Wellness Pillars with menopause specialist Dr Khan: Stress

stress fix

The Menopause Specialist, Dr Khan, after treating thousands of women, has come to realise that hormonal health is more than just “fixing or replacing” hormones.

Over the years, Dr Khan has developed a more integrative approach to balancing women’s hormones, as this is the only way to achieve optimal physical, psychological and emotional health.

This is the second in her Wellness Pillars series, of which there are eight instalments.

When we are under stress, a hormone called cortisol is released, along with a myriad of other chemicals, such as adrenaline, glucose etc, initiating a ‘fight or flight’ response.

Whilst beneficial in the short term (protecting us from danger), chronic stress leads to prolonged elevated levels of cortisol and contribute or/and exacerbate hormone conditions such as premenstrual tension, polycystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis, menstrual abnormalities, infertility and peri menopause.

Other issues arising include weight gain, depression, anxiety, inflammation, gut problems and impaired immune response predisposing to an increased risk of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune disease and cancer.

In order to effectively manage stress, we first need to become aware of our stress triggers. Try mindfulness by journaling most days of the week, if not daily;

  • My thoughts
  • My feelings
  • What am I grateful for
  • My wins of the day
  • What did I learn
  • An intention for the next day
Exercise can help with stress

I tell my patients to track and sync their menstrual cycle with their journal, so they can pay particular attention to any changes in their mind, body and overall wellbeing in relation to their hormones.

Typically, women experience changes in their physical, emotional and mental health 7-10 days prior to the first day of their period or the first few days of bleeding.

Stress reduction activities such as meditation, mindfulness, breathing exercises, singing, cooking, warm magnesium salt baths or any enjoyable hobby will reduce stress levels.

Are you aware of your stress triggers? How do you manage your stress? What activity do you engage in to lower stress? These are all relevant questions to ask yourself.

  • Keep an eye out for our next instalment in the series with Dr Khan.