Menopausal changes that occur during change of life have been linked to over 34 symptoms, some of which are quite unusual. Unlike the familiar menopausal symptoms of hot and cold flashes, heavy unusual sweating, irritability, mood swings, and lapses in memory, for example, many menopausal women are experiencing unexpected allergic reactions. And so, instead of seeking relief from the predictable symptoms, some women find themselves asking, “Why am I having allergies during menopause?
Change of Life Reactions to Substances And Pollens
Allergy is described by Webster’s Dictionary as, “Abnormal or pathological reaction to environmental substances as pollens, foods, dust, or microorganisms.” Pollen is described as, “Dustlike, usually yellow grains containing the male reproductive cells of flowering plants.” Many people, especially children may suffer from various reactions to pollens. However, for many women, any substance during menopause is their first encounter.
Reacting to various substances during change of life is of great concern to the women who are affected. Some of the frequently reported symptoms include: bouts of severe hay fever that present like the common cold; reactions from various foods, fragrances and or perfumes; and asthmatic attacks. I was surprised when a close friend recently told me that her doctor prescribed “an Asthma-pump” for her. With further inquiry, she revealed being thrown in a quandary when she developed frequent bouts of asthma. She said no one in her family has asthma, and she had no prior history herself. However, after many years of being menopausal, she had several frightening experiences with difficulty breathing; tightening in her chest; and wheezing. After various potions and remedies, she was referred to a Pulmonary Specialist who has been added to her list of doctors.
Another acquaintance related a similar story of developing unusual skin reactions during change of life. After months of being menopausal, she reported breaking out in hives and itchy skin on several occasions. Concerned, she visited several doctors, and finally, an Allergist, who determined that her reaction was to fish. The doctor informed her that these reactions during change of life were becoming quite common; and that her skin condition was due to the fish with a hormone-menopause connection. Her avoidance of fish has relieved her symptoms.
The Allergy-hormone Connection
Some women might never experience allergies during menopause. However, for women who do, they can be assured that although the symptoms might be subtle and challenging to diagnose, many doctors are making the connections between these unusual hormonal responses change of life. Women are therefore being encouraged that a visit to the doctor should not be rushed. Time should be spent to explain to the doctor (a) any physical, mental, or lifestyle changes that occurred since her last visit (b) all symptoms being experienced – no matter how mild (c) ask what the doctor thinks might be causing the changes (d) if the doctor suggests treatment, ask for explanations and for alternate treatments (e) explain any past, present and family history that might be related to the allergies. The information you provide your doctor might assist in making a connection between the possible causes of your allergies during menopause.