Menopause And Moods
Menopause and mood swings are very common, but you don’t have to just suffer as there are ways you can help stay on top of them.
Many women experience mood swings as part of PMS, but just because its menopause doesn’t mean you are past them. It is those surging hormones that are still to blame and you are certainly not alone. A Nuffield Health survey of more than 3,000 menopausal women found that 60% have experienced hormonal changes that made them behave differently or had a detrimental effect on their life with uncharacteristic, irrational anger being the most common symptom.
Why menopause doesn’t just mean hot flushes
Women are prepared for the hot flushes and sweats, but the more psychological symptoms such as anxiety and mood swings can come as a shock. If just finding that you have run out of milk has made you burst into tears, or want to throw something, then you are experiencing the hormonally based irrational mood swings that can make your life a misery.
There may be a link between women who previously had bad PMS and who experience mood swings at menopause and so one solution, which is the same for both conditions, is to look at hormone balance as well as other help such as counselling, nutritional support and lifestyle changes.
Women suffering mood swings may be offered antidepressants, particularly as a replacement for HRT given the health risks associated with its long term use, but drugs of any kind do carry the risk of side effects.
One other factor at menopause can be an increase in stress, and this certainly affects mood swings. Menopause worries about declining fertility and sex drive, concern about coping with hot flushes and night sweats and the increased weight that often occurs, all these factors can raise your stress levels. Increased stress affects your hormones and so unfortunately your symptoms can then get worse.
The Nuffield Health survey also found that one woman in five said the menopause had a damaging effect on her work, and one in ten had considered leaving her job. Menopause doesn’t just occur at the right natural time either as if you have had a hysterectomy your are often plunged straight into a surgical and immediate menopause. For younger women juggling a family, and building a career this can be a difficult transition to cope with.
Because bioidentical hormone creams are able to be used and metabolised by the body in the same way as your own hormones, unlike the synthetic hormones found in the Coil and HRT, then you are naturally able to rebalance in a gentle way to deal with the symptoms as they arise.
Hormone balance can get your moods back on track and whether you need progesterone alone, or a combined hormone cream with both progesterone and oestrogen, will depend on your symptoms so check to see what exactly might be best for you right now.
Dealing with stress is also a priority as is a nutritionally sound diet. Nerves need B vitamins and if your diet is heavy on sugar and processed foods that can also make anxiety and mood swings worse.