4 Ways that hormones can impact your mental health

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Mental illnesses have in the past 30 years shot up in men and women as well as children exceeding 8 million having a prescription in the U.S. Lifestyle and food culture have a huge impact on hormonal imbalances which is associated with mental health and here is how.

Adrenal Issues

The two stress hormones; adrenaline and cortisol can have a significant impact on your mental health if not they happen not to be balanced. This can result to one feeling anxious, depressed or even lacking sleep. Additionally, when in excess and when low, the stress hormones can have different mental impacts on you. When in excess, you will experience irritation, anxiety and nervousness. When significantly low, you experience tiredness, depression, moodiness, sluggishness and may have a difficult time concentrating. However, you can manage stress through the multiple known ways in order to keep your cortisol and adrenaline levels in check and this will in turn lower the psychological effect risks linked with the two hormones.

Estrogen and Mental Health

Every month during menstrual cycle, women often deal with issues that are quite out of their hand due to Effects of Estrogen Deficiencies and this often results to premenstrual syndrome (PMS). During a woman’s menstruation period, estrogen levels are low. Estrogen has an impact on serotonin and dopamine, which are chemicals linked to the brain, and are associated with depression as well as psychosis. According to statistics, 80% of women experience both mental and physical issues which are as a result of hormonal imbalances. Through a recent study, health professionals revealed Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD), a condition that causes seasonal affective disorder, anxiety and severe depression as a result of hormonal shifts.

Also, while pregnant and during post-partum, women experience varying moods and emotions, and later in life during menopause, their hormonal changes result to brain fog and reduced sexual drive. If you thought men don’t experience mood swings and depression, they do: when estrogen levels are too high.

Thyroid and Mental Health

Inflammation and chemical stressors are the major causes of all thyroid-related problems. Thyroid issues can result from a leaky gut; when the body begins attacking and destroying all kinds of tissues, the thyroid included. If uncontrolled, thyroid activity has two extremes; hyperthyroidism, when it is overactive and hypothyroidism, when it is underactive. During hyperthyroidism, insomnia, depression, panic attacks, mood swings and anxiety may result and unfortunately in the past, women have been misdiagnosed with anorexia and panic disorder when they actually suffered from overactive thyroid. Hypothyroidism on the other hand may cause; fatigue, depression, moodiness and in rare cases anxiety.

Interference of Gut Secretion of Neurotransmitters

The gut contains multiple hormones and bacteria which act as signal transmitters. They signal digestion responses, immune responses and most importantly production and release of serotonin and dopamine. The signal for serotonin use -which is responsible for digestion, mood, appetite, social behavior, memory, sleep and libido- is through microbiome, a bacteria found in the gut. Dopamine, although in relatively small quantities is linked with happiness and contentment.

Gut issues are mostly as a result of antibiotics, which kill bacteria including these important ones. Microbiome takes more than three years to re-populate once they are severely damaged and even killed by one round of antibiotics. Due to this, it is advisable to avoid antibiotics not unless you have to take them, and if you do, make sure you eat fermented foods and take probiotic supplements.


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