Going Crazy? Menopause May Be the Cause

Published: 30th September 2010
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Are you irritable, moody, having trouble sleeping? Maybe you are convinced that your family has a conspiracy against you, turning up the thermostat every time you are in the other room. Is the notion that hot flashes are controlling your very life a real concern? Well, you just may be going through menopause. Let’s take a closer look at the common symptoms, and maybe how to fix them.

When the mood swings and irritability start to kick in, many women honestly think that they are going crazy. But seeing a psychiatrist won’t help these symptoms, I assure you! The problem is in the hormones, specifically estrogen. When Estradiol levels start to drop (Estradiol is the active form of estrogen) this can really reek havoc on a woman’s mental start, due to the interaction of this chemical with serotonin. Serotonin is a natural chemical that is produced in both men and women of all ages, and is the "happy" neurotransmitter in the brain which helps to elevate our moods. However, in menopausal women this chemical gets a little sidetracked. When that happens a woman can not only have some pretty off-the-wall mood swings, but also begin to lose sleep. With these two things combined, it’s no wonder many women feel like they are going cuckoo.

Now add the hot flashes that are so common in menopause, and you really have a recipe for irritability. Hot flashes can occur at almost any time during the day or night, and are caused primarily (once again) by the drop in estrogen levels. When a sudden drop in estrogen levels occurs, the body will release a chemical called Norepinephrine which is really adrenaline. This will increase the body temperature very quickly, causing the hot flashes, a rise in blood pressure, and sometimes a racing heart that may send some women running for the ER. Of course not all women experience this in such a dramatic fashion, some never have to go through extreme symptoms such as this. But if you are not one of these lucky few, they can be very inconvenient indeed.

How about the lack of sleep? Another wonderful side effect that causes menopausal women to go around the bend is the lack of sleep, caused mostly by the hot flashes! Yes, one symptom leads to another which exacerbates them all, and pretty soon you are looking for a way to stop this crazy train and get off. There are some ways to help ease the symptoms of menopause, some natural and some prescribed by your doctor.

Most commonly prescribed in the past to women going through menopause is HRT – hormone replacement therapy. There are different kinds of HRT, combination (both estrogen and progesterone) which is mainly for women who still have their uterus intact and are healthy in general. For women who have had a hysterectomy, the prescribed therapy is usually estrogen only, since these women are not in danger of endometrial cancer.

If you are somewhat afraid of all the talk about cancer in cases where HRT has been used, there are of course herbal remedies which can be taken. Herbs such as Black Cohosh have been said to help ease the symptoms of menopause, as well as damiana, dandelion root, motherwort, Asian ginseng, licorice root, lavender, kava, red clover, and ginkgo. Some of these herbs have been used for centuries not only in this country but also in China and other Asian cultures.

There are many symptoms of menopause and also many cures for these symptoms. Learn as much as you can about them, and you can take positive steps to find relief for yourself.

Learn more by visiting us at hot flashes website and reading our massive article collection!

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