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Q&A: How Does Sugar Affect My Mood Swings?


Mood swings are particularly common in menopausal women and females who are suffering with premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Why? Because mood swings are usually a result of a change to a woman's natural hormones. This means that a hormonal imbalance, a disruption to the production of hormones, or a hormonal dominance can all send our emotions on a rollercoaster ride. Balancing our sex hormones, estrogen and progesterone, is key to controlling our mood, which is where sugar comes in. Read on to find out more.

What Actually Is a Mood Swing?

A mood swing is an extreme or unexpected change in mood and emotion. People who suffer with mood swings will quite often find themselves fluctuating between a very cheerful mood to being seriously down in the dumps; their personality and emotional state drastically changing. More often than not, this sudden mood change is because of very small and usually insignificant triggers.

What Causes My Mood to Change So Suddenly?

Your mood makes this abrupt change because of a change in your hormone levels. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that helps to regulate mood. Certain factors can alter the level of serotonin in the body and cause mood swings. A hormonal change is one of the main factors altering serotonin levels because estrogen, the primary sex hormone, plays a large role in the production of it.

During your menstrual cycle, and particularly during menopause, levels of estrogen can alter and the production of serotonin therefore fluctuates, causing the sudden changes in mood.

Other factors that can influence serotonin levels are poor diet, stress, alcoholism, and other health related conditions.

How Does Sugar Affect My Mood?


Sugar is recommended in small doses for several reasons, particularly for women in menopause who commonly experience mood swings. Sugar increases serotonin production in the brain, much like estrogen. When you have a sugar rush the levels of serotonin will suddenly increase and the body will be on an artificial high, but when the serotonin levels drop again, the high finishes and you can quickly become emotionally drained. Therefore, sugar is not the ultimate answer if you want to drag yourself out from a moment of depression.


Mood swings can be troubling for the sufferer, and their close relations, because the abrupt change is often unexpected, but fortunately women can implement lifestyle changes to help control these moods. Avoiding sugar is just one change.

3 Ways of Managing Mood Swings

Keep reading to learn how to manage mood swings through lifestyle changes.

Bad Mood Swings

Bad mood swings are typically caused by either physical or psychological triggers, including lack of estrogen during menopause. Learn more here.

Menstrual Cycle and Mood Swings

Read on to learn more about mood swing causes and treatments and their relationship to the menstrual cycle.

  • The Health Center.(n.d)."Adult Mood Swings".Retrieved from
  • Dr. Love, Susan, and Karen Lindsey. Dr. Susan Love's Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
  • Amin, Zenab, Turhan Canli, and C. Neill Epperson. "Effects of Estrogen-Serotonin Interactions on Mood and Cognition". Behav Cogn Neurosci Rev 2005; 4; 43.
  • Molecular Psychiatry.(n.d)."Estrogen Promotes Gender Difference in Brain's Response to Stress". Molecular Psychiatry.Retrieved from