Menopause is a fairly difficult transition for most women, as it does not just indicate the end of menstruation and fertility, but brings with it a host of other woes, such as hot flashes, weight gain, and sleep disturbances, to name a few. It is a natural biological process that each woman goes through, and begins 12 months after your last menstrual period, though the symptoms are unusually felt even before the periods stop entirely. Apart from the hot flashes that are fairly distressing, mood swings are also very difficult to deal with. Constantly fluctuating emotions can be harrowing for the person experiencing them, as well as for those around.

Useful Tips
While most women know about HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy), those who don't want to go down that road can take other measures for treatment. As menopause and mood swings go together, here are some steps you can take to manage them:
  • In order not to get overwhelmed, break down a single large task into several smaller ones. This will make them seem easy to accomplish. Another step important for everyone, not just those who are going through menopause, is to prioritize, which will allow you to accomplish important tasks, without trying to pack too much into a day.
  • Another healthy way to deal with this problem is to involve yourself in activities that you enjoy. Exercise always helps, so try going for walks, and also include recreational activities such as going for movies, plays, book readings, religious/social activities and volunteer your time for a good cause.
  • It is very important to get sufficient sleep and rest. While exercise is important, ensure it is not before bedtime, as you want to try to wind down. Avoid caffeine and precede sleep with relaxation techniques, such as guided imagery, deep breathing, and progressive muscle relaxation, if required.
  • Good nutrition is also vital at this point of time in a woman's life. In addition to a balanced diet of vegetables, fruits, and whole grain, try to include 1,200 to 1,500 milligrams of calcium and 800 international units of vitamin D in your daily diet. You can consult your doctor about supplements.
  • In addition to mood swings getting you down, if you put pressure on yourself to 'be normal', things will only get worse. Accept crankiness, and give yourself time to start feeling like your old self. In the time it takes for your mood to improve, do not take any major decisions, or make big changes to your life. Holding on to what is familiar, in terms or routines, the house and friends, will help you through this time.
Natural Remedies
While there are a number natural remedies that are promoted as aids that help control menopausal mood swings, however, with the lack of scientific evidence to support these claims, all we can suggest is that you try them, and draw your own conclusions as to their effectiveness.
  • Vitamin E: Some women have found vitamin E to be effective in relieving some symptoms of menopause. If you try this remedy, make sure you don't take more than 400 international units of vitamin E supplements per day.
  • Phytoestrogens: Phytoestrogens are naturally occurring estrogens. One type, isoflavones, are found in soybeans, chickpeas, and other legumes, while the other, lignans, occur in flaxseed, whole grains, and certain fruits and vegetables. They may help relieve some symptoms, but also raise some concerns about the risk cancer.
  • Black Cohosh: Black cohosh has become increasingly popular as an alternate remedy. Even though there is no evidence supporting its effectiveness, it does have a decent safety record.
A combination of the above steps and remedies should help you deal with the mood swings during menopause. All the while, remember that it is normal for you to feel irritable and upset.

Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and should not be replaced for the advice of a medical professional.