Panic, palpitations and impending doom

As we career towards menopause, our reproductive hormones can have a huge impact on our emotions. One common feeling I hear many women experience during peri-menopause and menopause is anxiety. The feeling is anxiety can be so overwhelming. The feeling of panic, palpitations and impending doom. Not only can you question yourself and your ability, but you can also lose your self esteem. Anxiety can come in many forms. It can also be a wake up call that something needs attention.

Anxiety is a symptom of an imbalance

Now in Chinese medicine, anxiety is a symptom of an imbalance in our body. It is not something that needs to be suffered. There are many other symptoms that may accompany anxiety. Every woman’s experience is unique and some symptoms they may be experiences are memory loss, lack of clarity, depression as well as fluctuating emotions, rage, irritability, inability to sleep and so on. You are not alone. Many women going through menopause and perimenopause experience this.

When we reach middle age, not only are we dealing with changes to our body, there are also often many changes to other life stressors, such as growing children and ageing parents. This can all have a toll on our health.

Menopause and peri-menopause is not a disease

Menopause and peri-menopause are a natural transition from reproductive years to the wise woman. It is not a disease. When you understand the reproductive organs and the effects on the body, you can understand why a decline in them during menopause can create such havoc to our body and emotions.

About your hormones

Progesterone is our calming hormone, so when it reduces it is understandable we can feel stressed, anxious and irritable. Estrogen has an effect on our blood vessels and a lack of it can cause our blood vessels to constrict which may result in that lack of clarity, becoming clumsy as well as stiffness and lack of flexibility in our muscles. As we go through menopause the ovaries production of estrogen and progesterone decrease. However, and this is not often explained, the adrenal glands also secrete progesterone and they take over the role as the ovaries decline.

The problem in our society is by the time we reach menopausal age; our adrenal glands are very depleted because of the stressful life we live.

What you can do about anxiety during menopause

But it is not all bad news.  There is a lot you can do to help restore hormonal balance and meet menopause with ease and balance. This includes life style changes and stress reduction.

Chinese medicine, usually a combination of acupuncture, herbal medicine and advice on lifestyle and diet can support the transition to menopause. The treatment is individualized according to what symptoms are being experienced. If you are experiencing anxiety in your perimenopause and menopause years, and are looking for help with symptoms that are destroying your quality of life, please find a Chinese medicine practitioner experienced in treating menopausal symptoms.

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