Anxiety really CAN be caused by periomenopause – the precursor to menopause that no woman looks forward to. Here are natural (and surprising) treatments.
Periomenopause can lead to feelings of anxiety, sadness and depression.
“These feelings are primarily due to lack of testosterone,” points out Gino Tutera, MD, an OB/GYN and specialist in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.
Now, you may be surprised to learn that women’s bodies produce the “male hormone” testosterone. However, the amount is not great enough to trigger growth of facial and chest hair or a deep voice.
It’s also why women’s muscles respond differently than to men’s when it comes to lifting weights.
“With the loss of ovarian function (menopause),” says Dr. Tutera, “a woman loses at least half of her normal production of testosterone.” And that’s not good.
So how can a woman safely and naturally restore some of her testosterone?
You may be surprised to learn that testosterone can be naturally increased in a woman by exercising. But you must do it a certain way.
Not only will exercise boost testosterone, but it will diminish your anxiety.
How much anxiety are you going to feel…knowing that you can deadlift 100 pounds?
Examples of great exercises for periomenopausal anxiety, other than the deadlift, are the back squat, dumbbell squat, bench press, kettlebell swing, standing overhead barbell or dumbbell press and tire flipping (if your gym has a tire).
The protocol is to employ an eight to 12 repetition maximum.
These exercises, when done intensely, cause a chemical chain reaction that culminates in elevated levels of testosterone. And remember, the training must be intense, heavy and fierce.
And don’t worry, this kind of exercising will not make you muscle-bound – especially since periomenopause has caused your testosterone production to become lower.
No amount of exercise in ANY woman – periomenopausal or younger – will cause enough testosterone production to bulk her up or deepen her voice.
On the other hand, the elevated testosterone WILL have a very health-giving, youth-giving effect.
Periomenopause and Anxiety: Fight These with Strength Training
• Stop making excuses. Join a gym and hit it hard, even if you’re a smoker obese or have never lifted a single dumbbell in your entire life.
• Strive to become the strongest you can be. Focus on proper form and don’t get ahead of yourself.
Dr. Tutera initially specialized in obstetrics and gynecology and then moved on to treating hormonal imbalances in women. He passed away in 2015.
Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health.