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More Menopause! sheesh

There Won’t Be Blood: Suzanne Moore on the menopause


The lack of information around the menopause is one of the things that has shocked me most. It is a mystery to many well-informed women. The perimenopause, for instance, is an all-purpose diagnosis for all kinds of ills. Many women are told they are “peri” with no idea what this means. Erratic bleeding, insomnia, itching, vaginal dryness, memory lapse and vasomotor disturbance are just a few of the symptoms that could make you “peri”. You are post-menopausal when you haven’t had a period for over a year.

The lack of definition bothered me. The female body can be a mess, so I simply decided to have it – the menopause – one cold November weekend a few years ago. I took to my bed, decided that my time was over and nested in a cloud of self-pity. By the Monday I was bored and went out and saw a great gig. These are a good menopausal activity, as they occur in dark spaces and no one cares if you perspire.

But I am not surprised so many women end up utterly depressed. If the menopause is seen as basically a disease, as lack, then women’s bodily chemistry must be rebalanced with hormone replacement therapy or antidepressants.

When you shut the gate could you waft it back and forth to create a draft please.


Menopause & Smell distortion

In 2013 I wrote a blog about the issues I was having with my sense of smell during menopause.  I discovered after a quick but short trawl of the internet that it is not uncommon and has a name.  It’s called Dysosmia and some weeks after discovering it, it began to dissipate.

Previous menopause blog

Partly I’d hoped and suspected down to my new role as a Consultant for Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic and my consequent use of essential oils.  I had bought a lovely Zen Soto diffuser and had found that diffusing essential oils was very helpful.

My menopause symptoms began to subside and for a period of several months I thought it was over.  Late last year I was back to hot flushes and this time sought help from my doctor.  I don’t/won’t use HRT so was seeking an alternative.  I’d tried several different supplements which had helped initially and now were not working.  My doctor prescribe Abufene

Médicament Abufene 400 mg

images (1)

I am not sure if this available in the UK.  I have just recently been on my 2nd outing with it (you only take the tablets for 10 days and then stop).  I understand it is an Amino Acid and is often prescribed for sports people.  It certainly works for the hot flushes. There is a side effect that is mention.  You get a hot sort of tingling in your hands and feet, or just feet.  I get this regular as clockwork at 10pm each evening.  I know from my previous course that this side effect will last many weeks after you stop taking the medication.  I don’t mind and in winter it’s quite comforting.

Anyhow, back to the smell.  It’s back in a different form now.  I cannot describe it but once it arrives in my nasal passages it is hard to shift.  It really spoilt my lunchtime meal out as of course smell and taste are interlinked, so my plate of fish didn’t smell or taste much of fish.

Back home and I am now diffusing essential oils to try and fill my nasal passages with something more pleasant.  I have a new diffuser and have added some Patchouli and Ylang Ylang.

Aria Diffuser

Diffuser 019

I don’t normally diffuse such strong floral smells but hope these will be potent enough to do the trick.

I am really blogging about this once more as there is so little on the internet about it and I know for some women their distorted smell is distressing for them and causing low self esteem.  Somehow knowing about it and understanding it helps in the management of it.   I am disappointed that after 2 and a half years I am still dealing with this and am heartened to know  that it will disappear eventually and give me a break.

Aromatherapy products




Dysosmia potentially subsiding.

For Suki and Bethany who asked me about this.

I have just in the last 2 weeks started selling Neal’s Yard Remedies, which include lots of essential oils. My moisturiser, skin care products, shower gel etc all produced organically using essential oils.

I also bought a fab diffuser for some oil blends and am happy to report that my dysosmia appears to have settled. I am very happy as you can imagine and am hoping that this will continue.


I am finding that the best oils are the predominantly citrus based. Having said that, I tried a grapefruit oil I had here already, bought from a shop in my nearest city. To be honest I couldn’t smell it. My neighbour mentioned she’d been using a Neal’s Yard essential oil in her Reiki room and that she and her family could smell it in her dining room. I wonder whether NYR oils are particularly potent.

