MY MENOPAUSE DIARY

Stress, Peri/Menopause & Wonder Woman

Fiona Catchpowle

18 January 2021

What do stress, peri-menopause, menopause and beyond have in common with Wonder Woman? 

This is not a knock-knock joke, but basically we are all naturally ‘Wonder Women’ and I don’t need a fancy costume to tell me that, although if I had legs that great I’d probably wear one every day. We are all, probably, experiencing chronic stress, which could be making your symptoms worse. 

I hope this Monday morning in #Lockdown 3.0.2 or whatever it is, finds you well and energetic? It’s highly possible that energetic is not quite the right word in these times. In addition to that, if your perimenopause or menopause symptoms are off the scale then you are probably finding there are times that you really need to stop and listen to your body. We all over do it. We but even you, Ms Wonder Woman, needs a day off every now and then.

Hormonal decline over age

This is happening in the background on top of your stress!

Stress, worry and anxiety are strongly linked to fluctuations in levels of inflammatory markers, which can compromise the immune system and how the body responds to certain situations. Inflammation is partly caused by cytokines, chemicals that are released by stress. So if you’re stressed you’ll release more of these chemicals, increasing the amount of inflammation in your body.
Inflammation basically creates wear and tear on the body that may, across time, have implications for physical health.

Stress can be good for us as it triggers our adaptive energy needs when we need it. But when worry, anxiety and stress become chronic (long term) and mismanaged it is a detriment to our health and well-being. We become less sensitive to our stress hormones and eventually it impairs the immune system, which is designed to repair us after stress has gone, but if the stress doesn’t go away then the immune system is in on a constant treadmill of repair. And researchers have found that chronic psychological stress is associated with the body losing its ability to regulate the inflammatory response.

“Even ‘Wonder Woman’ needs a day off every now and then!”

How does stress manifest in a peri/menopausal body?

Our head explodes! … kind of … or we may just increase the severity of our meno symptoms as our body is already on overload dealing with the stress, and once you throw in declining levels of oestrogen and progesterone, who are good mates with cortisol, it’s like your best players in the netball team are having the day off.
As you will know if you’ve read my book, hormonal decline is happening with or without you. It’s not one of your controllables, but what you put in on and around your body is. It’s also wort noting that if you are naturally cycling (regular periods) you will respond differently to when you are having irregular periods, and declining levels at the same time. It’s like a ski slope with loads of moguls – essentially you are going down the mountain but sometimes you will be going upwards.

I have a wee fix on the horizon to help you find some relaxation good habits.
On Tuesday 24th January at 8pm I will be LIVE on Zoom with Kathryn Chambers, a Neal’s Yard Organics Distributor to talk about Menopause Relaxation tips and how organic aromatherapy oils can help. Let us know if you’d like to come along and I’ll send you the link, or visit the event details on Facebook right here https://www.facebook.com/events/312952060122519

Have a fabulous week, and stay safe.

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