Beyond the Hot Flash: Perimenopause and Irritability

Beyond the Hot Flash: Perimenopause and Irritability

By Rebecca Mendoza, CNP, NCMP

We all get grumpy from time to time–it’s a perfectly normal part of life. Sometimes, being irritable can progress from a mild, occasional mood to an ongoing feeling. Mood swings and annoyance that doesn’t seem to have a reason behind it often prompt women to see a doctor for help. If you’re in your 30s or older, you should consider discussing your symptoms with a health provider who understands a woman’s specific needs. You may be more likely to find relief with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy than with the antidepressants most doctors are quick to prescribe.

Irritability is something that can spring from a whole host of causes, including something as simple as being too hungry or too tired. That kind of irritability is easy to measure–it’s temporary, and goes away after you eat or get some rest. But when it doesn’t go away, or comes in waves throughout the day no matter what you do, perimenopause could be the real issue.

A woman in her 30s who is moody and irritable could suffer from depression or anxiety, and may need antidepressants, if so. Everyday life can also cause irritations and annoyances that don’t require medication but may need some behavior modification to control. Deep breathing exercises, learning to manage stress, and even changes in the diet can help anyone handle life, and perimenopause, a little better. Easing stress by taking care of your overall health is always a good first step.

But the irritability and mood swings that are often diagnosed as a mental health issue could also be caused by the hormonal fluctuations that occur during perimenopause. The drops in estrogen and progesterone when a woman hits menopause are widely discussed, but the years before menopause often get short shrift in a primary care doctor’s office. Antidepressants get prescribed, and other ideas are dismissed.

A comprehensive medical history, as well as specific questions about physical, mental and emotional symptoms, can create a clear picture of what might be causing the mood changes. This makes it imperative to find a health provider that understands a woman’s specific needs to determine whether or not bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can help.

Bioidentical hormones are identical to the hormones your body naturally produces and have been show to ease perimenopause symptoms for countless women. If you’re misdiagnosed because your doctor doesn’t consider perimenopause, then you won’t have the opportunity for relief that bioidentical estrogen and progesterone can provide.

Irritability can have many causes, but it’s also a common side-effect of other symptoms that come along with this stage of life, like sleep disorders, weight gain, lack of sex drive and hot flashes. If you’re tired, your clothes are getting tighter, you have tensions in your relationship and you’re on edge waiting for the next hot flash to strike, how can you help but feel irritable? Bioidentical hormones prescribed by people who understand what you’re going through can ease all those symptoms and help restore your good mood.

Comments are closed.



1619 Dayton Avenue, Suite 109
Saint Paul, MN 55104
Tel: (651) 698-0891
Fax: (651) 644-2609

Find us on Facebook!