Unveiling the Link How Hormones Impact Womens Mental Health

Unveiling the Link How Hormones Impact Womens Mental Health

Published On: May 11, 2024Last Updated: May 16, 2024By Categories: Health & Wellness
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Research has disproven the idea that mental illness and psychiatric disorders are afflictions confined to just the brain. We’ve now discovered the brain, body, and mental well-being are all synced. If one isn’t functioning properly, it can have severe consequences and impact the other systems.

A better understanding of the connection between hormones and mental health can lead to better health outcomes. That’s why we covered the relationship between the two factors, what to look out for, and which hormones you need to monitor.

Different types of Hormones

Before you can start putting together health plans and strategies for managing your hormones, it’s important to understand what they are. Hormones are chemicals used to coordinate different functions in your body by carrying messages.

Hormones as well as the tissue, mainly glands, that create and release them make up the endocrine system in your body.

Depending on the hormone and the ‘message’ it delivers, it has different bodily processes, including:

  • Metabolism
  • Growth and development
  • Sexual function
  • Mood
  • Sleep
  • Reproduction

Even minor changes to your hormone levels can cause massive changes in your body and how it functions. Changes in hormone levels can even lead to certain medical conditions or increase the risk for certain cancers.

Cortisol

cortisol hormone

The cortisol hormone is produced by your adrenal glands and is classified as a ‘steroid’ type of hormone. Cortisol is also sometimes referred to as the stress hormone because your body will release and produce more cortisol if you’re more stressed.

If you have a strong interest in women’s health or have studied a course in psychiatric health, like an MSN-PMHNP, you might already be aware of the relationship between hormones and mental health. For example, hormone imbalances can lead to disorders, such as depression and anxiety.

Similarly to thyroids, cortisol is also important for regulating your metabolism. A high level of cortisol can also impact other bodily processes and lead to hypertension, anxiety, sleep loss, and autoimmune problems.

Thyroid Hormones

Thyroid Hormones

Source: akshayarogyam.com

The thyroid hormone is created and released in the thyroid gland and controls a variety of crucial processes in your body. One of the biggest responsibilities of this hormone is regulating your metabolism.

If your thyroid hormones are imbalanced, it could be a sign of a condition such as Hashimoto’s disease or Grave’s disease. A thyroid imbalance can lead to energy issues and weight management problems.

Estrogen

Estrogen Hormones functions

Source: Youtube.com

Estrogen is one of the female sex hormones and is also found in males. The hormone is produced by the ovaries and is responsible for a range of functions, including menstruation, breast development, ovulation, and bone/cartilage density.

It’s important to get regular blood tests for your estrogen levels and monitor them. If your estrogen is too high, it can increase the risk for certain cancers and is linked to symptoms of depression, weight gain, difficulty sleeping, headaches, and anxiety.

Progesterone

Progesterone details with diagram

Source: helloclue.com

Similar to estrogen, progesterone is another one of the female sex hormones. It’s most commonly associated with pregnancy and the menstrual cycle. Your progesterone levels are also extremely important in the early stages of pregnancy.

If you’re experiencing irregular progesterone levels, this can lead to fertility problems as well as menstrual periods. During pregnancy, if you have low progesterone or your levels suddenly drop, it can cause premature labor or miscarriage.

It’s important to regularly get your progesterone levels checked. If the levels are abnormally high, it could lead to a higher risk for breast cancer.

Testosterone

testosterone hormone function

Although testosterone is an androgen and commonly associated with male reproduction—it’s present and naturally exists in women’s bodies, too. Women naturally produce testosterone as well as other androgens in their ovaries, adrenal glands, and fat cells.

An imbalance of testosterone in your body could impact your mental health and cause physical issues, too. This includes excess body hair, acne, low libido, irregular periods, and fertility issues.

Causes of Hormone Imbalances

Woman sitting on sofa suffering from neck pain-How Hormones Impact Womens Mental Health

Source: Freepik.com

Hormone imbalances occur when there is too little or too much of a hormone in your blood. Even the slightest change in hormone levels can have serious impacts on your body and bodily functions.

There are many potential causes for hormone imbalances, and if you have any worries—we recommend speaking to a medical professional to run tests. Common causes for hormone imbalances include lifestyle choices, medical conditions, and medication.

For example, when it comes to lifestyle choices, a high-stress career can cause cortisol imbalances. Other lifestyle-related causes for hormone imbalances can include poor diet/nutrition, being overweight, exposure to toxins—for instance, pesticides, and misuse of substances.

Managing your Hormones

Managing your hormones

Source: Freepik.com

If you’re looking to manage your hormones, the treatment, or plan will depend on the cause. It’s important to talk to your doctor before starting any treatment and get tests done to check your hormone levels.

For most hormone imbalances, there are medications available to treat and get the levels back to normal. For example, if your estrogen or progesterone levels are too low, it’s possible to start hormone replacement medications—which come in many forms, like pills, gel, or patches.

Preventative measures in the form of lifestyle changes can be made, too. Making positive changes in your routine, cutting back sources of stress, improving your diet, and ensuring a regular sleep schedule reduces the risk of hormone imbalances.

Mental health

young woman at home felling stress-How Hormones Impact Womens Mental Health

Source: Freepik.com

Hormones and mental health are closely linked. If you’re struggling with your mental health, it’s worth talking to your doctor and seeing if hormones could be the cause or one of the contributing factors.

Hormone imbalance itself can be the cause of mood swings or emotional stability. The physical changes caused by hormones, for instance, weight gain or hair loss, can also harm your self-image, and confidence, causing damage to your overall well-being and mental state.

So, if better mental health and well-being were on your 2024 goal list, remember to monitor your hormone levels, too. The human body and mind are complex and connected, a change in one system can impact another.

Conclusion

Finally, there is no denying the link between hormones and women’s mental health. Understanding how these chemical messengers work and the circumstances that can disturb their balance allows you to take control of your health.

If you suspect a hormonal imbalance, do not hesitate to see your doctor. Early detection and treatment can significantly improve your physical and mental health. Remember that obtaining optimal balance and living your best life requires a comprehensive approach that takes into account both hormonal and lifestyle aspects.

FAQs

Q: What are Some Common Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance?

Ans: Hormonal imbalances can manifest in various ways, both physically and mentally. These can include mood swings, anxiety, depression, fatigue, weight changes, sleep problems, and difficulty concentrating.

QWhat are the Main Female Hormones that Affect Mental Health?

Ans: Estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and cortisol are all key players in influencing mood, energy levels, and emotional well-being in women.

QWhat are Some Lifestyle Changes that can Help Manage Hormones?

Ans: Maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, managing stress, and getting enough sleep can all contribute to hormonal balance.

QHow can I get Help if I Think my Hormones are Affecting My Mental Health?

Ans: Consult your doctor, They can run tests to check your hormone levels and recommend treatment options, such as medication or lifestyle adjustments.

Read Next: Out of Balance: How Hormones Affect Our Daily Health

About the Author: Peyton Ezekiel

Meet Peyton Ezekiel, your health ally and expert guide in the realms of weight management and holistic wellness. Peyton's wealth of experience and passion for transformative health journeys will inspire and empower you to achieve your fitness goals with confidence.

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