If you feel bloated, irritable, or just not like yourself, a hormone imbalance could be the culprit. Hormones affect the way your cells and organs function. Your hormone levels can shift at different times, including before and during your period, while pregnant, or during menopause. Medications and other health issues can also cause hormone fluctuations.

You may also experience unexplained weight gain or loss, sweating, difficulty sleeping, fatigue, and a reduced sex drive, among other symptoms. Depending on the cause of your hormone imbalance, hormone replacement therapy or medication could be an appropriate treatment.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is similar to PMS but is more serious. PMDD can cause severe irritability, depression, or anxiety during the week or two before your period starts. Symptoms usually go away after your period starts. Treatment for PMDD includes antidepressants, birth control pills, and pain relievers. Talk to your Desert West doctor about your options.

Menopausal Mood Issues

Most women enter menopause after going 12 months without getting their period. The years leading up to menopause are called perimenopause. During perimenopause, you may notice your periods becoming irregular as your estrogen and progesterone levels shift. Many women experience mood swings during perimenopause or menopause.

If your menopause or perimenopause stage includes noticeable mood changes that seem unusual or concerning, make an appointment with your Desert West physician. Your checkup might include a blood test, pelvic exam, ultrasound, and other screenings to identify the appropriate treatment.

Postpartum Depression

Drastic hormonal changes during and after childbirth can cause postpartum depression. Postpartum depression is a mental and emotional health condition that has many different forms and symptoms, affecting women in different ways.

Many new moms experience “baby blues” after childbirth, with mood swings, crying spells, and anxiety. Postpartum depression is a more severe, longer-lasting form of depression. If you’re feeling depressed after your baby’s birth, or if these feelings don’t begin to fade or make it difficult to care for your baby, call your Desert West doctor for an appointment. Treatment options include psychotherapy or antidepressants. Your doctor will identify the best solution for your individual situation.