The Biggest Menopause Survey Ever

Two women sat on the grass undertaking a survey.

When we started really looking at menopause studies and the biggest issues facing women at this life-changing stage, we were shocked (but perhaps unsurprised) to find that the biggest clinical survey looked at just 3,302 participants.  For something that affects half the population of the planet, a study with a sample group this size just isn't big enough and it shows that there's a huge imbalance between the needs of the medical community and the needs of patients in the importance of menopause health.  Recently however, American women's health company Evernow analysed 100,000 validated profiles of women experiencing menopause, and some of the findings may surprise you. 


One of the key takeaways was the fact that although hot flushes are a well-known and discussed symptom of menopause, actually the most extreme symptoms were weight gain, brain fog, fatigue and sleep problems.  Over 75% of women reported these as the top four problematic issues in perimenopause, with hot flushes becoming more problematic in the 50s age range.  At this later stage, sleep problems and brain fog were still up there as the most pressing issues, so we now know that actually cognitive symptoms have a far bigger impact on women than we first thought.  We know that poor sleep affects cognitive performance, (poor sleep has been shown to have a similar effect as alcohol [1]) so it is no surprise that these problems go hand in hand.

Analysis of the data showed that being overweight worsened the severity of menopause symptoms.  Participants with a BMI (body mass index) of under 29 reported symptoms as severe less than 50% of the time.  Those with a BMI of over 40 reported severe symptoms 53.8% of the time, a 7% point jump.  Given that we know being overweight leads to joint problems, heart and circulation issues and many other health conditions it is very clear that weight management can lessen the severity of menopause symptoms as well as being good for our overall health.

No large scale menopause survey would be complete without looking at the impact of HRT on these symptoms.  After three months on HRT (in this case delivered transdermally) 68% of respondents said their symptoms had become less severe, with the greatest relief of hot flashes, night sweats and mood swings.  These same three symptoms were still at the top of the relief list after four months on HRT, at which time 75% women reported a decrease in symptom severity.

What we can learn from this study is that while hot flashes certainly are a primary menopause symptom, it is actually weight gain and cognitive changes that have the greatest negative impact on women's lives.  As we know from this study, carrying extra weight can increase the severity of menopause symptoms as well as encourage further weight gain, we can see that addressing our activity levels and nutrition is a major requirement for a healthier, better menopause.  Our MenoShake addresses the complete nutritional needs of women through perimenopause and menopause, and it's the ideal post-workout shake too.

We can also see that disrupted sleep and brain fog (which amplify each other) have a much more significant impact than many people thought.  Addressing one of these symptoms can significantly improve our quality of life and improve the other symptom at the same time.  We suggest that improving sleep should be your first port of call, as this can really help brain fog.  Sorting your sleeping environment (including temperature control), indulging in relaxing activities before bed and using herbal sleep aids can all contribute towards a more satisfying night's sleep.

Thanks to this study we have a better understanding of the main issues facing menopausal women, and that means we can take individual action to reduce the severity of the issues most pressing for us.  It also means that the wider scientific community has some great starting points for more research, which we await eagerly.


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