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I just joined this group and am happy to have found you!
I think I am starting menopause and am wondering about the anxiety issues that come with it. I just turned 50, and have been having irregular periods for a few months. (I had two full months without a period and thought I was on my way, and then started again. It lasted the usual amount of time, had a week without, and then it started again and I've been bleeding every day for about 3 weeks now. It hasn't been heavy, but it's been there every day!)
The period part is not what is bothering me. I seem to be having anxiety issues - and these hit me especially at night. Sometimes during the day I will feel anxious and have trouble breathing and have some chest pain or pain in the area under my breasts. But it bothers me most at night. I sit down to read or watch t.v. and sometimes I feel like I want to crawl out of my skin. I have some trouble breathing, some chest pain or pain under the breast area, and sometimes, it feels like my heart is going to beat out of my chest. Some nights this keeps me from getting a good night's sleep. I am at the point where I take a small piece of a muscle relaxer to help me get some sleep. (Sometimes I need this in order to help me with some muscle ache - it is more noticeable in colder weather).
About a year and a half ago, I was having these kinds of issues even during the day, and my doctor told me he thought they were an anxiety issue. He prescribed a beta blocker (metoprolol) and it helped for awhile. But I am apparently pretty sensitive to drugs, because a few months after taking this regularly, I started having some side effects that were worse than what I was taking the pill for! I still take it on occasion to try and help me sleep but it's not a good answer to all of this! I try not to let the symptoms get to me but at times I can't help but worry about whether I'm having a heart issue. It can freak me out! There are also times at night when I try to sleep on my left side, but I start to feel like I can't breathe and I can feel my heart beating harder on that side. So I have to turn over.
I was just wondering if anyone has any had any success with any remedies for this?? I would appreciate any advice. I am getting into regular treadmill work and eventually want to get into meditation and yoga - I just haven't been able to get that accomplished yet! Is there anything natural that I can try??
Thanks so much for your help! :)
One of our bloggers, Sheryl, actually has a post all about Menopause and Anxiety. She writes: with respect to anxiety, women in the perimenopausal period are more likely to experience panic attacks and other anxiety symptoms than other women of the same age who are either pre- or postmenopausal. Once menopause passes, many women find that their level of anxiety decreases. However, in addition to hormonal changes, there are often many other factors that contribute to the development of anxiety during menopause. For example, women who suffer more physical symptoms, experience negative life events or who are less functional are more likely to develop an anxiety disorder during menopause than women without these additional stressors. So, it is important not to ignore other possible causes of anxiety—just because a woman may be experiencing menopause. Treatment of anxiety is always warranted if there is significant distress or functional impairment.
Hi, I finally just went through menopause at age 57, so I can empathize with your uncertainty. I thought I was there about a year and a half ago, but I continued to have periods once every 3 months for a year and a half, before they finally stopped. They were relatively normal periods -- lasted about a week, with heavy flow at the start and lighter as it went on. My doctor recently tested my FSH levels and did a pelvic ultrasound to verify that I was post-menopausal and didn't have any issues going on with my uterus. All is well with me.
However, I have a good friend who had a lot of issues with bleeding -- she bled continually for about 10 months before she got it checked out. And that wasn't a good thing. The lining of her uterus was building up and then sloughing off, causing excessive bleeding that eventually landed her in the emergency room. Her doctor is monitoring her carefully to make sure she doesn't have any tumors or cancer. She now takes some medication (not sure what) to ensure that her uterus lining doesn't build up excessively.
So, my advice to you woud definitely be to go back to your doctor and discuss your issues. Irregular bleeding is normal as you approach menopause, but it can also be a sign of problems. And, your anxiety issues definitely need another look. There are many, many anti-anxiety medications out there, and it can take a while to find the right one. (I've been on the right one and the wrong one, so I know first-hand.) Anti-anxiety meds are probably a better route than taking sleep aids or muscle relaxants, which aren't prescribed for anxiety. If you opt to try anti-anxiety meds again, tell your doctor to start you at the lowest possible dose, because of how you reacted previously. Everyone reacts differently.
I also encourage you to continue with your exercise -- regular exercise can be a tremendous mood regulator. If possible, maybe you could walk on a treadmill or ride an exercise bike in the evenings -- that might help you avoid the feelings that seem to be hitting you when you sit down to watch TV. My sister does about 45 mins. on her exercise bike almost every evening while watching TV -- and she's lost a lot of weight doing it (and watching her diet). You should try to finish exercising about 2 hours before bedtime, so it doesn't interfere with your sleep.
I also advocate trying yoga, meditation or any other form of exercise that you enjoy -- tai chi is another relaxing/centering exercise for some. I've been practicing yoga for over two years now, and it really does help calm me and center me, as well as offering the physical benefits of improved balance, flexibility and strength. I like variety in my workouts, so I do a combination of walking, elliptical, yoga and weight-lifting -- sometimes trying other things like other exercise classes, tennis and rowing.
Here's a link to HealthyWomen's health topic on Menopause: http://www.healthywomen.org/condition/menopause
and to its Perimenopause Health Center: http://www.healthywomen.org/healthcenter/perimenopause
Hope this helps -- and best of luck going through this transitional time.
Anxiety during menopause can run from a gentle irritation to a significant incapacity. Ladies worried about anxiety during menopause have a mixture of treatment options to consider. In addition to conversing with an expert, there are a few look toward oneself after anxiety. Stress management and relaxation methods are to a great degree profitable to ladies encountering anxiety. While food unquestionably can't cure anxiety, consuming healthier can have any kind of effect in the way you feel. A decent place to start tending to anxiety in perimenopause is by adjusting your hormones. Bioidentical progesterone additionally assists with sleep deprivation which can easily stretch nervousness and anxiety.