We are in our mid-life years from our early 40’s right through to around 60 years of age. Women over 50 are then definitely going to be experiencing menopause symptoms as we are heading into our biological aging. When we begin to lose estrogen and progesterone there are changes that occur all over our bodies.
As we women over 50 deal with the symptoms of menopause, it is great to understand how our experience compares to others. While you should be consulting with your doctor about all the changes you are experiencing, LivingBetter50 has the Cervantes Scale (CS) assessment here for you. You can assess your menopausal symptoms and compare them to a large cohort of mid-aged women.
Here are the 10 items out of the 31 composing the original CS that were selected according to their clinical relation with menopausal symptoms. To complete the quiz, please rate the severity of your symptoms for each question (0 = ‘No symptoms’ to 5 = ‘Very Severe’).
Do you have hot flushes (and/or night sweats)?
Intense heat starts in your chest and rises to your neck and head. Beads of sweat grow until perspiration runs down your face. It’s a hot flash due to menopause, and it’s a long five minutes until it passes.
Do you feel my heart beating quickly and out of control?
If you are experiencing spells of increased heart rate your doctor may suggest medical treatment. As a common symptom of menopause, you can do the following things to slow down your heart rate.
Cut back on coffee or alcohol
Get more rest
Close your eyes and gently press on your eyeballs
Pinch your nostrils closed while blowing air through your nose. This technique is called the Valsalva maneuver.
Are you getting sufficient sleep (difficulty in sleeping)?
It doesn’t help just knowing that you will struggle with getting sufficient sleep. To help in your sleep, keep a regular sleep-wake cycle. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Don’t exercise within two hours of bedtime. Exercising five or six hours before bedtime may help you sleep more soundly. Make sure that your room is a dark, quiet room with a comfortable temperature.
Are you experiencing aching muscles and/or joints?
As your body adjusts to less key nutrients there will be aches and pains. If milder symptoms last for more than two weeks, see your doctor. They can examine you for a possible underlying condition. They can then give you a treatment plan to help reduce the aches and treat the cause.
Feeling tired when you get up (feeling as if you lack energy)?
It’s the middle of the day and you just can’t seem to get out of first gear. Is it lack of sleep, or could there be something else that makes you feel so wiped out? During menopause, our bodies are working overtime. This is very draining on our bodies and the symptoms of lethargy may be very evident.
Are you struggling more with your mental health?
Changing hormone levels during menopause may affect your physical and emotional health. Also, the rapid drop in estrogen may not be the only thing affecting your mood. Stay well-rested to help you fight off any spurts of negative thoughts.
Feel more anxious or nervous than normal?
The female body undergoes enormous chemical changes as a result of the menopause, and that this can also have a big impact on our emotions, too. In other words, welcome back to the world of a teenager. When I was perimenopausal, I was unaware of the power of my hormones. My problem was anxiety — and my goodness was it overwhelming. So overwhelming that I had to cease work, I couldn’t drive or socialize, and on many occasions, I felt as if was pinned to the floor by panic. The hormones will settle down, but do not fight this battle alone!
Are you experiencing urine leakage?
Urinary incontinence affects millions of physically active women of different ages worldwide. The general opinion is that incontinent women modify their behavior by wearing pads during exercise, changing or ceasing the exercise for fear of leakage and odor. Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles can assist you through this terrifying time.
Are you experiencing vaginal discomfort and dryness?
This condition is called dyspareunia. Some women are fortunate to only experience mild symptoms. However, when symptoms are moderate to severe, they can truly affect a woman’s quality of life. Speak to your doctor about the prescription and non-prescription solutions available to us while our bodies catch up.
Do you see changes in skin appearance, texture & tone?
In menopause, the skin loses its ability to retain water. Without moisture, the skin gets quite dry. This can be especially noticeable in winter when the air is dry or in a dry climate. Try using a milder cleanser and apply a rejuvenating oil after bathing.
The CS-10 seems to be a simple tool to aid everyday clinical consultation and help at performing an accurate diagnosis of menopause-related symptoms. Further studies are needed to confirm our preliminary findings.
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