What’s Causing Your Mood Swings?

Mood swings can occur from puberty to post menopause, but what’s behind them?


It seems to be a ‘normal’ part of a woman’s hormonal life that she will experience mood swings, whether from PMS or at menopause, but there can be a number of other reasons you might be experiencing them.

Sleep deprivation

Your brain and body recover from the events of the day while you sleep. If you don’t get enough rest, your sleep won’t fully refresh you.

When you’re short of sleep, you might feel cranky, more likely to make poor choices throughout the day, and you may snap at people more often.

If you skimp on sleep all the time, it may raise your chances of depression.


Stress occurs all the time, at home, at work or just life situations you may be experiencing.

Chronic stress can lead to a number of health problems, and it may make you feel sad, angry, or bitter. You may lose sleep, which can affect your mood.

If you can find out the cause and distance yourself from what that stress, you should start to feel more like yourself. Exercise is a good way to ease pressure, and it should also help make you feel better.

Low blood sugar

If you’ve ever gotten “hangry” — hungry and angry at the same time — low blood-sugar may have been to blame. This happens to some people when they go too long between meals.

You may feel angry, upset, lonely, or confused. You may even want to cry or scream so to feel more like yourself, eat something.

If you have diabetes, it’s important to notice sudden mood changes because you could faint if your blood sugar stays too low for too long.


Mood swings or depression can be side effects of certain drugs so always read the instructions and any listed side effects.

If your doctor prescribes a new medicine, pay attention to how you feel for the first few weeks, because there may be a link between your mood and your new prescription so discuss this with your doctor.

Hormone imbalance

If your hormones are out of whack then either too much or too little can affect your mood.

Most women first experience this in their teens/twenties with PMS during the days right before their period. This can bring symptoms like cramps, headaches — and mood changes.

PMS may make you feel sad or moody without a trigger as hormone levels drop at that time of the month. Once you get your period, your hormone levels start to pick up, which helps your symptoms go away.

Menopause is the next time most women experience mood swings and again it is due to falling hormone levels and often an imbalance between oestrogen and progesterone (oestrogen dominance) and overall can affect your mood.

Thyroid issues

People who have an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) make too much thyroid hormone. People with an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) don’t make enough.

Both can cause a number of health problems, including mood swings. When you get treatment for the thyroid, your levels should return to normal and progesterone supports thyroid function so can be helpful to improve mood too.


When you’re pregnant, you make more hormones than usual to help your body grow and nourish the baby. These surges can affect your mood: You may cry more or feel empty inside. You might swing suddenly from happy to sad, then back again.

Some women become depressed during pregnancy or after the baby is born, when hormone levels drop quickly. ‘Baby blues’ is common and du to the rapidly falling levels of progesterone after giving birth so supplementing with it can help.

Bipolar disorder

Many people may think of bipolar disorder when they think about mood swings. While it’s true that people with that condition have mood highs and lows, it isn’t the only thing that causes them.


Dementia causes damage to the brain, which affects a person’s memory and personality over time. People with dementia may have sudden mood swings — calm one minute, then angry or upset the next.

They may feel frustrated that they forget things or can’t express their thoughts anymore. Some people with dementia become depressed and withdraw into themselves. Others don’t interact with anyone, even if they had been social before.


If you have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), you may not be able to control your impulses well. You’re likely to get angry or frustrated suddenly, even for small things like long lines or traffic.

People with ADHD are more likely to become depressed or have other problems related to mood. Although there is no cure, there are many helpful therapies and lifestyle changes that will help you learn to control your impulses.

Dietary issues

Obviously your diet plays a large part in mood with some things making it worse and others helping you keep you on an even keel.

Coffee, soda, and other items that have caffeine can boost your mood while they give you a burst of energy. Because caffeine stimulates your nervous system, you may feel more alert than usual.

However If you use it often, your body gets used to its effects and if you try to cut down you can get withdrawal symptoms that can make you feel tired, annoyed, nervous, or anxious.

Many studies suggest that if you eat a lot of refined sugars, like things with high fructose corn syrup, it can affect how your brain functions and that can affect your mood.

It can even make symptoms of mood disorders like depression worse.

Common foods with refined sugars include cakes, biscuits, flavoured yogurt, tomato sauce, salad dressing, most processed foods, and many choices that are labeled “low-fat.”