Anxiety Depression And Hormones
Take a look at Lucy. Shes had depression most of her life. There have always been good days and bad days, but recently, Lucy found an unexpected link: her menstrual cycle. Her moods, it turned out, were much lower during certain parts of her cycle, and much higher during others.
With hormone treatment, however, Lucy found that she could have more good days than bad days. Even better, those treatments banished some of her depressive symptoms once and for all.
Hormonal imbalances often cause or contribute to womens anxiety and depression systems. Across the United States, as many as 18% of the adult population suffers from an anxiety-related disorder. Another 7% deals with a major depressive disorder on a regular basis.
That number goes up significantly for women, who are more than twice as likely to face mood disorders. Its not just a US problem, either. Around the world, women have a higher likelihood than men of suffering from anxiety or depression. Thats a huge difference! The difference suggests that sex hormones may have a huge impact on anxiety and depression.
Are you still on the fence about whether hormones could be to blame for your anxiety or depression?
Are you reluctant to assign the blame to hormones?
Consider this: studies show that women have more problems with a variety of issues during times when hormones swing more widely. These include:
- Perimenstrual periods
- Postpartum periods
Risk Factors For Anxiety Disorders
Some women are at a higher risk of developing anxiety disorders than others for inherent psychological, behavioral and health reasons – such as obesity, stress, or past emotional trauma. These predisposing factors can affect a woman’s hormone levels and increase the chances that she will develop anxiety disorders during her reproductive life.
What Are The Core Symptoms
When hormones are healthy, you tend to feel vibrant and energetic. When the hormones that affect your brain neurohormones are off, you are off. You may experience symptoms that change the way you think, feel, and act in negative ways. It also makes you more vulnerable to conditions like anxiety, depression, and even psychosis. If nobody checks your hormone levels, you will never know the root cause of your issues. And if your hormones are the problem, no amount of psychiatric medications will get you right.
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How Is An Anxiety Disorder Diagnosed
As noted, anxiety disorders present physical symptoms that can often be confused with other medical conditions. If you are experiencing symptoms and are unsure of whether the underlying cause is illness or anxiety, you should always have a physical exam performed by a doctor to rule out any indication of physical illness. When you visit the Southern California Center for Anti-Aging, you have the advantage of consulting with Dr. Goldstone, who is a board-certified internal medicine physician as well as an anti-aging specialist. In addition to being fully prepared to differentiate the underlying causes of your symptoms, both through physical examination and taking a thorough medical and psychological history . In addition, she will perform comprehensive laboratory analysis to determine your hormone levels and if they are unbalanced, she will replace and balance them with bioidentical hormones. prescribe hormones and/or supplements that may be helpful to you, and If necessary she will refer you to a mental healthcare professional.
Getting To The Bottom Of Anxiety In Women
Women are constantly subjected to significant stress with far-reaching physical and emotional effects. Emotional stress can be triggered by just about anything, major or minor a bad boss, an argumentative partner, a sick child or parent, not getting enough rest or having too many things on your to-do list.
Many of the things we do to soothe our stress actually make it worse: skipping meals or eating on the run, consuming sugar, processed foods, and caffeine, and staying up late doing things that dont help us rest, like watching TV or doomscrolling on social media. These things may seem innocuous in the short run, but they add biophysical stress to our emotional stress and a combination of poor nutrition, lack of sleep, lack of exercise take a toll on all your body systems, from thyroid to blood sugar to hormone balance.
Worse, some of your bodys responses can add to your emotional stress such as an upset stomach that hits you because youre stressed out, sending your running for the bathroom during a crucial work meeting! It becomes a seemingly never-ending cycle of physical and emotional stressors piling on top of one another. What can you do to stop it?
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A Look At Mood Changes And Your Monthly Cycle
Hormonal disruption? Its par for the course for many women. Your hormone levels change many times over the course of a month. PMS isnt a myth! Its also much more than bloating and irritability. Too often, however, women ignore symptoms of PMS. They may even ignore much more serious concerns.
As you get closer to your period, you may notice a wide range of mood changes and shifts. For some women, it gets worse than PMS. Symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder, or PMDD, may include:
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Physical symptoms like breast tenderness or headaches
PMDD requires the presence of at least 5 out of these 11 possible symptoms. When its PMDD, they only hit right before your period arrives. PMDD must also interfere with your daily life.
Sex Hormones And Gender Vulnerabilities To Anxiety Disorders
Bronwyn M. Graham, MPsychol , PhDPsychiatric Times
Clinicians can help raise awareness of the role of sex hormones in persistent anxiety by integrating 5 considerations into their practice.
Large-scale mental health surveys have consistently shown that the prevalence of anxiety disorders and related conditions is approximately 1.5- to 2-fold higher in women than it is in men.1,2 Despite similar patterns that occur across all anxiety subtypes, this sex difference appears most pronounced for PTSD, generalized anxiety disorder, and specific phobias.
