Natural Ways To Relieve Menopausal Mood Swings
Menopause “officially” occurs after a woman has not experienced a menstrual cycle for at least a year. It can take several years of pre-menopausal symptoms for menopause to actually occur, and the post-menopause phase can last for several years after that. This means that menopause, and its symptoms, can last 2-10 years – or even longer.
If you’re reading this, you have probably either tried or are concerned about invasive methods of relieving menopause symptoms – such as hormone therapy – and are looking for more natural options.
As you cycle through menopause, your estrogen and progesterone levels fluctuate dramatically, causing symptoms such as hot flashes, insomnia, depression, and mood swings. Hormonal changes can also cause physical symptoms, such as breast pain, loss in bone density, hair loss, and more. All hormones are in flux during this amazing time of a woman’s life; they should all be considered in a comprehensive treatment plan.
Thankfully, mood swings are not particularly common in menopausal women – only about 23% will experience such symptoms. But, this is still one in five. For those that do experience menopausal mood swings, the experience can be disheartening. These affect not just you, but also your family and friends. If you are suffering from mood swings, here are a few natural ways you may potentially relieve some of your symptoms:
Taking Vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 is an excellent vitamin for menopausal women to incorporate into their diets, as it is linked to improving bone density as well as improving mood. An English study showed that Vitamin D3 deficiency was linked to depression in a group of adults ages 65 years or older. The best way to get Vitamin D3 is through safe amounts of sun exposure, and in your regular diet. Be sure to include fish products such as sardines and tuna, eggs, or fortified dairy products. Obviously, safe sun exposure is recommended; however, the use of sunscreen has its own health concerns. Vitamin D3 is actually a hormone and has been found to regulate and change many different functions of the body. Nervous system and brain function are significantly affected by Vitamin D3; thus its importance for mood.
Acupuncture is something that many women use to find relief from their menopause symptoms. Skeptics of the practice argue that acupuncture is just a placebo, however, most insurance plans now cover acupuncture treatments. This is because there is a large body of evidence that has made it obvious that this works. Acupuncture may be a helpful alternative to hormone therapy, but you should consult with your physician before starting an acupuncture treatment. Additionally, choose a practitioner that is well-trained and has been certified by the appropriate regulatory bodies.
Meditation. Beginning a yoga practice, or taking just a few minutes to meditate during the day can be very helpful in reducing your anxiety. You can also try the 4-7-8 Rule: This method of meditation is a simple and fast way to find relief from anxiety. Breathe in for four seconds, hold your breath for seven, and exhale slowly for eight. After a few breath cycles, your heart rate should be much slower and anxiety levels should drop. Mindfulness is integral to proper brain health and psychological optimization; meditation is one way to become mindful.
Try herbal remedies. St. John’s Wort is a popular herb used to relieve mood swings, improve sleep, promote calm, and reduce anxiety and depression. St. John’s Wort can be found in most pharmacies – it can be taken in pill or liquid form, or brewed in tea. This herb is now even recommended by some Western Medical societies as a good first line treatment of general depression. There are side-effects and concerns and this remedy should be discussed with your provider.
Remember, simply understanding the process of menopause and accepting that you will have mood swings is often enough treatment in and of itself.
Natural treatments and lifestyle changes are often effective in lieu of invasive treatments, like surgery, hormone replacement therapy, and others. Dr. Meredith Warner, orthopedic surgeon and founder of Well Theory, uses this methodology – patient-led, natural healing – whenever it is appropriate for their particular circumstance or condition, and founded Well Theory with this idea in mind.
You can find more natural methods of relieving menopause symptoms by reading our free Menopause Guide!
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