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However, there is the question of what comes first, hormonal imbalance or anxiety. In some cases, the hormonal imbalance causes the anxiety while in other cases, the anxiety is already present and it escalates if there are unbalanced hormones. It is always important to treat the root cause of anxiety.
Almost all processes in the body involve hormones and the body requires a specific amount of every hormone. The changes in the level of hormones are what cause anxiety. Some of the processes that may cause changes in hormones include the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, stress, puberty, thyroid issues and nutrition. The body has many processes that require hormones and so are the many different groups of hormones. An imbalance in any of these hormones is what causes the anxiety. This is because an imbalance causes physical responses that lead to stress and then anxiety.
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Some of the hormones that play a part in causing anxiety include:
Cortisol is a stress hormone. There is a cyclical relationship between cortisol and anxiety. Anxiety causes the release of cortisol and on the other hand, excess cortisol causes depression and anxiety. This means that anxiety results to the release of stress hormone while on the other hand, the excess release of the stress hormone causes more anxiety. The presence of cortisol affects the brain and causes anxiety. Any activity that increases the production of cortisol or reduces its absorption results to anxiety.
Adrenaline (also known as epinephrine or adrenalin) is not a hormonal imbalance but a symptom of anxiety because it is released when one is under stress. However, too much stress can damage the adrenaline system such that the hormone is produced unpredictably and therefore cause anxiety. Therefore it is important to treat anxiety and stress before they become severe.
Over and underproduction of the thyroid hormones can cause anxiety. Hyperthyroidism, which is the overproduction of the thyroid hormones increases body metabolism as well as anxiety and panic attacks. Hypothyroidism, which is the underproduction of the thyroid hormones, also assists in causing anxiety due to the effects that it has on the brain.
Change in sex hormones testosterone and estrogen has been associated with anxiety based on studies conducted. Anxiety has been noted during periods of hormonal changes such as during pregnancy, menopause and the menstrual cycle.
Usually, women experience anxiety at various stages of their menstrual cycle. You may experience too much worrying on one day and the next one you are calm. This is caused by hormonal changes in the body. For instance, estrogen starts to rise from the first day of periods and as the seventh day approaches, the level goes up. During this time, a woman may have a lot of mental and physical energy and slight anxiety. In the second week, the level of estrogen and testosterone increases and with it comes more mental and physical energy as well as anxiety. You may feel on edge, irritable, too much worry and restlessness.
The third week is associated with ovulation and the rise in progesterone drop in testosterone and estrogen and then estrogen rises. Due to the rise in progesterone and estrogen, there is calmness and reduced anxiety. The forth week is associated with dropping levels of progesterone and estrogen. The reducing levels of oxygen result to anxiety. That is why menstruation has been attributed to anxiety.
During pregnancy, many hormonal changes take place. Hormones like human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), estrogen, and progesterone cause various changes such as in personality as well as causing anxiety. Not only during pregnancy, anxiety and especially depression can occur after giving birth. This is called as postpartum depression and can in some cases be severe. Again, hormones play a big role in postpartum anxiety and depression.
Naturally, when treating anxiety during pregnancy or breastfeeding, medicines should be avoided if possible and only safe ones used if nothing else helps. Ask your doctor for further details. However, efficient self-help programs do also help curb anxiety caused by pregnancy hormones. PanicMiracle is one of the recommended programs, it’s a safe non-drug solution and proven to work in 97% of cases. In any case, seek help as soon as you can. If you have to wait for the doctor appointment for several days, you can try to relieve the anxiety by different natural methods. Try meditation, exercise, herbal remedies (which are safe for the baby!) or holistic programs where you can easily find suitable methods for your individual needs. Treating your anxiety during pregnancy is essential so that you can be a good mom!
Treating hormonal anxiety
Anxiety caused by hormonal imbalances does not have to be treated using hormonal therapy except for cases such as that involving thyroid hormone that may require thyroid treatment. Due to the mind and body connection, the use of psychological treatment has been found to be effective to beat anxiety, including hormonal anxiety.
Although hormonal imbalances may contribute to anxiety, mental health issues that occurred previously may cause some of it. This means that psychological techniques as well as eating a nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory diet may be useful in treating the anxiety instead of just relying on hormonal therapy.
In the case of the rise and fall of the sexual hormones that cause anxiety, the best thing is to use calming methods to deal with it. One of the methods is to use breathing techniques. Taking slow and shallow breaths can help you to calm down. Moderate exercises such as bike riding, jogging or brisk walking can help to reduce the anxiety symptoms. You can also use meditation to calm yourself down or use natural herbs for anxiety such as chamomile and passionflower (check the safety of any herb especially if you are pregnant).
Even where anxiety is caused by hormones, tips to cope with the anxiety can help to reduce it and cause the hormones to become normal. However, curing the anxiety takes time and may need good care in form of exercise, nutrition and sleep.
Various methods can be used to reduce the anxiety and regulate the hormones such as herbal remedies, supplements or even homeopathy, depending on the condition being treated. Anxiety can be treated even if it is being caused by hormonal imbalance because anxiety is related to mental health and having mental strength can help you to recover. Hormones, nutrition, and anxiety indeed go hand in hand.
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The interrelationship between hormones and anxiety leads one to cause the other. Some people experience hormonal imbalance due to anxiety while in other cases, the anxiety experienced causes the hormonal imbalance. Many processes that take place in the body require hormones and an imbalance can easily trigger anxiety. Some of the hormones that have been associated with anxiety include adrenaline, sex hormones, thyroid hormones, and cortisol among others. In some cases, treating the anxiety symptoms and enjoying nutrient-dense foods that reduce inflammation can result to hormonal balance.
Just because the anxiety has been caused by hormonal imbalance does not mean that it should be treated by hormonal therapy. Except for thyroid hormone where the treatment might be the use of hormones if a diet doesn’t help, other imbalances can be often treated with more natural methods, using holistic ways and healthy wholesome food because anxiety is associated both with mental health and nutrition. Always talk with your doctor first if you expect hormonal imbalance and before taking any medication or supplement.