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I have been having heavy, frequent periods for a while that have now changed to light, and few and far between. I also have just started having night sweats and hot flashes, coupled with neck ache and waking up at night. I guessed I was starting menopause, although partly in denial. However, I've recently been suffering with acute anxiety for no apparent reason. Yes, my life is a little stressful at times but no more than usual. In fact, life has never been better and yet I'm very tense and anxious. Is this another symptom? My doctor has prescribed Citalopram, but I'm wondering, if it's menopause ,should I be looking at something other than antidepressants? I'm 52 by the way and don’t feel at all depressed.

As menopause progresses, changing levels of hormones can stress the body physically. This, in turn, stresses the adrenal system which controls your stress response, causing symptoms such as anxiety, stress, stress palpitations, low mood, mood swings and depression.

Some women find that these symptoms can come on suddenly with no apparent reason and can be quite distressing. This is why we pay a lot of attention to supporting the adrenal system during menopause. I would suggest a good multivitamin and mineral supplement, extra magnesium such as Salus Haus liquid magnesium and a herbal stress remedy such as Passion Flower.

Eat a good diet with plenty of fresh foods and drink enough plain water every day (dehydration can make both hot flashes and stress worse). Learning to breathe deeply through the anxiety can be very helpful, and 30 minutes of relaxation a day is really important (you can get lots of good relaxation CDs through Internet).

For the hot flashes, you could try A.Vogel Menopause as this is traditionally used for hot flashes and night sweats. In this situation, getting a good night's sleep is vital; if you don't sleep well, this stresses the system further and it can end up a vicious circle!

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