Perimenopause and Irritability

By March 18, 2019Blog

One of the more common symptoms of early perimenopause is irritability.  Prevalent in the early stages of peri-menopause, it can happen even when you’re in your early twenties. Maybe you’re just more cranky than usual, or you feel like your partner or coworkers just can’t do anything right, or might feel like you’re going to explode with anger. I remember in my early 40s this happened to me. For about 5 days before my period, my partner just couldn’t do anything right.

irritability

The Flow Of Energy

In Traditional Chinese Medicine the liver rules the smooth flow of energy in your whole body. It also regulates the emotion of anger and your menstrual cycle. When your liver is out of balance, you will experience more irritability than normal. Your mood and your periods will be affected when you’ve been frustrated or have been under a lot of stress.

Western Medicine Explanation:

From a functional medicine point of view, it is also all about balance. There is an imbalance between the amount of estrogen and progesterone your body is making. As you approach peri-menopause, your hormones begin to shift closer to your period, which will affect your mood. For some women this occurs earlier – right after ovulation, while for others, it won’t start until just before the period starts.  Often during peri-menopause, your levels of progesterone may drop much more dramatically, which can cause increased and more intense symptoms – especially irritability.

Solutions

Our bodies crave balance, and will naturally try to get us more balanced in any way it can, this can lead to craving chocolate more intensely or wanting to eat more before your period. Chocolate is high in magnesium -and other feel good chemicals. We need lots of magnesium in PMS times which is one reason we might crave it. That is actually your body trying to get more balanced. If you eat a balanced diet especially during the time before your period, you will be less likely to have these cravings because your body will have the nutrients it needs for balance. By staying away from junk food and sugar you will be less likely to have PMS symptoms at all.

Here are a few very simple solutions to deal with them. A good B vitamin, and magnesium can make a huge difference in how you feel. There are also a number of wonderful Chinese herbs you can take. One of my favorites is a formula called Free and Easy Wanderer which by the name alone evokes the image of relaxation and calm it provides. Acupuncture is also a very valuable solution to the problems of irritability that comes with peri-menopause. If all else fails, you can also get bio-identical progesterone cream and use that for the week to 10 days before your period starts.

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