Please do NOT think I am crazy for sharing my personal life experience battling MENOPAUSE.

I say congratulations to the lucky women who breezed through menopause with very few symptoms. Unfortunately, for me, my life was very miserable. I turned into a person I did not recognize. I experienced uncontrollable “hot flashes,” sweating, and tremendous weight gain even while trying to change my eating habits. My biggest problem that I struggle with is sugar and salt cravings.

I started phase one, perimenopause, at 45 years of age. For me, the worst symptoms were anxiety, fatigue, and a foggy memory. I was in and out of the doctor’s office month after month and was on the verge of having a nervous breakdown. These symptoms lasted for ten years before I found out I was experiencing phase two, MENOPAUSE. For me, it was exactly ten years; I was 55 years of age.

Not every woman experiences all the symptoms of menopause. I am not ashamed to share my symptoms. (Siblings, please do NOT think I am crazy.)

I suffered from yeast infections, vaginal dryness, intimate relationship irritation, itching, the leakage of urine, the need to urinate frequently, signs of aging in my skin (dryness and dark, uneven pigmentation), weight gain due to hormonal imbalances, mood swings, stress, and fatigue.

Last but not least sinus infections. I found out just recently that the increase in allergies and sinus issues are related to low estrogen. It has to do with the lubrication or health of the mucous linings of many parts of the body affected by estrogen. Low estrogen causes increased problems with these mucous-lined passages as they all have estrogen receptors.

These symptoms were not life-threatening, but they disrupted my daily quality of life. I did talk to my care providers about how to best manage menopause and whether I was at risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, or breast cancer. I am making it a point to have my annual check ups.

The lifestyle changes I made include eating healthy, taking Multi-Vitamin supplements, and exercising at least once a week. The most significant lifestyle change I have done is finding my purpose and fulfilling my passions.

Life Is Only What You Make It
Vernesie M. Joseph Burbank


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