Menopause Moods: Get Outta My Way

Who Are You? Menopause Irritability

Don't cross me! I'm menopausal and I have a gun.

While most cases of irritability during menopause don't get to this extreme, if you are a woman who is either peri-menopausal or menopausal you may have had "moments" when nobody, including you, recognized you. Here's the scenario: Everything is going along fine then suddenly, and without warning, something inside snaps. You arrive home from work, a bit tired but okay, and you're met at the door by a teenager who needs to get to the mall NOW. Your husband is there-why couldn't he take her? That's when it happens. You make a comment that you wish you could just roll back into your mouth within a minute of having said it. The family looks at you and takes one giant step backwards as they all find something else to do-fast.

Blame It On Menopause Hormones!

While the moon has been blamed for the sudden switch in temperament in a woman who is in menopause, the fact is that the mood swings happen for the same reason they do during the menstrual cycle-a change in hormone balance. However, it is bigger than hormonal imbalance. There are changes going on inside the brain as it rewires itself for this phase of life. The myelin sheath, which coats and insulates the nerve, causing the connection between nerve and cells to speed up is changing and growing. This action is happening in the part of the brain that is responsible for emotional learning and the changes create greater clarity. The decrease of estrogen combined with this new growth in the brain causes an awareness shift from nurturing others (the job of estrogen) to doing more things to take care of yourself.

Make It Easy On Yourself: Menopause Hormones

You don't start off with the disposition of a raging lunatic. It's very subtle at first, but has the capacity to build if it isn't recognized and addressed. By being aware of the irritability instead of ignoring it, you can begin to determine if things are helping or hindering you. Take a good look at what is going on in your life and make some decisions about where you are now in space and time and how you want life to happen. You can then dialogue with the family and make some changes, renegotiate the contract in a manner of speaking, to change the way things happen in your home and your life. An honest appraisal and dialogue with loved ones can make all the difference in the world to your internal angst.

Take Care Of Yourself

There are also some physical things you can do to help soothe the irritability and care for yourself. Meditation and yoga help to reduce stress. Exercise and a brisk walk in the sunshine do wonders. Taking calcium and magnesium and avoiding processed foods, too much caffeine and alcohol and keeping your diet healthy and well balanced help to keep your mood stable.  Some women opt for bioidentical hormones to help balance out their lives.

You can view irritability as a signal your body is sending you to encourage change in your life. If you heed it, you'll be happier and less likely to develop other health issues.


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