How Can I Stop Mood Swings?
"I've recently stopped HRT as I found my mood swings became worse on it. I'm now taking St John's Wort and straight away the night sweats have returned. Can you advise which natural alternatives work for you...my main aim is to try and stop the mood swings. Any advice about supplements us welcome."
Discontinuing HRT can throw your hormones into an extremely imbalanced state, so what you should focus on is choosing natural treatments that will help to rebalance your hormonal levels as you move through menopause.
Each woman’s menopause journey is unique. Did you know there are actually 10 different menopause types? Knowing which MenoType you are can help you determine the most effective ways to treat your symptoms. Take the quiz to discover which MenoType you are now.
St. John’s Wort is a great start to helping manage your symptoms! Don’t be discouraged if you haven’t noticed benefit yet, as this herb has a fairly slow onset, meaning it can take up to 3 months of daily use before you see changes to your symptoms and most research is done over a period of 2-3 years.
So this means that you should look at this as a long-term support. That being said, research has continued to show that St. John’s Wort does help with mood changes, hot flashes, and insomnia so keep up with your dosing and if you see absolutely no changes after 3 months, consider some other treatment options.
- Red Clover. This herb has also been shown to help specifically with mood changes related to menopause. If you are noticing you have more anxiety, this is a great treatment to consider. This is a gentle herbal option, making it a great addition to other treatments you may already be using.
- Black Cohosh. This herb has the ability to act as an endocrine modulator without actually acting exactly like estrogen, so it’s safe to use throughout this time of hormonal transition and it will help to support more balanced hormonal levels. It’s been shown to not only reduce hot flushes and sweating (especially night sweats), but it can improve sleep and mood changes. One thing to note is that it takes a minimum of 3 months of daily use to see the full effect.
Yoga. Hatha yoga (done 1-2 times per week) has been researched for menopause and it has shown to not only help with vasomotor symptoms (hot flashes, night sweats, etc), but also helps with mood support.
The great thing about an exercise-based treatment is that you will see improvements within days of starting a regular physical activity schedule so it can be a great addition to other natural therapies as there’s no risk of interaction and the benefits extend well beyond your menopausal symptoms!
It’s important to remember that natural does not mean without risk. St. John’s Wort has a lot of interaction with medications and supplements so if you are taking any other medications ensure your healthcare provider has approved this for use.
There are some great natural treatment options available so remember that everybody is different and it can take a few tries to find a combination that works best for you. But knowing what options may be available to you is a big step in the right direction.
In support of your health, Dr. Clarence, ND
DR. HAYHLEE CLARENCE ND
Dr. Clarence has a Doctorate of Naturopathy degree from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. She is a strong advocate for conventional care, recognizing that when possible, naturopathic medicine functions best alongside medical treatment.