Mood changes can be overwhelming, but there are some things you can do to help, and signs to look out for.

Hormones can have a powerful effect on brain chemistry, mental health, and mood. How they affect your mood and what to do?

How hormones affect your mental health?

Hormones are the chemical messengers in your body that send out messages through the bloodstream, carrying information from one organ to the next.

Hormones have a powerful effect on brain chemistry, mental health, and mood. For women, hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone all have crucial roles to play in health and emotions, while for men, low testosterone can affect mood.

Mood changes can be overwhelming, but there are some things you can do to help, and signs to look out for.

How do hormones affect mood?

It can sometimes be tricky to work out whether your mood changes are hormonal or not. If you’re a woman going through perimenopause or menopause, your mood might swing from one extreme to another in a second. Dealing with night sweats and hot flushes can make it feel even worse because you’re functioning on limited sleep.

Generally, the drop in estrogen and progesterone over the months and years as you approach menopause can cause symptoms such as:

  • hot flushes or night sweats;
  • mood swings, low mood, anxiety, and irritability;
  • vaginal changes and painful intercourse;
  • low libido;
  • joint and muscle aches;
  • itchy skin;
  • headaches;
  • tiredness;
  • insomnia;
  • forgetfulness;
  • weight gain around the stomach.

The years leading up to menopause, and the first few years after the last period, are described as a ‘window of vulnerability’ for mood change. The most common mood symptoms would be feeling down or anxious. Irritability and brain fog are also very common.

Past depression and anxiety

Some other things that can cause low mood as people age are as follows:

  • previous depression;
  • major stresses in your life;
  • low self-esteem and body image;
  • poor lifestyle such as drinking alcohol;
  • relationship problems or frustrations.

Counseling can be extremely helpful to work through any issues that come up.

Men and hormones

Men can be affected by changes in hormones. But for men, these changes happen slowly rather than within a few years. Testosterone, the male sex hormone, is important for bone and muscle health, sex drive, and general mood.

As men age, their testosterone levels gradually drop. After around age 60, low testosterone can cause poor mood, irritability, and poor concentration.

Testosterone levels in men are highest between the ages of 20 and 30, and as men age, their testosterone levels gradually drop. Being overweight or some long-term medical conditions can cause a bigger drop in testosterone.

Men are exposed to fewer episodes of hormone change. For example, men whose testosterone is suddenly lowered because of cancer treatment can find they experience mood changes.

Tips for managing your moods

There are some things we can all do to help good mental health generally, such as:

  • getting plenty of rest;
  • eating lots of fruit and vegetables;
  • doing some regular exercise;
  • not drinking too much alcohol;
  • not smoking.

But these lifestyle changes may not be enough to help people experiencing mood swings or irritation, Proper blood testing and diagnostics are required to determine if hormone replacement therapy is indicated.

If you’ve got any additional concerns as to hormonal treatment, please get in touch with our team of experts and ask any questions you want.