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Is Irritability A Symptom Of Menopause

Factors That Magnify Hormonal Irritability

Lack of patience & irritability during menopause
Quality SleepUn-met emotional needs

Irritability may have sneaked up on you in perimenopause but there are real, physiological reasons for it, even though it doesnt seem like a physical problem. And the best, most effective solutions for irritability in perimenopause arent mysterious. By giving your body what it needs during perimenopause, you can feel less irritable, more even-tempered and much, much calmer.

Menopause And Depression: How Are They Connected

Although most women transition to menopause without experiencing psychiatric disorders, an estimated 20% suffer from mood swings and depression at some point during menopause.

There is a well-established connection between changes of various hormonal systems and psychiatric health issues, both in psychiatric and endocrine patients. The transition into perimenopause and menopause may be a tempestuous experience for some women. Modifications in hormone levels may impact neurotransmitters in the brain.;

The reduction in estrogen levels during perimenopause and menopause can lead to uncomfortable symptoms, like vaginal dryness, irregular periods, hot flashes and disturbed sleep. These causes menopausal and perimenopausal depression symptoms like low mood, anxiety, irritability, fears, and mood swings. Menopause mood swings can wreak havoc on your psyche. The irritability caused due to menopause depression may also result in difficulty in concentrating and memory lapses.

Women who had severe premenstrual syndrome in their younger years may experience severe, sharp and inexplicable changes in mood during perimenopause. Also, females with a history of clinical anxiety and depression seem to be particularly vulnerable to recurring clinical depression during menopausal months or even years before actual menopause.;

Women transitioning to menopause are found to suffer more depression with the following states:;

I Have A Hard Time Concentrating And I’m Forgetful Is This A Normal Part Of Menopause

Unfortunately, difficulty with concentration and minor memory problems can often be a normal part of perimenopause, the time leading up to menopause . The good news is that it is likely to be temporary.

Current medical knowledge is limited as to why memory changes occur with perimenopause, and there are currently no treatments available to relieve these symptoms. If you are having memory problems, discuss this with your doctor. They can help manage memory problems or refer you to a provider who can.

Recommended Reading: Perimenopause Dizzy Spells

Severe Irritability: Causes And Solutions

Agitation at any little event that happens on a consistent basis without an obvious trigger can signify severe irritability. If left unmanaged, the symptom can rear its ugly head and ruin relationships with family, friends, and coworkers. It could also leave you puzzled, trying to understand what exactly is happening.

Continue reading to find out what makes irritability serious as well as causes and solutions for severe irritability so that you can finally have mood stability and peace of mind.

When To Talk To Your Doctor

Premature or Early Menopause Signs and Symptoms ...

If youre feeling consumed by depression and are finding it increasingly more difficult to cope with your menopause symptoms on your own, please visit your womens health care doctor or mental health professional. While some research suggests that hormone replacement therapy may help with some emotional symptoms of menopause, hormone therapy is not meant as a treatment for severe depression. Dealing with the hormonal changes and to level out the hormone levels, hormone therapy may be effective in addressing other side effects of menopause, but Its not for everyone studies show there are some potential health effects, such as an increased risk of breast cancer and heart disease.

Prescription anti-depressants and therapy are available for patients struggling to get through this difficult time. Remember, anti-depressants are not a sign of you losing control, nor are they a permanent solution, but they can help you adjust to these changes.

The bottom line is we are here to help you. It is always important to have an honest and open conversation with your gynecologist about your health, as well as your emotional and mental state.

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Perimenopause: Rocky Road To Menopause

What are the signs of perimenopause? You’re in your 40s, you wake up in a sweat at night, and your periods are erratic and often accompanied by heavy bleeding: Chances are, you’re going through perimenopause. Many women experience an array of symptoms as their hormones shift during the months or years leading up to menopause that is, the natural end of menstruation. Menopause is a point in time, but perimenopause is an extended transitional state. It’s also sometimes referred to as the menopausal transition, although technically, the transition ends 12 months earlier than perimenopause .

