Lack of patience & irritability during menopause

Have you lost your patience?

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Menopause Advisor
@EileenDurward
Ask Eileen


02 April 2018

Read the full video transcript below

Today's topic

Hello, and welcome to my weekly video blog. And today on A.Vogel Talks Menopause, I'm going to ask you a question, "Do you find that you're losing your patience a lot, just now?"

This is another one of these really horrible emotional symptoms of the menopause that is very distressing for us, and with this particular one, probably distressing for lots of other people that are around us as well because suddenly, there's a stranger in their midst who just doesn't seem to behaving in the way that they used to. 

Now, it's one of these situations that can arise very, very quickly, but for some women, you can find it creeping up maybe for a couple of months. You will start to feel very on edge. You might find that you get very frustrated about situations that are in front of you.

You may find that you have absolutely no patience for putting up with other people when maybe in the past, you were very happy to do so. You can also start to feel really frustrated about everything that's going along, and also in this situation, you may also find as well as losing your patience very quickly, you can become very irritable.

You can become stressed very, very quickly, and you can start to get angry as well. And all of these symptoms for a lot of women are quite odd. They're not the sort of things that we feel on a regular basis. 

What's causing the impatience?

Now, why is this happening? Again, well, there's a couple of reasons.

Very often, it's just the fact that your hormones are falling and in this particular combination, they are starting to cause this irritability and loss of patience. And again, it's all to do with the fact that as women, we are told to sort of feel in control of things. We're not allowed to let our emotions run away with us, but when our oestrogen starts to fall, this can actually loosen our control over our emotions. 

So when in the past, if say we were standing in the supermarket queue and somebody's dawdling because they can't find their purse, and you're standing there just getting really, really irritated. In times gone by, you would probably have stood there quite patiently, and maybe have been quite sympathetic. 

Whereas now, you start to get really irritable and angry, and you wish they would just speed up because you've got lots of other things that you want to get done. And a lot of this as well, especially if you find that you're getting very irritable with your loved ones, and we do know a lot of women write in and they're starting to get very upset because they are getting impatient with their loved ones who are really very, very puzzled by what's going on.

And remember I talked before about the hormone called oxytocin, which is your sort of love hormone. So if you find that you are losing your patience with those around you that you really care about, it could also be due to the fact that your oxytocin levels are dropping a little bit more as well. But we do know that this impatience and irritability can be due to other menopause symptoms as well. 

So if you're getting night sweats, if you're getting really poor sleep, of course, you're going to be a little bit more short-tempered the next day. If you're getting lots of hot flushes, these can really drain you of energy. And we know, especially for those of you at work, that you can start to get a bit forgetful and very often, we then become impatient with ourselves because suddenly, we find that we're not as calm, and collected, and in control as what we normally are. 

And if you start to lose your patience, or you get really irritable with your colleagues, you can then start to feel really bad, and that can change the whole dynamics at work, which can then put more pressure on yourself as well.

How to help yourself feel calmer and more patient

So what can you do to help yourself through this?

Relaxation techniques

There's a few little techniques, but again as I say with these kinds of emotional issues, you very often find yourself right in the middle of a scenario before you suddenly realise what's going on, and then it can be quite difficult to control. But certainly, if you suddenly think to yourself, "Oh, I'm getting really impatient here," try and do some slow deep breathing. 

And the great thing is that if you practice this every day, it will soon be second nature, and you can fall into this relaxation technique very, very quickly.

Exercise

Exercise is another great way of helping to deal with impatience and irritability. Just even getting out in the fresh air, getting a little bit of peace and quiet away from everybody, and even just some speed walking or brisk walking round the block at lunchtime, can make quite a lot of difference to how you feel on the rest of the day.

Diet

Look at your diet because lots of sugar, lots of processed foods, and if you're not eating either properly, or you're not eating regularly enough, then your blood sugar levels are going to go up and down like a yo-yo, and that will trigger your impatience and your irritability as well.

Reduce your caffeine intake

And look at your caffeine intake. Are you drinking a lot of coffee? You might find that half an hour to an hour after drinking a cup of coffee, suddenly you start to become this very ratty person, so look at what you're drinking as well. And are you drinking enough water? Dehydration will make these symptoms much more likely as well. The other things you can do, take your magnesium. Make sure you're getting enough.

Menopause Support

Take a supplement. Check your diet for all those lovely rich magnesium foods and you could try something like our Menopause Support as well, which helps to just very gently raise and balance your oestrogen. It's got magnesium in it as well, which is, we know, is great for all sorts of things. So hopefully, this has given you a little bit of an idea about this impatience, how it can happen.

Don't feel guilty

Please, if you are in this situation, don't feel guilty. Don't start beating yourself up as well. It's part and parcel of the menopause. Most women will experience this at some point, and sometimes just accepting the situation for what it is, and warning your nearest and dearest that again, this isn't you, this is your hormones talking, and you will be fine at some point. 

So I will look forward to seeing you next week, for another edition of A.Vogel Talks Menopause.

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You won’t get the menopause the minute you turn 50! The average starting age is actually between 45 and 55 and it can often depend on a number of factors including hereditary, weight and health, however every single woman will have an individual menopause.

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