Unfortunately, almost all pregnant women will experience mood swings of varying intensity and frequency, but for some women, they can become particularly problematic. Because they are triggered by hormone fluctuations, changes in a woman's temper can be unpredictable and at times appear uncontrollable. In order to effectively deal with mood swings during pregnancy, it is important to understand the causes and all the available treatment options. The following information will address these topics.
What Are Mood Swings?
Mood swings are defined as abrupt and frequent changes in emotional state. Women may feel happy one moment and then suddenly and inexplicably feel sad or angry the next. What can seem even more frustrating is the often experienced inability to rationalize these shifts in emotions and behavior. Many various factors can lead to mood swings, read about them below.
What Causes Mood Swings?
Mood swings can be triggered by both psychological and physical factors. However, physical causes are often considered as the primary cause behind a women's experience of mood swings. Hormones like estrogen and progesterone directly affect the brain and its serotonin levels (i,e., the chemical that regulates mood). As a result of the direct influence these hormones have upon each other, when estrogen levels fluctuate, so too does a women's mood. If your serotonin levels drop, your mood will worsen; and if they rise your mood will improve. Therefore, mood swings can be defined as occurring when serotonin levels are improperly balanced.
Potential triggers for psychological caused mood swings include stress, over-exertion, and fatigue. However, as imbalanced hormone levels are the most common trigger of mood swings during pregnancy, it's important to try and maintain hormonal balance by using various safe and effective treatments.
Managing Mood Swings
To identify the best treatment plan for you, first attempt to establish whether your mood swings are caused by hormonal imbalance or psychological causes. Keep in mind that in most cases, a combination of treatments is the best solution for mood swings.
Psychological causes can be alleviated by getting regular exercise, keeping good sleeping patterns, and practicing relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation. Due to the fact that mood swings are most commonly caused by low hormone levels, a hormonal balancing program is recommendable. Other ways of managing mood swings during pregnancy include using alternative medicines and keeping a healthy diet that helps keep serotonin levels balanced in the brain. However, always consult your doctor before making any drastic changes.
Click on the following link to learn more about the treatment for mood swings.
- The Health Center.(n.d)."Adult Mood Swings".Retrieved from The Health Center. www.thehealthcenter.info.
- Dr. Love, Susan, and Karen Lindsey. Dr. Susan Love's Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
- Amin, Zenab, Turhan Canli, and C. Neill Epperson. "Effects of Estrogen-Serotonin Interactions on Mood and Cognition". Behav Cogn Neurosci Rev 2005; 4; 43.
- Molecular Psychiatry.(n.d)."Estrogen Promotes Gender Difference in Brain's Response to Stress".Retrieved from www.psycheducation.org.