Did you know there is a big connection between your hormones and your mental state? Your emotional wellbeing is intimately linked to many different hormones in your body, and if you are feeling moody, flat or fatigued, it’s most likely not ‘just tiredness’. Today we are going to delve into female hormones, what they are and how they affect your mental state when out of balance. Let’s get started by discussing what hormones are and how they affect your moods.
What are hormones?
Hormones are chemical messengers produced in various parts of the body. They help to regulate cellular activity, and some of them have a big impact on brain health and moods. There are hundreds of hormones in the body, but the following have a specific influence on mental and emotional health:
- Thyroid hormones – these are most known for their actions on energy and metabolism.
- Progesterone – a female sex hormone that is a natural anti-anxiety substance.
- Estrogen – a female sex hormone that is also a potent mood modulator.
- Testosterone – a male sex hormone that is important in mood, motivation and sex drive.
- Cortisol – one of the main stress hormones in the body.
- Insulin – the hormone that manages blood sugar, which can drastically affect the brain.
Hormonal communication occurs from hormones to the brain, and back again in a feedback loop. When this feedback loop is off, or your hormonal health is out of balance, you really feel it. Let’s look at PMS and its emotional symptoms as an example.
PMS and mental health
Everyone knows what PMS is, and whilst it’s very common, it’s not a healthy state of being. Our reproductive hormones estrogen, progesterone, and to an extent testosterone have a huge impact on the brain, and when they are not in balance with each other the following emotional and mental symptoms can be experienced:
- Lowered mood or depression
- A sense of overwhelm
- Social withdrawal can also occur
There is another condition that affects a small percentage of menstruating women, and the symptoms are far worse than normal PMS. This condition is called PMDD.
What is PMDD?
PMDD stands for premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and it impacts 3 to 8% of menstruating women. It is a severe depression that comes on suddenly and premenstrually. It also has the following effects:
- Sleep patterns. Causing either insomnia or a need for extra sleep.
- Apathy to life
- Strong anger and irritation
- Increased appetite
- Extreme overwhelm
It severely impacts quality of life and can come with severe brain fog that leaves some women unable to think or function.
Another area of hormonal imbalance that is highly impactful for mood and energy is thyroid health.
Thyroid hormones and mood
Patients that have either hypothyroid (under-functioning) or hyperthyroid (over-functioning) very commonly experience erratic and dysfunctional moods and mental states. Anxiety, depression, swinging between both, lethargy, brain fog and poor concentration and even being confused all come with dysregulated thyroid hormones.
What I want you to take from today’s blog is that your mental and emotional state most likely isn’t just because you are tired. There are many potential reasons why you may be feeling out of whack, and your hormonal health is a big part of this. Some of the things that most commonly cause hormonal imbalances are stress, poor diet, lack of exercise, environmental toxins and not enough sleep. These are all things that I address inside of the Metabolic Balance program. We also do comprehensive blood testing to find out where your imbalances lie. This allows a treatment plan to be tailored to your exact needs.
If you’d like to know more, or book in for a consultation, please get in touch with me HERE.