Illustration of a woman experiencing an electric shock

Electric shocks during the menopause

Electric shock sensation (ESS) is a side effect some women experience during menopause. It can feel like a rubber band snapping in the layer of tissue between the skin and muscle and can also be felt across the head as a precursor to a hot flush. Although the sensation is fleeting, it can still cause pain or discomfort. The cause of this menopause symptom isn’t completely understood, but it’s believed to relate to fluctuating hormones, as oestrogen directly affects the nervous and cardiovascular systems.

It sounds unpleasant but the good news is you can take steps to deal with this side effect naturally. Read on for our top tips.

Eat foods rich in phyto-oestrogen

Since ESS is thought to be caused by hormonal imbalance, increase your intake of foods that contain phyto-oestrogens. Phyto or plant-based oestrogens are natural chemicals found in certain foods that block the uptake of excess oestrogen and raise low levels when needed. These clever foods act in the body in a similar way to oestrogen but help keep our natural hormones in balance. Foods rich in phyto-oestrogen include:

  • soya milk and soya flour
  • linseeds
  • tofu
  • pumpkins seeds
  • sesame seeds
  • sunflower seeds

It’s also important to eat a balanced diet full of plenty of fruit and vegetables. Eating a balanced diet will help other menopausal symptoms such as bloating and mood swings.

Exercise regularly

Physical exercise might be difficult for those suffering from ESS but, staying physically active can benefit the nervous system. The NHS recommends adults do at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week, which can be broken down into five 30-minute sessions. Moderate exercise can include yoga, brisk walking, or light jogging. If you prefer you prefer more vigorous exercise aim for 75 minutes per week.

Reduce stress

Easier said then done, but high cortisol levels can disrupt hormone balance and lead to ESS. Mindfulness techniques such as yoga, deep breathing and meditation can help reduce stress levels. There are over 1,000 mindfulness apps now available so it’s never been easier to fit these sessions into your daily routine.

If you have concerns about any electric shocks speak to a GP or other healthcare professional.