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Study Links Menopause and Chronic Pain

Women going through menopause are more likely to be diagnosed with chronic pain illnesses, according to a new study.

Link Between Menopause and Chronic Pain

Research published in ‘Menopause, the journal of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS)’ involved the analysis of records relating to 200,000 women from the Veterans Health Administration. It was found that women of menopausal age are more likely to experience conditions such as arthritis, osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia, all of which can be associated with chronic pain.

Dr JoAnn Pinkerton, executive director of NAMS, commented: “Changing levels of hormones around menopause have complex interactions with pain modulation and pain sensitivity, which may be associated with vulnerability to either the development or exacerbation of pain conditions.

“This study suggests that menopause symptom burden may also be related to chronic pain experience.”

This may be because the drop in oestrogen that triggers menopause symptoms can lead to weight gain, as well as fatigue and a lack of energy that may contribute to decreased physical activity, potentially increasing the risk of chronic pain.

Oestrogen decline can also lead to low bone density, which can increase the risk of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. Weakened bones are more likely to break, potentially leaving women suffering from associated pain too, which may be another reason why those of menopausal age tend to report higher pain levels.

Managing Chronic Pain in Menopause

If you suffer from a pre-existing chronic pain condition and have noticed it worsening in menopause, you should speak to your GP about managing it. But if you’ve only just begun to experience chronic pain and think it may be due to your changing hormone levels, natural treatments such as the menopause supplements we stock may be able to help. If you’re unsure, we’d advise speaking to your doctor to put your mind at rest.

For example, Femarelle® Unstoppable supplements contain vitamin D and calcium to help support bone health in menopause and post-menopause, and could therefore help to lower your likelihood of an osteoporosis diagnosis, and the risk of pain from related injuries.

Femarelle® supplements also include DT56a, a natural ingredient derived from soy, which can mimic the effects of oestrogen in your body and possibly boost your energy levels, regulate your metabolism and reduce your risk of fatigue as a result.

At the same time, being mindful of what you’re eating and trying to incorporate more exercise into your lifestyle could help you to manage your risk of osteoporosis and associated pain, as well as helping you to keep on top of your weight - another risk factor for chronic pain.

If you’re concerned that your chronic pain levels are not just linked to menopause, you should speak to your doctor. If it’s confirmed that they are associated with menopause, natural supplements may be able to help you.

Shop the Femarelle® range of supplements here.