If Youve Been Diagnosed With Depression In The Past
Having a history of depression makes it more likely youll experience an episode as you approach menopause. Talk to your doctor if your previous symptoms return or if you have new ones, including:
- Persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness or irritability
- Low appetite or overeating
- Overwhelming fatigue and lack of motivation
- Loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed
- Difficulty making decisions and absorbing information
- Thoughts of suicide
What Vitamins Are Good For Menopause Mood Swings
There are several vitamins that you can take every day in supplement form in order to reduce the many symptoms that are associated with menopause, including mood swings. Taking supplements, rather than merely relying upon your diet, will help ensure that you are getting enough of these nutrients to balance your mood and emotions. So in addition to eating a healthy and balanced diet that is packed with foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, and legumes, you can also talk to your doctor about supplementing your diet with the following vitamins that you can purchase over-the-counter.
Dong Quai: Empress Of The Herbs
Dong quai has been used in Chinese medicine as treatment for women’s health for thousands of years. But research in recent times hasn’t found evidence to back this up. One study of dong quai to determine its effects on hot flashes during menopause found no benefits. Because dong quai may have some risks, including cancer when taken long-term, check with a doctor before using it.
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Why You May Not Need Supplements To Treat Symptoms
If the idea of taking supplements to treat your menopause symptoms doesn’t appeal to you, consider relaxation techniques and acupuncture for relief. Slow, deliberate, deep breathing and progressive relaxation techniques have been shown to decrease hot flashes by up to 60 percent. Breathe in slowly through your nose, counting to five. Then breathe slowly out through your mouth, counting from five back to one. If you practice it ahead of time, youll have better luck with this technique. Start breathing as soon as you feel a hot flash coming on.
Acupuncture does seem to help hot flash symptoms. Its not clear whether this is because of the acupuncture itself or because you relax during the treatment. One study suggested that true acupuncture and pretend acupuncture had the same effect on hot flash symptoms. In any event, it cant hurt to give it a try, and many insurances now cover acupuncture and other forms of alternative medicine.
Meditation is another practice that may help treat the general symptoms of menopause, including mood swings. Taking time each day for short sessions of meditation can subtly alter your brain chemistry and reduce your stress. Learning to meditate could be the best all-around menopause remedy you try. Its a small investment for a big payoff.
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.
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What Are The Best Supplements For Menopausal Mood Swings And Other Symptoms Of Menopause
Supplements can be helpful in alleviating and eveneliminating the symptoms of menopause, like hot flashes, but its importantthat any supplementation be done under the careful guidance of a healthcareprofessional. Because supplements are not regulated to the same extent asprescription drugs, the dose, quality, safety, and purity may vary betweenbrands or even between batches of the same brand of poor-quality supplements.
The supplements available through BodyLogicMD, however, are high-quality, pharmaceutical-grade supplements and are guaranteed to be more effective than over-the-counter supplements of uncertain origin. These supplements are useful in the relief of a wide range of symptoms and conditions, including mood swings and the various symptoms that can contribute to mood swings.
Herbs that can be used to reduce hot flashes include blackcohosh, a member of the buttercup family. Red clover has also been shown to help some women experiencinghot flashes, as has dong quai, which has been used in traditional Chinese medicinefor more than a millennium.
Another traditional medicine that has proven effectiveto help treat some menopausal symptoms is ginseng. It hasbeen shown to ameliorate mood swings and sleeplessness and improve generalwellbeing.
Kava, an extract that is made from Piper methysticum, a plant native to the western Pacific islands, mayhelp decrease anxiety, though there is no evidence it can be used to treat hotflashes.
Is Vitamin B Complex Good For Menopause
According to experts, B complex vitamins may be a natural way for you to control your mood swings during menopause. These vitamins could help stabilize your mood and help you feel calmer and happier, as well as more energized. And dont forget that you can also get these vitamins from your diet, so consider eating more potatoes and bananas, as well as dark leafy greens like chard, kale, and spinach.
If you want to rest assured that you are getting enough of all of the important B vitamins every day, consider supplementing your diet with a B complex. In addition to vitamin B6, this one supplement will also give you a healthy and much-needed dose of vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, vitamin B7, vitamin B9, and vitamin B12. So rather than taking several pills, you can take one pill that contains all of the B vitamins that you need. Easy!
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When To See A Doctor
You should call an ambulance if youre having a mental health emergency such as if youve seriously hurt yourself, or you feel like hurting yourself. Read more about suicide support.
