How Does Stress Affect Your Health During Menopause?

Chronic stress is detrimental to your health whenever it occurs, but it can be particularly difficult during menopause. Unfortunately, the link between menopause and stress is often overlooked and sometimes dismissed. During April, which is Stress Awareness Month, take the time to discuss your concerns about stress and menopause with your OBGYN or another healthcare provider. Help is available that can ease your stress and resolve the symptoms associated with it.

The Link Between Menopause and Stress

Menopause can be a very stressful time for women. The changes that are occurring can trigger insecurities about aging and maturity, and the uncomfortable symptoms can lead to frustration. These feelings are often exacerbated by the hormonal changes that lead to mood swings. Menopause also tends to occur during a time that is rife with stress for women, as they may find themselves with teenage children or aging parents that need care. This combination of factors can lead to intense levels of stress that could trigger a number of health complications.

Stress and Health Problems

At any time, chronic stress can cause depression, gastrointestinal problems, headaches, and an increased risk of high blood pressure and heart problems. Combining stress and menopause exacerbates these risks. For instance, hormonal changes during menopause can cause depression that in turn is compounded by stress. The risk of heart disease increases for women during and after menopause and stress further raises that risk. Stress can also interfere with sleep, which tends to be disturbed during menopause.

Ways to Fight Back Against Stress

If stress seems out of control during menopause, consider talking to your OBGYN. There may be ways of better controlling your symptoms to reduce the stress they cause. Lifestyle changes can also help. Focus on getting more exercise, eating well and ensuring you get enough sleep each night.

You don’t have to cope with menopause stress alone. Consider making an appointment with an OBGYN in Riverside at Riverside Community Hospital. For a referral to an OBGYN or additional information about our women and children’s services, please call (951) 788-3463.

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