The purpose of this article is to answer the pertinent question: can hormones cause anxiety? As some people have a natural physiological tendency towards feeling anxious but find their symptoms intensify during certain times, such as puberty, pregnancy, or perimenopause.
It’s widely known that anxiety can be caused by a number of different factors including past trauma, hormones, or even food sensitivities to gluten, believe it or not! Anxiety is a real feeling and not just “in your head”, and it’s important to state that it is not a personal defect either.
Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask yourself if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future– Deepak Chopra
What are hormones exactly?
Hormones are chemicals that are produced by your different glands in your body that travel through your bloodstream. The main glands that produce hormones are the pituitary gland and ovaries. In addition to affecting the way your body looks, hormones also control your metabolism and influence many physical processes, including how you react to stress. Hormonal changes are also known to trigger acne breakouts (due to fluctuating hormone levels) which is another possible cause of stress.
In men, the primary sex hormone, testosterone, is produced in the testes located in a man’s scrotum (more commonly referred to as balls). In women, the primary sex hormone is estrogen which is made by the ovaries and released into their bloodstream during puberty.
How do hormones affect anxiety?
It is a fact that anxiety affects more than one out of five adults in the United States and is the most common mental illness in women. The hormones that are typically related to, or cause, anxiety are:
- Sex hormones
- Stress hormones
- Thyroid hormones
- Love hormones
Where are sex hormones produced in the body?
In women, the main hormones that aggravate anxiety are estrogen and progesterone. Progesterone is a female hormone that signals to your brain that you’re pregnant. As such, it lowers your body’s reaction to stress, resulting in mental and physical fatigue. When you experience a drop in estrogen and progesterone, you are more likely to feel anxious.
For men, testosterone is produced by the testes and can have an anxiogenic effect in men by increasing their blood pressure, which then may trigger anxiety. When this drops too, it can leave many men feeling anxious, causing panic in some cases.
Beyond this, cortisol and adrenaline hormones can cause anxiety because they respond to fears or threats – they are there to protect you, but when there is nothing you can act on, this is when the anxiety steps in.
Symptoms of hormone-related anxiety include:
- Increased heart rates
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Panic attacks
- Excessive worrying
So can hormones cause anxiety?
Yes, hormones can cause anxiety and it’s one of the most common symptoms of hormonal imbalance. Research suggest that hormone-induced anxiety typically affects females more prominently than males and it can worsen mental health problems too. If you’re worried about persistent anxiety and think it could be due to hormonal issues then book an appointment with your local Doctor to investigate further.
The role of stress: how it can make anxiety worse
Although the majority of adults experience occasional anxiety, for some, it can be a particularly distressing condition. Some adults experience this condition as part of their everyday lives, while others struggle with it regularly.
While being anxious is a normal stress reaction, in some people, the condition can become uncontrollable and intense. It can become an obstacle in your life, affecting every aspect of your day-to-day life to the point where you feel like you cannot cope.
Treatment options: from therapy to medication
You’re probably familiar with the different types of anxiety and treatments used to treat them. If so, remember that it’s not always necessary to take medication to help with your anxiety. The right treatment can help ease your symptoms and allow you to live a life free from anxiety.
Chakra affirmation meditation is a useful tool for reducing anxiety. The practice focuses on renewing and revitalizing your chakras by sending positive thoughts to each of your chakras while visualizing light entering them.
Try some relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, visualization, listening to soothing music, or even using stress balls to refocus your energy can all be useful. In addition, try to avoid coffee and sugar, which can affect your mood and cause you to feel more anxious.