15 Aug Naturopathic Solutions for Anxiety, Irritability and Mood Swings in Menopause
Anxiety, Irritability and Mood Swings
As you transition through menopause, you may experience a variety of related symptoms. Some may occur infrequently and others daily. The intensity of your symptoms can also fluctuate from mild or moderate, to severe.
All of these symptoms occur because of hormone imbalance. Approximately 10-25 percent of women will continue to have significant symptoms beyond menopause.
I hope you’ll read on to learn more about what the symptoms mean, why they’re happening, and how you can get relief.
Feeling anxious, irritable or moody?
If you’re like most midlife women your moods fluctuate and it doesn’t take much to make you anxious. Situations that you used to look forward to and handle with ease, such as entertaining friends and family, can suddenly leave you feeling overwhelmed and irritable.
Hormone imbalances cause many women to overreact to things that never used to faze them. Beyond the physical changes you’re going through at this time, you may also be dealing with an empty nest, aging parents, grief issues, or just generally taking stock of your life.
If your anxiety and mood swings are strong enough to interfere with your daily life, please speak with me. If you may be clinically depressed or have other health issues please advise me so we can help you get the support you need. While a hormone imbalance may be part of the problem, it may not be the whole picture.
Solutions: What you can do to ease your symptoms
There are many things you can do to feel better and improve your health overall. You can make some of these lifestyle changes today and others may require further discussion.
- Eat a healthier diet, free of processed foods. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store, where the most nutritious foods are found. Check the labels and avoid foods that are loaded with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), refined carbohydrates and sodium (salt). All can contribute to more imbalance symptoms.
- Practice portion control. Honor your cravings, but do so in moderation.
- Eat at least five servings of vegetables and one- two servings of fruit each day. The more colorful ones are packed with valuable nutrients. Dark green and leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale and collards have been shown to help in memory recall and other mental functions. Insulin resistance increases with age, so if you’re prone to anxiety be sure to watch your sugar consumption and add quality, good fats to your diet.
- Choose organic whenever possible to avoid preservatives, pesticides, hormones and other substances that disrupt hormone balance.
- Whole foods are healthiest, so pick the orange instead of the orange juice. You will get more hormone rebalancing nutrients and fiber to keep you healthy.
- Limit your caffeine intake; drink less coffee and soda. Especially important to cut your intake by 12p.
- Drink more pure water and green tea.
- Load up on berries that packed with anti-oxidants blueberries, blackberries, cranberries and strawberries. Fresh or frozen, they reduce oxidative stress which assaults the cells of the body. So, “berry up” to reduce inflammation and improve your brain cell signaling.
- Avoid saturated and trans fats and choose olive oil, unadulterated nuts and seeds, and avocados.
- Choose foods high in Vitamin C red peppers, oranges, pine nuts, sunflower seeds. Great for skin protection, leading to fewer wrinkles and less skin dryness overall.
- Boost your omega-3s a beneficial fatty acid found in oily fishes, walnuts, and flaxseed oils.
- Spice up your diet with herbs that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties turmeric (also known as curcumin), garlic, rosemary, and cayenne.
- Go for a walk, take the stairs and park farther away. Exercise gets your endorphins moving and helps alleviate symptoms associated with menopause.
- If you’re a smoker, seek the support you need to quit. On average, women who smoke experience menopause symptoms two years earlier than non-smokers. And smokers’ symptoms are often stronger and more troublesome.
- Chemical disruptors can also throw off your balance, so avoid perfumes and go fragrance-free.
- Make time to do the things you love, whether it’s relaxing with a good book or pursuing a favorite hobby.
- Get your life in order; getting rid of clutter can reduce your overall stress and help you manage midlife challenges.
- Reduce your stress with massage therapy, join a yoga class or meditate.
- Get more rest and a better night’s sleep.
- Speak with me about herbal therapy. You can learn more about the Adrenal Forte and Cortisol Reducer supplements rich in adaptogens in the Supplement section. The botanical extracts in these formulas directly impact cortisol and our flight/fight neurotransmitters, norepinephrine and epinephrine.
- Ask about black cohosh, and other herbs that have helped women with anxiety and other symptoms of menopause. If you’re interested in trying herbs, you can learn more about the MenoBalance supplement I’ve formulated in the Supplement section.
- See me or your health care provider for a comprehensive exam and full assessment of your overall physical, mental and emotional health.
- Also seek assessment of brain neurotransmitters, which are hormones in the nervous system (such as serotonin, epinephrine, norepinephrine, GABA and dopamine) that regulate mood and sleep.
- If hormone therapy is recommended, consider bioidentical therapy which matches your body’s hormone structure.
- Other options worth exploring are adrenal support vitamins. Increasing your intake of B & C vitamins, particularly vitamin B5, B6 and B12 can be very helpful. The Adrenal Forte is a includes a combination of adaptogenic herbs and Vitamin B5 and is specially formulated for pms and menopause hormonal induced anxiety. Don’t be tempted to buy cheap products, invest in yourself.
You are unique, so we should create an individualized plan for you detailing the type, timing and dosage of your therapy.
If you or someone you know suffers with anxiety or mood swings, feel free to drop me a line on the “contact us” page on this site. I treat patients locally at my Naturopathic practice in Vancouver, B.C. and worldwide via phone or Skype.
To your best health!
Dr Tasnim Adatya
Naturopathic Physician, Menopause Clinician, Acupuncturist, and Health Educator