Stress Less at Menopause

21 Jan 2012 1:57 PMChristine Barnes

A major obstacle to experiencing a healthy Menopause (women) or Andropause (men) is stress. Stress experienced pre the onset of menopause or during menopause can exacerbate common symptoms such as hot flushes and night sweats and cause them to occur more frequently and/or at an increased intensity.


What may normally be mild, temporary and tolerable menopausal symptoms can be exacerbated by stress to a level that negatively impacts on your ability to function as well as potentially damaging your long-term health and happiness. 


The good news is that we can do something about it - and the time to start is now! Wherever you are in your life cycle you can make positive changes to your level of wellness that can minimise or even prevent experiencing commonly known symptoms of Menopause. If you’re not sure if the symptoms you or your partner are currently experiencing are associated with Menopause, you can discover more information about Menopause and the potential associated symptoms and solutions here.


We’re all unique individuals with unique genetics and lifestyles, so if you are concerned about Menopause, I recommend having your individual health, lifestyle, and genetic pre-disposition investigated by a professional in order for you to receive specific advice on the best dietary, supplemental and lifestyle adjustments that will support this important time of your life cycle.  Prioritising stress management as part of your wellness protocol during this period will not only minimise the potential symptoms associated with Menopause, it will positively impact on your overall quality of life setting you up for a positive and vibrant state of health that will support your potential to thrive well into the future.


The bottom line is that our cortisol (stress hormone) levels rise as we age and this can cause us to be more sensitive to stressful situations in general. Previous unresolved emotions can also begin to impact negatively in subtle ways that cause the body and mind to experience slightly higher levels of stress, and they too can begin to negatively impact on our health, happiness and relationships. Fears and unexpressed anger (among many other emotions) have been known to impact on bodily functions since the early 1900s. Leah Hechtman, in her groundbreaking book Clinical Naturopathic Medicine published in 2011 suggests that such unexpressed emotions can negatively affect the hypothalamus and even influence our peripheral movement. 


Our immune processes are indeed influenced by what and how we think, so a great way to begin managing and reducing our stress (and, in turn, our symptoms) is to incorporate simple, easy techniques (such as meditation, relaxation and specific breathing practices) into our everyday lives.


If you’ve been experiencing stress for some time, you can read more about the stress response and the increased loss of vitamin C here. In short, stress management, together with specific nutritional protocols, are particularly important to address imbalances and reduce existing symptoms.  In the longer term, diet, exercise, positive psychology and a variety of evidenced based therapies (such as herbal medicine) are beneficial not only in the support of the nervous system but also in adjusting hormonal fluctuations. In addition, the introduction of these protocols into your life will increase your energy and help you feel more relaxed. 


Herbal Medicine is an excellent tool if you are experiencing any sleep issues commonly associated with Menopause. Professionally prescribed herbal medicine is formulated and created especially for you and your unique symptom profile. The advantage is that your prescription can be continuously reformulated to meet the wide variety of symptoms that can arise throughout the periods of peri-menopause (prior to the period ceasing), menopausal (when the period initially stops), and post-menopause (after the period doesn’t return and symptoms cease).  Used in conjunction with specific breathing and relaxation techniques, the application of individually prescribed herbal medicine can bring fast, simple and effective relief to symptoms and support your journey towards a more positive state of health as well as improved functioning post Menopause. Read more here about evidenced based herbal medicine that has proven to be helpful for a variety of Menopause symptoms. However, keep in mind that no one herb is a panacea and a prescribed, herbal medicine formulation that is uniquely designed for your specific symptom picture will bring optimal results.


Stress negatively impacts our ability to assimilate nutrients from our diet and this impacts on our mood and energy levels. Over time these deficiencies can contribute to symptoms. General supplementation will ward off some deficiencies but, if you are experiencing symptoms, or have a pre-existing digestive issue, professional naturopathic/nutritionist treatment is recommended. Read more here on suggested foods and nutrients that may help reduce symptoms and manage Menopause.


The symptoms that may be experienced during Menopause can range from mild and few to many and severe. Evidenced based Natural Medicine is well placed to help reduce not only your symptoms, but generally increase your functioning to allow you to move into higher levels of wellness during Menopause and thrive as we age. Natural Medicine protocols (such as are found in Naturopathy treatments) also provide solutions to the foundational sources of the symptoms whilst reducing symptoms safely. They do so without contributing to any further health issues - indeed, they minimise the potential of chronic healthy issues.


Where to go from here?

  1. Down load your free e-book “Ten Resolutions to Improve Your Health” from here
  2. Check out general health hints and tips for Menopause here.
  3. Start introducing the 10 easy Steps to help Manage Menopause found here into your life.
  4. Begin to introduce the 11 easy Steps to help Reduce Stress found here
  5. If symptoms persist schedule an individualised personal consultation here or phone Christine direct on 0421 379 615.

We are all in this together. Tell us about your experiences with menopause. What symptoms do/did you experience? 


Please note: If you are experiencing Stress, and/or Depression that is more than just a low mood – it’s a serious illness. While we all feel sad, moody or low from time to time, some people experience these feelings intensely, for long periods of time and often without reason. One in five people experience depression at some stage of their lives.


If you are depressed or finding it hard to cope, help is available 24 hrs a day at Lifeline 13 11 14 24.