It is common for menopause, perimenopause, or the fluctuating hormones during the menstrual cycle to prompt emotions of sadness and depression in women. It is estimated that between 8% - 15% in menopause experience depression in some form. The hormonal changes associated with the monthly menstrual cycle, the onset of perimenopause, or menopause result in a variety of physical and emotional symptoms which can cause stress, frustration, and ultimately depression. These symptoms added to an already full load of responsibilities with your family, work, finances, etc., can be just too much to deal with. It doesn’t help that most women dread their monthly periods and ultimately, menopause all of their lives due to the horror stories that are passed along by friends and family members. Depression, like stress, may be another symptom of a hormone imbalance. The hormone imbalance during these times inhibits your body from managing stress and experiencing positive moods. Hormones and depression in women are closely related.
Symptoms of Depression
1. Depressed mood (sometimes shows up as irritability)
2. Loss of interest or pleasure in life (don’t enjoy things you used to enjoy)
3. Significant change in appetite (up or down)
4. Abnormal changes in sleep pattern (too much or too little)
5. Fatigue or loss of energy
6. Feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate excessive guilt
7. Diminished ability to think or concentrate
8. Thoughts of death and suicide
Two of the main hormones involved in the female system are estrogen and progesterone. These hormones exist in a unique and very specific ratio relative to each other at different times in the menstrual cycle, during the reproductive years, and in menopause. These hormones are controlled by signals from the brain and interact with your organs and other hormones, like those made in your thyroid and adrenal glands to promote overall health and feeling of wellbeing. If there is any problem in the organs producing the hormones or the signals that control these hormones, then various symptoms can result, one of which is depression. The solution is to get to the root of the problem and restore function to the organ that is not functioning well. Once this is done correctly, then the symptoms generally get better.
At The Lifestyle Clinic, we provide extensive hormone testing and natural solutions to help your body regain balance. Click here to learn more!!
1 Bunch kale
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Salt to taste
Preheat oven 300 F. Wash and tear leaves into small pieces, removing inner spine. Place in a bowl and combine with olive oil and vinegar. Spread leaves evenly onto a baking sheet and bake until crisp (approx.35 mins). Add salt to taste and enjoy!
Dear Dr. Parkes,
What is the best way to reduce stress?
One proven way to help the way your body handles stress is movement. A combination of vigorous and calming activity can help improve your energy, elevate your mood and help you better handle stress. Practices like yoga or tai chi help you clear your mind and focus at the moment. This inner calm helps you to relax.
Cardiovascular exercises like walking, jogging, or biking will cause increased amounts of hormones that help you feel good overall. For best results, alternate the days you do calming exercises with the days you perform more vigorous exercises. Start with 15 – 20 minutes per day and work your way up to 45 minutes or an hour. Ideally, you should aim to exercise 4 – 6 days per week.