It's one of the scarier symptoms of menopause. You may be relaxing at home or sitting at your desk in the middle of a busy workday when you feel a sharp, buzzing sensation. It feels like electricity is coursing through your body and you have no idea where it came from. As with many of the strange bodily changes you've been experiencing lately, menopause may be to blame.
What Are the Signs of Electric Shocks?
Most women say that electric shocks resemble the feeling of a rubber band being snapped just beneath the surface of the skin. These "shocks" may occur in the head or limbs as fleeting sensations that last only seconds at a time. Some women also say that they feel like a stream of electrical current is running through their body. Electric shocks often occur immediately before a hot flash.
Electric shocks range in severity from being a minor annoyance to interfering with critical daily functions, such as walking or getting dressed.
What Causes Electric Shocks?
Though electric shocks can occur for a number of reasons in both men and women, the most common cause of this condition within the context of menopause is hormonal imbalance. Though electric shock sensation itself has not been well studied, researchers believe that estrogen works within the nervous system to send certain neurological messages to the brain. The brain then takes fractions of a second to interpret these messages and convey them to other parts of the body. When estrogen levels fluctuate radically, these messages may be misconstrued, causing electric shocks beneath the skin.
There may also be certain behavioral or medical causes of electric shocks. Some medical professionals believe that medications prescribed to menopausal patients to treat hot flashes and night sweats might induce episodes of electric shock. Anxiety, another menopausal symptom linked to hormonal fluctuations, can also be a precipitating factor in electric shocks. Because the spinal cord houses thousands of nerves, women with osteoporosis are also susceptible to electric shock if the spine is affected by bone density loss.
How Can I Treat Electric Shocks?
Most menopausal symptoms, including electric shock sensations, can be treated by getting to the root of the problem. If you are suffering from hormonal imbalances such as low estrogen, there are certain foods that you can add to your diet to help. This includes soy products, flax, sesame seeds, and berries.
In addition, certain exercises can give you a boost in estrogen, testosterone, or both. Physical therapy, massage, and relaxation techniques may help relieve electric shock. However, before beginning a special diet, exercise routine, supplement, or therapy, you should talk to your doctor.
Click the following link to read more about electric shock treatments. If you think your electric shock experience is not just a symptom of menopause or may be the symptom of a greater problem, it is important to talk with your doctor.
- Hutchinson, Susan M.D. "The Stages of a Woman's Life: Menstruation, Pregnancy, Nursing, Perimenopause, Menopause". November 2007.
- Love, Susan M.D. Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
- BMJ Group. Menopause: What is it? Patient Leaflet. 2007