What You Can Do To Boost Your Mood

The good news is that there many things you can do to combat the psychological effects of the menopause, from medical interventions or complementary therapies undertaken with the advice of a health professional, to simple changes to your lifestyle.

Here are 10 ways to help even out your menopause mood swings:

1. Keep A Diary

Keeping a symptom diary, recording your symptoms each day, will help health professionals to assess whether your low mood has a cyclical, hormonal basis or whether you may be suffering from depression which should be treated differently. Some women in their 40s are prescribed anti-depressants for low mood but these can have unpleasant side effects while hormone replacement therapy is a more effective and safer treatment for mood swings triggered by fluctuating hormones.

2. Take Some HRT

In the UK, HRT is recommended by NICE to treat menopause-related mood swings and research has shown it helps. One study, published earlier this year by US researchers, found women who took HRT for a year were less likely to develop symptoms of depression during the menopause. There are some risks associated with taking HRT but these are extremely small and the benefits outweigh the risks. The type and dose of HRT will depend on your individual symptoms and medical history with the advice of your doctor.

3. Try Testosterone
4. Eat Well
5. Cut Back On Alcohol
6. Exercise Regularly
7. Get More Sleep
8. Consider Complementary Therapies
9. Try Something New
10. Think Positive

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Why Does Perimenopause Rage Happen

Your perimenopause rage doesnt mean that youre going crazy. You wont feel this way forever. Theres a chemical reason for what youre experiencing.

Estrogen affects the production of serotonin. Serotonin is a mood regulator and happiness booster. When your body produces less estrogen, your emotions may feel off-balance. Your emotions should stabilize after your body adjusts to the decrease in estrogen.

You may find that your feelings of rage are touch and go. It may be more prominent for a week or two, then disappear for the next month or so. This is because your estrogen levels are declining over time. Your estrogen-serotonin balance will be thrown off with each period of decline.

Mental Health Issues Associated With Menopause

Menopause Symptoms: Mood Swings

Mood swings are another common symptom of menopause. Low estrogen levels can lead to irritability, anxiety, and depression. Your moods can change quickly and vary greatly, from laughing to crying within minutes.

How are estrogen levels connected to your mood? Some studies point to the mood-enhancing effects of the hormone, which implies that lower levels of it may lead to feelings of depression. In fact, one study showed that women are two to four times more likely to experience a major depressive episode during menopause than at other times in their lives.

Menopause and low estrogen levels may also exacerbate existing mental health issues, such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.;

In addition to changing estrogen levels, sleepless nights can also contribute to mood changes. Night sweats, hot flashes, and heart palpitations at night can leave you feeling cranky, anxious, and irritable during the day.

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How Might Menopause Lead To Mood Swings

During the transition to menopause, levels of the hormone estrogen drop, causing wide-ranging changes throughout the body. Many of these changes have direct connections to menopausal mood swings.

For example, the drop in estrogen is thought to affect the way the body manages serotonin and norepinephrine, two substances that have been linked to depression. Lower levels of estrogen have been linked to irritability, fatigue, stress, forgetfulness, anxiety, and difficulty concentrating.

The impact of these changing hormone levels may not be limited to a direct cause-and-effect relationship with depression, anger, and anxiety. Hormone shifts may also intensify these feelings.

Also, researchers have found higher levels of a brain protein known as monoamine oxidase A , which is linked to depression, in women entering perimenopause.

Sometimes, reactions build on each other, such as with night sweats. These are hot flashes that take place when someone is asleep.

Night sweats can be so intense that a woman is woken and sleep is disrupted. Several nights of disrupted sleep can result in foggy thinking, irritability, and other characteristics associated with menopausal mood swings.

Can Menopause Cause Depression

The time leading up to menopause is a physical and emotional roller coaster for some women. The so-called change of life comes with a host of symptoms triggered by hormonal shifts hot flashes, insomnia, mood fluctuations and even depression.

