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Should I Take Medication for Irritability?

Depending on your own disposition and tastes, you may find that certain menopausal treatments are more suited to you than others. There is much discussion surrounding the pros and cons of the different option treatments for irritability, specifically regarding the effectiveness of natural medicines versus conventional medication for irritability, as well as other symptoms of menopause. Below you will find some useful information, enabling you to differentiate between the options, and help you to come to a decision about what might be the best choice for your individual needs.

You can take natural remedies for irritability if your symptoms are not so profound that you require prescribed drugs

Lifestyle Changes

Before turning to either prescribed, or natural medication, it is recommended that menopausal women consider making some small lifestyle changes at first, adding a few new practices to their daily routine. There are a wide variety of methods that people find successful for managing irritability, such as:

  • Taking regular exercise. Exercising has many benefits for the body and mind. It causes a release of endorphins in the brain which leads to a happier mood.

  • Meditation. Studies have shown that even just a few minutes of quiet reflection each day can calm your mind and decrease stress and irritability.

  • Yoga. Many women find yoga to be helpful for stress relief, because it combines the benefits of both exercise and meditation. Many types concentrate on breathing techniques which can be particularly soothing.

  • Avoiding triggers. Bad habits such as smoking, alcohol, and a poor diet can all aggravate mood. Taking care to live a healthy lifestyle will help you to feel more positive and peaceful in general.

Natural Remedies

If you would like to take natural remedies for mood swings and irritability because your symptoms are not so profound that you require prescribed drugs. There are softer options available. Some alternative remedies and medicines for irritability are:

  • Chamomile tea. Many people enjoy a hot cup of chamomile tea to induce a state of calmness and relaxation. If you feel yourself becoming stressed and irritable, this may be a quick and tasty solution.

  • Soy products. Soy beans, milk, and tofu all contain plant-based estrogen (i,e; phytoestrogens) which can mimic the activity of the hormone in a woman's body. This means they may be able to help increase the production of serotonin, and alleviate irritability among other symptoms.

  • Other herbal supplements. There are other plants that contain phytoestrogens which are used to make herbal supplements, such as berries, nuts, and seeds. These can be a safe and convenient choice for those who want regular support.

Prescribed Medication

If you are experiencing severe irritability, or frequent mood swings, it may be that taking prescribed medication is a viable option for you. However, it is important to talk to a doctor before taking any treatment. Medications include:

Antidepressants

Some doctors may prescribe antidepressants for managing anger and irritability. These have an effect on serotonin levels in the neurotransmitter system, meaning they are able to improve your mood. However, antidepressants are related to serious side effects including nausea, anxiety, insomnia, headaches, and sexual dysfunction. For this reason, antidepressants are usually only considered after other treatments have been explored.

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

This is the most well-known, mainstream option which is administered to alleviate most menopausal symptoms. It acts by replenishing low levels of hormones that decline during menopause transition - namely estrogen and progesterone - that can be helpful in rebalancing the chemicals in the brain, which have an impact on your temperament. As with any treatment, however, hormone therapy is not without risks. It may increase the chances of certain types of cancer, and other conditions.

Many women who are experiencing menopause will at some point ask themselves if taking medication to treat irritability and anger is a good choice for them. Understanding the diverse options available is important when considering the right treatment, because it is likely that what works for one woman might not work for another. For more ideas about ways to treat this symptom, click here.

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Sources:
  • Medline Plus. (2015). Estrogen and Progestin (Hormone replacement therapy). Retrieved April 20, 2017, from https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a601041.html
  • National Health Service UK. (2016). Hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Retrieved April 20, 2017, from http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Hormone-replacement-therapy/Pages/Introduction.aspx#types
  • National Health Service UK. (2015).Side effects of antidepressants. Retrieved April 24, 2017, from http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Antidepressant-drugs/Pages/Side-effects.aspx
  • Patisaul, H.B., Jefferson, W. (2010). The pros and cons of phytoestrogens. 10.1016/j.yfrne.2010.03.003. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3074428/