Is there a connection between anxiety and menopause?
Research has shown that women who experience anxiety are 3-5x more likely to have hot flashes – there is definitely a connection or relationship with peri & menopause.
Personally, from tracking my hot flash triggers worry or anxiety & hot flashes come hand in hand, yet sometimes I can’t tell which comes first.
The most common anxiety symptoms are tension, nervousness, panic & worry….but did you know it can show up as physical symptoms too, like an upset stomach, sweating, headaches & racing heart?
Why does it seem to be worse during menopause?
Anxiety is influenced by fluctuation & declining hormones which is why we may notice it more during midlife & menopause.
These hormones include:
- Serotonin – known as the “happy hormone” & affects our mood. It declines with age & decreasing estrogen levels
- Estrogen – calms the fear response by increasing serotonin. Lowering estrogen happens during menopause
- Progesterone – is known as the ‘calming hormone’ that may influence GABA – also lowers during menopause
- GABA – neurotransmitter that produces a calming effect
Biologically, our body knows how to balance this interplay of our hormones but we need to support our body with proper foods & lifestyle habits so it can.
Find out here what the foods are critical to be eating during peri & menopause.
Foods & healthy dietary habits will make a difference for anxiety.
- Keep your diet low in saturated fats & animal proteins
- Focus on lots of vegetables & colorful foods rich in antioxidants
- Foods high in B-vitamins & fiber
- Brain healthy & hormone healthy fats
- Cut out the sugary foods & processed foods
- Think about your alcohol intake & switch to relaxing herbal teas after a hard day
Let’s review some healthy lifestyle habits that can reduce anxiety & stress
- Get proper sleep & have a sleep routine
- Get out in nature daily
- Learn to meditate and breath deeply
- Take care of yourself and ensure self-care time
- Maintain a practice of gratitude or write in a journal
- Prioritize downtime with family or friends
Which one(s) will you commit to incorporating today?