People with heart failure will be fatigued, and might get preoccupied with their breathing, medication, and health—enough to put anyone on edge. Plus, heart problems mess with blood flow to the brain, which is what controls your emotions. “Anything that compromises blood circulation to the brain, especially the frontal lobes, can produce irritability,” says Dr. Deitz.
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
A lot of women experience mood swings a couple days before their periods, but if your premenstrual symptoms last more than a week, you could have PMDD, which is more intense. “Premenstrual syndrome is a perfect example of demonstrating how hormone variation results in mood swings,” says Dr. Lamm. “For some women it’s so severe and long-lasting, it’s called premenstrual disorder syndrome when they’re really troubled by it.”
Before some women start menopause, their hormones will begin fluctuating rapidly, leading to symptoms such as sleeplessness and hot flashes—and irritability. “There’s a rapid and significant fluctuation in female hormones, mainly progesterone,” says Dr. Deitz. “That’s the irritability hormone in women.” Crankiness is one of the signs of perimenopause to look for.