Menopause can be a stressful time in a woman’s life. With hormone levels fluctuating at a rapid pace, electric shocks are among the 34 disruptive symptoms that can be quite distressing for women. Electric shocks are often experienced as a precursor to many other vasomotor symptoms, such as hot flashes and night sweats, and feel as though electricity is running under and along the skin.
While menopause is a natural part of the aging process that every woman must endure, it does not have to be the unpleasant experience that most women expect. If you educate yourself about electric shocks and treat your body well with proper diet, adequate exercise, you should be able to relieve the Many women have reported experiencing electric shocks under their skin or in their head, and discomfort, so menopause does not “pause” your life.
What are Electric Shocks?
Most relate that these shocks come directly before a hot flash. Some state it feels as if a rubber band were snapped between their muscles and the skin. Most of the time this sensation is brief, but it can cause pain and discomfort for those who experience it.
Since Luigi Galvani discovered electrical impulses in the living tissues of the body in the late 1700s, scientists have been studying the bioelectrical forces within the body. Theories of how the electrical-type current moves through the nervous systems have been published, but the most popular theory deals with ion channels being conduits for electrically-charged salt particles moving from one nerve to another. However, if the general physiology of a person is thrown off balance, such as when the body is going through menopause, then all the systems in the body are affected, including the nervous system.
Causes of Electric Shocks
Researchers are still examining the exact cause of electric shocks during menopause, but theories relating to hormonal changes in the body directly affecting the cardiovascular and nervous systems are being considered. A connection between estrogen levels and nerve tissues has already been determined, and menopause creates a large fluctuation in the amount of estrogen a woman produces. Hormonal imbalances during menopause can also affect the hypothalamus, which has been related to the condition women refer to as hot flashes.
Sometimes, women already have a depressed nervous system from other conditions, or they are suffering from high anxiety or general muscle pain. So, when the onset of menopause occurs, the brain may be receiving the wrong signal from the nerves, which could be telling the brain that you have being shocked. Seeking the advice of a doctor to determine the cause of the electric shocks is the best course of action.
When to Seek a Doctor
If the electric shocks are unbearable, consult your doctor or healthcare provider for further treatment options. Combining some of these therapies is typically more effective than using them separately, and since menopause lasts over the course of years, different treatments can be used at different points during the course of menopause.
Managing Electric Shocks
Daily Lifestyle Changes
One of the first treatments one should do to relieve the symptoms of menopause is examine their lifestyle. Simple changes like adding exercise to your routine and eating a well-balanced diet is sometimes the only thing needed to alleviate the extreme symptoms of menopause. While these sound like easy changes, it does take a considerable amount of discipline to stick to the new routine. Along with the physical exercise, adding a stress-reducing exercise such as meditation or yoga can help a great deal.
- Exercise – Any activity that will increase your physical exertion can make a difference in how often you experience electric shocks. Working out reduces anxiety and increases endorphin levels, which raises your threshold for pain
- Stress Reduction and Relaxation – Relaxation exercises, breathing exercises, massage, hypnosis, yoga and visualization techniques are all wonderful ways to help deal with electric shocks and the effects of stress on your body during menopause.
- Get a Full Night’s Rest – It is vital to get the recommended eight to nine hours of sleep to help alleviate menopausal electric shocks
Diet is important because many foods can help relieve the symptoms of menopause, while others can inflame them. Getting between 7-8 hours of sleep per night, staying hydrated and taking your vitamins and minerals – especially Vitamins B, B complex, C, D and E, Calcium and Potassium – can also benefit women experiencing menopausal symptoms. Conversely, drinking caffeine and alcohol can bring on menopausal symptoms.
- Stay hydrated – One of the most important diet changes to minimize electric shocks is to drink at least eight glasses of water a day.
- Phytoestrogens – Adopt a dietary plan that includes foods that contain phytoestrogens. These plant estrogens bind to estrogen receptors in your body and can alleviate electric shocks. Soy, tofu, beans, legumes, seaweed, potatoes, apples and carrots are all wonderful sources of phytoestrogens.
- Replenishing Your Diet – Eating more calcium-rich foods, magnesium-rich foods and Vitamin E-foods, like green vegetables, nuts and almonds, are other easily adaptable diet changes to help alleviate electric shocks.
Since hormonal imbalance is the cause of most menopause symptoms, and electric shocks are among them, the ideal treatment would be to bring the hormones back in balance. However, this is not easy to accomplish. Our first option is always to try the least invasive process available. Typically that means starting with a diet and lifestyle change and then using vitamins, alternative medicine and herbal remedies to help treat this symptom. These methods keep the unwanted side effects to a minimum. Some women find acupuncture, aromatherapy, biofeedback, hypnosis, and even massage will ease the common symptoms of menopause.
- Vitamins - Low Vitamin B12 levels are known to cause tingling, prickling and electric shock sensations in your extremities. Because Vitamin B12 is involved in oxygen metabolism and protein synthesis, it is recommended in treating electric shocks experienced during menopause.
- Alternative Medicine – Chinese medicine (acupuncture) has been a long standing treatment for headaches around the world. Acupuncture is a medical treatment involving the insertion of sharp sterile needles into the body at specific points according to a mapping of “energy pathways.” Acupuncture in particular has produced outstanding results in pain management for many women.
- Black Cohosh One of the most commonly used herbal remedies is Black Cohosh, a perennial plant that is a member of the buttercup family. It provides powerful phytoestrogens that mimic the hormone’s effects and bind to hormone receptors in the uterus and other parts of the body, alleviating hot flashes. Black Cohosh is also known to relieve hot flashes efficiently and is a good alternative to HRT. It is also used effectively for treating PMS, arthritis and lowering blood pressure. Red Clover, Dong Quai, Ginseng, Kava and evening primrose oil can be used as natural therapies, although there are some risks involved. Herbal supplements are not as closely regulated as prescription drugs and the amount of the herbal product, quality and safety may vary between brands.
- Hormone Replacement Therapy – For more severe cases of electric shocks, women may seek surgical or pharmaceutical treatments, although it is important to keep in mind that there are many studies showing hormone replacement therapy (HRT) increases a woman’s risk of elevated blood pressure, endometrial and breast cancers, strokes, blood clots and gallbladder disease. It is advised to speak with your doctor or healthcare professional regarding the negative side effects before you begin treatment.