An introduction to anxiety and the menopause
Anxiety is when you are continually worried or tense. It appears to affect almost twice as many women as men and is a common symptom of the menopause.
In general, anxiety is characterised by a constant sense of worry over normal everyday events, much greater than the situation deserves. Although you may realise this, it can be difficult to shake off the feeling so that you are not constantly on edge and irritable.
Anxiety can also disturb sleep, leading to a host of other menopausal problems such as memory lapses and headaches.
Why does menopause cause anxiety?
Women may feel an increase in anxiety before other symptoms of menopause, such as hot flushes, set in.
During the early stages of the menopause (known as the peri-menopause), levels of the female hormones start to fluctuate. These changes can lead to PMS symptoms which appear and worsen in the week or so before each menstrual period. Other psychological PMS symptoms such as low mood may also be present as well as physical symptoms such as period pains, bloating or breast tenderness.
Part of the explanation lies with the fact that oestrogen plays an important role in managing the chemical activities in your brain. When the level of oestrogen is high you feel well. As levels drop, a number of symptoms such as low mood and anxiety can set in.
What home remedies are there for anxiety?
Home remedies should be your first stop for treating anxiety during the menopause. Although some take time and dedication, it may be worth the effort in the long run:
- Relaxation techniques – yoga, meditation and breathing exercises have been used for
years to counteract anxiety. Being able to calm your body and mind can significantly reduce the severity or frequency of anxiety attacks
- Healthy lifestyle – We have heard it all before, but a healthy diet and lifestyle
can have a significant impact on how you feel. Follow the link to find out
more on lifestyle tips to overcome
- Reduce caffeine
– caffeine is notorious for making people jittery, so consuming a lot of
caffeine will only make your anxiety worse.
Are there herbal remedies to help me?
Many menopausal women find that herbal remedies are a very useful way to manage their menopausal anxiety. There are two main ways of approaching the symptom:
Some women find that menopausal stress is one of a number of other symptoms of the menopause. If this is the case, start off by using a supplement containing soya isoflavones.
TIP: Menopause Support contains isoflavones from fermented soy, hibiscus and magnesium which can help with tiredness and feelings of stress and anxiety.
"Helped to eliminate all the unpleasant moments of my menopause." read more customer reviews
If anxiety is your main menopausal symptom, or if you need more help overcoming your stress and anxiety, use the herbs valerian and hops. These work synergistically to relieve mild stress and symptoms of anxiety from a variety of causes.
TIP: A.Vogel Stress Relief is a tincture containing the herbs valerian and hops. Take it as you need it – just once a day, or regularly twice a day if you are going through a tough patch.
"This is the best product I've tried so far."
read more customer reviews
What about conventional remedies?
It is worth trying home and herbal remedies first as these can provide the solution to your symptoms in the least intrusive way to your body.
However, if these do not help, your doctor can prescribe several conventional medicines. These include anti-depressants and sedatives. Many of these have side effects so discuss with your doctor which will be most suitable for you. You may have to try several types before finding the one that is right for you.
In addition, HRT has been used as a general treatment for a variety of menopausal symptoms.
Many conventional medicines for anxiety tackle severe symptoms. If you experience panic attacks or frequently feel overwhelmed by fear or worry, then it is important to visit your doctor. If you are concerned about your symptoms then seeking medical advice is also sensible.