Last Updated on June 17, 2023 by Beth Skwarecki
Hormones play a crucial role in regulating various bodily functions, including mood. Anxiety is a common emotional state characterized by unease, such as worry and fear. Research suggests that hormonal imbalances can contribute to the development of anxiety and other mental health disorders.
Specifically, changes in certain hormones, such as cortisol, thyroid hormones, and estrogen, have been linked to anxiety symptoms. In this article, we will explore the connection can hormones cause anxiety, and how imbalances in hormones can lead to this emotional state.
Can Hormones Cause Anxiety?
Yes, hormones can cause anxiety. Hormonal imbalances can contribute to the development of anxiety and other mental health disorders. Hormones are essential for controlling a variety of body processes, including mood. Elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol have been connected to higher levels of anxiety.
Individuals and medical professionals can manage and treat these illnesses more effectively if they are aware of the link between hormones and stress.
Which Hormones Cause Anxiety?
Several hormones have been linked to the development of anxiety symptoms, including:
- Cortisol: High levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, can lead to anxiety, nervousness, and increased heart rate.
- Thyroid Hormones: Low levels of thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) can cause depression and anxiety.
- Estrogen: Fluctuations in estrogen levels, particularly during menopause, can cause mood changes that may lead to anxiety.
- Testosterone: Low levels of testosterone may lead to depression, anxiety, and irritability.
- Adrenaline: High levels of adrenaline, a hormone released during stress, may cause anxiety and panic.
- Melatonin: Melatonin is a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. Disruption of melatonin levels can lead to insomnia, which can contribute to anxiety.
Signs Of A Hormone Imbalance
Signs of a hormone imbalance can vary depending on the specific hormones that are affected, but common symptoms can include:
- Irregular menstrual cycles or periods
- Weight gain or weight loss
- Mood changes, such as anxiety or depression
- Fatigue or low energy levels
- Insomnia or changes in sleep patterns
- Skin changes, such as acne or dryness
- Changes in sex drive or sexual function
- Hair loss or excessive hair growth
- Hot flashes or night sweats
- Digestive problems or changes in appetite.
Best Ways to Support Balanced Hormones and Reduce Anxiety
Here are some ways to support balanced hormones and reduce anxiety:
- Eat a Balanced Diet: Eating a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein can help support hormone balance and reduce anxiety.
- Exercise Regularly: Exercise can help reduce stress and anxiety, and it can also support hormone balance.
- Get Enough Sleep: Sleep is essential for hormone balance, and lack of sleep can contribute to anxiety. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
- Manage Stress: Chronic stress can disrupt hormone balance and contribute to anxiety. Try stress management techniques such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing.
- Consider Herbal Supplements: Some herbs such as ashwagandha, mucuna pruriens, and Rhodiola Rosea have been known to support hormone balance and reduce anxiety. However, consult with a healthcare professional before taking any supplements.
- Try Acupuncture: Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medicine practice that may help balance hormones and reduce anxiety symptoms.
Hormones play a crucial role in regulating various bodily functions, including mood. Research suggests that hormonal imbalances can contribute to the development of anxiety and other mental health disorders. Understanding the relationship between hormones and anxiety can help individuals and healthcare professionals better manage and treat these conditions.
Beth is Cloudmineinc’s senior health editor and a certified personal trainer. She has over 10 years experience as a science journalist and is the author of two books. She deadlifts over 315 lbs.