Are you filled with rage at certain times of the month? You’re not alone.

While mood swings are a common symptom of menstruation and perimenopause, for some women they can become severe and problematic. For sufferers (and their families) it’s helpful to know why it happens and what you can do about it.

The word ‘rage’ is often used when speaking about hormones – and for many women, this is an apt choice of expression for how they feel at certain points in their cycles. Here’s three common reasons for these feelings, and a few solutions to consider if your mood swings have swung into the stratosphere.


Most human beings are altered by the fluctuation of hormones but, for some, the extent to which they are affected can cause serious problems. This can be the case for women going through perimenopause, when a drop in estrogen can also mean a drop in serotonin, the happy-making chemical that helps regulate your moods.

Aside from feeling depressed, women may also experience trouble sleeping and hot flashes at this time of their lives, which adds to the problem. While it might make you difficult to live with, there is little wonder perimenopausal women don’t cope so well with life’s challenges! However, if your head is in a territory that feels dangerous, there is help out there in the form of Menopausal Hormone Therapy or the IUD, which can help regulate hormones, leaving you on a more even keel.


Premenstrual stress

It’s estimated that up to 80% of women experience PMS in their reproductive years. Usually suffered in the week leading up to your period, PMS can cause a host of symptoms from mood swings and food cravings to sleep problems and a general sense of being down in the dumps. Because the body is affected as well as the mind, there can be a sense of being out of control that throws us off our usual pleasantries.

If you suffer from PMS, there are some lifestyle changes that can help reduce symptoms and make them easier to deal with. The good news is, these are all changes that can help in many areas of life.

  • Increasing protein and carbohydrates in the diet, while decreasing sugar, salt, caffeine and alcohol can help with bloating, lack of energy and digestive issues.
  • Regular exercise will often help with cramps and regulate mood.
  • Stress management in the form of meditation, breathing exercises or yoga can make a huge difference to the length of your fuse in challenging situations.
  • A creative outlet can also impact your mood, giving you a place to express your feelings.


Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

 For sufferers of PMDD (around 3-5% of women), the rage can be real. Psychological symptoms of PMDD can extend from unmanageable anger and irritability through to paranoia and an inability to concentrate. Often there are also physical symptoms, such as digestive problems and skin inflammation. Sufferers may have trouble coping with daily tasks and relationships can deteriorate.

Symptoms appear in the week before menstruation and usually end within a few days after periods begin. Partners or friends may comment that a sufferer is a completely different person at these times.

If this sounds like you, it is helpful to keep track of when your symptoms begin and end and write down some notes about what happens. Even if you don’t have this information, it is still a good idea to see a doctor if your symptoms are severe and you feel you need help.


When to see a doctor

Your doctor will be able to help to put you on the path to managing your symptoms through lifestyle changes, or, if your symptoms are serious, medical treatments may be prescribed.

See a doctor if:

  • Your behaviour is erratic
  • You are having panic attacks
  • You can’t sleep and/ or feel exhausted and/ or feel excessively sleepy
  • Your relationships are suffering
  • You feel apathetic, especially towards activities that you used to enjoy
  • You have a sense of helplessness
  • Possible treatments might include hormone therapy, vitamin supplements, anti-inflammatories, Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, and contraceptive pills or devices.

To dampen that rage and help find the right solution for you, call us or book an appointment online.