Aging comes with a lot of big changes. As we age, our hormones begin to fluctuate causing differences in our bodily functions, growth and even our mood. Hormones are the building blocks of our development and act as the communication between cells for proper function.
When hormone efficiency levels begin to drop, our mood is directly affected. This is a natural process that occurs with certain conditions including menopause and decreased testosterone levels in men. Understanding these correlations will help you understand how to deal with the mood swings and balance your hormones to regain your happiness.
Menopausal Hormones and Mood Swings
Menopause is the process when women between the ages of 45 and 55 lose their ability to menstruate. Menopause causes estrogen levels to fluctuate, resulting in mood swings and depression in some cases. Studies show around 60 percent of women suffer from menopausal depression and 23 percent will have mood swings before, during or after menopause occurs.
Estrogen influences serotonin production. Lower amounts of serotonin cause mood to be destabilized. Lower amounts of estrogen also contribute to minimal amounts of norepinephrine, which can result in fatigue, stress, irritability, and anxiety.
In order to reverse these negative emotional side effects, there are a number of things you can do. For instance, hormone replacement therapy helps regulate serotonin and other hormonal shifts. Antidepressants are also great for minimizing depression symptoms. Be sure to speak with a healthcare provider to make sure this is the best option for you.
If you’re looking for a natural remedy, changing your diet is a great option. Eating more proteins and omega-3 fatty acids like wild salmon, nuts and eggs help with menopausal mood swings and depression. Exercise also helps improve mood and manage stress levels. Getting at least two and a half hours a week is recommended by the CDC.
Testosterone Levels and Mood
For males, testosterone levels are the main cause of mood and emotional fluctuation.
As men age, testosterone levels begin to decline and lead to depression, lack of focus and irritability. Male hormone changes also result in memory loss as men get older. To regulate these symptoms, many men undergo hormone-replacement therapy. This procedure uses synthetic testosterone to fix declining levels. While this is typically a viable solution, there are potential side effects.
Many men who have taken testosterone supplements experience symptoms like mood swings, ranging from a depressive to a blissful state. Men taking higher doses of testosterone experience irritability and even addiction in some cases. Hormone-replacement therapy also has a correlation with impulsive decisions. Overdosing on testosterone can cause a decline in cognitive function, which leads to a poor sense of judgement.
Natural Remedies to Balance Hormone Levels
If you’re considering hormone-replacement therapy, pay attention to changes in mood over time and decide if you should continue with this treatment. If you want a natural remedy, making lifestyle changes will help improve testosterone levels. For instance, managing stress can help with balancing testosterone levels. When cortisol levels fluctuate, testosterone levels drop dramatically. Higher stress levels also encourage overeating and poor diet, which also negatively affects testosterone levels.
You should also make sure you are getting enough rest. Researchers suggest that men should get seven to ten hours of sleep every day for sufficient testosterone levels. With every hour of sleep you get, testosterone levels naturally increase an average of 15 percent.
As you age, your hormone levels are bound to change. Whether you are male or female, regulating your hormones will increase your chances of maintaining your happiness. Women going through menopause should be sure to eat a healthy diet with protein-rich foods, get adequate amounts of exercise and seek therapy if their estrogen levels are causing them to experience depression. If those options are unsuccessful, women should talk to their doctors about hormone-replacement therapy to improve serotonin and estrogen levels, which may minimize depression symptoms.
In the End
If you are a man who is considering or undergoing hormone replacement therapy and are experiencing unbalanced testosterone levels that are making you impulsive, irritated or depressed, be sure to speak with your healthcare provider about a natural approach. He or she may suggest a change in diet, reducing stress and cortisol levels and getting enough rest to help improve testosterone levels.