Joint pain is one of the lesser known symptoms of menopause. It is caused be a condition called estrogen dominance. This condition is characterized by elevated levels of estrogen in the blood.
Pain and stiffness in major joints such as the hands, knees, back and hips are common. These symptoms are often mistaken as early signs of arthritis or osteoporosis.
Estrogen dominance can be caused by impaired liver function due to overuse of alcohol and pain relievers. Environmental factors may play a part. Chlorine and hormones found in some meat and dairy products are known to have an effect on estrogen levels.
Perimenopause can trigger many different conditions that involve joint pain. Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome have been known to surface at the onset of menopause or perimenopause. Consult with a rheumatologist.
Staying active and exercising regularly are excellent ways to relieve symptoms. Maintaining a healthy diet high in fiber may help balance estrogen levels. Over-the-counter pain relievers can be helpful for relief of minor pain.
Too much estrogen for one who does not need it can cause many side effects--some mild, some more serious. A blood test is the only way to know if estrogen levels are out of balance.