A survey by Anxiety UK and Kalms has revealed that 98% of women report feelings of anxiety during the menopause and peri-menopause
Sixty-one per cent of these women have been recommended anti-depressants to treat their anxiety.
“Anxiety is a prevalent symptom of the menopause, but awareness among women and indeed health care practitioners is low,” says Anxiety UK CEO Nicky Lidbetter.
“Societally, most of us are familiar with hot flushes and weight gain as being symptoms of the menopause.
“This survey, however, shows that we need to get much better at recognising anxiety as being a key symptom.
“Indeed, Anxiety UK wants all women experiencing menopausal and peri-menopausal anxiety to have fast access to support and a wide range of treatments.”
Anxiety occurs when your body’s ‘fight or flight’ defence works continuously.
An imbalance in the way the body processes environmental and sensory stimuli leads to a disproportionate ‘excitatory’ response, and excessive release of neurotransmitters between nerve cells in the brain.
This leads to overstimulation of the nervous system and feelings of anxiety.
During the menopause and peri-menopause, changing hormone levels contribute to this imbalance in the brain and heightened levels of anxiety.
“When you start the menopause, oestrogen levels begin to decline and fluctuate,” says Kathy Abernethy, former chair of the British Menopause Society.
“Your body also produces less progesterone. Both of these hormones influence the production of a neurotransmitter called serotonin, which is a mood-regulating transmitter.
“Alongside these emotional changes, coping with physical symptoms, such as sleeplessness and hot flushes, can leave women feeling worn-out, frustrated and, of course, anxious.”
According to a new Public Health England (PHE) report, women are 1.5 times more likely to be prescribed drugs, such as benzodiazepines, than men.
As a habit-forming drug, benzodiasepines are highly addictive. Withdrawal symptoms include sweating, nausea and anxiety – creating a dependancy cycle.
Research suggests that there is a non-addictive alternative to benxodiazepenes for subthreshold anxiety sufferers – lavender oil.
Uniquely prepared, pharmaceutical quality lavender oil has been shown to reduce excessive neurotransmitter activity, reducing overstimulation and hyperactivity of the nervous response and improving symptoms of mild anxiety.
“More than 15 clinical trials show that lavender oil is effective at reducing the psychological and physical symptoms of anxiety,” says Professor Hans Peter Volz, professor of psychiatry and an expert in the clinical effects of lavender oil.
“The effects are comparable to treatment with pharmacological medication, including benzodiazepines, but without the common side effects such as sedation or addiction.”
For the anxiety-relieving effects of uniquely prepared, pharmaceutical quality lavender oil, try Kalms Lavender One-A-Day Capsules.