Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Can Hormone Imbalance Cause Depression

Decreased Libido: Low Testosterone

Hormonal Imbalances That Cause Depression, Anxiety and Mood Swings.

While excess testosterone is associated with higher aggression, testosterone lack can contribute to irritable male syndrome. Low levels of testosterone are tied to higher amounts of cortisol the bodys stress hormone.

Resulting behaviors include anger, sarcasm, frustration, sadness, depression, being withdrawn, hostile, and/or anxious, and dissatisfaction, says Richard Giannoto, MD, a metabolic wellness physician.

Low sex drive often accompanies testosterone deficiency as well.

How Is A Hormonal Imbalance Diagnosed

First, make an appointment with a health care provider for a physical exam. The health care provider will ask about your symptoms. Then, depending on your symptoms, they will suggest which hormone imbalance tests to do. These could be evaluations like:

  • Blood test: Estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroxine, TTH, insulin, and cortisol levels can be detected in the blood.
  • Pelvic exam: A health care provider will search for any lumps or cysts.
  • Ultrasound: Images of your uterus, ovaries, thyroid, and pituitary gland can be obtained.
  • Biopsy

Common Symptoms Of Hormone Dysregulation

Hormonal dysregulation can lead to emotional problems, says Dr. Salinger. Unfortunately, it also works the other way around. Hormone imbalance can lead to stress, and stress can lead to hormone imbalance, he says.

In those with underlying depression or anxiety, hormonal dysregulation can worsen emotional issues like irritability, depression and anxiety, Dr. Goddard says.

Symptoms of hormone dysregulation can include:

  • Depressed mood
  • Temperature intolerance

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Q: Does Having Panic Attacks Mean You Have Panic Disorder

A: Not necessarily. Those with panic disorder have frequent panic attacks. And, in between, they worry about when the next one will strike and try to adjust their behavior to head it off. But a single or a few isolated panic attacks dont mean you have a panic disorder.

Women who were prone to anxiety in the past or who had postpartum depression are sometimes more likely to have a panic disorder during menopause. But any woman can develop one.

Panic disorders can be hard to identify because somesymptoms, such as sweating and palpitations, mirror those that many womenexperience anyway during perimenopause and menopause. But, just because a panicdisorder is not easily diagnosed, that doesnt mean that it doesnt exist orthat you cant treat it.

How Stress Affects Women


Stress is universal and an ordinary part of life. Getting a little bit nervous before a job interview or life event is a completely normal stress response. However, when your stress levels go unchecked, it not only manifests as physical and emotional health problems, stress also impacts us at the chemical and hormonal level.

FSH Production

Stressors can cause hormonal imbalances in all women at any age. This is due to the wonderfully complex and continuous communication between the brain centers and the ovaries. The hypothalamus, which is located in the brain, produces several sex hormones including the follicle stimulating hormone. FSH plays an important role in follicle development and egg quality for women. If the body is under chronic stress, the body shuts down “nonessential systems” such as FSH production. Since hormonal systems are considered “nonessential”, woman may skip ovulation or menstruation. On top of stress, other factors that can lead to an imbalance include severe weight loss, over-exercise, and hormone-related conditions like PCOS. PCOS is a hormonal disorder and common cause of infertility.


Cortisol Levels



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Negative Unrealistic Ways Of Thinking That Fuel Depression

All-or-nothing thinking. Looking at things in black-or-white categories, with no middle ground

Overgeneralization. Generalizing from a single negative experience, expecting it to hold true forever

The mental filter. Ignoring positive events and focusing on the negative. Noticing the one thing that went wrong, rather than all the things that went right.

Diminishing the positive. Coming up with reasons why positive events dont count

Jumping to conclusions. Making negative interpretations without actual evidence. You act like a mind reader or a fortune teller

Emotional reasoning. Believing that the way you feel reflects reality

Shoulds and should-nots. Holding yourself to a strict list of what you should and shouldnt do, and beating yourself up if you dont live up to your rules.

Labeling. Classifying yourself based on mistakes and perceived shortcomings

Get Treatment For Hormone Imbalance

Dr. Karen Clark of Chapel Hill Gynecology is a certified menopause practitioner, experienced in helping patients manage the symptoms of menopause, including bone loss. To schedule an appointment, call 960-2720. Chapel Hill Gynecology is open for office visits as well as telemedicine visits.

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While Imbalanced Hormones Can Leave You More Likely To Experience Anxiety Depression And Other Mental Health Issues It Is Also Important To Know That Psychiatric Medications Can Create Or Worsen Off

That said, remember that every body is unique and for many, the benefits of these medications will outweigh the negative symptoms. This section is intended to be educational and give you a starting point if you want to discuss the impact of these medications on your hormones with your doctor. Do not make any changes to your medication regimen without consulting your care team.

Does Hormonal Anxiety Require Hormonal Therapy

Anxiety and Depression: Hormonal Imbalance May Be the Cause

What is perhaps most interesting about anxiety, however, is that even if your anxiety is caused by a change in hormones, it rarely requires any hormonal therapy. Those in natural medicine often talk about the mind/body connection, and many of those that support research-based treatments laugh at the idea that the mind can genuinely affect the body, and vice versa.

