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Menopausal Mood Swings: Causes and Coping Strategies

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Rehana Kanwal

2 min read

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Menopause refers to the end of ovulation in a woman. The ovaries do not stop ovulating all of a sudden, but rather go through a process with different stages before menstruation can stop completely. Menopause can take years in some women and it can be a very hard time to endure. Almost in all stages of menopause, the body is going through major hormonal changes. These hormonal changes bring both physical and emotional symptoms with them.

Mood swings in women above the age of 50 years, are a major sign of an approaching menopause and in most cases women go through mild to severe mood swings throughout menopause.

Occasional mood swings are common but frequent mood swings can interfere with one’s ability to make decisions and if they prolong for years as is the case in menopause, they can lead to other complicated mental problems such as depression and anxiety disorders.  In the paragraphs to follow, we are breaking down menopausal mood swings for you and how they can be managed.

What causes mood swings during menopause?

Ovaries of a woman normally produce a group of hormones which are collectively known as estrogen. Estrogen is not only responsible for the development of feminine physical features, it is crucial for reproduction as it helps the ovaries in releasing the egg. Estrogen also has importance for mental health as it is involved in maintenance of levels of other hormones such as serotonin, also known as the happy-hormone. When menopause starts, production of estrogen is decreased and it keeps on decreasing as the stages of menopause pass.

A decreased production of estrogen drastically affects the levels of serotonin. This shift in levels of serotonin and estrogen creates a chemical imbalance in the brain and thus the mood swings are experienced. Serotonin has also been linked to appetite and sex drive which means that during menopause women also face physical problems which can add to the fatigue putting one in a foul mood.

Coping with the mood swings:

Some of the ways the mood swings are experienced during menopause are sensitivity, fatigue, severe anxiety and depression, bouts of weeping and fits of anger. The mood swings can become exhaustive not only for the menopausal woman but also for the people around her. It is thus necessary, to take steps to minimize the intensity of the menopausal mood swings. Following are the strategies that can be adapted while dealing with menopausal mood swings.

Diet: Although a decreased production of estrogen is inevitable during menopause, other hormones such as serotonin that are mainly responsible for mood swings can be stimulated through proper diet. Some food items that can enhance serotonin are fish, nuts, soybeans, eggs and spinach.

Exercise: Exercise is the best way to enhance serotonin and ultimately have a stable and happy mood.

Hormone replacement: Estrogen can be inserted artificially in the body. Hormone replacement therapy is a popular method that is used to maintain the levels of hormones in women going through menopause. Hormone replacement therapy can not only help with the mood swings, it can also reduce physical symptoms of menopause such as water retention.

If you are experiencing menopause, see a gynecologist who specializes in menopause as soon as possible. You can also book an appointment with top gynecologists in Lahore, Karachi and Rawalpindi through oladoc.com or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 to get directed to the specialists according to your specific concerns.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Rehana Kanwal - Author Assoc. Prof. Dr. Rehana Kanwal is a Gynecologist practicing in Lahore. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Rehana Kanwal has the following degrees: M.B.B.S., F.C.P.S. and has 10 years of experience.
Gynecologist in Karachi

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