Depression and Mood Swings

Many women experience mood swings and depression as their hormones begin to fluctuate erratically in the perimenopausal years and then decline to even lower levels at menopause. Unfortunately, far too many women are put on antidepressants when in fact, natural hormone supplementation to smooth out the roller coaster of waxing and waning hormones during these years may be all they need. All of the sex hormones, especially progesterone, estrogens and androgens have a potent effect upon state of mind, mood, and memory. So when they are out of balance (too high, too low, or up and down) as is not uncommon in mid-life, the effects can range from less than desirable to devastating. Estrogen, the hormone that surges to highest levels in the first half of the menstrual cycle, has been shown to increase mood-enhancing beta-endorphins in menopausal women as well as in women who are still cycling. It is also known to boost serotonin and acetylcholine-the neurohormones associated with positive mood and memory. So a lack of estrogen can bring on tearfulness and anxiety. But an excess can also affect our mental state by holding sway over progesterone in the waning reproductive years. That’s because as we age, we ovulate less frequently and when we do not ovulate, we do not produce progesterone. In this way we lose the inherent calming and mood-stabilizing effects of progesterone. We also lose its balancing power upon estrogen which then builds up, blocks thyroid action leading to low thyroid, and with it, depression. The androgens, testosterone and DHEA also play an important role in mental outlook and vitality. So it’s not surprising that many women find they are in much better spirits once they are put on natural hormone therapy. Hormone balancing is vital after a hysterectomy, as the removal of the ovaries shuts down all hormone production, forcing a woman into menopause overnight. One of the immediate consequences of the surgery is depression, which can be more safely alleviated by restoring hormone balance than by taking Prozac. Saliva testing to identify hormone imbalances linked to depression can serve as a basis for restoring balance, and with it a positive outlook on life.

The information presented herein by Corner Drugs is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult a physician.