Although the sex imbalance in the prevalence of anxiety disorders is undisputed, debate surrounds its source. Social and environmental factors undoubtedly contribute to the imbalance, for example: men may be less inclined to report anxiety symptoms because of stigma. The socioeconomic status of men and women is often different. Thus, their daily stressors are also different as is their ability to access coping resources. Although men and women may experience trauma similarly, there are stark differences in the nature of these traumas, with sexual assault being 10 times more prevalent among women.3
Why do anxiety disorders develop and persist over time?
Role of sex hormones in persistent anxiety
Role of sex hormones in fluctuations in anxiety symptom severity
Practical considerations for screening, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment
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Q: Is There A Link Between Menopause And Depression
A: Changes inhormone levels may influence neurotransmitters in the brain. The drop inestrogen levels can also lead to hot flashes that disturb sleep, which can thenlead to anxiety and mood swings.
If you experience symptoms of depression nearly every day for two or more weeks, you might be depressed. Talk with your doctor about finding a treatment that will work for you. Your doctor will also want to rule out any medical causes for your depression, such as thyroid problems.
Hormone Related Causes Of Anxiety In Women
Comments: 18 | May 30th, 2018
Anxiety affects 40 million adults in the U.S. Women are twice as likely to have an anxiety disorder as men.
Do these sound familiar?
Are you nervous and irritable? Do you often feel scared for no reason? Do you feel impending doom? Do you have feelings of panic? Are you often ill at ease or worried?
We have all felt anxiety at certain times, but what about when it starts to happen more frequently and take over your life? These feelings are very uncomfortable and can interfere with your daily activities. Things that you never used to worry about can almost paralyze you with fear now. Some women have such extreme anxiety that they dont want to leave their home. Why is this happening? What has changed to make us feel so anxious? Could it be as simple as a hormonal deficiency? Women are more likely to experience anxiety during times of hormonal fluctuation and decline. Lets address five common hormone related causes of anxiety in women.
First of all, what is anxiety?
5 Common Causes of Anxiety in Women
1. Adrenal Fatigue
3. Estrogen Dominance
Chronically elevated levels of estrogen can actually induce depression and anxiety by causing functional hypothyroidism. Also, a woman with estrogen dominance may have the adequate levels of total cortisol in her bloodstream, but her free, available cortisol level may be very low. Only free cortisol can actually be used by the cells.
4. Estrogen Deficiency
5. Low Testosterone
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Alternative Medicine For Anxiety Disorders
Alternative medicines and supplements involve little to no risk and can be an extremely effective way to treat anxiety disorders. In the case of herbal supplements, there are two main types that can be used: phytoestrogenic and hormone-regulating herbal supplements.
Phytoestrogenic herbal supplements
These supplements, such as black cohosh, contain estrogenic components produced by plants that complement the low estrogen hormones in a woman’s body, helping alleviate symptoms of anxiety. By introducing plant-based estrogens into the body, these herbs treat the underlying estrogen deficiency behind anxiety disorders.
They are mainly effective for menopausal women who are more likely to have low estrogen levels but are not necessarily effective for women in other stages of life such as puberty.
Hormone-regulating herbal supplements
These supplements, including Macafem stimulate the body’s natural hormone production by nourishing the pituitary and endocrine glands, helping the whole hormonal system produce hormones more efficiently. This ultimately results in balancing not only estrogen but other important hormones such as progesterone.
These supplements can be considered the safest and most natural way to treat the underlying hormonal imbalance behind anxiety disorders, and can be taken throughout a woman’s life, as they support the body’s natural hormone production.
But Does Diet Really Impact Hormonal Imbalance
Only 35 percent of respondents in Cabecas survey said they believed so.
However, Oh says it absolutely can. She noted that stress hormones and sex hormones start from the same basic building block: cholesterol.
We have to eat natural sources of cholesterol to make these hormones. Im a big fan of egg yolks, grass-fed butter or ghee, and fatty fish like wild salmon, said Oh.
Then we have to control the sources of stress in our lives like caffeine, alcohol, sugar, and flour, for instance. Then our bodies will naturally direct the production of hormones toward the sex hormone pathway instead of the stress hormone pathway.
However, she warns against diets based on the ketogenic diet.
It can exacerbate a hormonal imbalance because it really increases stress hormone. Intermittent fasting also does this. I have seen the disrupt my patients hormones, said Oh.
She believes the most effective way to address hormonal imbalances is to focus on stress balance.
Once we balance our stress, our hormones will naturally balance, Oh said.
Still, both doctors acknowledge that sometimes medication is necessary to help with hormonal imbalances.
Below, the Food and Drug Administration describes the different types of hormone medicines used during and after menopause:
Ultimately, the use of hormones is a personal choice thats best discussed with your doctor.
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So What Is Happening Hormonally
Poorly functioning hormones can be a contributing factor to the onset of anxiety. It can be caused almost exclusively by hormonal imbalances, but more commonly a combination of hormones and previous mental health issues or nothing to do with hormones at all.
To have a better understanding it may be beneficial to take a closer look at how the hormones cortisol, estrogen/testosterone and thyroid maybe contributing.
