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Could Perimenopause Be Causing My Anxiety?

Updated: May 13

Woman relaxing at the mountain

I have a friend who recently turned 50. She is a yoga instructor, meditation and life coach. She is also the sexiest woman I have ever known. She is of course… French. I don’t know how they do it. There is nothing overtly sexual about the way she dresses. It is the way she moves, the way she speaks, her warm smile and forest-fairy vibes. Unfortunately, my dear friend has not been feeling so sexy lately. She has been suffering with constant, chest-crushing anxiety and panic attacks for almost a year now. She is also having hot flashes. 


Before this time, my friend had never suffered with anxiety. She has spent a lifetime practicing what she preaches, caring for her mind and body daily. Sadly, in this past year, she has seen every health specialist possible, internist, neurologist, psychiatrist, gynecologist, osteopath, & naturopath. She has been offered anxiolytics and antidepressants. She has had CT scans and labs, despite her needle phobia, all in a futile attempt to relieve her symptoms.


Why does this piss me off so much? Because perimenopause is a leading cause of anxiety in her age and no one is helping her. “Your hormone levels are normal,” they tell her. Argh, there is no need to check labs to prove you are perimenopausal after 45 years old, and there is absolutely no reason to withhold treatment. Estrogen levels can be normal one day and low another. This is perimenopause. Women should be treated based on symptoms, and there is even increasing evidence to treat women in menopause without symptoms. The protective effects of HRT (hormone replacement therapy) are undisputed (heart health, brain health, bone health and even cancer prevention). My dear yogi is just another victim of misinformed practitioners, and we all need to share this information to advocate for ourselves and our sisters.


*Please note that this are my thoughts and are not to be taken as medical advice. Anxiety is a serious mental health condition that requires a full evaluation and often multidisciplinary treatment with qualified health care professionals. My point is that usually the cause is not a zebra, but rather the horse. If you or a loved one is suffering from anxiety please reach out to your physician right away. 


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