A few months ago, I wrote about the main hormones for females – progesterone and estrogen. Did you know that these hormones can determine your mood? A smart thing to do is to chart your cycle and write down symptoms such as: happy go lucky, optimistic, impatient, emotional, bothered by little things, irritable, pessimistic, etc and look for patterns. I will tell you what the normal patterns are, and then you might feel better about how you are feeling and have it validated… by hormone fluctuations!
During the first half of the cycle, estrogen is high. When estrogen is high, serotonin levels are also high and serotonin is considered a feel good hormone. Women typically “go with the flow” during this part of the cycle, and are not bothered by much. Since the follicular phase leads up to ovulation, we are primed to be more resilient as we look to find a mate. Bam! Ovulation hits signaling the second half of the cycle, the luteal phase.
During the luteal phase, estrogen levels drop rapidly, along with serotonin, and progesterone levels rise. Feelings of nesting (as during pregnancy) and everything being in its place are typical during this time, as well as responding more sensitively to situations. This is the time when you might feel irritable, have little patience and snap at things that you don’t usually react to as severely. The symptoms experienced as you approach the start of a new cycle are known as PMS. It IS important to note that thoughts and feelings during this time are warranted and real, they are more raw and you are more likely to be affected by them than to let them go as in the follicular phase. Once the cycle restarts, we cycle through again.
OTHER TIMES OF HIGH RISK
Other times in a woman’s life that may trigger high emotions – pregnancy, after delivery, at weaning, and when taking fertility drugs. In all of these situations, a change in hormone levels is at work.
Chart and write symptoms that you experience throughout your cycle and you can schedule things around the week that you are not your best self! You can also each foods rich in magnesium and calcium and/or take supplements such as chasteberry extract and magnesium.