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Menopause and Anxiety: How to Bring Natural Relief

Aug 17, 2007
Even though menopause is a natural stage that happens in life of a woman, it often creates anxiety due to misunderstanding of physiological changes. Menopause and anxiety should be understood as cause and effect due to the decline of estrogen level in a woman. Thus, proper treatment for menopause can effectively bring emotional relief and eliminate depression and low-esteem in women.

Emotional Changes in Menopause

Menopause is characterized by a permanent cessation of natural menstrual cycle of a woman. The production of the estrogen hormone reduces significantly in a woman during menopause causing her ovaries to stop producing eggs. As the estrogen level drops, the blood vessels expand rapidly leading to temperature rise in the the skin. This can further cause hot flashes that can be felt around the chest, shoulders, head, and neck. The sudden spread of warmth makes the woman to sweat and feel soaked. Many women also experience raid heart beating, insomnia, irritability, and restlessness. All those feelings then create psychological symptoms that include mood swings, depression and anxiety.

Sex and Weight Gain Factors

The feeling of anxiety during menopause could also be caused by misconception of sex and weight gain. There is a myth that a woman will lose her sexual desire during menopause, but in fact the midlife years can be a great time to enhance the sexual experience as there is no restriction from having to use birth control due concerns of possible pregnancy. In the case of vaginal dryness or painful intercourse, the woman can always apply lubricants or creams. After all, sex is about emotional feeling and is free of any hormonal changes.

Another factor that often leads to anxiety during menopause is the fear of weight gain. Biologically the fall of estrogen level can slow down the metabolism, which potentially results in weight gain. Because of this, it is important for women in menopause to maintain a balanced diet. Diet should be particularly high in Calcium and Phytoestrogens, chemicals that mimic and supplement estrogen-like hormones. Phytoestrogens are useful to maintain proper bone density post menopause. These chemicals can be found in soy bean, tofu, linseed, rice, oat, and red clover.

Other Useful Things to Do

Some other things that a woman can do to reduce anxiety and depression feelings during menopause are:

Regular exercise: doing routine exercise can significantly reduce hot flashes. Mild exercises such as walking, climbing stairs, swimming or lifting weight help to strengthen the bones and decrease the risk of osteoporosis.

Proper sleep: if a woman has trouble going to sleep during menopause, it will be a good choice to take a hot shower before bedtime or drink a glass of warm milk. Taking sleeping pill occasionally is also recommended, with doctor prescription.

Social activity: post menopause, some women find a new hobby like writing, gardening or pottery. Others meet old friends once a week for social. Basically, focusing on other useful things can significantly increase the quality of life post menopause.

Physiological changes in menopause are inevitable and normal. They may bring feelings of anxiety, depression, and moodiness. However, understanding on menopause treatment can greatly increase the awareness of psychological effects of it.
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