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Help Coping with Peri-menopause Mood Swings?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

December 12, 2012
Starting to see some significant trends with my monthly cycle. Today is day 16, and last night I noticed I was starting to feel overly irritable, overly sensitive, having sugar cravings: giving in to it and having a small binge. I looked back through the last 5 months of data I have been keeping at, and it is pretty much on the mark; every significant emotional event I have experience over that period of time had been between cycle days 14 through 20.
Last month I did not have any notes indicating any events, but that might just mean that I didn’t take/have the time to document the events.

What is my take away from this? Well, it gives me the time frame that I know I need to be more aware of these changes. When I was young, I don't remember having significant symptoms associated with my periods, but as I progress toward menopause, I am definitely feeling them, and I'm glad to have the data to show the trends.

I feel like my next step is to identify some concrete, successful coping strategies for myself to use during that time to help me get through it without feeling so out of control and without resorting to fighting with my family and having mean thoughts about the ones that I love, or anyone else for that matter.

What I’m wondering is this, ladies: Does anyone else have some ideas for coping strategies that have worked when dealing with the emotional mood swings of peri-menopause and menopause? I would love to develop a bank of things that I can turn to when I feel this way that do not include binging on sweets, slugging down wine :), etc.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I think I'm going to buy a punching bag, move into the basement, and cry....Maybe not in that order. I hate being in my own body! I feel sorry for my family....
    1968 days ago
    what helps me is keep busy, keep no sweets in the house and make sure BF knows, because he is VERY supportive and the best friend one can want in these situations.
    1979 days ago
    Ooh...the worst. I am going through this right now. And I can't remember having a memory (what is that word again?)...But friends who have gone through it and are menopausal now have helped by just telling me that it will pass and that I am not crazy..
    And I laughed when I heard my teenage daughter talking to her teenage friends and rolling their eyes about "menopause and mothers"...But did get a stern voice and say - just because we might sometimes go a bit over the top doesn't mean that whatever made us angry/upset etc can be dismissed.... It was still wrong.
    2007 days ago
    What helped me during that period is bioidentical progesterone cream a.k.a. natural progesterone cream (as opposed to progestin, the synthetic version).

    I read books on the subject by Dr. John R. Lee, such as "What your doctor may not tell you about Menopause" or "What your doctor may not tell you about Premenopause".

    In Canada, a prescription is required to purchase natural progesterone cream, whereas according to those books, it is available over-the-counter (natural foods stores?) in the U.S.A.

    Dr. Christiane Northrup has a revised edition ot her book: The Wisdom of Menopause. You might have seen her on PBS. I do not agree with all of her beliefs, but I find that her books are useful for self-help and empowerment regarding women's health issues.

    Hope you are able to find what suits you best to deal with this new life stage.

    2009 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/20/2012 9:51:34 AM
    And try a tablespoon of almond butter before bed. Helps you stay asleep because it helps regulate your blood sugar. And it is delicious.
    2010 days ago
    Sugar makes it worse. Fuzzy brain and bigger swings. Sigh...
    2010 days ago
    Take a look at some of our Topics on the Peri+ Teams and see if helps.

    Keep us posted... we care emoticon
    2010 days ago
    I take black cohosh for this, but it may be placebo. Still, I do feel it helped my monthly mood swings. Also helpful: yoga, and meditation. I try to practice most mornings, even if it's just 15 or 20 minutes, I feel a good stretch, and more calm afterward. So double bonus!

    Definitely let us know if you find something that helps, it may help us too!
    2010 days ago
    Hi I was thinking that you might be interested in natural remedies, you have already been given some good ideas.
    I would add what I have done in the past and in my current.
    I use to take Estroven this helped with my moods and and emotions. Cause I sure needed it. I would get up set at the little things. Or start to cry, it was not good.
    I started to take this Estroven years ago cause my Niece told me about taking it after she had her 5th child and it help with her moods since she suffered from postpartum depression. So I tried it and it helped me:)

    But now I take Amberen and oh it helps. Since I'm Post menopause for almost 2 years:)

    Hope you can find some thing that can work for you.

    2011 days ago
    I second the comment about eating as healthfully as possible. Here's what I've learned from my own experiences with yo yo dieting and now, peri-menopause, "if you eat crap, you'll feel like crap". So, while it's okay to allow yourself a small treat, you don't want to over indulge too often. To keep your moods stable, I concur, you need to keep your blood sugar levels stable. And that means eating plenty of fresh fruit and veggies, foods that are high in fiber and some protein. Beans are an excellent source of protein and fiber.

    I also find regular exercise helps with the mood swings. I've been dealing with peri-menopausal symptoms for the last year, exercise helps.

    I still eat chocolate. I still get cravings. I do my best to be mindful of my portions. If I do happen to eat a bit too much chocolate, I also make sure I eat extraservings of veggies to make a small attempt at balancing things out. Long story short, the better you eat, the better you'll feel. A healthy diet with regular exercise will help.

    2012 days ago
    If I remember right, eating sugar just makes it worse. Eat protein and broccoli/veggies even if you are craving sugar. Exercise helps, too.

    You are really smart to track and know what days you are at risk. Sharing with your family members that you are struggling may help. Asking for their support and understanding may get you an ally or two. Finding a safe place - the bath tub, your bed, a comfy chair - to go when you are feeling emotional may be helpful. Journaling may help.

    For me hot flashes at times were just awful. Wearning clothes in layers so that I could strip down really was essential.

    Best wishes for surviving. This, too, shall pass.
    2012 days ago
    I am right there with you. I hate it! One of the motivators to lose weight was to try and get my estrogen down so there wouldn't be a big inbalance between estrogen and progesterone. It did seem to work at first - or maybe it was the lack of processed food or the increased exercise. Whatever - those were good months at first. I know it is not as bad if I am exercising (usually walking/hiking) during the month. Also I know the b vitamins help - if I remember to take them. Even better is a daily vitamin and also b - again if I take them on a daily basis. A spfriend went on progesterone (birth control pill) and says that really helps. Sorry things are rough...wish we had a magic wand to just make all this go away.
    2012 days ago
    Ah MKelly, You seem to be experiencing the same things I did! But know that it's only temporary. It won't last forever, I promise! How to cope? When your irrational, irritable, bloated, hungry, and just want to scream? When you find out let us know! LOL!! Hang in there, you are strong. Actually exercise helped me too!
    I've had no TOM for over a year, but still have hotflashes. We just laugh and I throw the covers off. I drive DH crazy. Men.... expecially at that time of the month huh?
    2012 days ago
    First off, sorry that you are having these problems.
    You have my sympathies.

    Pycnogenol helps, I never got hot flashes.
    I agree with Phebess, but think that a full range of B vitamins is preferable, since B vitamins work in unison. So mabbe take a super B vitamin with C.

    C to help your adrenals, they'll be stressed out with all the hormone fluxuations.

    Might want to try EFT, (Emotional Freedom Technique) aka Tapping.


    There's even a Spark Team for it.

    Good luck
    : )

    2012 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/16/2012 5:37:57 PM
    Vitamin B6. I've used it for years, had it recommended by both naturopaths and community health doctors. It works. Start with about 100 mg twice a day, see if it helps. Can increase, but not a lot. (Get the tablets with only B6 - don't go with a multi vitamin, doesn't have enough.)
    2013 days ago
    I use exercise to cope with some menopausal symptoms; I think my hot flashes are lower intensity and fewer, and it also helps to keep the weight gain under control! :)
    Good luck to you on your journey!
    2013 days ago
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