Since you so many of you ladies reach out to me with complaints and concerns about anxiety during perimenopause, I want to continue to discuss it.
It is a very important topic, and a symptom which almost always results in physicians handing us prescriptions for anti-anxiety medication and anti-depressants. Personally, I find it all deeply frustrating.
I am sure that many people truly need and are happy to have anti-anxiety meds and anti-depressants. But, I cannot help but question why it’s the unquestioned go-to solution for nearly every darn physician for just about everything.
I took my question and frustrations to Body LogicMd. Dr. Jen Landa, the Chief Medical Officer of Body Logic responded. Her answer is very thorough and she covers several important topics. So, I’m going to break up her answer into a couple of posts to give you all a chance to thoroughly digest it.
Too many of us suffer with anxiety and panic attacks during perimenopause. It is my deepest desire and hope that we fine real solutions which actually speak to the source of the problem, rather than simply masking it with medications that do not fix anything.
What Causes Anxiety in Perimenopause?
Anxiety during perimenopause is a very common issue. All too commonly it is treated by primary care doctors, psychiatrists and even gynecologist using SSRI medications like Zoloft or Prozac. But, alas, as I am fond of saying, these women DO NOT have a Zoloft deficiency. It is more likely that they have a progesterone deficiency.
In a normally cycling woman, the hormones estrogen and progesterone exist in perfect harmony, rising and falling at set times in a woman’s cycle to control her bleeding but also to keep her feeling her best. Around age 30, but many times even younger, progesterone levels start to fall.
The problem begins here because progesterone is a woman’s calming hormone. Without progesterone women may begin to feel more overwhelmed and easily stressed. In many women, this leads to anxiety issues, including tension headaches, palpitations, digestive issues and more – and in some cases, even full blown panic disorder.
When stressed, the human body manufactures the stress hormone, cortisol. All hormones are made from essentially one parent hormone. To keep up with stress, the body will preferentially make cortisol, therefore all the other hormones suffer, chiefly progesterone. So, the more stressed an individual is, the more suppressed progesterone production becomes, often exacerbating anxiety symptoms.
To be continued………
Dr. Jennifer Landa is the Chief Medical Officer for BodyLogicMD and practices anti-aging and preventive medicine at BodyLogicMD of Orlando, helping women and men suffering from menopause, andropause and other hormone imbalances achieve a longer, better life. Using individual, customized wellness programs tailored to address each patient’s specific, personal needs, Dr. Landa combines customized nutrition and fitness regimens, pharmaceutical-grade supplements, stress reduction techniques and natural bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) to ensure her patients enjoy restored energy, improved mental clarity and the highest quality of life possible.
Dr. Landa stresses the importance of treating the whole patient by finding the root of the issue, instead of simply using a one-size-fits-all treatment approach for individual symptoms. her practice emphasizes the prevention of disease and encouraging optimal overall health, rather than tackling illness once it has already occurred. Dr. Landa is passionate about sharing her knowledge and experience to ensure each and every patient can enjoy living life to the fullest. The BodyLogicMD of Orlanda office is located at 175 Lookout Place, Suite 200 Maitland, FL 32751. P: (407) 287-6315