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The Impact of Period Mood Swings: How to Cope

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Many women of reproductive age are affected by Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) which can lead to mood swings before the period for many of them. 

Although mood swings and other psychological symptoms, including Depression, frustration, and anger, brought on by hormonal changes are quite common before and during menstruation, they can severely impact some women, adversely affecting their relationships and day-to-day activities. 

Thankfully, period mood swings and other emotional challenges can be managed effectively by treating PMS with medication and lifestyle modifications.

This article covers different causes and treatment options for controlling mood swings during the period. 

What Causes Mood Swings During Periods

PMS may induce unpredictable, extreme mood swings before the period in certain women, which are prevalent during menstruation. You frequently have to cope with an array of emotions in a short amount of time, ranging from irritability to anger to tears.

Although experts do not know precisely why period mood swings occur, it is likely to be linked to hormonal fluctuations, notably Estrogen, during the menstrual cycle. Estrogen levels begin to increase steadily right after a woman’s menstruation ends. 

The level of Estrogen then peaks two weeks later, approximately day 14 of the menstrual cycle, to set off ovulation. However, after ovulation, Estrogen levels begin to fall sufficiently to begin menstruation.

These variations have been found to be connected with mood swings, including increased irritation and aggression. Additionally, the interplay and metabolism of other hormones during menstruation is also significant but not fully understood. 

According to some studies, female hormones Estrogen and Progesterone interact with neurotransmitters in the brain in a manner that affects mood in those suffering from PMS. Decreased levels of Estrogen at the time of the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle might lead to a drop in Serotonin. 

Lower Serotonin levels are found to be linked to period mood swings like Depression, irritability, and carbohydrate desires; however, more research needs to be done to confirm this association.

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  • How To Control Mood Swings During Periods

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    Woman eating salad

    Mild mood swings can be effectively managed with lifestyle changes. In certain severe cases, medication may be required.

    Lifestyle Changes

    Lifestyle modifications, including stress management, a healthy diet, daily exercise, and herbal supplements, may calm mood swings and promote a woman’s mental wellness before and during her periods.

    Stress management: Stress can not only affect your physical and mental health but can also turn your mood swings severe. Therefore, finding methods to avoid stress could assist with managing mood swings associated with your periods. 

    Meditation, deep breathing, and yoga can all assist in decreasing stress and improve mood. Individual or group counseling has also been shown to be an effective PMS treatment for women experiencing significant mood swings and distressing emotional shifts.

    Diet: A nutritious diet low in added sugars and salt may help to alleviate mood swings associated with periods. Consuming short meals throughout the day instead of two or three large meals can assist with relieving PMS symptoms like mood swings and irritability. 

    A heavy meal, particularly one rich in carbs, might trigger blood sugar changes, which may aggravate your mood swings during your periods. Include nutritious protein sources such as lean meats, eggs, seafood, beans, and lentils, as well as healthy fats, as they are essential for the creation of sex hormones and neurotransmitters like Serotonin that aid in regulating your mood.

    Also, avoiding the intake of alcohol and caffeinated products can aid in suppressing agitation and irritability.

    Daily exercise: Regular exercise is beneficial to both the body and the mind. Daily physical activity may elevate mood and ease Depression. Exercise is known to release feel-good chemicals known as Endorphins, which could potentially offset some of the hormone shifts that are leading to mood swings or other symptoms of PMS. 

    Aerobic activities, such as walking, jogging, bicycling, or swimming, are quite beneficial in improving your mood.

    Herbal supplements: Nowadays, herbal medicines such as Chasteberry have gained popularity in treating PMS symptoms. Additionally, intake of Calcium supplements can help overcome mood swings during your monthly menstrual cycle.

    Apart from these herbal supplements, several other natural remedies can aid in relieving PMS symptoms, read natural remedies for PMS.

    Suggestion:
    Since herbal supplements are not approved by the FDA, it is essential to consult a healthcare provider before considering any of them to reduce the risk of any side effects.

    Medications

    If you are dealing with severe mood swings before or during your periods, then your doctor may recommend medicines belonging to the medication classes Selective Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SSNRIs).

    Serotonin and Norepinephrine are brain neurotransmitters that help regulate mood. SSNRIs like Venlafaxine and Duloxetine raise levels of these substances in the brain, thereby aiding in controlling mood swings.

    Caution:
    Prolonged use of antidepressant medications can lead to severe side effects like blurred vision and difficulty urinating.

    Conclusion

    Although period mood swings are quite common among women who menstruate, they can sometimes be bothersome, affecting your daily life. Mood swings associated with your periods are thought to be brought on by hormonal fluctuations and are often accompanied by other premenstrual symptoms like Depression, agitation, and anger.

    Usually, mood swings go on their own once your menstrual cycle ends; however, certain lifestyle changes, including a healthy diet, daily exercise, and some herbal supplements, can aid in overcoming menstrual mood swings. 

    Rarely, in some severe cases, medications like SSNRIs are prescribed by doctors to reduce period mood swings and other PMS symptoms.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    Why do periods cause mood swings?

    Although the exact cause behind period-related mood swings isn’t known, experts believe that hormonal changes, particularly Estrogen, can cause mood swings during menstruation.

    Are mood changes during my menstrual cycle normal? 

    Yes, mood fluctuations before or during your period are quite frequent. It is believed that up to 90% of individuals who menstruate experience mood swings during their periods. 

    How long does period mood swing last?

    Mood swings and irritability occur primarily during the luteal phase of menstruation. Symptoms appear one to two weeks before the start of your periods and go away on their own entirely when menstruation ends.

    What helps with mood swings during the period?

    Yoga, meditation, deep breathing, a healthy diet low in sugar and salt, and certain herbal supplements can help overcome mood swings. However, in severe cases, antidepressants like Selective Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors can aid in managing period mood swings.

    Can menstrual mood fluctuations be indicative of a greater health issue? 

    Yes, severe changes in mood during menstruation might be a sign of underlying health issues such as Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD), Depression, or Anxiety. If symptoms turn severe and persist for a long time, you should consult a healthcare expert for an accurate diagnosis and treatment.

    Citations:
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    Photo of author Janet Fudge
    Janet Fudge is a highly skilled and experienced pharmacologist who serves as a contributing writer for CheapMedicineShop.com. With a strong academic background from a premier US University and a passion for helping others, Janet has become a trusted voice in the pharmaceutical world. After completing her Doctor of Pharmacy degree, Janet embarked on a successful career in the pharmaceutical industry, working with various clients, including hospitals, retail pharmacies, and drug manufacturers. Her in-depth knowledge of pharmacology and dedication to patient-centered care has led her to excel in her field. As a writer for CheapMedicineShop.com, Janet uses her wealth of expertise to provide readers with accurate, reliable, and up-to-date information on various topics related to medicine and healthcare. Her engaging writing style and ability to break down complex topics into easily digestible content make her a valuable resource for healthcare professionals and the general public.
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