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Depression And Menopause - The Hormone Connection



The causes of depression are many. Hormones, namely serotonin, regulate your mood and emotional balance. When the level of serotonin drops, it causes fluctuations in your mood and can lead to depression. Estrogen deficiency can also result in depression, which is why many millions of menopausal women will face this problem.

If you suffer from depression you will be experiencing intense feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and melancholy that lasts for two weeks or more at a time.

Depression During Menopause

Between 8% and 15% of women experience some form of depression during menopause, yet it is most likely to afflict women in the perimenopause stage.

What exactly causes this menopausal depression is not yet known, but different theories have been brought forth to explain the increase in mood disorders. One of these theories suggests that the stress of menopause symptoms is the one leading to depression. You may feel that symptoms of menopause are too difficult, since you already have to deal with family, friends, work, etc and menopause may just be what it takes to cause the onset of depression.

Another theory is that menopause depression is due to fluctuating levels of hormones in the body, especially estrogen. Throughout menopause, levels of hormones are constantly changing, and these hormones are linked with the mood centers in the human brain. Thus, when hormones drop, you may experience periods of sadness and hopelessness. At the extreme, this will lead to depression, mood disorders and anxiety issues.

Risk Factors

Do you have a history of mood disorders? Then you may develop depression during menopause, as women who have been depressed during their 20s, stand more chances of seeing their depression reoccur. At the same time, women who have experienced surgical menopause also have an increased risk for depression.

If you are a smoker, have young children, or are experiencing a good deal of stress, you are also more likely to go through some form of depression during this time.

Treatments for Depression During Menopause

Seek professional help right away, if you are experiencing menopause depression. There are many options available to reduce your symptoms and help you to enjoy life again.

Treatments may include nutritional support, nutritional supplements, bioidentical hormone replacement, estrogen therapy and conventional anti-depressant medications.

Along with professional treatment, there are several other ways in which you can help yourself feel better.

Ask for support from others

It is very important that you get support for you and tell your needs to those around you. Ask for help with your housekeeping, preparing meals and the daily chores. Don't feel you have to do it all yourself.

Exercise

Exercising helps treat depression by releasing the body's mood-elevating compounds, while reducing the stress hormone cortisol,. Even exercising 10 minutes has some beneficial effects.

Stress Management

Depression is made far worse if you add stress to the mix in women. Be sure to identify stressors that you are putting on yourself and start setting priorities and boundaries. Decide what you can and cannot handle and stick to your plan. Alternative therapies, such as accupuncture and massage therapy can be extremely beneficial in lowering the stress response.

Nutrition

Vitamin B complex may be helpful in restoring mood balance. Also keep in mind that calcium and magnesium must be present in proper balance to one another. Be sure to purchase a high quality form of magnesium/calcium. Your local health food store should be able to recommend a specific formulation.

Remember, depression and menopause do not have to go hand in hand. Seek professional assistance to fully explore any hormone imbalances.


Womens Reproductive Health

When it comes to womens reproductive health, there are a lot of questions that can be asked. If you have a question it's always best to see a doctor and ask him or her in person. After all, they went to school for years to specialize in the subject, it'd be a shame if they never got to utilize their skills. Besides going to a womens health specialist, your best bet is to get online, head to a library or even ask your friends. Usually, a poll of ten or so female friends can tell you if something is normal or an issue you should be concerned about.
Online Hospital | World Health Organization
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