Its often difficult to pinpoint as hormonal imbalance may have caused the anxiety or the anxiety may have caused the hormonal imbalance, but either way, through an improved diet and exercise regime, the symptoms can be eased and controlled.
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Ways To Support Balanced Hormones And Reduce Anxiety
Hormone imbalances can feel like an emotional rollercoaster. Fortunately, there are several natural ways to support balanced hormones to reduce feelings of hormone-related anxiety.
Find strategies to manage stress: We now know that stress can cause the production of more stress hormones, creating a vicious cycle. Relaxation techniques like meditation and yoga have been shown to help some individuals manage their stress and anxiety levels.
Improve your diet: Research shows that filling your diet with fiber-rich foods, fermented foods, and omega-3s can reduce levels of stress/anxiety and potentially improve mental health. If you have a condition like IBS or celiac disease, learning which foods to avoid can also help improve your mental and physical health.
Get enough sleep: Poor sleep has been linked to multiple hormone imbalances. If you’re suffering from anxiety, take a look at your sleep routine to see where you might be able to make improvements.
If you suspect you may have a hormonal imbalance, consider testing your hormone levels. This can give you and your primary healthcare provider clarity on whether your anxiety is a symptom of a hormonal imbalance or not. Anxiety can be debilitating, so be sure to seek guidance from a mental health professional and/or call this national helpline at 1-800-662-HELP .
How Hormonal Imbalance Causes Anxiety
An imbalance in the endocrine system leads to anxiety due to hormonal imbalance. The endocrine system is vital in maintaining your emotional state. The system helps in keeping your calm, regulating energy levels, and how you handle stress. An imbalanced hormonal system causes mood swings, irritability, tense muscles, and signs of anxiety to happen. Reduced production of estrogen hormone during menopause negatively affects cognitive function and moods. Similarly, a drop in progesterone levels causes stress.
Stress is a primary cause of anxiety. Adrenal glands produce several hormones necessary for proper body functioning, such as producing stress-regulating hormones and blood sugar regulation. Thyroid problems, due to hormonal imbalance, also cause anxiety. An underactive or overactive thyroid gland can cause anxiety.
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Three Approaches To Treat Anxiety Disorders
Three levels of approaches can be considered for treating anxiety disorders. These are categorized as Lifestyle Changes, Alternative Medicine, and Pharmaceutical Options.
Women are encouraged to begin with the least risky approach to anxiety disorders treatment, lifestyle adjustments, and then proceed to the next level of care. While medical intervention is not usually necessary to treat anxiety disorders, some women who are unable to find relief from lifestyle changes and alternative medicine may wish to consider pharmaceutical options, after properly assessing the risks associated with such a treatment.
Add Natural Adrenal Support
Mild to moderate anxiety is a common symptom of adrenal imbalance. To help women reduce their anxiety symptoms, weve found success with phytotherapy to help restore and re-balance the adrenals. Learn about Adaptisol and Serinisol, our doctor-formulated adrenal health supplements. Combined with good, consistent nutrition and a few lifestyle adjustments, taking the time to address your adrenal imbalance limits the effects of stress on your body, solving the major physical causes of your anxiety symptoms.
“Within two weeks of stopping your supplements, my symptoms returned, including the anxiety. So I went back on them and within just a few days I started feeling better again.”– Darah, Adrenal Health Program customer
Weve seen our approach work for thousands of women! To assess your adrenal symptoms, take our on-line Adrenal Health Profile. To understand if you have a combination of hormonal imbalances present, take our Symptom Checker quiz to evaluate your hormonal health.
If you have questions and want to talk to a real woman, call us toll-free at 1-800-448-4919. Were here to listen and help.
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How To Prevent Anxiety And Panic Attacks
Comments: 0 | November 1st, 2017
Ladies, is anxiety interfering with your life? We all know what it feels like to be anxious, but when it starts to happen all the time, it can be debilitating. Severe anxiety can also lead to panic attacks, and if youve ever had one of those, you know how scary it can be. Watch as Dr. Hotze explains how hormone imbalance can cause anxiety and panic attacks, and what you can do to prevent them.
1:11: Anxiety and panic attacks commonly occur in females as they march through their menstrual life, where their hormones become imbalanced. It can happen right after puberty. It can happen in your 20s, 30s, or 40s, or after youve gone through the change.
2:07: What happens in women when they have panic attacks and anxiety attacks, which often occur premenstrually, these attacks are caused because theyre not making enough progesterone to balance the estrogen.
3:03: Premenstrually, women can have mood swings, fluid retention, weight gain, migraine headaches, breast tenderness, and severe cramping. They can end up having irregular cycles. All these are signs of low progesterone, and they can be easily corrected. Thats right, your panic attacks and your anxiety attacks can be easily corrected by taking natural, bio-identical progesterone on day 15 through 28 of your cycle.
Have you experienced severe anxiety and panic attacks? Hello, Im Dr. Steve Hotze. Be sure to subscribe to our channel and follow us on .
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