Panic Attacks and Natural Menopause Relief

Published: 20th August 2008
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When my friend arrived at the airport to fly to Norway, she began panicking. Her breathing became erratic, her heart was racing, she was shaking and thought it was a heart attack. This was my first exposure to a panic attack. Eventually we discovered the reason behind her anxiety: a hormonal imbalance brought on by menopause and constant stress.

This was my first introduction to a panic attack, in fact, I had never even heard the term. When we found that it was her hormones that had become severely imbalanced due to constant stress, it made sense that the stress of international travel just pushed her over the edge.

She was a wonderful woman, but had the bad habit of completely over-committing herself. Her heart was always open to help others, often to the point of self-neglect. On top of it all, she saw this as a sign of religious dedication and selflessness.

Her kitchen was full of naturalistic remedies, but her real problem was adrenal fatigue. No tonic or herbal substance can replace rest and sleep. Her life was a continual whirlwind of activity, all for a good cause, for sure; but in the end she essentially just burnt out.

Adrenal fatigue and anxiety

The relationship between adrenal fatigue and panic attacks mights seem distant at first. However, once you see how stress and exhaustion drain the body and cause a hormonal imbalance, it all becomes very simple and clear.

Adrenal fatigue takes place when the body is subjected to incessant stress. The adrenal glands are responsible for the production of adrenaline, which gives you that burst of energy to react to stressful situations. When the demands are continual and unrelenting, eventually adrenal fatigue sets in and you become very vulnerable to many symptoms, such as a panic attack.

During menopause this is often magnified because the natural production of progesterone diminishes. The progesterone normally helps to bring a calming and balancing effect, but when the supplies are low, anxiety and tension often take over.

Is there a natural remedy?

For people with severe anxiety disorders, medications can help. For most women, who have subclinical and chronic anxiety or panic attacks, there are safe and gentle natural methods to find relief. There are phyical and emotional causes, each must be addressed to get a lasting solution.

Many women are on the go constantly. With demands from stressful jobs, raising children, caring for parents, and relationship issues, it comes as no surprise that panic attacks are one of the most common symptoms of menopause.

The emotional aspects

Learn to say no. My dear friend just could not turn down a request for a favor, to her own demise. You just cannot do everything, nor should you
Take steps to manage the stress at work. Maybe that new promotion just is not worth the stress.
Get some help with your work. Siblings, relatives, and friends might be able to share the load. Perhaps a trade of labor could work out for everyone.
Resolve the relationship issues, if possible. Things left to themselves tend to decay. The peace of mind from a healthy love life is immeasurable.

The phsical side

Take time to rest. Learn the art of napping. Nobody can live a healthy life with 4-6 hours of sleep a night- at least not for long.
Take care of you mental and physical health. No need to be a martyr! Get exercise and fresh air, make sure your diet is full of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Find a good source of high quality vitamin and mineral supplements. The idea is to help your body recover it's hormonal balance.
Try various natural menopause remedies. There are quite a few available, such as flax seed, red clover, progesterone cream, black cohosh and maca. One may not work for you, but almost certainly something will help you. Give it time, experiment, monitor the results, or lack thereof.
Never give up!

Randy Hough and Laura Simon, MSW,MEd,have worked together to create a>family stress blog and a menopause relief web site. They live and work in the beautiful Upper Valley of Vermont.

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