When women go through sudden hormonal changes like those that come with perimenopause, puberty, postpartum and even their monthly cycle, theyre at a higher risk for depression, says Jennifer Payne, M.D., psychiatrist and director of the Women’s Mood Disorders Center at Johns Hopkins. In general, women are twice as likely as men to develop the condition.

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Irritability And Mood Swings In Menopause

When it comes to irritability and mood swings, most of us have had some experience with both. Wed all like to keep these episodes to a minimum, but perimenopause can sometimes make that seem like an impossible challenge.

I was a real bear, ready to bite anyones head off. I couldnt understand why I wasnt happy. I was moody and snapping all the time. Now I can honestly say that I wake up in the morning and I am happy. My patience has returned and my husband has noticed a big change.

Irene, customer

A comment from an article on our site captures the humbling realization that you cant blame bad moods and irritability in perimenopause on other people:

I thought, when did my loving partner of 25 years become so difficult and hard on me? Then I realized it was me. Yikes. Time for a change!”

Irritability and mood swings are two top complaints we hear from women in perimenopause. These symptoms can affect your personal and professional relationships, your outlook on life and your daily well-being. While irritability and mood swings are closely related, there are some differences.

We use mood swing to describe a reaction that isnt appropriate to the event that triggered it while irritability can be described as an angry or impatient reaction to something or someone. Unfortunately, both these common symptoms often go hand in hand during perimenopause and menopause.

Treatment Options For Symptoms Of Menopause

Irritability Symptom Information

Fortunately, you dont have to live with frequent hot flashes, wild mood swings, or episodes of major depression. There are many treatment options to help manage your menopausal symptoms. For example, our specialists may recommend hormone replacement therapy or bioidentical hormone therapy to replace the estrogen youve lost. HRT can come in pills, creams, patches, injections, or pellets.;

If youre going through menopause or perimenopause and experiencing mood swings or other mental health issues, contact The Association for Womens Health Care with offices in Chicago and Northbrook, Illinois for help, either by calling or booking an appointment online.

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Take Steps To A Better Nights Sleep

Again, this is another where you might be thinking easier said than done, GEN M. We get it. But there is a simple trick you can try and in doing so, reduce menopause irritability and mood swings.

Using your phone or watching TV right before bed can wreak havoc on sleep. The blue light emitted by screens can make our brains think its daytime, disrupting our natural sleep-wake cycles. Turn everything off around two hours before and try reading instead.

Suffering from night sweats or difficulty sleeping? Click for more information and advice.

Q: Is There Anything Else I Can Do To Cope With Emotional Concerns During This Phase Of My Life

A: A healthylifestyle can help ease the menopause transition, including the followingsteps:

  • Exercise and eat healthy.
  • Engage in a creative outlet or hobby that givesyou a sense of achievement.
  • Turn to friends, family members or aprofessional counselor for support. Stay connected with your family andcommunity. Nurture your friendships.
  • Take medicines, vitamins and minerals asprescribed by your doctor.

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The Bitch Factor Causes Of Irritability In Perimenopause

Many women are stunned to experience irritability for the first time during perimenopause. And theyre even more shocked to learn that their irritability is rooted in the physical changes their bodies are undergoing in perimenopause. Weve heard the perimenopausal bitch factor described in colorful detail:

  • Its like a buzzing deep in my head that just grows louder and louder.
  • I feel so irritated that I could chew through steel!
  • I get really annoyed at little things until I just fly off the handle and start yelling.

These women and many others tell us that when they take out their irritability on family members, co-workers, or even complete strangers, they regret it instantly and feel guilty for losing their cool.

Irritability in perimenopause is thought to be triggered by extreme hormonal changes, especially abrupt fluctuations during perimenopause that alter the balance between key neurotransmitter systems in the brain. Then as estrogen naturally decreases during perimenopause, testosterone rises, leading directly to mood changes like irritability. So whether its from reduced estrogen, imbalanced testosterone, decreasing levels of progesterone or estrogen dominance, irritability can occur with all types of hormonal fluctuation.