You should see a doctor if you have menopause mood swings and:
- youve had low mood for more than 2 weeks
- the things youre trying arent helping
- its affecting your quality of life
- you feel youre not coping with your mood
- youd like a referral for therapy
Q: Does Having Panic Attacks Mean You Have Panic Disorder
A: Not necessarily. Those with panic disorder have frequent panic attacks. And, in between, they worry about when the next one will strike and try to adjust their behavior to head it off. But a single or a few isolated panic attacks dont mean you have a panic disorder.
Women who were prone to anxiety in the past or who had postpartum depression are sometimes more likely to have a panic disorder during menopause. But any woman can develop one.
Panic disorders can be hard to identify because somesymptoms, such as sweating and palpitations, mirror those that many womenexperience anyway during perimenopause and menopause. But, just because a panicdisorder is not easily diagnosed, that doesnt mean that it doesnt exist orthat you cant treat it.
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Investigating Mood Swings During Menopause
Many women go to the doctor to discuss menopausal mood changes and possible treatments for them. It is highly likely that the doctor will ask detailed questions about the womans life in order to assess whether the symptoms are caused by menopause or another health condition. For many women, menopause may be a catalyst to discuss existing issues with their doctor, and it is important to tell the doctor whether or not the symptoms began before other menopausal symptoms.
One of the key areas of questioning is the womans history of psychological illness , as those who have experienced psychological conditions in the past are more likely to also experience such symptoms during menopause. Women with a history of psychological illness who display symptoms of depression in the menopausal transition will generally be referred to a psychological health specialist for further assessment. The specialist will be able to determine whether the womans symptoms are a result of menopause, or if they are cause by a psychological illness that requires treatment.
Women should be aware that not all mood disorders which occur at the time as menopause are due to menopausal changes. It is useful to consider whether or not there are other factors which may be affecting mood. Such factors include:
- Life circumstances: Including:
- Roles and responsibilities at work and in the home
- Whether or not there have been recent role changes and
- Levels of satisfaction with life roles
Q: Is There A Link Between Menopause And Depression
A: Changes inhormone levels may influence neurotransmitters in the brain. The drop inestrogen levels can also lead to hot flashes that disturb sleep, which can thenlead to anxiety and mood swings.
If you experience symptoms of depression nearly every day for two or more weeks, you might be depressed. Talk with your doctor about finding a treatment that will work for you. Your doctor will also want to rule out any medical causes for your depression, such as thyroid problems.
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Other Mental Symptoms Of Menopause
Forgetfulness and difficulty concentrating are problems reported by some menopausal women. One study found a measurable decline in cognitive ability of others. However, these problems usually reverse when women are post-menopausal.
Emotional problems may not be as easy to see as a broken leg, or as directly diagnosed as heart disease, but they are no less painful, limiting, and potentially devastating.
Fortunately, help is available through counseling, medication, or a combination of treatments.
If menopause mood swings or emotional upheavals are interfering with a persons enjoyment of life, they should see a mental health counselor, or seek a referral from a general practitioner.
The Science Behind The Emotions
Your relationships have been built around the respected and competent woman you’ve become. To be told, or perhaps to realize that some of your adult reactions have suddenly become irrational due to hormonal changes can be challenging to accept. Its important to understand that there are many factors to help explain what youre experiencing.
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Treat Yourself With Kindness
No, menopause isnt an illness. But it can wreak enough havoc on your body sometimes to make you think it is! Particularly for women who are starting to have hot flashes, menstrual irregularities, interrupted sleep, and maybe new medical issues, depressive symptoms can occur, says Dr. Stuenkel. Its a lot for anyone to deal with, she adds, and you need to cut yourself some slack. Dont judge yourself for feeling down instead, try to replace every sad thought you have with a positive one, and every worry with a reason to feel confident.
When Your Mood Is Low And Youre In A Funk
Its not necessarily a bad thing. When youre feeling less accommodating, you let go of all those people pleasing impulses, your filters drop, barriers come down and you end up speaking your mind. This is the time to have calm, honest conversations about what you need from others – you might find you get what you really want.
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How Does The Menopause Affect Your Mood
Like other menopause symptoms, mood swings can be caused by lower levels of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone in your body.
You can get perimenopause mood swings for the same reason. This is the time leading up to menopause, when your periods become less regular and your hormone levels start to change.
As your oestrogen and progesterone drop, so do your levels of serotonin a brain chemical that can give you feelings of happiness and wellbeing. This lack of serotonin can play a part in mood swings and feelings such as irritability, worry and sadness.
Mood swings can also be a side effect of other symptoms of perimenopause and menopause, such as hot flushes, vaginal dryness, joint pain and dizziness. For example, hot flushes at night may be stopping you from sleeping, or vaginal dryness or loss of sex drive may be affecting your sex life.
