Our hormones are involved in nearly all of our bodily functions, so when they fluctuate our state of normality can feel a far cry away from where we are now. Because everyone is different is therefore everyone’s ageing process differs from the next, some symptoms of hormonal imbalances and the menopause will be more extreme or more manageable than others. Those who experience more of the symptoms that affect their day to day life and comfortability tend to opt for treatments such as hormone replacement therapy to help them manage the changes in their body and gain some control over their hormonal imbalances. Hot flushes and raised heartrates are common, but did you know that the menopausal hormonal imbalances could affect your mental health? With this said, how will hormone replacement therapy help your mental health if you do indeed opt for it?
The roles hormones play in our body
Hormones are the tiny messengers in our body that start, stop, speed up, or slow down physical and chemical functions. For women, their ovaries are the source of hormones like oestrogen and progesterone, which during the menopause their ceasing in production affects hormonal and biochemical fluctuations in the brain and nervous system. Studies have shown that mood changes in women experiencing the menopause can be attributed to how the depletion of oestrogen interacts with chemicals in the brain. Hormones really do have a hand in most of the components contained within our body and how they communicate with each other.
Who is at risk of mental health problems during the menopause?
Research has shown that women who experienced severe PMS, pre-menstrual tension, in their younger years or postpartum depression may also experience more severe mood swings in the lead-up to the menopause. This period is known as the perimenopause and signifies the gradual production of less oestrogen, before it halts completely at the onset of the menopause. It’s also been suggested by studies that women with a history of clinical depression also seem to be particularly vulnerable to recurrent mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression, during the menopause.
Can hormone replacement therapy (HRT) help with menopausal mental health?
HRT has been shown to help women who experience depression and other mental health issues, such as anxiety and irritability, combat these symptoms. This is through reinstating hormone levels that are closer to equilibrium, helping to level-out the chemical changes in your brain. However, the choice to undergo HRT must be a personal decision undertaken after a clear and honest consultation and health assessment. If you are experiencing mental health concerns as a suspected symptom of the menopause but aren’t sure you’re experiencing other symptoms strongly enough to warrant treatment, then there are other options available to you such as talking therapies, lifestyle changes, and possible prescription medication available through your GP.
Our bodies are very finely tuned to their own symphonies, so when the menopause forces us to skip a beat or miss a few notes, we can very quickly notice the changes. To find out whether hormone replacement therapy is right for you, book a consultation with one of medical professionals at Omniya in Knightsbridge. We will be happy to meet with you and talk with you openly about your hormone management options, advising you on the best decisions for your health. Enquire online or speak to a member of our team on 020 7584 4777 to book your initial consultation.