Depression and the Menopause


17 days ago


Women need their hormones to function normally both physically and emotionally and they also need their hormones for good mental health. Hormonal imbalances are a major contribution to a low mood.

I often hear that women are offered anti-depressants when they feel low during peri menopause and during the menopause. But what they actually need is Hormone Replacement Therapy to replace the hormones which they’ve lost.

Some women suffer from severe hot flushes and night sweats so the diagnosis and treatment of menopause is clear. However, some women can feel very low, sad and even depressed with poor self esteem, irritability, low energy, poor concentration or even suffer from anxiety and panic attacks. In extreme cases some women can even feel suicidal.  Women are more likely to feel low and depressed in peri menopause and menopause if they have previously suffered from postnatal depression or severe PMT.

Hormones play a significant role in mood behaviour.  Fluctuations of oestrogen, progesterone , testosterone and cortisol can significantly affect our mood.

The oestrogen level in the body is directly linked with the serotonin level, the brain neurotransmitter responsible for wellbeing, so when oestrogen declines serotonin declines as well.  Progesterone is more soothing and relaxing so helps with symptoms of anxiety. Testosterone will help with energy, concentration and confidence.

At The Natural Practice we offer women plenty of time to talk about their symptoms and concerns.  In our patient consultations we discuss the various options of body identical or bio identical hormones as treatments as most women benefit from combinations of natural hormones.  We will explore the need for laboratory tests and develop personalised treatment plans.

Lifestyle and nutrition will also be discussed during consultations.  There is significant evidence now available on the benefits of healthy eating and the importance of plant based diets.  Supplements are also of benefit including vitamins B and D, and omega 3. We also encourage regular exercise, ideally a good combination of aerobic and relaxing activities.

 

IMG 5389