Reaching the menopause also means youre no longer able to get pregnant, which may affect how you feel emotionally.
Major life changes that can happen around this time can also play a part in mood swings, such as health issues, divorce, children leaving home, or parents getting older or dying.
Wild Yam: Alternative To Hormones
Pills and creams made from certain species of wild yam are popular alternatives to hormone therapy for menopause. Some of the natural compounds in these yams appear similar to estrogen and progesterone, but it’s possible they are not active in people. So far, clinical studies have not found that they ease menopause symptoms.
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Painful Intercourse And Dry Vagina
Women are often surprised that sex can become difficultmore painful, less pleasurablearound menopause.
Dropping estrogen levels produce a trifecta of changes to the vaginal tissues that impact sex and sexual pleasuretissues become thinner, less elastic, and lubrication diminishes. Less estrogen also equals less blood flowa key ingredient in orgasms.
Vaginal health, enjoyable sex, and painless sex have gotten the short end of the stick for women in menopause, says Sadaty. But it doesnt need to be that way.
Women can talk to their doctors about the pros and cons of a wide range of options including nonhormonal lubricants and intervaginal moisturizers, which help the vaginal tissue retain water or vaginal hormones, including estrogen, DHA, and testosterone, which can help rebuild tissue.
For women who want to avoid vaginal hormones because of concerns about increased cancer risk, or for those who dont want the ongoing nightly maintenance of vaginal creams, vaginal laser therapy is another alternative.
Sadaty calls laser therapy a no-brainer and notes that the procedure helps with vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, tightening after childbirth, and also urinary stress-incontinence by restoring some of the supports under the bladder to prevent leaking urine.
Menopause is a perfectly natural change in lifebut its also perfectly natural to want to move through this life stage feeling vibrant and healthy and in control of your body, your mood, and your mind.
What Home Remedies Are There For Mood Swings
While it often seems that way, mood swings do not have to take over your life. There are simple changes to your lifestyle which can have a significant positive impact on your daily life.
Getting out in the fresh air can help to lift your mood. Exercise is also extremely beneficial, and it may be worth taking a walk each day even if only for 10-20 minutes. Exercise is also likely to improve your quality of sleep, which somehow makes situations the next day seem much more controllable.
- Diet plays an important role in your mood. A bad diet or one full of caffeine and refined sugar can cause your energy levels to soar and crash, taking your mood with it. A healthy balanced diet will keep your energy levels and mood much more stable. Complex carbohydrates, such as those found in wholemeal breads, peas and beans can help raise serotonin levels, improving your mood. Having dried fruit will keep your blood sugar more stable than chocolate, cakes or sweeties
- Eating small and regular meals may be better for your mood than eating a couple of really big meals. Everyone is different, so trying different approaches to see what suits you can be beneficial
- There is a strong correlation between magnesium levels and mood. It appears that lowered levels of magnesium can result in low mood and poor sleep, and so taking a magnesium supplement may help with your symptoms.
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Treating Menopausal Mood Swings With Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
During perimenopause and menopause, progesterone andestrogen levels begin to decline and can contribute to menopausal mood swings, which can drastically change a womans quality oflifeand not for the better. Progesterone and estrogen are critical to the proper functioningof neurotransmitters, which regulate mood. When production of the two hormonesdrops, it can be difficult for many women to be happy and to recover from boutsof sadness, anxiety, and irritability.
Natural Remedies For Menopausal Mood Swings
There are natural remedies that can help improve your menopausal moods swings as well as other symptoms. Its all about a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Lots of fruits and veggies, high-fiber foods, and omega-3 fats are great at helping relieve menopausal symptoms. It is important, however, to talk to your doctor about your diet if you are going through menopause. Some foods might help ease your menopausal mood swings others might not.
Foods that might boost your mood include beans, fish, fruit, leafy greens, dark chocolate, and berries. Foods that might trigger mood swings include soda, high-sugar juices, alcohol, processed meat, salted peanuts, high-sodium canned foods, and sugary baked goods.
Drinking plenty of water is also very important. Hot flashes can cause excessive sweating. Drink plenty of water to replenish any lost fluids and stay hydrated.
Some say that herbal remedies like St. Johns wort, black cohosh, red clover, sage, and ginseng can help treat hot flashes and mood swings. But talk to your doctor before taking any herbal supplements for your menopausal symptoms.
As in all stages of your life, try to stay positive as you transition through the various stages of menopause. Engage in activities that are fun to keep your mood up. Avoid situations that may trigger feelings of anger, sadness, or depression.
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