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While anxiety can affect anyone, this psychological symptom is twice as common in women than in men and often strikes during the menopausal transition. Though this condition can strike at any time during a woman's life, hormonal changes can produce feelings of anxiety in women going through menopause.
Anxiety during menopause can range from a mild annoyance to a major disability. While most menopausal women do not necessarily develop a clinical anxiety disorder, these conditions are not uncommon. In fact, anxiety disorders affect more than 40 million Americans.
Women concerned about anxiety during menopause have a variety of treatment options to consider. Anxiety treatment will often depend on a woman's own unique confluence of circumstances including the severity and duration of her symptoms, her mental health history, her current lifestyle, and more.
Talking with a healthcare professional or psychiatrist is usually a good idea if a woman is experiencing prolonged, persistent, or unmanageable anxiety.
In addition to talking to a professional, there are several self-care approaches for anxiety. Please, read on to learn more about anxiety treatment options.
Three Approaches for Treating Anxiety
A woman wishing to treat anxiety has three categories or levels of treatment available to her: (1) lifestyle changes, (2) alternative medicine and (3) medications.
Women are encouraged to begin with the least risky approach to anxiety treatment-lifestyle adjustments. While these are often effective at relieving anxiety, they alone do nothing to address the common underlying cause of anxiety in menopause-hormonal imbalance. Fortunately, natural remedies can be combined with lifestyle changes to safely and effectively treat anxiety. While medical intervention is not usually necessary, some women may benefit from psychotherapy or drug options if they are unable to find relief from natural anxiety treatment. For women considering this option, it is important to understand, and carefully weigh, the risks associated with such anxiety treatment.
1. Lifestyle Changes for Anxiety
Lifestyle changes are the first level of treatment available to women wishing to rid themselves of anxiety. While these changes are usually cost-free and virtually risk-free, they do require the greatest amount of self-discipline and perseverance.
Lifestyle changes for treating anxiety naturally often include making adjustments to things like diet and exercise and making changes to the way you manage stress and other negative emotions. Talking with a trusted friend or professional can help tremendously in helping a woman work through feelings of anxiety.
Stress management and relaxation techniques are extremely valuable to women experiencing anxiety. While many people are unfamiliar with the tremendous benefits of relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, breathing techniques, and visualization, more and more people are discovering just how effective they are in helping a person cope with anxiety, not to mention the stresses and strains of daily life in general.
While food certainly can't cure anxiety, eating healthier can make a difference in the way you feel. Consider the list below for changes in diet.
Anxiety and Changes in Diet
Stay well hydrated
Increase carbohydrates, which increase serotonin levels in the brain to calm you down
Eat smaller, more frequent meals to avoid low blood sugar
Increase intake of tryptophan, found in milk, bananas, soy, nuts, peanut butter, and oats
Reduce intake of caffeine, which can increase nervousness and the jitters
Making lifestyle changes is easier said than done. It can also be difficult to suddenly and drastically change habits and preferences you may have had your whole life. Furthermore, while these changes will help alleviate many symptoms, they do not address the cause of anxiety: hormonal imbalance.
Fortunately, alternative medicine treatments are available to treat the root hormonal imbalance that can cause anxiety during menopause. These natural treatments for anxiety have a much lower risk of side effects, compared to many pharmaceutical drug treatments. Read on to learn more about natural anxiety treatment.
2. Alternative Medicine
Alternative approaches involve little to no risk and can be an extremely effective way to treat all 34 menopause symptoms. This level of approach can involve several different therapies. Herbal remedies are the most prominent, though in addition women may turn to such techniques as acupuncture, biofeedback, massage, or homeopathy. All of these can be valid and effective options, though most women find that herbal remedies are the easiest alternative treatment to follow, as the others require a greater time and monetary commitment. In addition, herbal remedies are the only viable option to treat the hormonal imbalance directly at its source.
