The psychological impact of the Menopause

Author: Natures Naturals Ltd

Date: Mar 2018

Many of us get confused when it comes to discussing the menopause: first, that it occurs in one stage and second that the most commonly reported problems suffered are hot flushes, itchy skin, loss of libido and night sweats.

Some of the most debilitating long-term effects are those listed below, which contribute to the psychological impact this time of life invariably causes:

  • Sleep disturbances that occur after you have initially gone to sleep (through total exhaustion) can have an insidious effect on your wellbeing and mental state
  • Bouts of unexpected anxiety for no apparent reason can be heightened greatly by underlying exhaustion caused by disturbed sleep
  • Difficulty in concentrating on normal daily tasks is explained by lack of proper sleep
  • Absent-mindedness or forgetfulness falls into the same bracket
  • Unexplained mood swings are caused through the stealthy build-up of sleep deprivation
  • Regular and debilitating feelings of total exhaustion will get worse if this fundamental issue is not addressed

Most women will experience disturbed sleep as a perimenopausal symptom, which almost always has the knock-on effect on mood and energy levels, causing high levels of distress.

Tryptophan, which is an essential amino acid our bodies only get from natural food sources, when taken at night, turns into serotonin, which then metabolises into melatonin, a hormone that activates the brain’s sleep mechanisms. So, although it won’t cause drowsiness and put you to sleep it will promote restfulness and help you stay asleep longer.

Conversely, when taken during the day, tryptophan becomes serotonin, that doesn’t metabolise, which regulates mood, emotion, and appetite, and is well known to alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression. Other purported benefits of ingesting a natural source of tryptophan include easing chronic pain symptoms, weight loss and increased libido. But how do you get access to this essential amino acid? There is only one product that has a patented formula containing organic pumpkin seed flour, FemBev®, which is delivered in the form of a flavoured drink mix, for which you can find details here.

In addition, it is known to be beneficial to take a daily multivitamin that contains Vitamins B6 and B12, which help to maintain a healthy nervous system and contribute to normal energy production, while helping to reduce tiredness and fatigue is a sound idea. Vitamin B6 also contributes to normal hormonal function. Look out for products such as a Vitamin B Multi-Complex that does not contain added sugar, salt, yeast, wheat, colourings or preservatives. This formula is suitable for vegetarians or vegans.

Dealing with Menopause: Supplements and Natural Remedies

What natural ingredients should women be aware of that can help to alleviate these symptoms?

It is important to note that some body changes related to the menopause cycle can cause longer-term health problems such as high cholesterol levels, bone density loss, diabetes and cardiovascular problems.

For these reasons, it is important to maintain a good intake of water, which will help maintain skin moisture.

It is also important to increase your intake of calcium-rich foods such as milk, yoghurt and calcium supplements.

Regular intake of fresh fruits and vegetables is also sensible to help get important nutrients into your system.

It is equally important to maintain a regular intake of Vitamin B Complexes.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) and B3 (Niacin) together contribute to normal psychological function, normal energy-yielding metabolism,

normal functioning of the nervous system and the reduction of tiredness and fatigue. Vitamin B6 also contributes to the regulation of hormonal activity.

Are there any products or ingredients menopausal women should avoid?

Iron supplements should be avoided as your need for the mineral drops during your menopausal stage of life and the fact is, you can get all you need be making sure you eat lean beef, eggs, cereals and grains.

Sugar should be cut down, or even out altogether, along with alcohol, caffeine and some spicy foods, all of which can contribute to suffering hot flushes, mood swings and even urinary incontinence.

Why does menopause cause me to have sleep disturbances and anxiety?

As your ovaries produce less estrogen and progesterone, all menopause symptoms increase and one of the most debilitating is sleep disorder.

It is more complicated than just insomnia, because once you have managed to fall asleep (not difficult in most instances as sufferers are usually totally exhausted), staying asleep is another matter entirely!

This collective sleep deprivation causes growing levels of anxiety and stress and once these take a firm hold, are very difficult to shift, in some cases even leading to depression, loss of concentration, forgetfulness and irritability.

What is serotonin and what can I do to boost it?

Serotonin is a derivative of the essential amino acid tryptophan. Pumpkin seed is a natural source of tryptophan. This amino acid also enters the body through diet and is commonly found in foods such as beef, chicken, some dairy products and other high-protein foods. Tryptophan deficiency can lead to lower serotonin levels. This can result in mood disorders, such as anxiety or depression, which form part of the sleep-related problems suffered by most women at this time of life.

Serotonin is acknowledged to be a natural mood stabiliser, as well as helping with sleeping, eating and digestion. But generally, foods alone are not sufficiently high in tryptophan to give required levels of serotonin to address sleep-related issues, which is why pumpkin seeds that have the oil pressed out of them to leave a flour residue can be so effective.

When taken at night, the natural-source tryptophan in pumpkin seed flour turns into serotonin, which then metabolises into melatonin, a hormone that activates the brain’s sleep mechanisms.

Conversley, when taken during the day (as long as you have natural daylight), natural-source tryptophan becomes serotonin, which regulates mood, emotion, and appetite, and is well known to alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression.

How long after taking a supplement for menopausal symptoms can one expect to see improvement?

There is no single supplement that can deal with all the symptoms of menopause, but there is a solution to deal with the most debilitating overall issue, which is sleep deprivation and related anxiety, stress and concentration issues – FemBev®.

By incorporating a mixture of a patented formula pumpkin seed flour drink mix (chocolate or lemon flavours available) together with a daily Vitamin B Multi-complex tablet, it is possible to reduce symptoms of insomnia, stress, anxiety and mood swings.

When take as instructed, relief can start being felt within a week of starting the use of these specialist supplements.

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Last revised: 7 March 2018

Next review: 7 September 2018