By Jeanette Maxey of Hormones by Design
It’s no secret that hormones play a major role in our moods and emotions. This is especially true for women, as many female hormones regulate mood and feelings. As we approach menopause, many women experience a variety of symptoms that are often classified as depression.
However, before automatically prescribing antidepressants to these women, it’s important to look at all the possible causes of their symptoms. In some cases, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can be the answer.
Women in perimenopause and menopause can experience hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, lack of sex drive and so many more symptoms that disrupt your life.
You feel like you have lost your vitality and don’t feel like yourself. It can be hard to cope with the changes. It’s no wonder that so many women end up feeling depressed during this time.
Estrogen, Progesterone, and Testosterone all Play a Role
Estradiol regulates mood and emotion by affecting the brain’s serotonin levels. As we age and approach menopause, our estradiol levels decline, which can lead to feelings of depression. Progesterone also plays a role in regulating mood and emotions. In addition, it has a calming effect on the brain and can help with anxiety and insomnia.
Testosterone is another hormone that can affect mood, although it’s often thought of as a “male” hormone. However, women also produce small amounts of testosterone, and this hormone can play a role in energy levels, sex drive, and a feeling of well-being.
When any of these hormones are out of balance, it can lead to feelings of apathy or even depression.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy Can Help
The first step to determining if you are feeling down/depressed due to declining hormone levels is testing your hormone levels. This can be done with a simple blood test.
If your hormone levels are low, you may be a candidate for bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). BHRT is an individualized treatment that uses hormones that are identical to the ones your body naturally produces.
These hormones can help to restore balance and alleviate many of the symptoms associated with perimenopause and menopause, including feelings of apathy or depression.
Antidepressants Also Play a Role
A study and recent poll showed that women going through menopause are being wrongly prescribed antidepressants, which are making their symptoms worse and destroying their confidence. About 80 percent of those women said they felt antidepressants were an “inappropriate” treatment for the symptoms they are suffering.
Antidepressants can still be necessary for some women. If you and your doctor have determined that your feelings of depression are not solely due to declining hormone levels, then antidepressants may be the best course of action.
What is the MOST IMPORTANT item to remember? Talk to your doctor. If you feel like you are experiencing depression or anxiety, don’t wait. Make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your symptoms and possible treatment options.
This is the best way to determine if BHRT, antidepressants, or a combination of both is right for you.
We here at Hormones by Design understand what a huge toll all this takes on your marriage, your family, and even your work.
We can help you by testing your hormone levels and helping you get back in balance. We want you to have clear thinking, good sleep, no hot flashes or night sweats, and the desire to be intimate with your significant other.
We understand how important it is to feel like yourself again. Contact us today and let’s get started on getting your life back on track.