects of health.

For support and Discussion join the group “Living with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Illness”

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