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FAQ - Feeling emotional and having mood swings

By Kelly Walker DipION FdSc VN

Expert nutritionists share their frequently asked questions…

Q - "I recently lost my Mum due to cancer and her last few days were a bit of a struggle. I have found it very stressful and now feel very tired and emotional and have mood swings often. Is there any way I can support myself nutritionally?"

A - A good, healthy diet is often a good way to start. Sometimes after bereavement, we don’t feel like eating much and sometimes we tend to choose the wrong types of foods. I would suggest making sure you eat little and often and have proteins such as eggs, chicken, nuts, seeds, oily fish and cottage cheese with each meal or snack. This can help to support your energy levels. B vitamins are essential for energy production and you may find a B complex of use. 

It may take a while to get through the amount of stress you have been under and it is important to acknowledge that you may not be able to take on as much as you did before your Mum passed away. Take things at an easy pace and aim to do things that you feel rejuvenate you. Plant extracts, such as Rhodiola and Ashwagandha, may help to support you through the stress.

The omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to support mood patterns and you may find a high strength fish oil of benefit.

Sometimes it can be hard to switch your mind off when you lose someone close. Magnesium is a relaxing mineral that may be taken once or twice a day. If you feel your sleep is affected and you can’t switch off, I would suggest taking magnesium about an hour before bed.

Family is very important at this time and you may already find you can talk things through with them. It can sometimes be beneficial to talk to someone outside of the family and organisations like the Cancer Counselling Trust (020 7843 2292) or Cruse Bereavement Care (0844 477 9400) may offer you further support. 

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