But it’s well known that nearly all forms of anxiety at all levels of severity can be reduced, and possibly even cured, with some type of psychological treatment. Whether it’s cognitive behavioral therapy or something else, mental health treatments are effective at helping fight anxiety at all levels of severity, including those caused by hormonal issues.

Does that mean that hormonal therapies won’t work? It depends on the hormone. In some cases, such as with thyroid hormone, it may be beneficial to receive a thyroid treatment, and those treatments may be enough to counter your anxiety. Nevertheless, anxiety is a condition that most can treat without any hormonal therapies or supplements, even if hormones are the cause.

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How To Diagnose Hormonal Fluctuations And Severe Depression

A hormonal imbalance requires medical attention, and a doctor should perform a physical exam, review a patients medical history, and conduct blood tests and other assessments to find out if a patient is dealing with hormonal fluctuations, depression, or both. If a doctor believes a patient is dealing with hormonal fluctuations and severe depression, various treatments may be recommended, like estrogen or testosterone therapy or medication. Sometimes, a doctor recommends natural remedies for hormonal fluctuations and severe depression these remedies may include lifestyle changes like the development and implementation of a weight loss regimen or dietary program.

Deep transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy is FDA-approved for treatment-resistant depression, and it is sometimes used to treat women and men dealing with hormonal fluctuations that cause depression symptoms. dTMS therapy involves a non-invasive procedure in which a patient receives magnetic pulses that stimulate neurons in the brain regions responsible for depression. A typical dTMS therapy program requires five sessions per week conducted over the course of six weeks, with each session lasting approximately 20 minutes. Upon completion of a dTMS therapy session, a patient can resume his or her normal activities.

Can High Estrogen Cause Depression

If you have high levels of estrogen, your mood is likely to tend toward anxiety, panic attacks, and depression. One doctor specifically calls the feeling lots of people with high estrogen get agitated depression, because people with elevated estrogen often experience a mix of anxiety and depression at the same time.

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The Effects Hormones Have On Your Mood

Hormones are powerful chemicals that help keep our bodies working normally. The term hormone is derived from the Greek word, hormo, which means to set in motion. And thats precisely what hormones do in the body. They stimulate, regulate, and control the function of various tissues and organs. Made by specialized groups of cells within structures called glands, hormones are involved in almost every biological process, including sexual reproduction, growth, metabolism, and immune function. These glands, including the pituitary, thyroid, adrenals, ovaries and testes, release various hormones into the body as needed.

Find out more about the wide variety of Saliva Hormone Tests we have available!

Neurotransmitters directly or indirectly control virtually every system in the body. The levels and balance of hormones are influenced by a number of important neurotransmitters. When neurotransmitters are out of balance from stress, poor diet, and genetic predisposition, the body cannot maintain proper levels of key hormones. Neurotransmitter imbalance leads to or exacerbates hormone imbalance. Symptoms such as depression, mood swings, low libido, and lack of energy can occur in response to these fluctuating levels. Often, addressing neurotransmitter imbalances can reduce or correct hormonal imbalances by optimized communication between the brain and hormone producing glands.

Mood Swings Anxiety And Depression

Can A Hormonal Imbalance Cause Depression?

A hormonal imbalance can cause you to experience mood swings and heightened anxiety just before your period or during the menopause.

Estrogen levels constantly fluctuate during the reproductive cycle. Researchers from Harvard found that women with low estrogen levels are more prone to feeling the effects of emotional stress. They found that in clinical trials, higher levels of estrogen helped to calm the fear response helping you to be less fearful.8

Other studies have found that fluctuations in the hormone cortisol and hormones produced by the pituitary, hypothalamic, and gonadal glands can cause depressive symptoms. Researchers found that low levels of the cortisol hormone were found in women who have fibromyalgia and symptoms of depression.9

If you suffer from mood swings and anxiety during the menopause, you can find some helpful advice in my article on 10 herbs and supplements for menopause. If depression and anxiety is a result of hormonal imbalances, then you can help relieve these symptoms naturally by trying some natural treatments for depression after consulting with your doctor.

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What Causes Hormonal Imbalance

Your hormones have to work together in balance to help your body thrive. However, hormone ups and downs in women are very common, so if you feel that you have a hormonal imbalance, you are not alone.

Doctors from WebMD say that some of the common causes of an imbalance in hormone production in women are pre-menstrual syndrome, pregnancy, and the menopause. However, other lifestyle factors can cause hormones to fluctuate. Being overweight, not getting enough exercise, or a lack of sleep can all throw your hormones off balance.3

Other reasons for hormone fluctuations are an underactive thyroid that doesnt produce enough thyroxine . Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that hypothyroidism can leave you feeling lethargic, cause changes in your menstrual system, or make it difficult to lose weight.4

Also, diabetes is a common cause of hormonal imbalances and can affect, not just the insulin hormone, but also other blood sugar-related hormones, sex hormones, and growth hormones.5

Be Sure To Have Your Hormone Levels Regularly Checked And Take Your Medication As Prescribed

If you already have a diagnosed endocrine disorder, you can help to prevent psychological issues by always taking medication as prescribed.

