Hormones are responsible for the normal functioning of your body. Your emotions are also controlled by hormones in your brain and the rest of your body. If these hormones go out of balance you may experience anxiety. Women are especially vulnerable, due to the changes in their hormones during their menstrual cycle. Other hormonal imbalances can affect men and women alike and these can lead to anxiety. These conditions include:
- Premenstrual Syndrome in women
- Overactive Thyroid (Hyperthyroidism)
- Cushing’s Syndrome
Premenstrual Syndrome in Women
Just after you have ovulated you may experience the following changes:
- Physically you may suffer from sensitive breasts, lower back pain, cramps, headaches and food cravings.
- You might become clumsy and struggle to concentrate or sleep.
- You might feel anxious, irritated and depressed.
The good news is that it is not all in your head, or at least not the way you though it was. Scientist can now prove that PMS is indeed a real illness.
As a woman’s your hormone levels are constantly changing. More estrogen in your body helps you to ovulate, but as soon as an egg has been released your body doesn’t need that much estrogen anymore and the estrogen levels drop.
Scientists however discovered that when your estrogen falls it also causes the serotonin in your brain to become less. Serotonin is the hormone that helps you to relax. In short it means that as your estrogen falls your serotonin becomes less and you feel anxious.
Your doctor may give you some anti depressants to increase the serotonin in your brain. Vitamins, such as vitamin B6 and vitamin C can help to relieve the symptoms of anxiety caused by PMS.
Overactive Thyroid (Hyperthyroidism)
Thyroid hormones control your body’s metabolism. When there are too many thyroid hormones in your blood your metabolism will become too fast and cause unpleasant side-effects such as:
- An increase in your blood pressure
- A rapid heart rate
- An upset tummy
- Tremor in your hands
Many people who suffer from an overactive thyroid are not even aware of it. Anxiety may be an indication that you are suffering from an overactive thyroid.
Cushing Syndrome is very rare and it is caused by too much cortisol in your blood. Cortisol is a stress hormone and your body produces cortisol to help you cope with stress. In very rare cases your body may produce either too much cortisol or cortisol is not re-absorbed and processed by the body in the way that it should be. To know if you may be suffering from Cushing Syndrome look for the following signs:
- Muscle weakness
- Lack of energy
- Anxiety and depression
- Fragile bones
- Thin skin which bruises easily
- Kidney stones
- Frequent infections
- Irregular menstrual periods and abnormal hair growth in women
- Weight gain
- High blood pressure
- Stretch marks across the abdomen and upper back
Sometimes your anxiety may be attributed to an unpleasant event. There are however cases such as these above where anxiety may indicate an underlying treatable condition. Choosing to be treated for anxiety may therefore not only improve your mental well-being, but in the long run it may even improve your overall health.
Wurges, Jennifer. “Premenstrual Syndrome.” Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine. 2005. Encyclopedia.com. (September 26, 2012). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3435100628.html
“Serotonin.” International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. 2008. Encyclopedia.com. (September 26, 2012).http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3045302418.html
Tran, Mai; Odle, Teresa. “Hyperthyroidism.” Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine. 2005. Encyclopedia.com. (September 26, 2012). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3435100410.html