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Dr. Alan Altman's Archives Q&A's
Name: Deb

My husband and I have noticed that I have been getting real bad mood swings. My doctor wanted to put me on prozack, but I refused. I don't like to take medication. I am approximately 46 years old. I also did have some night sweats, but that has diminished. The mood swings are very noticeable to me. What do you suggest??

There's a few things I can suggest, since you appear to be perimenopausal. Because you're suffering from changing hormone levels, especially estrogen, the gold standard for treating this would be to put you on a very dose birth control pill. If you would rather not do that, you can augment your own estrogen levels to get them a little higher with an estrogen patch, twice a week, throughout every month. The estrogen patch is okay to use by itself as long as you are still getting periods. A non-pharmeceutical way of dealing with your symptoms would be to get yourself into the gym and start lifting weights, and strength training exercises. Strength training and the development of muscle mass tends to give you more energy, has definitely been shown to improve mood swings, and improve depression all by itself. Calcium--1000 to 1200 mg a day--might also help. Good luck.

Dr. Alan Altman

Author of "Making Love the Way We Used To...Or Better."


This is general information and is not intended as a substitute for an examination by your own personal physician.

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