Top 8 Tips For Menopause Rage Treatment

Irritability explained Menopause Now

First of all, you may wonder what to take for menopause irritability. Most commonly, doctors prescribe stabilizers or antidepressants. But, even folk medicine can contribute to your balanced condition. For instance, menopause irritability natural treatment will involve herb teas and valerian drops but first, ask for the doctors consent because you might provoke additional aggravation. Other tips for treatment:

  • Analyze your behavior. Find the real cause of the irritability. Spot the discomfort that regularly provokes you for aggression. It helps to know the enemy and look for the weapon to fight it away;
  • Spend time relaxing. Yoga, meditating or walking in the forest are the best pills for moderating this symptom and relief mood swing. Try to spend qualitative time on your own;
  • Be realistic. Menopause mood swings may distort the mind, and you will demand too much from yourself and your beloved ones;
  • Sleep enough. This menopause irritability treatment option is aimed to relieve excess stress. Do one thing, never overthink when you lay in the bed, it provokes another stress. Try to drink herb tea, and listen to calm music;
  • Control your breathing. During an attack of menopause and rage manifestations, our breathing becomes more frequent. If you focus your attention on the breath, try to slow it down. And, you wont notice how irritations recede into the background as well.
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    How To Help Yourself Feel Calmer And More Patient

    So what can you do to help yourself through this?

    Relaxation techniques

    There’s a few little techniques, but again as I say with these kinds of emotional issues, you very often find yourself right in the middle of a scenario before you suddenly realise what’s going on, and then it can be quite difficult to control. But certainly, if you suddenly think to yourself, “Oh, I’m getting really impatient here,” try and do some slow deep breathing.;

    And the great thing is that if you practice this every day, it will soon be second nature, and you can fall into this relaxation technique very, very quickly.


    Exercise is another great way of helping to deal with impatience and irritability. Just even getting out in the fresh air, getting a little bit of peace and quiet away from everybody, and even just some speed walking or brisk walking round the block at lunchtime, can make quite a lot of difference to how you feel on the rest of the day.


    Look at your diet because lots of sugar, lots of processed foods, and if you’re not eating either properly, or you’re not eating regularly enough, then your blood sugar levels are going to go up and down like a yo-yo, and that will trigger your impatience and your irritability as well.

    Reduce your caffeine intake

    Menopause Support

    Don’t feel guilty

    So I will look forward to seeing you next week, for another edition of A.Vogel Talks Menopause.

    Get Your Levels Checked By Your Gp

    If you can relate to any of these symptoms and your symptoms are affecting the quality of your life in any way, which they no doubt are if youre reading this, then please do seek medical advice. Request to get your hormone levels tested along with your bloods to check for any nutrient deficiencies that could also be affecting how you are feeling.

    In addition there are dietary and lifestyle changes you can make to help balance both your hormones and help you manage your symptoms.

    The decision whether H.R.T. is suitable for you is very much an individual decision based on your individual circumstances and medical history. Its something you should discuss directly with your doctor and no-one else.

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    Menopause Anger: Why Might You Experience Mood Swings In Different Menopause Stages

    The emotional characteristics of perimenopause and menopause are significant. Estrogen is the hormone that takes care of most of a womans reproductive functions. When women transition to menopause, the ovaries reduce their production of estrogen. Estrogen controls the amount of serotonin being produced in the brain. Serotonin helps regulate the moods.

    If estrogen production is low, serotonin levels will also be low.; This impacts mental stability and optimism level. Hormonal imbalance is the main cause of mood swings and menopausal anger.

    Three stages of menopause during which women experience widespread aspects of menopause mood swings include:

    • Perimenopause this is the period before menopause when all the symptoms occur. Mood swings during this period take the form of extreme and sudden feelings of anxiety, panic, and anger. Women become less tolerant during this phase and get annoyed at even trivial things.;
    • Menopause hormonal shifts can contribute to mental fogginess.
    • Postmenopause due to the extremely low levels of estrogen, there are increased feelings of depression and anxiety.


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