Coping With The Emotions of Menopause
What are Mood Swings?
You are not alone. 15% of menopausal women experience mood swings. This is normal. Some examples of mood swings or strong emotions are:
- People seem more annoying than usual.
- You fly into a rage at the slightest annoyance.
- You cry easily, even because of television programs or movies.
- Your co-workers or children seem to be especially frustrating.
- You feel tired a lot.
- You feel confused; you don't know what the appropriate emotional response should be to a particular situation.
- You notice these emotions but cannot stop them.
- You have rapid changes in emotional state, i.e. happy one minute, sad or angry the next.
What causes Mood Swings?
No one knows for sure what causes mood swings, but most experts believe it has something to do with hormones. As menopause progresses, your ovaries stop producing eggs. Your body also stop producing hormones necessary for fertilization, including estrogen and progesterone. The levels of hormones fluctuate continuously, causing mood swings, hot flashes, trouble sleeping, sexual dysfunction, and headaches.
- Many people turn to hormone replacement therapy to alleviate their symptoms. However, these hormones can have very negative consequences.
- It is advisable to attempt lifestyle changes and natural solutions before resorting to altering your body's natural chemistry.
- Remember, menopause is not a disease. It is a natural part of aging.
- Many women find that the following lifestyle changes (like eating more nutritious foods) alleviate most, if not all, of their symptoms, even strong emotions.
- Eating a healthy diet rich in anti-oxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, especially Vitamin E, may alleviate many menopausal symptoms. A diet deficient in nutrients does not support overall health and well-being.
- Avoid foods high in fat, as well as hot or spicy foods if you have bad hot flashes.
- Avoid tobacco and alcohol.
- Get a minimum of 30 minutes of aerobic exercise per week if your health permits.
- Drink 8 glasses of water per day.
- Try relaxation exercises like yoga, stretching, and breathing exercises. Many women find that these help with insomnia, hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings.
- Herbal Remedies.
If you are still experiencing discomfort, talk to your health practitioner. He or she may be able to advise you on safe ways of controlling your menopausal symptoms.
Sources: http://womenshealth.about.com/b/2004/08/30/menopausal-mood-swings-2.htm http://www.4women.gov/FAQ/menopaus.htm http://www.epigee.org/menopause/mood_swings.html