Anxiety in Perimenopause
One of the most drastic changes the female body undergoes is menopause. Though it's a natural process, it can be quite an ordeal for some women. To complicate matters, this change may take many years and the perimenopause or transition stage can seem like forever. During perimenopause, the hormone estrogen fluctuates unevenly, causing many unpleasant symptoms. One of these uncomfortable symptoms is anxiety.
While anxiety can have many sources, often women in perimenopause will experience unexplained increases in this emotion, along with symptoms such as shortness of breath, heart palpitations, dizziness, fatigue, chills or sweating, hot flashes, nausea, and muscle pain. Prolonged or aggravated symptoms can lead to panic attacks or depression. Hormone imbalance is at the root of these episodes of anxiety, causing adrenal fatigue and sometimes thyroid imbalance.
The treatment for anxiety caused by hormone imbalance will differ for each individual. For some women, the answer is taking supplemental hormones. For others seeking a more holistic approach, herbal remedies often hold the key to a gentle re-balancing of body systems. Medical professionals strongly advocate a healthy diet, regular exercise, and plenty of sleep as ways to keep the body functioning optimally, which will decrease physical stress and anxiety. If perimenopausal symptoms match those of a thyroid imbalance, it's prudent to have a physician check thyroid hormone levels. Taking multivitamins and mineral supplements are highly recommended, especially the vitamin B-6 which helps produce serotonin in the brain, and minerals such as calcium and magnesium.
Most importantly, women experiencing anxiety need to find ways to relax and distract their minds from their worries. Activities like yoga and meditation are wonderful ways to calm the mind and balance both mind and body. Perimenopause is often a turbulent time, but the important thing to remember is that this natural process will end. And most of the time, it ends for the better.
By Suzy Bennet