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What I’ve Done To Get My Menopausal Moodiness Under Control

Thank the heavens above, this really works.

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Elizabeth Brockway
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Let me start by saying that premenstrual syndrome has nothing on menopausal moodiness. I used to think that time of the month was unbearable, but then I hit my late 40s and realized that my PMS was a rehearsal for what was to come.

And a weak one at that.

Everybody reacts differently to perimenopause and menopause and when the night sweats, mood swings and brain fog took me down, I was in denial at first. I told myself I was too young, there was no way it could happen overnight, and I could somehow control my hormones and beat this mess that was trying to ruin my life.

It turns out I needed to do a few other things to keep my mood swings tolerable. And thank the heavens above, they worked.

1. I started taking Vitamin E before bed.

Lack of sleep can affect us in so many ways. For me, the lack of sleep that came with menopause wasn’t something I expected, and it really affected my moods. 

I started having hot flashes and night sweats, making it impossible to get a good night’s rest. Then, I heard about a study where women took Vitamin E and it helped with their hot flashes. I couldn’t get to the pharmacy fast enough. Taking one capsule with dinner every night has been a game-changer. My night sweats and hot flashes are completely gone, and I sleep so much better now.

2. I purchased cooling sheets.

This also helped me sleep better. There are lots of temperature-regulating sheets and mattress covers to choose from, but I purchased a set from Cozy Earth and can’t live without them. Slumber Cloud also makes a great temperature-regulating sheet set. Brooklinen has a hotel-style set that’s perfect for hot sleepers.

3. Diet and exercise really do help.

I started noticing my heart would thump if I ate too much sugar. And if I ate sugar after dinner, it was impossible to wind down. I know it’s hard to do this every single day, but I found if I cut out sugar about three hours before bedtime, it really helped.

Exercise is a natural endorphin booster, and even getting out for a walk, especially after dinner, really elevated my moods and cleared my head.

4. Vitamin D was a lifesaver.

After a friend of mine told me Vitamin D cured her seasonal depression, I decided to get some. If it helped her depression, maybe it could help my menopausal blues. Within a few weeks, I noticed my mind was cleared, I had more energy, and my anxiety was almost gone.

5. I stopped falling asleep on the sofa.

This may sound silly and insignificant, but if you tend to fall asleep somewhere, wake up and go to bed, then have a horrible time falling asleep, this may help. My entire life, I was the one who’d fall asleep on the sofa after dinner, hobble to bed after a few hours and be fine.

That suddenly changed about a year ago. Now, as soon as I sense I’m getting sleepy, I just go to bed.

6. I accepted I was changing and gave myself some grace.

Obviously, I hated the changes that were happening as I got older. And I do believe in doing anything you can to feel your best, but after I accepted that I had to deal with the moods associated with menopause and give myself some grace instead of getting even more pissed off when I didn’t feel like myself, things started to get easier. Instead of pushing through a moody spell, I told myself it would pass. I started canceling plans if I wasn’t feeling my best.

Dr. Wendy Warner of Symphony Natural Health in West Valley City, Utah, says, “Overall, mood swings that occur during the menopausal transition and beyond are related to not only changes in ovarian hormone balance, but also imbalances in adrenal stress hormones and blood sugar regulation. These three functions (ovaries, adrenals, glucose control) are closely connected, so the normal changes in ovarian hormone balance can easily throw things off in the other two areas.

Keeping your blood sugar balanced is another huge piece of the puzzle. “As our estrogen drops, it's easier for our cortisol to interfere with insulin action, so glucose regulation is disrupted,” says Dr. Warner. “Blood sugar bouncing around a lot during the day can make us feel anxious and irritable. Eating a lower-glycemic load meal (fewer starches and sweets) and moving around within about 30 minutes of eating help to stabilize blood glucose.”

Menopause isn’t always fun. Okay, it’s never fun. But it’s nice to know there are things we can do to make it easier.

Anyone suffering from menopausal moodiness? What do you do about it? Let us know in the comments below.

Follow Article Topics: Health