Do hormones affect women's mental health

Have you ever wondered what is the reason for PMS in women? Did you know female hormones have a major impact on women’s mental health? Do you know even a slight imbalance in the levels can cause major changes in the body?

This article discusses the most essential hormones that impact women’s mental health.

What are hormones?

Hormones are essential components of the body. These are chemical messengers secreted from the endocrine gland of the brain to the bloodstream that reaches the tissues and organs. Each hormone performs different functions, such as:

  • Metabolism
  • Development of body
  • Maintaining body temperature
  • Reproductive growth
  • Sexual functions
  • Managing cognitive functions and mood

Impact Of Hormones on Women’s Mental Health

Women occasionally face a fluctuation in hormonal levels, especially Estrogen and Progesterone, during menstruation, pregnancy, post-delivery and post-menstruation. These affect the sensory systems, peripheral effectors and central integrators.

A slight imbalance impacts women’s mental health, causing conditions like anxiety, depression, PMDD, PMS, etc. In addition, it also affects different body parts and impacts their hair, skin, fertility, mood swings and much more.

What Hormones Affect Women’s Mental Health?

Estrogen, Progesterone, Testosterone, Cortisol and Oxytocin are hormones that affect mental health.

Common Signs And Symptoms Of Hormonal Imbalance In Women

Hormonal imbalances occur with an increase or decrease in the hormonal levels in the bloodstream. Even a slight change can cause significant side effects. Some of the common symptoms include:

  • Intolerance in regulating cold and warm temperature
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Darkening of skin called acanthosis nigricans, which occurs in the back, side of necks and armpits
  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Coarseness in the skin and dry hair
  • Warm and moist skin
  • Regular bowel movements or diarrhea
  • Constant constipation
  • Unexplained weight loss or gain
  • Rapid or slow heartbeat
  • Fatigue
  • Higher cholesterol levels
  • Swollen face and bloating
  • Constant sweating
  • Fluctuating blood sugar levels
  • Irritability and difficulty in concentration
  • Sore breasts and enlarged clitoris

Main Causes Of Hormonal Imbalances in Women

Most women experience hormonal imbalance during different phases of life, including puberty, pregnancy, menstruation and menopause. These are majorly caused due to malfunction of endocrine glands, lifestyle changes, and medical conditions. Some of the common reasons for hormonal imbalance include:

  • Type 1 and 2 diabetes
  • Eating unhealthy diet
  • Excessive stress and a higher level of body fat
  • Tumors of the Pituitary gland
  • Allergic reactions and infections
  • Prader Willi syndrome leads to chronic hunger
  • Higher levels of glucagon and insulin
  • Imbalance in the level of parathyroid hormone
  • Turner syndrome is caused when only one X chromosome functions
  • Phytoestrogens is dominance of Estrogen that is directly linked to infertility, breast and ovarian cancer and autoimmune disorder
  • Certain medications such as birth control pills
  • High level of Cortisol
  • Addison’s Disease
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiations
  • A lower level of iodine
  • Anorexia

What are Hormone-specific psychiatric disorders?

  • PMDD: Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder is a hormone-specific psychiatric disorder. It is induced by luteal hormones that are relieved during the follicular phase due to disruption in the hormonal cycle.
  • Anxiety: It is caused due to an increase in the level of Cortisol which is a stress hormone. A drop in the level of Estrogen and progesterone is considered a primary cause of anxiety
  • Postpartum Depression: PPD is caused due to a lower level of hormone Allopregnanolone during the second trimester of pregnancy. 

Can Female Hormones Cause Anxiety?

Every female faces anxiety in the form of PMS, perimenopausal mood swings, etc., which are not merely limited to pathological reasons. It is majorly caused due to increase or decrease in the level of female hormones like Estrogen, progesterone, and stress hormones like Cortisol, adrenaline, and oxytocin.

A drop in the level of Estrogen and progesterone occurs during the end of the menstrual cycle and leads to anxiety and mood changes.

How To Help Happy Hormones Improve Mental Health?

  • Spend more time in sunlight.
  • Indulge in physical activities which boosts mood.
  • Consume food rich in omega 3 fatty acids to boost mood.
  • Eggs, poultry, nuts, milk, and seeds contain tryptophan which helps trigger the release of endorphins
  • Perform meditation which helps to release hormones and neurotransmitters triggering the release of dopamine
  • Laughing is considered the best alternate for boosting endorphins which reduces stress and improves the immune system
  • Singing and listening to music releases oxytocin

How Can a Psychiatrist Help to Promote Your Mental Health?

Psychiatrists are mental health professionals who help diagnose mental illness by evaluating various symptoms and conditions using various techniques. Allevia Medical Centre is one of the renowned hospitals, having the best psychiatrists in Qatar. Their psychiatry department follows an in-depth process for understanding the symptoms, communicating with professionals, and providing appropriate treatment.

Conclusion

Knowing the impact of hormones is imperative to understand the underlying cause of mental illness. Therefore, if you are experiencing stress or any symptoms listed above, you should connect to a psychiatrist to ensure on-time diagnosis and treatment.

FAQs: The hormones affect the mental health of Women

  • Which hormone is most linked to depression?
    • A low estrogen level, a female hormone, is linked to depression.
  • Which hormones are released when crying?
    • Crying releases hormones like endorphins and oxytocin, making your brain calm after crying.
  • What hormone causes anxiety?
    • Cortisol is also known as a stress hormone causing anxiety.
  • What is the happy hormone?
    • Dopamine is called a happy hormone that rewards the brain with a feeling of pleasure.
  • What is the anger hormone called?
    • Testosterone hormone tends to activate the brain’s subcortical area, leading to the release of adrenaline after anger.
  • Which hormone is responsible for fear?
    • Fear is caused in a region called the amygdala, which alerts the brain to release adrenaline into the bloodstream producing fear hormones like Cortisol and Adrenaline.
  • Does Estrogen make you happy?
    • Estrogen leads to an increase in serotonin and releases Dopamine or endorphins, which is a happy hormone.
  • Which Hormones Affect Sleep?
    • Hormones like melatonin, cortisol, ghrelin, and leptin affect sleep.

 

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