Distortion of Olfactory Perception: Diagnosis and Treatment

I don’t like any of the suggestions in this article!  I think I’ll stick with the oils.

You can buy some oils, the diffuser and some oil blends here along with lots of lovely organic skin care and body care products.

La ménopause, je vous hais.


Why doesn’t it just get on and get it over.  It’s been hanging around, on and off for 2 years and from what I have read, it may continue to be present for another 10 years!   There are many negative symptoms and I have yet to find a positive.   Lots of information on the internet about menopause yet very little about changes to sense of smell related to menopause, and how to deal with that.

Menopausal Madness

I also had this weirdly heightened sense of smell that just drove me nuts. It changed the way I ate and how I interacted with the world. I felt like I was changing into something un-human.”

Lack of information on internet

A few women here have mentioned smelling smoke or petrol and an overall heightened sense of smell. I experience this pretty badly and so looked at Google yesterday to try to work out what hormone is involved and was pretty surprised and annoyed because there is so little information there,

Brain Freeze

  • During menopause women sometimes experience fuzzy thinking, forgetfulness and a loss of concentration. The brain freeze that some women complain of can be responsible for sensory problems including loss of smell.

I have had a sense of smell dogs would kill for, and now it is enhanced.  Oh good I hear you say, how lucky you are.  No, not lucky, as not only is it enhanced but many things are now tainted with an unpleasant smell that puts me off eating.  Aha, good I hear you saying, perhaps you’ll lose some weight,  Not so unfortunately, as in an attempt to disguise the smells wafting around me, I want to eat sweet things that don’t have the same impact.

I know I haven’t damaged my olfactory nerve, and I haven’t abused it by over use.  For over 30 years I have not liked perfume, and have avoided being around people over loaded (it seems to me) with heavy perfumes.  After Shave doesn’t get to live in this house, and husband has to pass any hygiene products by me before purchase so I can say yes or no.  For most of the time we have been together he’s used Botanics range from Boots which my nose finds acceptable.  Anything beyond that is a no no.  Even liquid soaps have to be checked out.  The other day I stood at the cash-desk with a couple of soap refills and suddenly realised I could smell them, and could smell the smell I hate that are in some liquid soaps.  I left the cash-desk and returned them to the shelf and had to wait to get home to wash the smell from my hands.

I first noticed the tainting issue around food products (meat products mainly)

back in October and blamed it on the sausages I’d bought from a farm shop in Kent.  The smell and subsequently taste (since they are inter-dependant) was horrible, enough for me to contact the farm shop by email and ask how they were storing their meat products.  I have since realised it’s me.   Similar to the woman above, I also frequently feel I am surrounded by exhaust fume smells.  In fact this was so bad that I asked my daughter to bring back a Carbon Monoxide alarm from the UK in December (they’re cheaper there).  Of course there is no smell to CO and the alarm sits now on the dresser silently reminding me all is well.  This exhaust fume smell thankfully has reduced in the last 2 weeks.

Of the usual negative menopausal symptoms, this for me is the worst, as I am unable to address it.  Hot flushes can be addressed with a choice of remedies, not all chemically based.  A friend recommended some herbal tablets which work really well for “les bouffées de chaleur”, there are many types on the market.   But what about the change in my olfactory abilities.  I’ve tried having essential oils diffusing nearby (in fact I might try that again shortly) but these don’t last for long.

Writing this means I have done some more searching on the internet and having looked at some of the possible symptoms, I think I’ll get off now please!

Menopause Indicators

Ahh, these ladies sound just like me, I am not alone!

Over Active Sense of Smell

I too, have had a very keen sense of smell my whole life. I drive my family crazy as I get migraines very easily from what I consider toxic fumes: perfumes, hand creams, smoke, cleaners, mechanic fluids, etc.

So, there we are, and I am not going to even mention the mood swings, the irritability and tearfulness.

Be careful as you close the gate, there’s creosote on it and that smell lingers for ages.

a bientot.

Kathy the Sane,  suffering with  hyperosmia and  dysosmia along with hormone shifts.