Does Stress Make Menopause Worse?

Dealing with menopause can be one of the most overwhelming and frustrating times in your life. From sudden hot flashes to fatigue and mood swings, menopause does not play nice. To deal with your symptoms, your doctor may talk about hormone therapy or plant based menopause supplements. Still, you may wonder what role stress has when you’re going through menopause and if it makes menopause symptoms worse. Here’s a quick guide to the relationship between stress and menopause.

How Stress Impacts Menopause

Is stress making your menopause symptoms worse? Or is menopause making your stress levels worse? It’s a chicken and the egg scenario. Menopause often occurs around the same time as other major life changes, and it can feel like a signal that life is about to become much more stressful. But the relationship between stress and menopause is a little more complicated than that. First, you should understand the basics of menopause. 

Menopause 101 – Causes and Symptoms

If you’re like the majority of people going through menopause, then you are experiencing the natural changes in the way that your body produces estrogen and progesterone. These are the two hormones that control things like fertility and libido. You can begin to experience perimenopause years before the main event. This can look like skipped periods, irregular cycles, slower metabolism, and more. You can also experience menopause if you’ve had chemotherapy or an operation to remove your ovaries. 

The most common symptoms of menopause include:

  • Hot flashes 
  • Disruptions to sleep
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Fatigue and mood swings
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Weight gain and slow metabolism

You may be uncertain whether you are experiencing these symptoms since stress can result in similar issues. If you’ve had unexpected episodes where you suddenly become flushed and sweaty, you may ask yourself, “What do hot flashes feel like?” Becoming flushed and sweaty are two clear signs of a hot flash. You may also feel your heart race and your skin become warm to the touch. 

Stress and Menopause

When you’re stressed, your body produces specific hormones as a response. During menopause, the fact that your body is producing less progesterone and estrogen creates a state of flux, throwing you off balance. Too much stress results in high amounts of stress hormones, and dealing with that while your body tries to find a new balance of lower sex hormones can result in more severe symptoms of menopause. You may experience more serious versions of insomnia, anxiety, and depression when dealing with increased stress during menopause.

How To Manage Stress During Menopause

It’s important to make stress management a priority during menopause. You can consider exploring OTC natural supplements for menopause that can help you manage symptoms such as hot flashes if they are causing you extreme stress. There are also many ways to manage stress in your everyday life. Try to include as many of these techniques as possible: 

  • Write in a journal
  • Talk to someone
  • Go on a walk
  • Eat a balanced diet 
  • Reduce alcohol and caffeine 
  • Quit smoking

You don’t have to go through menopause alone. Reach out for support from your friends and family, and talk to your doctor about how to manage your symptoms. Natural supplements are an alternative to hormone therapy and can help you find the relief you deserve.

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