Anger and Irritability
Cranky, angry, irritable, short tempered, call it what you will but it’s not necessarily just your personality, in fact, most often it’s not. There are real physical explanations as to why you may be yelling at your spouse or your kids. It may be just that you need to exercise a bit more self-control – count to 10 or take a few deep breaths before you speak, but it also may not be that simple and it may be something very difficult to control, depending on the cause, unless you actually treat the underlying cause.
What causes anger or irritability?
Why am I angry all the time? Why do I lose my temper with my kids or my spouse?
- Injustice – if I ask patients what makes them angry the answer is often “injustice”. Personally being wronged, maligned or persecuted, or more global injustice. This is normal human empathy in action.
- Frustration – not being understood or listened to is often a source of anger and frustration.
- Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar – it’s referred to as being “hangry” (hungry and angry). If eating helps reduce irritability, then the anger is due to a dip in blood sugar. These dips are a common phenomenon, but not a normal one. The body should correct dips in blood sugar without the need to eat (via the adrenal glands and liver). Supporting these organs can relieve hypoglycemic irritability.
- Hormone imbalance – yes this can cause irritability, but a word to the wise: don’t tell your partner that she’s angry due to PMS. I can almost guarantee that this statement will not go well for you. In the grips of a hormone imbalance or fluctuation, whatever the cause of the anger seems real, valid and important. Let a few days pass and this person may be able to discuss things much more calmly and rationally.
- Tiredness – when we’re tired, our inhibitions are down and our normal ability to reign in anger or exhibit self control doesn’t work as well as it normally would. Table the issue to deal with another day when you’ve had more sleep.
- Stress – stress can manifest as anger and irritability, particularly with those closest to us. Is your job really worth damaging your relationship with those closest to you?
Through naturopathic treatment, we can help balance hormones and enhance sleep if these are causing anger issues. If anger or irritability is affecting your relationship, let’s deal with the underlying cause so that you can better manage your mood.
Blood tests that may be helpful to source out the root of anger or irritability:
testosterone, DHEAs, DHT, androstenedione, prolactin, estradiol (day 3), progesterone (day 21), 2 hour pc glucose (for hypoglycemia)