The Many Meanings Of Mood Swings
As most doctors know, the ultimate goal of medicine is to help patients get healthy enough to no longer need active treatment. While most patients will not achieve complete medical independence, unexplained mood swings in particular often require ongoing treatment. When faced with persistent mood swings, many patients seek answers. Proactive strategies can boost overall health and minimize drastic emotional fluctuation. If mood disorders are ruled out, doctors may suggest ruling out chronic health conditions or an unbalanced diet as the culprit.
1. Brain health
Overall state of mind and stress are managed by various brain structures and synapse frameworks. Harm to any part of the brain can appear as a mood swing or emotional imbalance. For instance, illness of little veins in the cerebrum can change the formation of white matter. Disrupted brain connections may negatively impact a patient’s general mood, disposition, and behavior. In cases of extreme mood swings, many originate from chronic illnesses such as thyroid problems or certain neurological conditions.
2. Mental illness
While mood swings can certainly indicate a mental disorder like bipolar personality disorder, shifts can also coincide with chronic medical conditions or deteriorating health. For instance, depression in elderly people might cause bitterness, crabbiness, uneasiness, and a deficiency of interest and happiness. However, according to recent research, symptoms of depression in the elderly can be an indicator of dementia. No matter the cause, a drastic mood swing is a reason to pay attention to mental health.
3. Food and your mood
Using specific foods and vitamins as building blocks, the brain makes chemicals that affect mood, attention span, and overall energy levels. The best diet to minimize mood swings combines complex starches with lean proteins and fresh produce. Complex carbohydrates from whole food sources boost the production of serotonin in the brain. Particularly helpful foods include yams, oats, beans, and quinoa. Higher levels of happy chemicals, such as dopamine and norepinephrine, keep moods steady as well. Research shows that protein from sources such as fish, meat, chicken, turkey, tofu, beans, eggs, and Greek yogurt boost the production of both chemicals. Finally, leafy green foods such as spinach and kale are high in nutrients and minerals that keep the body healthy and the brain happy. While an apple a day may keep the doctor away, people should focus on maintaining a balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables.
Unexplained mood swings can be frustrating, disruptive, and confusing. To minimize drastic shifts, doctors suggest ruling out chronic health conditions before shifting the diet. Specific food groups such as complex carbs, whole protein, and leafy greens can help provide the brain with the chemicals needed for emotional stability.