In today’s society, women generally operate in a state of low anxiety or generalized anxiety. Unfortunately, this can turn into a full blown case of panic, anxiety and fear all brought on by the symptoms of menopause.
Anxiety attacks and menopause go hand in hand because of the decreasing levels of estrogen, the hormone that keeps a woman’s body in balance. When menopause begins, and the fertile years are over, the body begins to decrease the levels of estrogen, telling the body that it no longer will be producing offspring.
Anxiety effects women going through menopause both emotionally and physiologically. Earlier thoughts believed that it was just an emotional state, but this is no longer proven to be true. Further thought calls anxiety the outward signs of repressed negative feelings, and inner conflict.
After thirty years of doctors exploring the realm of anxiety it is now known that there are real physiological causes that need to be treated, especially for those who need relief of the menopausal symptoms of anxiety and panic.
Symptoms of anxiety include: shaking, or quaking feelings, rapid heartbeat, and racing thoughts. It is during this time that the body’s natural defense system jumps in and takes over. We all have fear receptors that tell us when there is danger. When having a panic attack, our brain is telling us that there is danger when there isn’t any present. This brain alarm is what turns on our fight or flee mechanism.
The limbic system of our brain is responsible for managing our emotions, including the fight or flee response. It relies on a very complicated web between neurotransmitters, and hormones to fuel the body in the chance that there is real danger.
Anxiety attacks and menopause symptoms include: Irrational fear or dread, Muscl tension and headache, Chest pain, Elevated heart rate, Insomnia, Diarrhea, Nausea, Shortness of breath, Jumpiness, Sudden changes in body temperature (hot flashes), Tearfulness, and Depression.
Estrogen, and progesterone play a huge role in anxiety attacks among menopausal women. Anxiety is commonly the first symptom a woman feels when menopause begins. Women also experience anxiety when they begin to be weaned off of HRT. Estrogen is directly tied to anxiety with the ups and downs of hormone levels. Progesterone also is known to have a very calming effect on your system similar to neurotransmitters. When levels fall, so do our energy and mood.
Menopause does not cause anxiety, but it amplifies what was already present, that is why it is treatable with HRT by getting those hormone levels back in balance. Hormone Replacement Therapy, or using natural remedies, such as Black Cohosh can relieve the symptoms of anxiety and menopause. Be sure to speak to a doctor if you are experiencing any of the symptoms of anxiety and panic. Also make sure that if you choose a natural remedy, you tell your doctor to make sure there are no interactions with other medications that you are taking.
Anxiety and Menopause is a real, physiological phenomenon, but it is treatable with the proper diagnosis, and treatment plan ordered by your physician.