Researchers in the UK have recently discovered middle-aged women with long COVID tend to experience worse menopause symptoms. These include feeling extreme tiredness, having trouble thinking clearly, getting dizzy out of the blue, and finding it hard to sleep all night.
As more information about long COVID comes to light, it seems women who are going through menopause, or are close to it, might have a higher chance of facing tough complications from the virus. Here, we look at what the latest study revealed and how to treat worsening symptoms caused by long COVID.
What did the study reveal?
The recent study revealed women going through the menopause have a rougher time dealing with long COVID symptoms. It suggests that this might be down to lower levels of the hormone oestrogen. Symptoms of long COVID were reported to be worse the days before the menstrual cycle was due to start. This is when the hormone levels are at their lowest.
There were 460 women included in the study, and 50% stated their menstrual cycle had changed or stopped since they developed long COVID. One theory about long COVID is that it may cause a temporary mix-up in the way the ovaries make steroid hormones. This mix-up could make the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause even tougher to handle.
Symptom overlap may lead to misdiagnosis
The symptoms of both long COVID and the menopause do overlap, which makes it easier to misdiagnose the issue. Research from The North American Menopause Society indicates that addressing hormonal deficiencies is crucial for women to recover effectively from long COVID.
Astonishingly, the American Medical Association notes that long COVID has been linked to over 200 symptoms. These symptoms usually start a few weeks to a few months after a COVID infection. While their duration varies, the hope is that they won’t last forever.
Middle-aged women often face symptoms like those of long COVID. These include symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, sleep disturbances, and mood swings. They also suffer with concentration and memory issues, joint and muscle pain, and headaches, which are also common in menopause.
Treating Long COVID in menopause
Estradiol, a potent oestrogen hormone in women, has been found to be beneficial against COVID. This hormone is also used in hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to treat menopause symptoms more effectively. Especially when dealing with long COVID. However, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons as oestrogen-based HRT has been associated with a higher risk of endometrial, breast, and ovarian cancers.
Addressing perimenopause symptoms could not only eliminate your discomfort but might also reduce long COVID symptoms if they are interrelated. Adopting a healthy lifestyle with good nutrition (especially avoiding carbs and sweets before periods), getting at least 7 hours of sleep, engaging in regular exercise, managing stress, and limiting alcohol consumption can be beneficial.
Worsening menopause symptoms could be a sign of something other than long COVID. For peace of mind and to determine what is going on, book a menopause health check today with SureScan.