Dr. Celan says youll want to keep track of new and worsening changes in mood, sleep, enjoyment, energy, concentration, and appetite, as they may be a sign of the endocrine disorder changing and needing subsequent medication tweaking. Youll want to be open and honest with your doctors about when symptoms began, the context in which they exist, and what those symptoms look like.

On the other hand, Dr. Celan says, If you do not have an endocrine disorder diagnosed, when getting assessed for a new psychological problem, check if your doctor will also be looking at your hormone levels to assess for possible endocrine causes.

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Understanding Depression In Women

Depression can impact every area of a womans lifeincluding your physical health, social life, relationships, career, and sense of self-worthand is complicated by factors such as reproductive hormones, social pressures, and the unique female response to stress. However, its important to know that youre not alone. Women are about twice as likely as men to suffer from depression but depression is treatable and there are plenty of things you can do to make yourself feel better.

Of course, the Catch-22 of depression is that feeling better requires action but taking action when youre depressed is difficult. However, while you may not have much energy, you probably have enough to take a short walk around the block or pick up the phone to call a loved one, for exampleand that can be a great start to boosting your mood and improving your outlook. Its important to also learn about the factors that cause depression in women so you can tackle the condition head on, treat your depression most effectively, and help prevent it from coming back.

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What Do Hormones Have To Do With Depression

Depression, Bipolar & Hormone Imbalances

Levels of certain hormones, such as those produced by the thyroid gland, can be factors in depression. In addition, some symptoms of depression are associated with thyroid conditions. The same is true about conditions related to the menstrual cycle, such as premenstrual syndrome , perimenopause, and menopause.

Because there is this connection between depression symptoms and other medical conditions, blood tests are often ordered to avoid a misdiagnosis. It is important to note that you can have both depression and thyroid conditions at the same time. It is also possible to have depression and menstruation-related symptoms.

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Possible Causes Of Hormone Imbalance

  • Pregnancy: This is one of the more obvious causes of hormone imbalance. The levels of several different hormones change during pregnancy and may cause the symptoms above. Luckily the hormonal imbalances linked to pregnancy are temporary and resolve some time after the baby is born .
  • Breastfeeding: Some of the hormonal issues that pregnant women experience will become less noticeable after they give birth and recover. But, breastfeeding a baby can also affect hormone levels. There are two hormones directly related to breastfeeding: prolactin and oxytocin. Breastfeeding may also affect progesterone because women who breastfeed may have irregular menstrual cycles or no cycle at all.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome : This is a hormonal disorder that is common among women of reproductive age. The US Office on Womens Health reports that 1 in 10 American women are affected by PCOS.
  • Primary ovarian insufficiency: This is also called premature ovarian failure and occurs when the ovaries stop functioning normally before age 40. The ovaries stop producing the normal amount of estrogen or release eggs for ovulation. This often leads to infertility.
  • Hypothyroidism or Hyperthyroidism: Both of these conditions are related to the thyroid gland, which is responsible for producing and releasing hormones that regulate metabolism. Hypothyroidism means it is not producing enough hormones and hyperthyroidism means its producing too much.
  • Genes’ Effect On Mood And Depression

    Every part of your body, including your brain, is controlled by genes. Genes make proteins that are involved in biological processes. Throughout life, different genes turn on and off, so that in the best case they make the right proteins at the right time. But if the genes get it wrong, they can alter your biology in a way that results in your mood becoming unstable. In a person who is genetically vulnerable to depression, any stress can then push this system off balance.

    Mood is affected by dozens of genes, and as our genetic endowments differ, so do our depressions. The hope is that as researchers pinpoint the genes involved in mood disorders and better understand their functions, depression treatment can become more individualized and more successful. Patients would receive the best medication for their type of depression.

    Another goal of gene research, of course, is to understand how, exactly, biology makes certain people vulnerable to depression. For example, several genes influence the stress response, leaving us more or less likely to become depressed in response to trouble.

    The evidence for other types of depression is more subtle, but it is real. A person who has a first-degree relative who suffered major depression has an increase in risk for the condition of 1.5% to 3% over normal.

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    Hormonal Imbalance In Teenagers

    Teenage years are a stressful time as your body goes through a number of changes. The hormones your body begins to produce allow you to procreate, but they also change your appearance and behavior. Hormonal imbalance occurs when hormonal secretions in your body are disrupted, which often leads to depression, anxiety, headaches and other problems. It can be extremely frustrating for parents of teenagers. If your child displays symptoms of hormonal imbalance, consult a doctor.

    Perimenopause Menopause And Depression

    10 Signs You May Have a Hormonal Imbalance

    Perimenopause can seem to add to the stress level, and can certainly create hormonal imbalances that affect mood and mental function. Many women feel disoriented and confused by what is happening to them. The estrogen dominance so common in perimenopause can exacerbate symptoms of depression.

    Perimenopause is also a time when many women find their true voice. This can bring to the surface old unresolved emotional issues. While absolutely vital, this process can add to your feelings of sadness or being overwhelmed. And in truth, it is a lot to deal with.

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