Scary Ladies: How to Fight Perimenopausal Mood Swings

scary ladyOne day you’re as peppy as a poppy flower; the next day (or make that minute) you’re as evil as a witch. No, it’s not because it’s Halloween. It’s because you’re in perimenopause.

During perimenopause, fluctuating levels of ovarian hormones can spur severe highs and lows that might make your family think you have a closet full of Halloween masks. Plus, night sweats and fatigue are all-too common during perimenopause—and I don’t have to tell you that a tired woman is a cranky one!

Still, some perimenopausal women are more at risk for mood swings than are others. “Some women are simply more influenced by the estrogen and progesterone in their bodies,” writes Dr. Risa Kagan, MD, a gynecologist with Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation and a member of the Board of Trustees for The North American Menopause Society. “We don’t understand why some are more sensitive, but it’s clear that they are. That sensitivity impacts the body in many ways, but also influences the neurotransmitters in the brain. Mood changes are not ‘all in the woman’s head’ or ‘imaginary.’” What’s more, according to The North American Menopause Society, women who had severe PMS in their younger years may have more severe mood swings during perimenopause.

So whatever mask you’re wearing right now, get ready to take it off! Here are three ways to fight perimenopausal mood swings and feel like yourself again:

Skip on Sugar

Sure, the sweet stuff will give your mood a boost, but it’ll be followed by an even lower low. “Refined carbs such as white bread, rice, pasta, and potatoes release glucose into the bloodstream quickly, which can lead to high-low mood swings and weight gain, not to mention making you feel tired,” says Susan Wysocki, WHNP, FAANP, president at iWoman’s Health. Her recommendation: “Opt for low-glycemic carbs like wholegrain breads, cereals, and pastas that will provide energy without causing moodiness and fatigue.” Learn how to ease menopausal symptoms with food.

Get More Sleep

Like I said, sleepy lady = crabby lady. So make sleep a priority, not an “I’ll fit it in when I can” sort of thing. Set a schedule that guarantees you at least eight hours of sleep a night, going to bed and waking up at the same time every night. To help you keep it up, avoid alcohol, caffeine, large meals, and physical activity before bed, according to the Office on Women’s Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. While you’re at it, turn off your gadgets before you head to the bedroom. According to growing research from the Australian Sleep Association, laptops, smart phones, and tablets emit about half the illumination of an ordinary room light—more than enough to trick your body into thinking it’s time for bright eyes and bushy tails. Get more tips for curing insomnia during menopause.

Break a Sweat

“Exercise, exercise, exercise is the best proven ‘natural method’ for fighting depression. 30 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise three to four times a week is necessary to experience this effect, but you don’t need to sign up for a marathon or a boot camp—walking, biking, swimming all work fine if you do enough of them,” says Dr. Julia Frank, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the George Washington University Medical Center. Plus, according to research published in The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, exercise significantly reduces feelings of anger, confusion, fatigue, tension, and vigor. A better body and a better mood? Yes, please!


This Halloween, let the kiddos do the dressing up! Slash your mood swings, achieve hormone happiness, and toss your broomstick for good!


Reaching out is IN!  Suffering in silence is OUT!


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Scary Ladies: How to Fight Perimenopausal Mood Swings was last modified: by

Ellen Dolgen

Ellen Dolgen

Ellen Dolgen, menopause education is a mission. Spurred by her own experience struggling with the symptoms of menopause, Dolgen has devoted the last ten years of her life to helping other women during this often difficult time. While she’s not a doctor or scientist, she’s “talked the talk” with countless menopause experts, so that she can “walk the menopause walk” and share the keys to this menopause kingdom.

Together with her son, Jack, she created a FREE eBook, MENOPAUSE MONDAYS The Girlfriend’s Guide to Surviving and Thriving During Perimenopause and Menopause, a comprehensive guide to all things menopause—the symptoms, the treatments, and the long-range effects on a woman’s health. Dolgen shares the expertise of numerous specialists to replace confusion and embarrassment with medically sound solutions, presented in an entertaining and informative way. There you will find detailed descriptions and treatments for the symptoms you or your loved one may experience, from hot flashes and mood swings to mental fogginess and loss of libido, and lots more in between.

In addition to sharing the latest research and proven treatments, Dolgen offers guidance to finding a menopause specialist who’s right for you, and she provides a clear explanation of what tests to ask for. You’ll also learn about the latest studies on hormone replacement as well as alternative therapies and remedies. Finally, Dolgen shares the real-life experiences of women—and those who love them—as they traverse the crazy ups and downs of perimenopause and menopause.

As a result of the overwhelming response from her burgeoning audiences and followers’ requests for empowering information they could trust, and her Menopause MondaysTM Blog was born.

In addition to Ellen’s ever-growing social media presence, has fast become “the place” on the web for informative and entertaining women’s menopause and wellness engagement. Ellen has been #1 on Dr. Oz Top 10 Social HealthMakers on Menopause. In 2012, 2013 and 2014, / Menopause Mondays was named first on the list of the “Best Menopause Blogs” by Healthline. Ellen was honored to be asked to be one of the first regularly featured bloggers on HP50 and so began her syndication on many other health sites.

Ellen produces health and wellness programs for businesses, healthcare institutions, and other organizations. She facilitates Menopause Mondays Parties throughout the Country. Ellen chaired a social media roundtable for Novo Nordisk in 2012. In 2013, Ellen was a key spokesperson for GLAMTM (Great Life after Menopause), a non-branded campaign sponsored by Novo Nordisk. In 2015, Ellen partnered with Pfizer on a series of menopause videos with the fabulous award winning Kim Cattrall for their “Tune in to Menopause Campaign.”

Ellen has appeared on the “TODAY Show”, “TODAY Kathie Lee & Hoda”, “The Katie Show,” “NBC Nightly News”, “The Rachael Ray Show,” “The Doctors,” Oprah Radio, Playboy Radio, NPR’s “Tell Me More,” Doctor Radio, and dozens of regional and national media outlets. In 2011, she appeared in a production of “The Vagina Monologues.”

Ellen is the founder and president of Menopause Mondays and is a principal of Dolgen Ventures.

Click here to read Ellen's full bioLike Ellen Dolgen on Facebook, follow her on Twitter and Pinterest, connect with her on LinkedIn, Google+, and Klout, watch her videos on YouTube, and subscribe to her newsletter.


  1 comment for “Scary Ladies: How to Fight Perimenopausal Mood Swings

  1. October 30, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    During menopause too, great tips!

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