Approximately 45% of women will experience psychogenic symptoms in perimenopause, the main symptom of which is anxiety but also includes irritability, sleep disturbance and loss of confidence.
The increased risk of anxiety in perimenopause results from the loss of progesterone. Progesterone helps to regulate the nervous system, reducing the stress response and producing a calming, anti-anxiety effect. Anxiety in perimenopause may be initiated by a shift in hormones but a holistic approach to supporting the nervous system should combine both physiological and psychological support. 5 ways to manage anxiety in perimenopause: 1. Magnesium: alleviates stress and anxiety and has a powerful influence on hormone balance. In addition to magnesium supplements and magnesium rich foods (pumpkin seeds, almonds, green leafy vegetables, legumes, whole grains), the relaxing benefits of magnesium may be achieved by having a warm bath with magnesium salts (Epsom salts). 2. Taurine: an amino acid which soothes the nervous system. Taurine is found in high amounts in shellfish, especially scallops. 3. Reduce or eliminate your caffeine intake. Caffeine is a stimulant which can produce symptoms of anxiety especially in people who are sensitive to it's effects. 4. Exercise: raising your heart rate changes brain chemistry and increases the availability of anti-anxiety neurochemicals. 5. Get support. Midlife counselling or coaching can help you explore the changes in midlife and provide you with tools to help to manage anxiety. If you need support with your midlife hormonal transition or you are not sure where to find the support you need, contact me here so I may help you get on track.