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Menopause And Stress

Menopause And Stress

We are subjected daily to stress, emotional, physical and mental. It comes about through our work, family interactions and social obligations.

All of these forces can contribute to heightened demand on our bodies and minds.

How we deal with it, both mentally and physically, during menopause is very much hormonal as our adrenal glands, the adrenal cortex responds to short term and long term stresses.

Under most conditions our adrenal medulla will respond to stress by producing a "fight or flight" response.

While you'd think our adrenal glands are huge, they are in actuality small weighing in at about 5 grams and reside in the lower back region near our kidneys.

With menopause and as a person ages generally, their function will tend to decline which some researchers refer to as "adrenapause".

As a result, measures need to be taken to keep our adrenal glands as healthy as possible to help in dealing with the stresses in our environment.

Preventative measures can be taken to reduce our stress levels and change the degree to which we mentally cope with and allow stress to affect us.

What this entails is the ability to make alternative choices about what we get involved in.

What we know is a high stress environment should be replaced with something more tranquil as we go through menopause.

When we find ourselves in a situation of high stress that can't be avoided know that our adrenal glands are going to respond poorly and that our hormonal changes, specifically glucocorticoids and catecholamines which are released by the adrenal glands are related to how the body endures the stress.

If you continue to put yourself into high stress situations, your body will have long-term stress reactions by circulating glucocorticoids which are not good for dealing with stress.

By taking specific lifestyle changes like adding exercise, meditation, yoga, and breathing exercises, your hormonal reactions to stress will decrease and you'll in turn become more resilient to daily stresses. Adding a natural herbal supplement will also be of benefit.

Diet Changes

While supplements and herbs are good for stress relief in menopausal women, diet can also play a significant role in how the adrenals react and women's ability to cope with stress. For instance, limiting sugar and caffeine will allow the adrenal glands to put out more energy, so when you are stressed don't add cookies and coffee to the mix.

Stick more with fruits and fresh vegetables which are nutrient-rich food that promote healthy support for the body. Things like kelp and seaweed are also good sources of vitamins needed for glandular health.

It is necessary to maintain a program for supporting the adrenal glands as hormones are reset during menopause.

Emotional Menopause Symptoms

Vitamins And Supplements

There are supplements and herbs which also address adrenal health including Vitamin C, and the B-complex vitamins. These can go a long way and are essential to adrenal health.

Both of these vitamins are water-soluble which means that while necessary, they are depleted quickly and need to be replaced on a consistent basis.

Vitamin C is stored in the adrenal glands in high concentration. It is extremely important for an individual's body health decreasing not only stress levels but increasing the body's resilience to infection.

Some of the herbs that can be used to augment supplements include licorice, ginseng and astragalus.

Astragalus has been a part of Chinese medicine for quite a long time for its benefit to increasing immunity although it is also good for many other mechanisms.

Ginseng has long been known as an energy booster, but it supports the adrenal function as well.

Research has shown improved function ability when an individual encounters stress as well as an increased ability to work following ginseng use.

Of all of the ginsengs available, Siberian ginseng seems to be the best of the ginsengs and comes highly recommended.

For women in menopause, Siberian ginseng also works towards cooling a woman down and lowering the amount of hot flashes induced when used on a regular basis.

Borage leaf is another herb that provides daily support for adrenal health.

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Menopause And Stress
Author Tanna Mayer
Updated January 6, 2013

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