Fibromyalgia symptoms: Does menopause make them worse?

By: Devon Andre | Fibromyalgia | Friday, June 10, 2016 - 02:00 PM

Fibromyalgia symptoms: Does menopause make them worse?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.

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.

Tips to get relief from menopause and fibromyalgia symptoms

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.

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.

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.

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