Depression and BioIdentical Hormones

  • May 10, 2012

While there has been a long-standing debate over whether or not depression occurring around menopause is due to physical hormonal changes in the body or the mental and emotional effects of this transitional period, new research indicates that it is likely a mixture of both.Enter your text here...

First, let’s get a handle on some terminology:

  • Depression - a word that can be used to describe three distinctly different conditions:

A Depressed Mood - a normal, brief period of feeling sad.

Depression as a Symptom - a short-term reaction to any number of medical or psychological problems, (most of the day, more days than not, for at least 2 years).

Clinical Depression - a pathologic disorder believed to be the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain.

  • Perimenopause - the stage of a woman’s reproductive life that begins 8-10 years before menopause, and lasts until menopause.
  • Menopause -the period of time when a woman stops ovulating and experiences symptoms related to a lack of estrogen production. When you have gone 12 months without a menses, prior to that is perimenopause.
  • Serotonin - a hormone that helps regulate sleep, energy, mood, and libido. Central to our well-being.

 During menopause, women often experience a number of symptoms related to a lack of estrogen. These can range from weight gain, limited energy, hair loss, low sex drive, mood swings, sleeplessness, poor concentration, memory loss, fatigue, and depression. Because serotonin requires estrogen to be produced in the brain, the decrease in estrogen during menopause can result in low in serotonin levels. All of these symptoms can be helped by using Bioidentical Hormones.

Are You Depressed?

So how can you tell if you’re experiencing menopausal depression of if you’re just a little down? That’s not an easy question to answer. You’re more likely to suffer from menopausal depression if you:

  • Have a history of depression earlier in life
  • Have a family history of depression
  • Suffer dramatically (or used to) from PMS
  • Had post-partum depression
  • Have a history of depression when on oral contraceptives
  • Had a recent, major loss

The drastic life changes that accompany menopause can also take an emotional toll. Depression is already more common in women as in men, and studies have shown that women are more likely to have symptoms of depression during perimenopause as previously in their lives, which can be further increased when you include:

  • Drug and Alcohol Use - these substances are depressants, and can interfere with hormone activity, triggering symptoms of depression.
  • Response to loss - this period in a woman’s life can often be accompanied by loss of parents or spouse, children leaving home, divorce, loss of youth, etc
  • Medical Conditions - some medical conditions can increase a person’s chances of suffering from depression.

Regardless of the cause, the symptoms of clinical depression are the same:

  • Feelings of sadness, hopelessness or despair that last longer than two weeks
  • Feeling very tired, or tired all the time
  • Feeling guilty or worthless
  • Loss of enjoyment of activities that you have enjoyed in the past
  • Loss of interest in sex
  • Feeling restless or “slowed down”
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Trouble sleeping, or sleeping too much
  • Thoughts of hurting yourself or dying

It's Important to Seek Help
During menopause, women often feel guilty about their changes in mood and behavior, and might avoid seeking treatment. It’s normal to feel down for a day or two occasionally, but when depression becomes the norm in your life, it’s time to do something about it.

It’s important to remember that depression is just as serious during menopause as it is at any other point in a person’s life. And, just like at any other time, menopausal depression can be effectively treated.  Any form of depression can require medical intervention; depression is extremely dangerous in some individuals, it is important to know this.  One week of depression or even one day can and has resulted in death.  If you, or someone you know feels helpless or any other symptom that is really bothersome you should seek help immediately and find someone who will advocate for you.  You do not need to “man up” and take it, too many people do not have the other tools in life to get through it!

Get Your Life Back!
Effective techniques that may help you cope with the symptoms of menopause include:

  • Finding a self-calming skill to practice such as yoga, meditation, or slow, deep breathing
  • Avoiding tranquilizers
  • Engaging in a creative outlet or hobby that fosters a sense of achievement
  • Staying connected with your family and community; nurturing your friendships
  • Seeking emotional support from friends, family members, or a professional counselor
  • Taking steps to stay cool during hot flashes, such as wearing loose clothing
  • Keeping your bedroom cool to prevent night sweats and disturbed sleep
  • ​Eating healthfully and exercising regularly

However, if these methods aren’t enough and you’re ready to take control of your life then you want to consider Bioidentical Hormones, (BHRT) which have been shown to be effective, especially for women who didn’t see results with other treatments.

In menopausal women, the base cause of menopausal depression is likely a decrease in estrogen and BHRT can treat these symptoms by balancing out the hormone level in the body. By returning it to a state of balance using hormones identical to the ones produced by the body and not artificially produced your body chemistry adjusts itself and the symptoms of depression are eliminated, naturally, easily and permanently.

If you’re looking for relief from the biochemical chaos raging in your body, give Caddell’s a call at 425-998-0181 to arrange a consultation with our BHRT expert compounding pharmacist and physician. Or plan on attending one of our monthly meetings where we discuss how BHRT can help you improve your life.

The only things you stand to lose are your symptoms!

Leave a Comment: