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Increase In Allergies

Allergies can worsen or appear for the first time during menopause

The interconnection between the body’s immune system and hormones leads to an increase in the incidence of allergies during a woman’s menopause years.

Symptoms of an allergy

Put simply, an allergy is when the body’s immune system reacts abnormally to a substance that is typically harmless to most people. The body reacts by releasing histamine in to the bloodstream which leads to a range of allergy signs. These include the relatively mild signs of sneezing, runny nose, congestion, and watery eyes to itchiness and difficult breathing and to the more severe signs of swelling causing swallowing difficulties, abdominal pain, cramps, diarrhea and mental confusion. An extremely severe allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis which can be life threatening.

Types of allergies

While animal fur, pollen and food are the most common allergens, an allergic reaction can be triggered by almost anything. The most common types of allergies are hay fever, asthma, allergic eyes, allergic eczema, hives and allergic shock typically caused by a food allergen or a bee sting.

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This is the time when menstruation is well and truly over, the ovaries have stopped producing high levels of sex hormones and for many ladies, perimenopause symptoms subside.

Estrogen has protective qualities and the diminished levels mean organs such as your brain, heart and bones become more vulnerable. It’s also a key lubricant so your lips may become drier, your joints less supple and your vagina might be drier. In addition, your thyroid, digestion, insulin, cortisol and weight may alter.

At this juncture, a woman might experience an increase in the signs of reduced estrogen but she should have a decrease of perimenopause symptoms. That said, some women will experience symptoms like hot flushes for years or even the rest of their lives.


Peri = ‘near’

Most females begin to experience the symptoms of perimenopause in their mid-forties. Your progesterone levels decline from your mid-30s but it’s generally from around 40 that the rest of your sex hormones begin to follow suit. 

Perimenopause is a different experience for every woman and some women may barely notice it. The first indicators are usually changes to the monthly cycle. This means that for some ladies, this can be accompanied by things like sore breasts, mood swings, weight gain around the belly, and fatigue as time goes on.

For those with symptoms it can be a challenging time physically, mentally and emotionally.

Importantly, perimenopause lasts – on average – four to 10 years. The transition is usually a gradual process and many women enter perimenopause without realising.