Menopause can be an uncomfortable time for women, both physically and mentally. Low levels of estrogen can lead to unpleasant symptoms like hot flashes, weight gain, and mood swings. While fluctuating hormones are typically responsible for mood swings, other menopausal symptoms may trigger them, as well. For instance, night sweats can lead to sleep deprivation, which can trigger mood swings in the daytime. Some moodiness is to be expected, but extreme mood swings are less common. To learn more about how to cope with extreme mood swings, continue reading this article.
How Do I Know If My Mood Swings Are Extreme?
Normal mood swings associated with hormonal imbalance are generally short-lived. Brief moods of sadness or feeling depressed are perfectly normal during menopause. However, long bouts of depression and helplessness could be a sign of clinical depression, which is more likely an imbalance of chemicals (like serotonin) in the brain as opposed to declining estrogen levels.
Some Tips for Dealing with Extreme Mood Swings
If you suspect you are suffering from depression as opposed to mood swings, it is a good idea to visit a professional right away. Alternative medicine or prescribed medications may be recommended. However, an unhealthy lifestyle is conducive to worsened or prolonged hormonal imbalances. With that in mind, sufferers of severe mood swings should try:
Dehydration can not only cause crankiness, it can promote already troubled hormone levels. Optimum health cannot be reached without proper hydration. Eight glasses of water a day is the recommended amount. For those who have a hard time drinking water, try iced tea.
A balanced diet is very important to maintaining healthy hormone levels. Sometimes, fits of anxiety are really just your body reacting to its lack of sugar. Eating small, nutrient dense, and frequent meals can help eliminate this problem.
Sedentary lifestyles are a proponent of chemical imbalance. To help curb extreme mood swings, try exercising for 30 minutes, five times a week. However, it's important to exercise in moderation, since too much exercise can have adverse effects on your health.
Give yourself time
Your mood may improve, even if it's gradual. Significant changes do not occur over night, but sticking with healthy, consistent habits will help you in the long term.
Mood swings are troublesome to not only the women who suffer them, but for her loved ones, as well. Some mood fluctuation is perfectly normal; however, being depressed is not a normal symptom of menopause. If you worry you may be suffering from depression, please consult a medical professional. To learn more about the causes of extreme mood swing, follow this link.
- Amin, Zenab, Turhan Canli., and C. Neill Epperson. "Effects of Estrogen-Serotonin Interactions on Mood and Cognition." Behav Cogn Neurosci Rev 2005; 4; 43.
- Dr. Love, Susan, and Karen Lindsey Dr. Susan Love's Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
- Molecular Psychiatry.(n.d)."Estrogen Promotes Gender Difference in Brain's Response to Stress. Retrieved from www.psycheducation.org
- The Health Center. (n.d)."Adult Mood Swings." Retrieved from www.thehealthcenter.info