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Hormones may be to blame for unexpected mood swings

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DEAR ABBY: This is in response to "Crying Myself to Sleep" (June 2), who is having drastic mood swings, including crying, depression and anger. I experienced these, and it was not only horrible, but also scary.

My doctors figured out my problem was caused by a hormonal imbalance. Since the body makes many different types of hormones, the doctors needed to find out which one(s) were involved in the disturbance.

Instead of going for psychological help first, I suggest she go for physical testing. She should see her regular M.D., her gynecologist and an endocrinologist (a hormonal specialist) to discover exactly what's going on. If an imbalance isn't the cause, her doctor may suggest considering other options. If everything physical is ruled out, seek counseling. She should not give up on finding out the source of her problem. -- BEEN THERE AND NOW DOING GREAT

DEAR BEEN THERE: I'm pleased you're doing well and thank you for sharing. Many readers offered theories about what may be causing "Crying's" mood swings, and they are worth considering. Read on:

DEAR ABBY: As a psychiatrist, I've had patients with similar complaints. Before she pursues therapy, I would recommend keeping a calendar/journal for a few months to note when the episodes occur. While people tend to identify events as "random," I have had patients who, once they kept track, realized the episodes were always a few days before the onset of their period. It is always wise to rule out a physical explanation before devoting time and energy to a psychological one. -- GLEN IN TEXAS

DEAR ABBY: My doctor recommended I keep a food and exercise diary along with documenting my mood swings. Before long "Crying" may see a connection to what she's eating/not eating. Many young women starve themselves until late in the day and then eat junk food, which can play havoc on their emotional state. Lifestyle changes and clean eating can help. -- MELANIE IN COLORADO

DEAR ABBY: All your suggestions to "Crying" were good, but she also needs to consult her doctor and have a complete blood workup done. She could very well be diabetic or have a low or high thyroid problem. Either one could cause her mood swings, and thyroid problems can cause a lot of symptoms that mimic other diseases. -- LANELLE IN GEORGIA

DEAR ABBY: In addition to the resources you included in your answer, there are also nonprofit clinics called Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), which offer services regardless of a patient's ability to pay. I am a child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist and I work for such a clinic. We have counselors and therapists who could help someone like "Crying" get to the bottom of her problem. -- DR. SANDRA V.

DEAR CARING READERS: I want to thank you for reaching out to offer resources to "Crying Myself to Sleep." I hope they will help her to resolve her mood swings.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at http://www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

Society on 08/04/2018

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