You know the feeling…
One moment, everything’s fine. The next your other half says something in the wrong tone, and your face flushes as your heart rate speeds up.
Soon enough, everyone around you is doing something to bother you, and your whole life seems to be spiraling out of control right before your eyes. Then, just as quickly, the feelings subside, and you’re left wondering what that was all about.
Where did it all come from? That didn’t feel like you *sigh*.
As women, we’re told mood swings are normal.
We say, “Sorry hon, must be that time of the month again.”
But aren’t you curious about what’s really going on to make you act this way? Wouldn’t it be nice if you could avoid these mood swings in the future?
Well, you’re in luck because that’s exactly what I’m diving into today!
The reality is that mood swings are a clue that there’s an imbalance within the body.
And typically it has a lot to do with your hormones and believe it or not your gut.
Let’s start with hormones.
Which Hormones Cause You To Be Moody?
Did you know that your body has 50 different types of hormones? 😱 And they play a critical role in maintaining a healthy metabolism, ability to focus, sex drive, and overall mood.
There are tons of mood-related hormones, but today we’re going to focus on the 4 that have the biggest impact on mood swings: estrogen, progesterone, cortisol & insulin.
4 hormones that relate to mood swings:
Estrogen is a feminine hormone. It regulates our menstrual cycle and is crucial for sexual and reproductive development. (1) This hormone affects your skin, bones, breasts, hair, and even the brain – which is why it plays such an important role in mood swings.
When estrogen is too high, you can become irritable, tired, and moody. When it’s too low, you can feel depressed (due to lower serotonin production). And there are 2 types of estrogen – estriol and estradiol, one which is harmful and one which isn’t… and how to prevent the harmful one from being elevated is by understanding your unique conversion pathways.
Progesterone is your calm hormone. Changes in progesterone can contribute to abnormal menstrual cycles and worsen PMS. (2) When progesterone levels are low, you’re more likely to feel anxious, moody, stressed and restless. Which is a perfect storm for a major mood swing if you ask me 😉
Here it comes… the stress hormone. When cortisol levels are too high, the body goes into “fight or flight” mode, which can cause anxiety, poor sleep, difficulty concentrating, weight gain, and you guessed it… mood swings. When cortisol levels are too low, you might feel dizzy, tired, and drained. (3)
This hormone is super important because it controls the amount of sugar in your bloodstream. Insulin actually helps move sugar out of the bloodstream and into your cells, so they can use it for energy. (4)
When insulin levels get out of whack, your blood sugar can crash or spike, which leads to elevated cortisol – cue the irritability, anxiety & energy crashes.
Again – perfect storm right there!
The bottom line here is that your hormones have a huge impact on your mood, and if even one of these four major players is out of balance, it’s enough to cause serious mood swings (and disruption in your life).
So, how the heck do we keep these hormones in balance?
This brings me to our next topic – gut health!
Believe or not, your gut has a major impact on your hormones (and therefore your mood).
Does Gut Health Affect Your Mood? The Gut-Hormone Relationship.
When the gut isn’t functioning optimally, your hormones tend to freak out!
I’ll give you an example:
→ The gut microbiome helps regulate estrogen levels. (2) This means when gut health is compromised, the body’s estrogen production could be, too. That’s why poor gut health is linked to estrogen-related conditions like PCOS, PMS, Endometriosis, Menopause, and even Female Cancers.
There’s no shortage of examples that display the gut-hormone connection.
→ 95% of serotonin (your “happy hormone”) is created and stored in the gut.
It makes sense then why poor gut health is linked to anxiety, depression & mood swings right?
Centuries ago, Hippocrates said, “All disease begins in the gut.”
And, it’s absolutely true.
So, Are My Mood Swings Normal Then?
No, I wouldn’t say your mood swings are normal.
Rather, I’d say it’s understandable why your mood is being affected if you have poor gut health, and the reality is that the majority of the population struggle with gut health, at least to some extent.
There are two key things I want you to take away from this:
- Your mood swings could be related to a number of underlying issues, including hormone imbalance & gut health.
If your doctor gives you a single diagnosis, there’s a chance it could be a blanket diagnosis for multiple issues. For example, PMS is a symptom of both a hormonal imbalance and leaky gut.
Because the body’s systems are so intimately connected, we need to test, not guess, to determine what’s driving your symptoms. Get curious, ask questions, and find a good functional medicine expert to help guide you on your healing journey.
You are the CEO of your own health!
- Hormones will not remain balanced with an unhealthy gut.
When a client comes to me with symptoms of a hormone imbalance, that’s an immediate indicator to me that the gut needs attention. In fact, at Well Works, gut health is almost always involved in helping our clients heal.
Creating a Foundation For Health: The 5-R Protocol
You can think of gut health as the foundation for sustainable health. Just as you wouldn’t dump a ton of money into putting high-end flooring into a home with an unstable foundation, it doesn’t make sense to treat issues like mood disorders or hormone imbalance, while ignoring gut health.
At Well Works, we use an approach developed by the Institute for Functional Medicine called the 5R Protocol.
This protocol helps to alleviate symptoms related to gut health (which is a lot!) including acne, anxiety, brain fog, chronic headaches, mood swings, and more. It works to facilitate true healing, so these issues disappear, for good.
Let’s break it down:
- Remove: We want to remove anything that could be irritating the gut: foods, medications, stress, and infection.
- Replace: We want to replace certain elements that may be missing which are key to healthy digestion, such as stomach acid, bile, digestive enzymes, and nutrients.
- Repopulate: Once we’ve seen a significant improvement in symptoms, it’s time to reintroduce foods that help rebalance the microbiome. This can include prebiotic and probiotic foods.
- Repair: Next, we create an environment that supports gut health for the long haul. We may introduce foods rich in certain nutrients or supplements, which is all going to depend on your specific functional medicine test results.
- Rebalance: We address lifestyle habits: stress management, sleep, exercise & relationships. These factors have a massive impact on your gut, and are sadly overlooked by many health care providers.
This protocol gives us a framework for healing, but every person’s protocol is going to look different. Which is what makes functional medicine so valuable – it’s highly personalized!
So if you’re asking yourself “are my mood swings normal?”, my guess is that you’re a perfect candidate for my Heal Your Gut, Heal Your Life Program I’d love to help you regain control of your health & your life.
Book a Clarity Coffee to get started.
And Don’t Forget This: You Were Designed to Thrive.
You don’t have to feel like a stranger in your own body, constantly wondering “is this normal?”
You’re meant to feel great, and you have the power to say “enough is enough”.
I’ve just released my new book, Corporate Dropouts. In it, I talk about how I turned my pain into purpose and became the CEO of my own health.
I want this for you!
If you’re in need of guidance from a woman who’s been in your shoes – who was once sick, anxious, burnt-out beyond belief, and is now living a life of freedom she never thought possible – this book is for you.
Purchase your copy here and start your journey toward optimal health.
Your body was made for it!
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