Signs your nervous system is struggling & how to support it better during menopause


Eileen Durward
@EileenDurward


02 November 2020

Today's topic

Today on A.Vogel Talks Menopause, I take a look at signs that your nervous system may be struggling and how to support it better.

I often talk about the nervous system in my blogs, but today I thought I would look at it in detail and why it's so important to support it well, especially in menopause. I'll look at the signs that show it may be struggling and what you can do to help it.

What is the nervous system and what does it do?

Your brain is a bit like a computer, so it controls all your body's functions. But your nervous system is a bit like an information network, so it relays specific messages to certain areas of the body to do certain things in any given situation.

Our nervous system's role is so important in everyday life, especially for our health. It guides all our actions, such as breathing, complex procedures such as thinking, reading, remembering, our emotions. It even controls our heart and our sweating.

Signs your nervous system is struggling


Signs that show your nervous system can be struggling would be things such as heightened stress and anxiety or panic attacks. These can come out the blue and you have no idea where these have come from. It could be palpitations. It could be struggling to sleep and digestive problems.

It could be forgetting things or having brain fog. It could be just not being able to make decisions. You just feel that you're going all over the place. It could be a headache and it can also be tingling in the fingers.

How does menopause impact your nervous system?

Well, as your oestrogen starts to fall, it puts huge pressure on your whole body. And very often this will have a very swift impact on your nervous system.
Your nervous system very often gets stuck on flight-or-fight, which means that it's on constant alert and it will jump into action at the slightest little thing, even if you're not the least bit concerned.

Stress can have a huge impact on it. And, who isn't stressed in this day and age? It can also be just part of the aging process, unfortunately. Our nervous system can become that little bit weaker and more prone to jumping into things than before.

What can you do to support your nervous system?

Well, there are lots of things. Most of them are really easy and you can incorporate them into your daily life.

My Self-Care Tip: Quick ways to help your nervous system when stressed

Watch my self-care video below to learn two simple and quick ways to help support your nervous system during times of stress or when feeling anxious.

Manage your stress

And yes, I know this is a very difficult one at the best of times, but there are lots of things you can do to manage your stress during menopause. You can use stress remedies such as our AvenaCalm and Stress Relief Daytime.

I know this sounds really simple, but it can help. I had one lady not long ago that started practicing deep breathing, and two days later she noticed a huge difference in the severity and the number of her hot sweats and flushes. So just for that alone, it's worth trying. It's about doing it every day on a regular basis.

Magnesium

You can also look at eating more magnesium-rich foods such as spinach and pumpkin seeds or take a magnesium supplement. This is great for calming your nervous system down.

Sleep well

Again, I know, in menopause, our sleep gets disrupted. But it's really important to try and get a good sleep regime going because sleep allows our body to rest, and recuperate, and strengthen. And that will have a super impact on the nervous system as well.

Watch what you eat

A bad diet can impact the nervous system. Things like caffeine, which revs it up very, very quickly, high salt and sugar foods, fizzy drinks, and alcohol can all have a really quick impact. So, they are best avoided if possible.

Look at adding in things like oily fish, which is great for brain function and good for a huge number of things, and lots of fresh vegetables and fruits because they tend to contain lots of magnesium, which, again, will help in supporting your nervous system.

A vitamin B complex can be helpful

You can look at taking a vitamin B complex. This is a nice one because it supports the nervous system. It's also great for brain function and it can help with your digestive system in being able to absorb lots of other vitamins and minerals.

Rest and relaxation

Again, I know, I can hear lots of you going, "I don't have time for that." But, you know, I honestly cannot say enough how important 30-minutes rest, relaxation, me-time is daily. It's worth its weight in gold.

A study a few years ago showed that mindfulness may be associated with fewer menopausal symptoms for women and may be especially helpful for menopausal women struggling with irritability, anxiety and depression.1

So that 30 minutes is a very precious time for you and please try if you can. It can make a huge difference.

Drink plenty of water

Last but not least, and I can hear you all shouting, "Water." That's right.
Dehydration caused by fluctuating or falling oestrogen can have a huge impact on the nervous system. And so many ladies tell me how quickly drinking more water can have a positive, calming effect on your nervous system. So again, this is worth adding to your daily diet.

I hope you found this helpful. This is just a little glimpse into the world of the nervous system. If any of you have any tips that you have found great for helping to calm you down or other things that you do such as specific exercises, we would love to hear them.

And until next week, take care.

Reference

1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30652511/

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