If you’re 40-plus (or even late 30s), it’s very possible that your first unexpected, unwelcome, peri-menopausal symptom will be stomach-churning, sleep-affecting, anxiety. We believe that anxiety is one of the most common but misunderstood symptoms of menopause. And as there’s evidence that women who feel anxious may be more likely to suffer hot flushes - and frankly feeling inexplicably overwhelmed is horrible – it’s important to find ways to take back control.
“Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A thing” if only we could take Stevie Wonder’s advice! But do you have an overwhelming sense of dread that’s hard to shake off?
Your devastating loss of perspective and confidence can be blamed on depleting levels of oestrogen. When it’s up you’re up and when it’s down…you get the picture. Less progesterone also means less feel-good hormones, and more ‘not feeling like yourself’. Plus, your adrenal glands are now more sensitive to stress hormones produced during menopause, adding to your risk of panic attacks and anxiety. Physical symptoms may include an increased heart rate, difficulty breathing, sweating and stomach problems. Menopause and its accompanying symptoms may be the root of your anxiety, or it may aggravate pre-existing anxiety.
And the good news is….
Simply realising that anxiety is a real menopause symptom, sharing your concerns, and admitting that you are not coping, can be the first step towards dealing with the cloud of dread that hovers over you.
The best ways to deal with anxiety in menopause
Think about when you feel anxious and if there are specific triggers? Simple diet adjustments may help you deal with it, alongside lifestyle changes and exercise.