I am having menopausal problems and started on the hormone patch, Climara prosp?. But I still get moderate to severe anxiety attacks. I have no other personal issue that would cause these. What could I be taking that would help me relax and give me energy.

Hormone replacement can be very helpful at relieving symptoms of anxiety. Progesterone in particular is one of the most important female hormones for relaxation and supporting a calm state of mind. Unfortunately, the form of progesterone in your patch is of a synthetic nature and does not mirror the type your body naturally produced during reproductive years. Although it has beneficial effects on protecting your uterus, it does not have the same effects that natural progesterone has on your brain.

You might try asking your doctor to switch you to the plain Climara patch (just natural/bio-identical estrogen) and then supplementing with bio-identical progesterone as an over the counter cream or oral pill prescribed by your doctor. If you still have a uterus you will need some type of progesterone supplementation if you are taking estrogen.

Bio-identical (often referred to as natural) is a term that describes a form of progesterone or estrogen that is identical in its chemical structure to the hormone that is naturally produced by your body. In an effort to gain patents, pharmaceutical companies produce hormones that are not identical to what your body naturally produces (as you cannot patent a naturally occurring substance). Although they do produce some desired effects, they cannot truly substitute what your body actually needs.

For energy, I would recommend trying anything that supports the adrenal glands. These small glands, positioned on top of your kidneys help to determine the amount of energy your body produces by releasing a hormone called cortisol. Imbalanced cortisol production can result in energy deficits as well as other health concerns like weight gain. In addition, the adrenals are a major source of hormonal output once a woman enters into her menopausal years.

Pantothenic acid is a form of vitamin B5 that is very good at supporting energy and the adrenals without being over stimulating. In fact, all the B-vitamin’s, particularly B6 are important in energy production and adrenal function. Taking a sustained release B-complex in addition to pantothenic acid can be a great way to improve energy without over stimulation. If you have anxiety issues be careful about using caffeine to boost energy as it can be very over stimulating.

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