Mental Health and Hormones

Many women describe the experience of feeling as if they are “going mad” as their hormones start changing in perimenopause. The mood changes seem to come out of nowhere and are completely out of proportion to what is going on.

It may be anxiety about things that have never bothered you before like driving on the motorway or going over a bridge. Rationally you know that nothing has changed, and you have done these things hundreds of times before and been perfectly safe. But for some reason, your body has other ideas and goes into fight and flight! Sadly, this often means that women retreat and stop doing those things that make them feel so awful. But once you understand that this is frequently due to the hormone imbalances in peri-/menopause and realise that something can be done, it can be so empowering.

Other common mood changes can be low mood, feeling angry or having “rages”, and becoming easily overwhelmed when little used to phase you. These can all be signs that hormones are out of balance. And particularly in the perimenopause hormone levels can fluctuate widely meaning these moods come and go. My advice would be: once you realise that your mood changes could be related to the menopause, speak to a health professional with a special interest in the menopause even if you don’t have the classical menopause symptoms of hot flushes and night sweats. That way you are less likely to end up with a prescription for antidepressants.

My own experience of the menopause was that the mood changes are what bothered me most. Hot flushes I could manage. I felt anxious every morning for no reason, overwhelmed, and easily tearful particularly at the end of the day. Of course, working years in general practice, my adrenals were exhausted which was impacting on my other hormone levels. Improving my own hormone balance through better blood sugar control, more emphasis on self-care to support my adrenals, and starting some bio-identical hormone replacement (BHRT) worked for me.

It is important to understand that we are all different in our underlying causes for hormonal imbalance, although there are some common themes. A lot can be done to improve hormone balance through nutrition and lifestyle. Remember the menopause is a natural process to transition us to a place of wisdom and intuition, it doesn’t mean we are broken and need fixing. Not everyone needs HRT/BHRT but some do to help them navigate symptoms that prevent them from living optimally.

If you feel our BHRT programme could help you why not book a discovery call to find out more.