The term menopause isn’t unknown to any health-conscious woman. To define it in simple terms, it marks the end of her reproductive years. While it brings about various physical changes, it is also frequently accompanied by mood swings and emotional turmoil.
Understanding the underlying causes, addressing their impact on overall well-being, and exploring available treatment options are essential to enhancing emotional health during this transitional period.
Why Do Women Get Mood Swings During Menopause?
To start with this article, we have first listed the potential reasons why women experience mood swings during this time.
Estrogen and progesterone are the two main hormones known to regulate mood. Researchers have proved the drop in these hormones during menopause. As a result, it can disrupt the balance of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. Hence, women experience mood swings.
Fluctuating hormone levels can affect the brain’s structure and function, particularly the limbic system responsible for emotions, contributing to mood swings.
Hot flashes and night sweats can cause discomfort and irritability, making women more prone to mood swings.
Mood swings can start during perimenopause, the transitional phase leading to menopause, when hormone levels begin to fluctuate, and menstrual irregularities occur.
How can Mood Swings Affect your Health During Menopause?
Mood swings aren’t anyone’s friend. They also impact negatively on your physical and emotional well-being. Below, we have discussed the potential impacts.
Chronic stress from mood swings can lead to elevated blood pressure, increased risk of heart disease, and other cardiovascular issues.
Prolonged stress can weaken the immune system, making women more susceptible to infections and illnesses.
Mood swings can affect cognitive function, leading to memory lapses and difficulty concentrating.
Stress and mood swings can negatively impact bone density and even cause osteoporosis.
Mood swings and stress can cause gastrointestinal issues like irritable bowel syndrome.
Treatments to Improve Emotional Wellbeing During Menopause
There are various Menopause Treatment options available to improve emotional health. Some of the significant ones are as follows:
Hormone Replacement Therapy or HRT
HRT is useful for the treatment of age-related complications in women. HRT is of two types:
Traditional HRT- Synthetic estrogen and progestin are used to replace the deficient hormones in our body. The aim is to restore hormonal balance in menopausal women. This approach effectively alleviates mood swings by compensating for the hormonal decline. They can cause certain cancers and blood clots.
Bioidentical HRT- Bioidentical HRT offers hormones identical to those naturally produced by our body. This approach aims to minimize side effects often associated with traditional HRT. It can be customized to an individual’s specific needs, potentially reducing mood swings and other menopausal symptoms.
To enhance the mood, physicians prescribe anti-depressant medicines. These are the two following types of medications :
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)- These are greatly effective in decreasing mood swings and help cope with all sorts of depressing symptoms in individuals undergoing menopause. They work by enhancing the availability of serotonin. It is a neurotransmitter associated with mood regulation. These medications can provide significant relief. Women experiencing severe emotional fluctuations can benefit from them.
Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)- SNRIs are used to keep mood swings and anxiety under control. Also, it functions by affecting the serotonin and norepinephrine levels in the body. It provides a broader spectrum of mood stabilization.
Cognitive-behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps women tackle emotional hurdles and mood swings. Through CBT, individuals learn to identify negative thought patterns.
They also develop effective coping strategies and manage stressors. CBT can provide long-term emotional stability. It equips women with valuable skills to navigate menopause with confidence.
Lifestyle changes play a crucial role in improving emotional well-being during menopause. These modifications include the following.
Regular Exercise- Engaging in regular physical activity is recommended by almost every doctor. Exercising daily can greatly stimulate the release of endorphins, which are interlinked to contribute to an overall positive outlook. Walking, jogging, swimming, or other similar exercises are primarily recommended.
Balanced Diet- Doctors always recommend a balanced diet for treating any condition. You need to intake whole grains, vegetables, and fruits as much as possible. It is also essential to consume omega-3 fatty acid-rich foods such as fish and nuts. They are known to elevate our moods. Consuming these fatty acids can be incredibly beneficial.
Stress Management Techniques- Stress management can be instrumental in reducing mood swings. They mostly include techniques like meditation and deep breathing exercises. These practices help calm the nervous system, promoting emotional stability and resilience.
Adequate Sleep- Ensuring sufficient, quality sleep is vital for managing mood swings. Poor sleep patterns can exacerbate emotional fluctuations, so establishing a healthy sleep routine is crucial.
What are the perks of Treatments During Menopause?
Check out the benefits of this treatment
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) restores hormonal equilibrium by replenishing estrogen and progesterone levels, hence reducing mood swings. This stability not only positively affects mood but also contributes to a more balanced emotional state.
Antidepressant medication and Cognitive-Behavioral therapy are effective in managing mood swings and emotional fluctuations. This prevents feelings of irritability, anxiety, and mood-related disturbances.
Better Sleep Patterns
Effective treatment options can lead to improved sleep quality. Hormone therapy can reduce night sweats and hot flashes. This ensures more restful sleep, reduces fatigue, and promotes mental alertness.
Effective Stress Management
Stress reduction techniques, including CBT and lifestyle changes, decrease stress-related symptoms. Lower stress levels can lead to a more positive outlook on life. Women also develop better coping abilities.
Good Physical Health
Our physical health and mental health hold the same significance. Hence, mood swings can not only affect our mental health but can also negatively impact our physical body.
For example, mood swings can negatively affect our cardiac health. However, if mood swings are managed, our cardiovascular health will also be improved.
Prevention of Clinical Depression
Anyone experiencing mood disorders knows how they can lead to clinical depression. However, if proper treatment is provided at the right time to help with the mood swings, there is a good chance of preventing clinical depression.
Mood swings during menopause are common and can be tough. Hence, it is important to know why they happen and what can help. Provided with proper care, women can experience emotional well-being throughout and after the menopausal transition.