When a woman first starts to experience the symptoms of menopause, it isn’t something that will be obvious right away. At least in most cases, the effect is more of a slow, insidious and painful realization that something is very wrong. Here are the real tests to find out if a women is in menopause or may have something quite different.
In order to find out for certain that you are going through the menopause, you will of course have to visit your doctor and have some tests performed. Just because a woman has the symptoms of menopause such as night sweats, irritability, headaches, or irregular periods, doesn’t mean conclusively that she has started. The first test is a blood test to find out the level of FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) in the blood, which if is above 30 IU per liter then a positive sign may be at hand. Of course there are other possible diagnoses, such as carcinoid syndrome, pheochromocytoma, or even hypothyroidism. If any misdiagnosis of these is made, serious health issues can be the result.
When a woman has hot flashes, this is due to the drastic changes in hormone levels in the body. These can cause changes in the endocrine system, which helps to regulate what’s called the -vasomotor- system. Vasomotor refers to the muscles that control vasodilation, dilation of the interior of the blood vessels. The endocrine system, once made unstable, can also effect the mood, sleep patterns, and libido of a woman.
Although levels of estrogen may be at work here, studies have not found a direct link between hot flashes and lower blood levels of estrogen. Researchers believe that other factors are the cause, such as the estrogen working in conjunction with noradrenergenic stimulation (increase in norepinephrine) which triggers wide variations in heat regulation in the body. The main product created when norepinephrine breakdown is the chemical 3-methoxy-4-hydrooxyphenolglycol. Levels of this chemical were found in higher concentrations in women that reported frequent hot flashes, as opposed to women that had none.
So what does it all mean? If you are having hot flashes, as well as other symptoms of menopause, see your doctor right away so tests can be done. Ruling out other diseases is only the first part of the equation, after that you may want to find some relief for your symptoms that can get you back to feeling normal again.
There are many symptoms of menopause and also many cures for these symptoms. Learn as much as you can about them, and you can take positive steps to find relief for yourself.
Learn more by visiting us at and reading our massive article collection!