Menopause Mood Swings

Facts about Menopause & Mood Swings
For many women menopause & mood swings can be like a roller coaster ride-just as fast and emotionally draining. It is a time when nothing is seriously wrong but nothing is quite right either. It is mixture of highs and lows, up days and down days with little making sense in between.

Most women have a fairly good understanding of menopause in that it is the time of their life when their hormones are changing, their ovaries are no longer creating eggs, they are continually exhausted and experiencing night sweats. Mood swings are not always present but in nearly 75% of women they are. Though menopause and mood swings might be a time when you can not feel a single moment of control, it is a normal female process.

One of the most often used definitions of mood swings is simply stated as the rapid changing of moods. With the gradual secession of egg production the body begins producing less of the hormones that would ordinarily signal ovulation or the menstrual cycle. This fluctuation of androgens, estrogen, progesterone and lack of periods, is actually the onset of, not only menopause but the beginning of mood swings as well.

Though the symptoms of menopause & mood swings are primarily the same in most women the way a women deals with her raging/subsiding emotions and stresses can be vastly different. Estrogen is responsible for the production of serotonin in the brain under normal circumstances. Also known as mood regulating neurotransmitters serotonin levels are instrumental in keeping the emotions in a check and balance.

When estrogen production begins to change so does the balance of the chemicals in the body. Mood swings are a symptom, not of menopause necessarily, but of chemical/ hormonal imbalance. The three great stressors in a women's life are premenstrual, postpartum and menopause. Much to their dismay, up to 33% of all females will have the opportunity to know some sort of mood dysfunction in their lifetime.

Though hormone replacement therapy is available and many doctors as well as patients are pleased, for the thousands of women who read of the side effects for these therapies alternative methods are by far a better option. Aside from herbal remedies such as black cohosh, kava kava, St. Johns Wort, ginkgo biloba, or American ginseng such activities as yoga, meditation and even acupuncture are popular natural remedies for menopause and mood swing symptoms.

Outside of recognizing that you are in the midst of menopause and mood swings, try exercise-a walk as many times a week as possible will do wonders for circulation, for energy and for making a women look and feel younger. Couple this with fifteen to twenty minutes of exposure to the sun each day and you not only have Vitamin D but your whole mood will be lightened.

Throughout bouts of both menopause and mood swings seek the council of a good friend-surround yourself with positive energy. One of the best medicines is still laughter. This is especially true if you find yourself feeling anxious or slipping into a depressed state. Instead of brooding, find an activity that will help take your mind off things.

Now is also a good time for a lifestyle change if one is in order. Take a look at your eating habits, eliminating white flour products, processed foods and too much sugar. Incorporate fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains (for vitamins, minerals and fiber), good sources of protein such as lean meats, soy products, legumes and nuts. Cut back on caffeine and give up smoking as it directly affects estrogen production.