Hot flushes are the best known symptom through the peri-menopause years and beyond but for many women, menopausal mood changes are far more devastating.
Many experience anxiety, low mood, difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness, lack of confidence and self-esteem and low energy levels for up to ten years.
You may find yourself feeling tearful for no reason, or constantly snapping at your partner and children. I know when I was (unknowingly) going through the menopause in my 30’s this anger really frightened me. I felt I was totally out of control of my actions and reactions.
These negative emotions that so often arise when you need to be firing on all cylinders, on the ball, because you may have a high-pressure job, or be sandwiched between caring for teenagers and elderly parents. It’s all added STRESS, and you all know how increased stress is the greatest pre-cursor to unpleasant menopause symptoms and weight gain.
Mid-life can be tough
Unfortunately hormone levels don’t drop in a steady, consistent or considerate way. The hormonal discord that occurs, particularly during peri-menopause (4-10 years before your last period), can lead to common symptoms of hot flushes, night sweats, depression, disturbed sleep, irritability, anxiety and memory problems.
It’s a hormonal roller-coaster!
Which means your mood swings are affected by what is going on in your body as well as what is going on in your life.
There are oestrogen receptors all over the body, including the brain.
One of the roles of oestrogen in the brain is to block the breakdown of serotonin, the happy chemical.
So when oestrogen levels drop during peri-menopause, so can serotonin levels, which impact on how you feel emotionally.
Changes to the adrenal glands also mean you can become more sensitive to stress hormones during the menopause, which means you are more likely to suffer from anxiety and panic attacks, maybe even find that you are more tearful?
This low level of serotonin is also thought to be why so many women experience increased levels of rage, anger and irritation at this time of life. This was so me! If only I knew then what I know now things could have been so very different.
When you feel anxious, and your stress hormones are raised, your brain is on the receiving end of ‘fear chemicals’, which can make you question your ability to cope with things that you may previously have taken in your stride.
In evolutionary terms, it was designed to make us retreat into our caves and stay away from danger, which is why you may want to retreat from social events like parties or meeting new people, and suddenly start struggling with big meetings or presentations at work.
Studies show that hormone imbalances can also trigger negative thinking which can undermine your confidence.
When you have low confidence or self-esteem, all you can see is your weaknesses and failures.
When things don’t go well, you blame your personal failings which means you’re less likely to try again.
Does this sound familiar?
Important note: Although symptoms can be attributable to menopause, if you are feeling irritable and sad and finding it increasingly difficult to cope please do visit your doctor to explain how you feel.
Often these feelings can be managed quite easily with lifestyle style changes, for example learning simple ways to relax and reduce stress.
Here are some tips that can help you naturally manage your fluctuating hormones, create more balance, calm and harmony in your life:
If at any time you feel totally overwhelmed, please do go and see your doctor as soon as possible.
All the above embrace the philosophy of the Vibrant Life membership programmes. Remember, however low you feel, you are not alone in feeling this way, and there is always something you can do to help yourself.
Wishing you health and happiness as always.
Helping busy ladies naturally create harmony and health through the menopause years and beyond. Regain control, confidence, and be free to live the life they choose.
A full hysterectomy in her 30s led nutritional therapist and health coach Clare on an amazing adventure exploring the many opportunities available to manage her enforced menopause and create long-term health.
Clare prefers the natural approach, and qualifying in nutritional therapy gave her the confidence to come off HRT, take back control of her life and health, and look forward to living the best third of her life free of prescription drugs. Understanding the importance of creating harmony of health of both body and mind through menopause and beyond, she’s now on a mission to inspire, educate and empower other women, too. Help them create their ‘new life’.
Click HERE to find out more about how Clare shares her years of exploring, experience and knowledge through 1:1 consultations, speaking and online programmes, and where you can request a FREE 30 minute consultation with Clare to discuss any personal menopause/health concerns you may have.
Registered Nutritional Therapist
Member of the British Menopause Society
Award winning Menopause Coach & Educator