Holistic approach to menopausal mood swings?

Hi, everybody. I am 50 years old, in good health, and am going through menopause. I still get my periods, about 2 or 3 months apart, and only last 3 days at this point. I conquered the night sweats/hot flashes issues, and have the insomnia SOMEWHAT under control. The thing that's throwing me for a loop is mood swings. One minute I'm highly agitated. I even daydream of having arguments with people! The next minute, I'm down in the dumps. I won't take pharmaceuticals or soy. I exercise 6 days a week, am at healthy weight (though it's a struggle), and have no illnesses. Anyone had success with holistic/natural remedy for mood swings?

I am not in this group, but everytime I answer a post I figure it gives me knowledge for when my time comes! Here is what I found:

Changes in Lifestyle

Although requiring much self-restraint and will power, this initial method carries with it the least amount of risk. Some forms of lifestyle changes can not only greatly help reduce the severity and frequency of mood swings, but can also help one to lead an overall healthier lifestyle continuing even after the years of menopause. The combination of stress reduction techniques, productive exercise, and a healthy diet can often be the ultimate answer to the woman suffering from menopausal mood swings. Improving one’s diet is especially important in the regulation of mood swings, as healthy, serotonin-boosting foods and the avoidance of high-sugar and caffeinated foods or beverages can often be the perfect medication for mood swings.

Consume less caffeine:
Acting directly on one’s nervous system, caffeine can easily send one’s emotional balance into disarray.

Eat more carbohydrate-rich foods:
Potatoes, wheats, cereals, and other such foods can improve one’s serotonin output, thus helping to stabilize mood.

Eat more protein-rich foods:
Meat, fish, dairy products, and other similar foods are a great source of amino acids and can improve emotional stability.

Spend time with close friends and family members:
Time spent with loved ones can improve your body’s levels of oxytocin, a mood-boosting hormone that helps to stabilize one’s mood.

Exercise productively and regularly:
Exercise will not only improve one’s self-esteem, but it also releases endorphins, which can help to counteract emotional instability.

These menopause mood swings treatment methods are sometimes difficult to implement and routinize, especially if one if unaccustomed to many of these options. They also do not directly address emotional imbalance at the chemical level, thus further treatment may be required to alleviate one’s menopausal mood swings. Alternative treatments and medicine have had much success in helping women overcome mood swings, and are also safe and natural.

Alternative Treatments for Mood Swings

Alternative treatments entail minimal risk, and can often be very effective in treating menopausal mood swings. Several different techniques can be utilized, including herbal supplements and Eastern healing (such as acupuncture and massaging). Herbal supplements are used more prominently than the latter, as they are usually easier and less expensive to routinize and make habitual. They also address problematic mood swings directly at the hormonal source, which other physical methods do not.

Herbal supplements used to treat menopausal mood swings fall into two main categories; phytoestrogenic herbs and non-estrogenic herbs. Phytoestrogenic herbs contain naturally produced estrogenic compounds, and can be used as alternatives to synthetic hormones to replace the estrogen that is shed by the body during menopause. However, if the use of these herbs is continued for a long period of time, the body may become unable to produce its own estrogen, resulting in an even further decrease in the body’s hormone levels during menopause. Herbs and supplements that contain natural estrogenic compounds include:

• Acetyl-L-camitine
• Ginseng
• Huperzine A
• Gingko Biloba
• Vitamin E
• Black Cohosh

Non-estrogenic herbs and supplements are often much less detrimental to the body’s emotional stability, as they contain no hormone for the brain to become dependent upon. By contrast, these herbs increase the natural production of hormones via the endocrine and pituitary glands, and allow them to operate more efficiently. Not only do these herbs and supplements stabilize levels of estrogen, but also progesterone. These methods are exceedingly safer than their phytoestrogenic counterparts, as they allow the body to produce its own hormones rather than receive hormonal supplements from outside sources.

Using a combination of these methods can prove to be the most effective way to treat menopausal mood swings. Simple changes in one’s lifestyle in conjunction with varying alternative treatments is a very efficient method to utilize when attempting to stabilize one’s mood. For some women, however, these natural and generally risk-free methods are simply not effective enough, making more drastic options (pharmaceuticals) a necessity.
(I got this from a herbal formula for menopause site)

Hope this helps-