Mood swings and weight gain are two symptoms of menopause causing both physical and psychological discomfort. Keep reading below to learn more about the causes and treatments of mood swings and weight gain.
What Is Menopause?
Menopause is the natural transition a woman's body undergoes from being fertile to infertile. This process usually starts when a woman is between the ages of 45 and 55. Menopause is considered officially over when a woman has not had her menstrual period for one whole year.
Menopause can cause women to experience an array of side effects such as mood swings and weight gain, hot flashes, night sweats, anxiety, headaches, nausea, and joints pain.
How Does Menopause Affect Weight Gain?
During menopause, the body slowly decreases its production of the reproductive hormone estrogen, so the ovulation ceases. As a result, the levels fluctuate, affecting a woman's appetite, metabolism, and fat storage. In order to balance estrogen levels, the body starts to create it in other ways, by converting fat cells into estrogen. To do this the body works harder to convert calories into fat, causing the extra weight gain during menopause.
In addition to decreased levels of estrogen, there is also less progesterone in the body. This lower level causes higher water retention and bloating. Thankfully, when progesterone levels balance, water retention and bloating tend to disappear after a few months.
How Do You Define Mood Swings?
Mood swings are rapid changes in emotions from periods of euphoria to depression that can occur for no apparent reason. Mood swings are linked to hormonal fluctuations during menopause. However, there are other factors and symptoms of menopause that can exacerbate mood swings. For example, hot flashes and night sweats may be disturb sleep patterns and cause irritability.
What Is the Best Way to Handle Mood Swings and Weight Gain?
A healthy body often means a healthy mind. So, maintaining well-balanced diet and exercise regimen will help stabilize your mood. Alternative medicines have been proven to successfully control mood swings and rapid weight gain. This is because natural medicines will often target the issue of chemical imbalance and restore hormone levels to normal.
- The Health Center.(n.d)."Adult Mood Swings". Retrieved from 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.