What Are Mood Swings?

Mood swings can feel like a rollercoaster ride, with rapid and unpredictable shifts in emotions ranging from irritability to sadness or anxiety. These emotional swings can be challenging to cope with and may impact your relationships and daily life.

Mood swings during menopause are largely influenced by hormonal fluctuations, especially the decline in estrogen and progesterone levels, and relative androgen dominance which play a vital role in regulating mood.

Dr. Michelle in her kitchen

What Causes Mood Swings?

As menopause approaches, your body undergoes significant hormonal changes, and these hormonal fluctuations can affect the brain’s neurotransmitters, which are responsible for regulating emotions.

Estrogen and progesterone have a significant impact on the production and reception of certain neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine, that play a crucial role in mood regulation. The decrease in estrogen and progesterone levels can disrupt the balance of these neurotransmitters, leading to mood swings.

Additionally, a drop in estrogen and progesterone can leave testosterone as the dominant hormone. This “androgen dominance” can sometimes result in mood issues that present as irritability or rage.

Dr. Michelle in her kitchen

How To Stop Mood Swings

First and foremost, prioritize self-care and take time to engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation. Regular exercise, mindfulness practices such as meditation or yoga, and spending time in nature can help improve mood and overall well-being.

Maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet can also play a crucial role in managing mood swings. Avoiding excessive caffeine, alcohol, and processed foods can help stabilize blood sugar levels and reduce mood fluctuations. Instead, focus on incorporating whole foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids, which can support brain health and emotional balance.

If mood swings begin in the perimenopause and menopause transition period, it is safe to assume that hormonal imbalances are a significant contributing factor to your mood swings. In this case, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) should be considered before antidepressants and antianxiety medications. In many cases, BHRT can help restore hormonal balance and alleviate mood swings, providing you with a sense of emotional stability and well-being.

In cases where mood swings are significantly impacting your daily life and relationships, consider seeking support from a mental health professional or counselor who can provide coping strategies. 

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