Mood swings & how to deal with them

Eileen Durward
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01 May 2017

Read the full video transcript below

Today's topic

Hello, and welcome to my weekly video blog. And today, on A.Vogel Talks Menopause, I am going to be talking about those awful mood swings.

Now, this is one of the common menopause symptoms, and a majority of women will get these at some point. Luckily, it tends not to be all the way through. You might find that this just lasts a few months, if you're absolutely lucky.

How you can feel

But it's a horrible one. It's actually really disconcerning, because you can wake up in the morning and just not know who you're going to be for that particular day. Are you going to be the nice, patient person, or are you going to be really impatient? Are you going to be calm, or are you going to be manic? Are you going to lose your temper, or are you going to be really nice and quiet? Are you going to be kind, or are you going to be really picky? And are you going to criticise everybody? Are you going to be diplomatic, or are you going to just let everything out, all the things that tend to annoy you on that particular day?

And all of these things can happen. And it is really horrible, because we don't know when these moods are going to strike. Very often, we don't know how to control them either. It's almost like our emotional control has gone completely out of hand. 

So why does this actually happen?

Well, it's all to do with oestrogen. Oestrogen is your happy hormone. If you've got high levels of oestrogen, you're going to feel better, you're going to feel happier. And that's why when you're actually getting a monthly cycle, your oestrogen is at its highest, in the middle of the month, just when the egg is about to be released. And that's usually when women are the happiest as well.

So there's a big link between having good levels of oestrogen and feeling really good, and happy, and having a positive mood. The problem is in the menopause is that, when your oestrogen starts to fall, then you're going to lose that feel-good factor that your monthly boost of oestrogen is actually going to give you. 
The other thing that can happen here is that some women don't actually realise that they're in a mood until somebody tells them. It's one of these weird things that when we're in the middle of it we're not actually aware of how we're behaving, we're not aware that we're behaving any differently. And then, of course, if somebody points it out to us that we're being a bit moody, or sulky, or huffy, well, you know, that can make things even worse than what they were before.

So it can be quite difficult to pinpoint this, and it is really sometimes about listening to what other people are saying and seeing how we're actually behaving. 

So what can you do about the mood swings?

There's quite a few different things:

Balance your oestrogen levels

You could look at balancing your oestrogen level, so that would using remedies such as our Menopause Support or the herb black cohosh.

Take magnesium – the happy mineral

We know magnesium can be an issue. Remember magnesium is our happy mineral. So if we're low in magnesium, that is going to affect our mood as well. So a nice daily magnesium supplement, maybe about 200 milligrams, can often be really helpful, and also go for those BVits (B vitamins) as well. 

Avoid certain food & drinks

Things like tea, coffee, alcohol, high salt and sugar foods, these can make your moods swings worse. So be really, you know, careful about that one.

Keep a mood diary

Maybe if you can, if you are one of these women that realise that you are getting a bit moody and things are getting a bit out of hand, do the diary. Do a mood diary. And then you might find out that you tend to get these mood swings or your mood going up and down when you've not had something to eat, maybe you haven't had enough water for that particular day. It might be that you've forgotten to have a mid-morning snack.

So there's all sort of reasons, as well as the hormonal ones, why you can actually get these mood swings. So have a good look at what's going on in your daily life, and that might give you a little bit of a clue.

Blame your hormones

The really important thing here is, though, don't get mad at yourself if you find that your control is slipping and you end up snapping people's heads off, or getting impatient or a little bit angry. This is not anything to do with you. It's not your fault. This is a real physical hormonal imbalance going on. So just blame it all on your hormones. That's the easiest thing.  

Talk about it

The other thing to do is tell those closest to you what's going on. Try and explain that your hormones are changing and that it's the hormones that are causing these mood swings and it's not you, it's not that you no longer care about them, but it's just the fact that this is a little phase you're going through. And if they are happy to support you, that's going to make you feel better as well, and it's going to speed up the whole process. 
So, hopefully, that's given you a little bit of insight into those horrible mood swings. Remember the diary, and I will look forward to seeing you next week on A.Vogel Talks Menopause.


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  • Nicola's photo avatar
    Nicola — 26.08.2017 16:27
    Hi, I am 50 and i have been feeling tearful on/ off for a couple of weeks. However, i do not feel depressed. I"m still doing things that i enjoy. But i feel i could cry at anything, which i find frustrating.i have awful back pain and terrible painful and heavy periods. I have only skipped one period in January of this year. But i am also getting hot flushes. It's no fun, so I'm glad that i'm not alone. Nicola.x


    • eileen's photo avatar
      eileen — 29.08.2017 10:42
      HI Nicola Hope the tips above can help you, just remember most women will experience this at some point and it is a phase, you do get through it!


  • Kate Robinson 's photo avatar
    Kate Robinson — 21.06.2017 02:34
    Reflexology is good to keep all the body in balance, regular treatments can help with a lot of the menopause symptoms


    • eileen's photo avatar
      eileen — 21.06.2017 10:59
      Hi Kate Thank you for that great suggestion, we often forget how wonderful complementary therapies can be at this time!


  • RJ's photo avatar
    RJ — 18.06.2017 11:39
    I'm suffering too at the moment. I'm 45, the oldest of my peer group with very little understanding from my friends and family. No one seems to have anything to add about how desperate I feel. I don't want drugs as advised by the doctor, I have been following a lot of your advice, supplements and lifestyle changes, my diet is good, I regularly exercise. I'm just hoping that I don't go through prolonged years of this.


    • eileen's photo avatar
      eileen — 19.06.2017 10:50
      Hi RJ Low iron, low thyroid function, low vitamin D and B12 can all appear around the menopause and cause similar symptoms so it is a good idea to ask your doctor to test for these just to rule them out. You could also try our Menopause Support, this is known to help gently raise and balance oestrogen, it also has magnesium in it which is great for low mood and anxiety. It is really difficult and demoralising when no-one else understands what we feel in the menopause, maybe get them to watch some of the videos with you so you can try to explain exactly how you are feeling.


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