6 Tips to Understanding Bio-identical Hormones and Mood Swings
Ask any woman in the throes of menopause how it affects her life and we are sure that she will tell you mood swings are one of the menopause symptoms that cause the most distress. A myriad of menopause symptoms affect each woman differently. Some are physically tough on the woman who endures them but the mood swings also cause upheaval in the lives of partners and other family members. We suggest that women may get some relief from prescribed bio-identical hormones and mood swings will seem much more manageable. Read on for six tips on the subject.
What are mood swings? Many women experience turbulent days and nights with menopause. During the night, sleep disturbances, night sweats, and panic attacks may occur. During the day, you may feel irritable or sad, experience fits of sudden crying or aggressive behavior. You may feel like you can’t concentrate or that you just do not feel like doing any of the activities you used to enjoy. These symptoms are the body’s emotional response to the menopause phase of life.
Why does the menopause phase cause mood swings? Women have two robust hormones in our bodies that work in tandem and in a delicate balance. The two hormones are oestrogen and progesterone.
The ovaries increase progesterone levels at various points in our reproductive lives but during menopause the ovaries reduce production levels of this important hormone. When the balance swings more heavily in favour of oestrogen, then our bodies are at the mercy of oestrogen dominance. It is the declining levels of progesterone (and therefore relatively increasing amounts of oestrogen) that contribute to mood swings. Patients feel symptoms similar to a constant state of pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS), which is also due to a state of oestrogen dominance.
What are bio-identical hormones and why do they work? We create bio-identical hormones from plants (mostly soy or Mexican yams) or other natural sources that are bio-chemically the same as the hormones our bodies produce. This means that the body metabolizes (translates chemically) and uses bio-identical hormones in the same manner as it would the hormones the body produces naturally.
What bio-identical hormones are we talking about? When it comes to mood swings, the bio-identical hormone progesterone is the one that seems to help the most. Studies have shown that taking oestrogens without progesterone may increase the chance of cancer. That is why some doctors’ hormone therapy protocol combines progesterone with one or more of three kinds of oestrogens:
- oestrone, or
Your doctor will conduct tests to determine your hormone levels and decide the treatment that will best help you.
What do doctors expect bio-identical hormone therapy to do? The objective of bio-identical hormone replacement therapy is to return the body to a younger state so it feels like it does when it is in the natural reproductive mode. The woman feels better because her mood elevates and seems under greater control. At the same time, some physicians believe that bio-identical hormone replacement therapy helps make her bones, brain, cardiovascular system and metabolism stronger than they were before taking the bio-identical hormones.
Is hormone replacement therapy new? No. Physicians in Europe used hormone replacement therapy successfully for more than 60 years. In recent years, however, doctors have turned to therapies that use bio-identical hormones rather than conventional pharmaceutical chemicals. So-called “natural” progesterone, for example, elevates mood by increasing γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA for short), a neurotransmitter in the brain that inhibits excitable responses.
For additional information on bio-identical hormone replacement therapy and its effects on menopause, read the huffingtonpost.com article entitled “3 Natural Menopause Solutions.”
To talk more about this, or anything else, please contact us. We are your resource for all your questions about women’s health, including menopause and other vitality issues.