Throughout perimenopause, your levels of oestrogen and progesterone decline with each menstrual cycle as your body navigates its way to menopause. However, this journey is far from smooth, often featuring dramatic peaks and troughs in hormone levels. It's no wonder, then, that these hormonal fluctuations can send your emotions haywire.We now know oestrogen has a significant role in regulating mood and emotions within the brain. This intricate relationship involves a decrease in an enzyme called Monoamine Oxidase (MAO) due to declining oestrogen levels, leading to changes to neurotransmitters that influence mood, such as serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine, and melatonin.
The challenges don't stop there; the imbalance between oestrogen and progesterone creates stress within the body. Suppose you're already feeling stressed due to the symptoms you're experiencing. In that case, your body will likely ramp up cortisol production, the stress hormone. Increased cortisol production, in turn, suppresses progesterone production, exacerbating imbalances.
It's also important to remember that hormonal shifts affect the whole body. You have oestrogen receptors all over your body from head to toe, which explains why symptoms can be so diverse and individual. Is it any wonder that menopause is often referred to as puberty’s big sister?