In the case of herbal remedies, there are two types of herbs that can be used for treating mood swings: phytoestrogenic and hormone-regulating herbal supplements.. Phytoestrogenic herbs (e.g. black cohosh) contain estrogenic components produced by plants. These herbs, at first, do treat the hormonal imbalance by introducing these plant-based estrogens into the body. However, as a result of adding outside hormones, a woman's body may become less capable of producing estrogen on its own. This causes a further decrease of the body's own hormone levels.
By contrast hormone-regulating herbal supplements, don't contain any estrogen. These herbs stimulate a woman's hormone production by nourishing the pituitary and endocrine glands, causing them to more efficiently produce natural hormones. This ultimately results in balancing not only estrogen, but also progesterone. These supplements (e.g. Macafem) can be considered the safest way to treat these 34 menopause symptoms naturally as the body creates its own hormones and doesn't require any outside assistance.
From "Nature and Health Magazine", Dr. Chacon says:
"Macafem nutrients help restore natural hormones in women. Unlike hormone drugs, which are basically resumed in taking synthetic hormones, Macafem acts totally different in your body. It nourishes and stimulates your own natural hormone production, by inducing the optimal functioning of the pituitary and endocrine glands". Click on the following link if you want to read and learn more about Macafem.
A combination of approaches is usually the most effective route to take. Lifestyle changes combined with alternative medicine will most likely be the best way to alleviate the symptoms of this hormonal imbalance. While this approach is optimal for many women, others will find that they want or need to go to the third level of treatment.
Treatment for anxiety can involve therapeutic approaches including cognitive and behavioral therapies, where a patient is active in her own anxiety treatment and recovery. Therapy with a trusted and trained professional can be very beneficial for women with anxiety that is not relieved with natural self care techniques.
Drug interventions at the third level involve the highest risk and often the highest costs. In the west, the most common drug therapies for treating anxiety include:
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
Anti-anxiety medications (called anxiolytics)
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
HRT may be a quick and strong way to combat hormonal imbalance; but, unfortunately, it entails the risk of serious side effects, including certain types of cancer, as the following study has proven.
In 1991 The National Institute of Health (NIH) launched the Women's Health Initiative (WHI), the largest clinical trial ever undertaken in the United States. The WHI was designed to provide answers concerning possible benefits and risks associated with use of HRT. This study was canceled in July 2002, after it was proven that synthetic hormones increase risks of ovarian and breast cancer as well as heart disease, blood clots, and strokes. The findings were published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), and to this date have not been disputed.
It is important to bear in mind that while all of these drugs have the potential to assist in anxiety relief, they all carry side effect risks, some of which may outweigh any potential benefits. If symptoms are at the level of severity that a woman wishes to consider this option, it is wise to talk to a healthcare professional for guidance.
These three levels of approaches are not mutually exclusive. A woman may use different approaches at different times or any combination of them, depending on the duration and severity of symptoms. Today, more and more women find that dealing with menopause symptoms is best accomplished via a combination of healthy lifestyle and alternative treatments.
A Safe Way for Treating Anxiety
Hormone- regulating herbal supplements for treating hormonal imbalance, as seen in the second approach, are considered to be the most effective solution. Low costs and the non existence of side effects are only some of the reasons why this treatment option is preferred.
Macafem, for example, is an excellent hormone-regulating herbal supplement. It's simple: rather than putting hormones from the outside into the body artificially, Macafem stimulates your hormone glands into producing the necessary hormones naturally. This is what makes Macafem so unique. Click on the following link if you want to learn more about Macafem.
Anxiety and depression are common symptoms of menopause, and this is for a variety of reasons. During menopause, the most common cause is hormonal fluctuations. Intensity can vary from woman to woman, and the onset of these conditions can usually be dealt with the implementation of a few lifestyle changes.
Sleep problems and anxiety are closely interlinked and very unpleasant to live with, especially for menopausal women. Sufferers of either or both of the problems would benefit from learning a few simple home remedies to prevent, contain, or manage them ultimately improving the quality of life.