Older woman suddenly overwhelmed by emotions

Dear Dr. Gott: I am a 70-year-old female, and, for the last few years, I’ve been crying at every emotion that hits me — anger, sadness, happiness, frustration. I am not depressed. I’m happy with my life. Therefore, I don’t understand why this happens.
Please don’t suggest antidepressants. Been there, done that. While they helped me a bit, I couldn’t tolerate the side effects. Besides, I am not depressed, so I don’t want to go on them. Do you have any idea why this happens?

Dear Reader: Because you are 70, I would not lean toward menopause being the cause of your emotional swings.
Has something changed in your day-to-day living, such as personal illness, a family member being ill, increased financial difficulties, losing a beloved pet or other stress?
If this is the case, counseling might be in order. The therapist will not prescribe antidepressants but can certainly guide you through this difficult period.
An uncommon side effect of a medication you are taking could be to blame. Speak with your physician. A simple switch to another drug in the same class may relieve the symptoms.
There is help available. The fact that you have written to me is an excellent start. Keep investigating until you have your
emotions in check.

Dear Dr. Gott: I realize that one size does not fit all, but why not try the simplest first?
A year ago, I was having lots of trouble with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and got no help from local doctors. Perhaps that was because it was going to take months to get an appointment with a specialist.
One of your articles mentioned drinking a glass of warm apple juice in the morning. It has worked great for me.

Dear Reader: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder of the intestines. Symptoms include lower abdominal pain, gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, or a combination of constipation and diarrhea.
Improper diet and stress can worsen symptoms. While the condition can be a mild annoyance for some people, it can be completely disabling for others. Criteria for diagnosis of IBS include at least 12 weeks of abdominal pain or discomfort (not necessarily consecutive weeks) and at least two of three other symptoms — change in stool appearance with onset of symptoms, change in stool frequency with onset of symptoms or relief on defecation.
Adding fiber to a diet through fruits and vegetables, beans and bran will be helpful for those suffering from constipation. Learn which foods to avoid, such as alcohol, chocolate, caffeine and deep-fried, fatty foods, which can trigger symptoms. Eat smaller meals, since overeating can cause cramps and diarrhea.
Take the necessary steps to reduce stress levels. Perhaps this will be through exercise, counseling or by listening to music.
If one of your major symptoms is constipation, the warm apple juice you mentioned might be just the ticket. I am pleased you found such a simple solution to this complex condition. Thank you for sharing your success story.
Other readers who want additional information can send for my Health Report “Irritable Bowel Syndrome.” Other readers who would like a copy should send a self-addressed, stamped, No. 10 envelope and $2 to Newsletter, PO Box 167, Wickliffe, OH 44092. Be sure to mention the title.


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