In yesterday’s Hormonology Tip, I talked about how I erroneously blamed my period for anger I was experiencing, which was actually related to pain I was having in my mouth and back. And, when I dealt with that pain, the irritability went away.
Sticking with that same “hormone blaming” theme, I want to ask if you have problems with anger or down moods? If so, it may not necessarily be tied to your hormones. It could be due to a host of other problems, like excess stress, too little sleep, physical pain like I had or something a little more difficult to pinpoint, like being low in zinc.
That’s the word from a small pilot study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition that found when women were given 7 mg. of zinc daily for 10 weeks, they experienced a significant reduction in hostility and the blues.
The link? Mild deficiencies in this mineral can affect mood regulation in the brain, leading to irritability and sadness.
If you want to try upping your zinc, you can take it in supplement form or get it in your diet, such as from fortified cereal, cashews and other foods listed here.
The point I’m trying to make–which is similar to the one I made yesterday, so you know I’m reaaallly trying to drive this home–is that it’s easy to point a guilty finger to your hormones when you’re not feeling your best physically or mentally.
However, if your hormones aren’t really to blame, then you’re stuck with the lousy feelings–and aren’t fixing the real problem.
So, try to rule out all possible causes of your distress before automatically waving it off as hormone woes. You’ll be a lot happier in the long run.
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[Photo: Pat Pilon]