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: 

  1. Serotonin – known as the “happy hormone” & affects our mood.  It declines with age & decreasing estrogen levels
  2. Estrogen – calms the fear response by increasing serotonin. Lowering estrogen happens during menopause
  3. Progesterone – is known as the ‘calming hormone’ that may influence GABA – also lowers during menopause
  4. 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.   

  1. Keep your diet low in saturated fats & animal proteins
  2. Focus on lots of vegetables & colorful foods rich in antioxidants
  3. Foods high in B-vitamins & fiber
  4. Brain healthy & hormone healthy fats
  5. Cut out the sugary foods & processed foods
  6. 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

  1. Get proper sleep & have a sleep routine
  2. Get out in nature daily
  3. Learn to meditate and breath deeply 
  4. Take care of yourself and ensure self-care time
  5. Maintain a practice of gratitude or write in a journal
  6. Prioritize downtime with family or friends

Which one(s) will you commit to incorporating today?