Are you feeling hot, then cold? Moody one moment and tearful the next? Are you feeling on top of the world one moment and crashing down the next? You’re not alone! Welcome to the wild ride of mood swings during menopause.
Many women experience emotional fluctuations during menopause, similar to PMS’s mood swings and irritability (pre-menstrual syndrome). It is due to the changing levels of the hormone estrogen. It is common to feel irritable, aggressive, depressed, tired, and other emotions during menopause.
Some common symptoms of Menopause, such as hot flashes, night sweats, lack of sleep, and fatigue, can be incredibly frustrating and can lead to menopausal and perimenopausal depression symptoms, such as low mood, anxiety, irritability, fears, and mood swings.
These menopausal mood swings can be highly disruptive to women’s health.
Additionally, reducing estrogen levels during perimenopause and menopause can cause other uncomfortable symptoms, such as vaginal dryness and irregular periods.
If you have been feeling various emotions you haven’t experienced before, it could be due to the downbeat mood swings associated with menopause.
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Common mood swings during this stage of life include:
- Anxiety and stress
- Lack of Motivation
If you are facing these emotional fluctuations, do not worry, as there are several solutions to tackle them.
There are various ways to address the psychological effects of menopause caused due to hormonal changes, such as medical treatments, complementary therapies with the help of a health professional, or changes to your lifestyle.
Ten ways to help you with mood swings during Menopause
Keeping a record diary
By keeping a symptom diary and recording your symptoms daily, health professionals can better determine if your low mood is due to a hormonal cycle or if you are suffering from depression, which requires different treatment.
For women in their 40s, anti-depressants are often prescribed for low mood, but these can have adverse side effects. Hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, is a more effective and safer alternative for mood swings caused by fluctuating hormones.
It is important to note that eating healthy can boost your mood while consuming too much caffeine or sugary foods can lead to an unstable energy level. Additionally, deficiencies in specific vitamins, such as B12 and magnesium, may negatively affect your mood. To help combat this, you need to increase your intake of foods rich in the above nutrients, such as whole grains, green leafy vegetables, and eggs.
Consuming oily fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids may help to improve women’s health. Additionally, incorporating foods that contain phytoestrogens, such as soya beans, lentils, and pulses, into one’s diet may also be beneficial.
Take some HRT
The NICE in the UK recommends HRT (which involves taking estrogen with a progestogen for women who still have wombs) to treat menopause-related mood swings. A study published in 2018 by US researchers found that women who took HRT for a year were less likely to experience symptoms of depression during menopause. The research has demonstrated the efficacy of HRT in this regard.
Taking HRT may involve some risks, but these are usually minor, and the advantages far outweigh them. Your doctor will consider your particular symptoms and medical history to decide the best type and dosage of HRT for you.
Reduce your consumption of alcohol
Alcohol is a depressant, and regular, heavy drinking can lead to feelings of depression, sadness and other symptoms of menopause. Thus, it is important to drink in moderation and to take regular breaks from drinking. It will help to keep your mood positive and balanced. If you are drinking more than you would like, it may be helpful to talk to a doctor or a counsellor about your drinking habits.
A doctor may prescribe a testosterone gel alongside HRT to women with low libido. It can help to boost libido and energy levels, which can, in turn, improve mood, as low libido, sexual dysfunction, and relationship problems can lead to a low mood. It is important to note that a doctor should assess each case before any treatment is prescribed.
Regular exercise has many benefits for people of all ages. It can improve physical and mental health, reduce stress and anxiety, and even help with weight management.
Exercise can also help to boost self-esteem and enhance the quality of sleep. Studies have shown that regular exercise can lead to increased happiness, although the exact reasons are unknown.
Engaging in activities like dancing, playing tennis, or joining an exercise class can benefit your bone health during menopause. Weight-bearing exercises can help to reduce the negative impacts of menopause on your bones.
Think about trying Complementary Therapies.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a well-researched and effective treatment for menopausal symptoms. However, complementary therapies such as herbal remedies, lifestyle changes, and dietary supplements can also be beneficial.
St John’s Wort – a popular herbal remedy, is acceptable for menopausal symptoms such as mood swings. Still, it is essential to speak to a healthcare professional before taking it, as it can interact with other medications. It is crucial to discuss all available options with a healthcare professional to find the best treatment for your symptoms.
Have a positive outlook on life
By shifting your perspective, you can improve your emotional state. Women going through menopause often feel ashamed or embarrassed, but altering their outlook on the ageing process and other changes that come with this stage of life could be beneficial.
Studies have suggested that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) may help to alleviate menopausal symptoms such as low mood, insomnia, and hot flashes. CBT teaches techniques to combat negative thinking and can be a helpful tool in managing these symptoms.
Stay connected to your family and community.
It is essential to stay connected with your family and community during menopause. Reach out to your loved ones and those around you for support and understanding. Connect with other women who are going through the same experience.
Join a support group or online forum to share your experiences and learn from others. Make sure to take time for yourself and practice self-care. Exercise, eat healthy, get enough sleep, and take time to relax.
You can talk to your doctor about any symptoms you may be experiencing and determine what treatments are available. Menopause can be difficult, but staying connected and caring for yourself can help you get through it.
Get more sleep
During Menopause, it is essential to prioritise getting enough sleep. Deep sleep is a hormone regulator and helps reduce the severity of menopausal symptoms. You must aim to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
Establish a regular sleep routine and avoid caffeine, alcohol, and other stimulants before bed. Moreover, consult your doctor about possible hormone or cognitive behavioural therapy treatments if you have any sleep-related issues.
Taking steps to improve your sleep can help you to cope with the physical and emotional changes of menopause.
Mood swings during menopause can be a complex and challenging experience for many women. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to manage mood swings. However, several lifestyle changes and treatments can help. These include exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and talking to a doctor about hormone therapy or other medicines. With the right approach, women can manage their mood swings and enjoy a healthy and fulfilling life during menopause.
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