It is common to get misdiagnosed for menopause, especially if the symptoms are mild and not yet prominent to be detected in the blood tests. Common menopausal symptoms include headaches, abdominal pain, irregular periods, irritation, anxiety, insomnia, confusion, poor diet pattern, etc. However, these symptoms can very easily be confused with chronic stress or psychological pressure instead of a much more biological condition like menopause. That is why it is common to get misdiagnosed for menopause by your menopause doctor unless prominent pieces of evidence of changes in the reproductive system are detected.
What diseases can be confused with menopause symptoms?
Sometimes, there are other diseases in the body that are trying to surface but their symptoms are similar to those of menopause. For instance:
More than 23,000 women every year in the USA alone are affected by ovarian cancer. If detected earlier, it can be somehow controlled and treated. But most of the time it is detected in the later stages since its symptoms are confused with menopause or other common things like bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, nausea, etc. Especially, women in their 40s, take their issues for granted since they are expecting menopause at this age, rather than cancer!
Thyroid issues or hormonal imbalances
Since hormones play an important role in the growth and maintenance of all the functions in the human body, they sometimes create confusing situations that are taken as signs of menopause. For instance, during hypo/ hyperthyroidism, you might face weight gain, irregular menstrual cycles, irritation, depression, mood swings, body weakness, and joint pain, etc. Besides, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS), Cystitis and thrush, and loss of libido are also common symptoms. Of course, these can be easily confused with menopausal symptoms.
Although all these diseases can be the result of menopause, however, they can also develop individually, without the reason being menopause itself. Thus, only your menopause doctor can diagnose correctly and detect the actual cause of all these issues.
Can I consult a gynecologist instead of a menopause specialist?
In case your menopause doctor fails to detect the actual cause of your changing health conditions, you might think of consulting a gynecologist for your symptoms. However, gynecologists can help with some of the common symptoms but they might not be able to fully deal with professional menopause treatments. For instance, Hormone Replacement Therapies (HRTs) are professionally assisted and dealt with by menopause doctors. Eventually, menopause specialists are much more equipped to diagnose and treat menopausal symptoms than any other specialist.
Of course, if you feel like you are not being diagnosed properly and the symptoms do not subside, you might seek another menopause specialist rather than a gynecologist. Also, no one treats you better than a professional menopause expert since they are experienced in this field and can also treat other hormonal issues that might be similar to menopause.
Best menopause treatments
A few of the most preferred and effective menopause treatments that are employed by the menopause experts are:
- Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)
- Vaginal estrogen
- Skin patches
- Low-dose antidepressants to treat mood swings, irritation, insomnia, confusion
- Controlling osteoporosis through medications
- Medicines to reduce hot flashes, night sweats
Menopause is a stage in a woman’s life that is reflected through several emotional, physical, and psychological changes. Sometimes, your menopause doctor might not be able to fully understand the cause of these changes since the menopausal symptoms are very much similar to many other diseases. However, if the symptoms are prolonged and severe then proper blood tests can detect the actual cause.
However, self-awareness and early knowledge regarding menopause and its symptoms can help a person understand their body and its changes in a better way, especially if a misdiagnosis is conducted.