Menopausal moodiness and irritability can affect your life and relationships drastically. Today, we’ll talk about how to treat menopausal mood swings.
Moodiness is when your level of happiness, irritability, anger, or other emotion is excessive to the situation. Most women have experienced this sometime in their life, because being a woman is like being on a hormone roller coaster. During your reproductive years, you may suddenly feel exceptionally sad, depressed, anxious, or irritable. And then the very next day, you feel completely different, depending on where you are in your cycle.
When you begin perimenopause, you may start noticing your moods swinging more dramatically. For some women, it’s mostly a kind of sadness, an unusual depression, or a lack of motivation. For a lot of women, it’s rageful irritability. And for some women, it’s a chronic, angsty anxiety. Menopausal moodiness is different for everyone, and some women may experience all three types of moods.
So what’s causing these unpredictable moods? The short answer is: your hormones.
Estrogen promotes serotonin production, progesterone promotes GABA production, and testosterone promotes dopamine production. So when your hormones are out of balance, it affects the way your brain functions, and in turn, your moods.
Your hypothalamus is the gatekeeper for the neurotransmitters that control your moods.
This is because your moods are related to your survival. You need to know when to be anxious in order to have a life-saving stress response. It’s your hypothalamus that instigates the bonding hormone oxytocin, produced between lovers, and by mothers as they cuddle their newborns.
Your hypothalamus controls how we interact with our surroundings by controlling our brain chemistry so that we can be safe and survive in the world.
Our hormones affect the production of our neurotransmitters, and as our hormones decline as we age, those neurotransmitters are not produced in adequate amounts to keep our moods stable.
If you already have a mood disorder, depression, anxiety, bipolar, or if you had postpartum depression, you’re more likely to have issues during perimenopause and menopause. It’s not unusual for your mood disorder to get worse, because your hormones are depleted during the change.
How do you know if you’re experiencing menopause related moodiness?
You’ll be able to tell because your moods will be extreme. Sometimes, you may not even notice how bad your mood swings are, and it will be your partner or family member who is the first to notice how unusual you’re acting.
That’s what happened to me. At the age of 49, I began perimenopause. I still had periods, didn’t experience weight gain, and generally felt great. However, my level of happiness began to plummet. I was exceptionally irritable, and I couldn’t seem to shake my own moodiness. I didn’t realize how much I was struggling until my husband sat me down, held my hand, and asked me, “If you were your own patient, wouldn’t you offer yourself some hormones?”
Taking Genesis Gold® delayed my perimenopause for 5-7 years later than my younger sisters. I didn’t go through actual menopause until I was 58, which was two years later than my mother. Being a lifelong athlete, I didn’t have enough body fat for adequate estrogen reserve, so I had to consider BHRT.
There are a few treatment options for menopause moodiness.
First, you can consider hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Using hormones alongside the medications you’re already taking is possible, but always talk with your healthcare provider about this first. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) can also be very helpful in balancing your moods. But without balancing your hypothalamus, you will have to use more and more hormones to stay stable, which isn’t safe in the long run.
When dealing with menopause moodiness, balancing your hypothalamus should be your top priority.
When your hypothalamus is functioning optimally, your moods are much more stable. You’re not nearly as anxious, depressed, or rageful. You’re going to respond appropriately to whatever situation you’re facing, because your hypothalamus is not so dysregulated by your low hormonal levels.
If you combine hypothalamic balancing with BHRT, you can use a lot less hormones, and you’ll be much more balanced. I love to use my Genesis Gold® for hypothalamic balancing. And for the more severe cases, like those who have a history of postpartum depression or mood disorders, I’ll add some extra Sacred Seven® to their Genesis Gold® to give them extra hypothalamic support.
We talk a lot about the best ways to deal with mood swings in our Hormone Support Group which you can access by joining our Hormone Reboot Training.