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When hormonal issues interfere with mental health

In a recent Contra Costa Times piece, several women in the neighborhood of menopause share their experiences battling symptoms that have taken a toll on their health and quality of life. Researchers comment on the effectiveness of hormone therapy, when appropriate, to alleviate mood swings, disrupted sleep, anxiety, depression and other afflictions that may accompany this phase of life.

From the article:

By factoring in the hormonal component, health care providers are able to develop treatments that may be better tailored to each woman's symptoms. The treatments often include old standbys -- anti-depressants and hormone therapy -- but in combinations or dosages that can be more effective and less likely to bring on adverse risks and side effects.

"Unfortunately, anxiety and depression often go hand in hand with perimenopause," says [Leah Millheiser, MD,] a clinical associate professor in obstetrics and gynecology at Stanford's School of Medicine. "There's definitely no 'one size fits all.' "

Millheiser adds, "Hormone therapy, in the well-chosen patient, still plays an important role in improving the quality of life of peri- and post-menopausal women."

Previously: Fortysomething and sleeplessYoga may help relieve insomnia in menopausal women, study findsAsk Stanford Med: Director of Female Sexual Medicine Program responds to questions on sexual health and Anxiety, poor sleep, and time can affect accuracy of women’s self-reports of menopause symptoms

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