Irritability is a feeling of agitation. When you’re irritable, you become
frustrated or upset easily. You might experience it in response to stressful
situations. It may also be a symptom of a mental or physical health condition.
Babies and young children often feel irritable, especially when they’re tired
or sick. For example, children often become fussy when they have ear infections
or stomach aches.
Adults can also feel irritable for a variety of reasons. If you feel
irritable on a regular basis, make an appointment with your doctor. You may
have an underlying condition that requires treatment.
Many things can cause irritability. The causes can be divided into two general
categories: physical and psychological.
Some common psychological causes of irritability include:
- bipolar disorder
Some common physical causes include:
- sleep deprivation
- low blood sugar
- ear infections
Medical conditions that cause hormonal changes can also affect your mood. Examples
- premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- polycystic ovary syndrome (POS)
You may also experience irritability as a side effect of medication that you’re
taking. Other potential causes include:
- drug use
- nicotine withdrawal
- caffeine withdrawal
Most people feel irritable from time to time. For example, it’s normal to
feel cranky after a poor night’s rest.
Some people feel irritable on a more regular basis. If you’re one of these
people, contact your doctor. They can help you identify potential causes of
that often accompany irritability
In some cases, your feelings of irritability may be accompanied or preceded by
For example, these symptoms might include:
- racing heart
- fast breathing
If a hormonal imbalance is causing your irritability, you may have symptoms
- hot flashes
- irregular menstrual cycles
- reduced sex drive
- hair loss
the cause of irritability
If you feel irritable on a regular basis, and you don’t know why, make an
appointment with your doctor. They can help you identify possible causes. They
can also discuss treatment options and strategies to manage your mood.
During your visit, your doctor will likely ask about your medical history,
including any medications that you’re taking. They’ll also ask about your
history of psychological conditions. Your lifestyle habits, such as sleeping
patterns and alcohol consumption will likely be discussed. Your doctor will
want to know about sources of stress in your life.
Depending on your symptoms and medical history, they may order one or more
tests, including blood and urine analyses. The level of certain hormones in
your blood may point to a hormonal imbalance. The level of glucose in your
blood or urine may point to diabetes.
They may also refer you to a mental health professional for evaluation.
the cause of irritability
Your doctor’s recommended treatment plan will depend on your specific diagnosis.
The best way to treat irritability is to address its underlying cause.
If your doctor diagnoses you with a mental health condition, they may refer
you to a specialist for counseling. Prescription medications may be recommended
to help control your mood. Talk therapy and medications are often combined to
treat mood disorders, such as depression.
If they suspect your irritability is caused by alcohol, caffeine, nicotine,
or other drug withdrawal, your doctor may recommend a combination of talk
therapy and medications. Together they can help control your cravings.
If you’re diagnosed with a hormonal imbalance, your doctor may recommend
hormone replacement therapy. This treatment isn’t right for everyone. Never start
taking hormone supplements without talking to your doctor first. Leave it to
the medical experts to devise a treatment plan that’s right for you.
If you’re experiencing irritability as a symptom of an infection, it will likely
resolve when your infection clears. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics or
other medications to help treat it.
Your doctor may also recommend lifestyle changes to help control your mood.
For example, they may encourage you to adjust your:
- exercise routine
- sleep habits
- stress management practices
Ask your doctor for more information about your diagnosis, treatment
options, and long-term outlook.