5 Hormone Related Causes of Anxiety in Women
Anxiety affects 40 million adults in the U.S.
Women are twice as likely to have an anxiety disorder as men.
Do these sound familiar?
Are you anxious?
Are you nervous and irritable?
Do you often feel scared for no reason?
Do you feel impending doom?
Do you have feelings of panic?
Are you often ill at ease or worried?
We have all felt anxiety at certain times, but what about when it starts to happen more frequently and take over your life? These feelings are very uncomfortable and can interfere with your daily activities. Things that you never used to worry about can almost paralyze you with fear now. Some women have such extreme anxiety that they don’t want to leave their home. Why is this happening? What has changed to make us feel so anxious? Could it be as simple as a hormonal deficiency? Women are more likely to experience anxiety during times of hormonal fluctuation and decline. Let’s address five common hormone related causes of anxiety in women.
First of all, what is anxiety?
Anxiety is defined as a state of uneasiness and apprehension. People with anxiety can have excessive, persistent worry and fear about things that one wouldn’t normally worry about. Often this extreme anxiety can lead to a panic attack, or sudden surges of overwhelming fear that that comes without warning, accompanied by physical symptoms such as a pounding heart, sweating, and rapid breathing. When anxiety becomes an excessive, irrational dread of everyday situations, it becomes disabling.
5 Common Causes of Anxiety in Women
1. Adrenal Fatigue
Your adrenal glands are responsible for managing stress. Chronic stress, whether physical or psychological or both, cause the adrenal glands to be overworked and eventually leads to adrenal fatigue. The adrenal glands simply cannot produce enough cortisol, your body’s stress hormone, to meet the demands of your body. As a result you feel stressed out and anxious. Research shows that people with anxiety disorder had lower cortisol levels. (1) Supplementing with bioidentical cortisol helps you to withstand stress and escape the most unpleasant effect of stress, anxiety.
Hypothyroidism results in a slowdown of cellular metabolism, which causes a drop in levels of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutric acid (GABA). GABA has a calming effect, which prevents the brain from being overwhelmed by stimulation. Moderately low levels of GABA are linked to anxiety, panic attacks and mood swings. Research demonstrates that anxiety is common in patients with thyroid dysfunction.(2) At the other end of the spectrum, too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) can also bring on anxiety and panic attacks.
3. Estrogen Dominance
Chronically elevated levels of estrogen can actually induce depression and anxiety by causing functional hypothyroidism. Also, a woman with estrogen dominance (progesterone deficiency) may have the adequate levels of total cortisol in her bloodstream, but her free, available cortisol level may be very low. Only free cortisol can actually be used by the cells.
Estrogen impairs adrenal function in another way: it interferes with the release of cortisol from the adrenal cortex. This can be an indication of declining ovarian function and the resulting imbalance of estrogen and progesterone.
Research shows that an increase in progesterone resulted in improvement of premenstrual anxiety, irritability and nervous tension. (3) Research also shows that progesterone produced a clear dose-dependent anti-anxiety response. These results demonstrate that progesterone was most potent against anxiety when compared with all steroids evaluated. (4, 5) Balancing the estrogen with bioidentical progesterone can help eliminate estrogen dominance and curb anxiety.
4. Estrogen Deficiency
Estrogen deficiency that occurs with menopause can cause anxiety. If anxiety is associated with your hot flashes, then low estrogen could be the culprit. Research suggest that the lower estrogen state during normal menstrual cycling may contribute to risk for anxiety disorders. (6)
Symptoms can be relieved with bioidentical estrogen. (Keep in mind that you can be estrogen dominant and estrogen deficient at the same time. That simply means that you are low in both estrogen and progesterone.)
Evidence supports anxiolytic and antidepressant roles for testosterone.Administration of a low dose of testosterone in women with treatment-resistant major depressive disorder significantly improved ratings of depression, compared to placebo-treated subjects. In addition, surgical removal of the ovaries increased mood disturbances and depression, an effect reversed by testosterone. Another study in women found that a single administration of testosterone reduced anxiety in the fear-potentiated startle response, compared to placebo-treated controls. (7)
Natural Solution for Anxiety
Anxiety and panic attacks are often treated with antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications, however these medications only attempt to mask your symptoms without solving the reason you have them in the first place. We have had great results in relieving anxiety caused by hormonal imbalance with bioidentical hormones. Certain vitamins can also help relieve anxiety, as well: magnesium, 5-HTP, inositol, rhodiola and vitamin B6.
Take our symptom checker quiz today to find out if you have symptoms of hormone imbalance that could be the cause of your anxiety. It’s time to get your life back!
1. Anxiety Disorders and Salivary Cortisol Levels in Older Adults: A Population-Based Study
2. Prevalence of Anxiety and Depressive Symptoms Among Patients with Hypothyroidism
3. Nutritional Factors in the Etiology of the Premenstrual Tension Syndromes
4. Anti-Anxiety Effects of Progesterone and Some of its Reduced Metabolites: An Evaluation Using the Burying Behavior Test
5. Anxiolytic Activity of the Progesterone Metabolite 5 Alpha-Pregnan-3 Alpha-o1-20-One
6. Inhibition of Fear is Differentially Associated with Cycling Estrogen Levels in Women
7. Sex Differences in Anxiety and Depression: Role of Testosterone
I purchase essential oils from Young Living out of Utah. I will rub a few drops of Lavender, Tangerine and Wintergreen on the palms of my hands. I only need to do this once a week. I cannot take any antidepressants or anti anxiety drugs. I have Hypothyroidism and think that causes the problem. Also, most important is some form of exersize everyday. I don’t know anyone who has treated anxiety well with chemical medications. It just doesn’t work. Biofeedback used to work but, now it doesn’t so I now use the essential oils. My grandson has Add and he takes a bath at night with a few drops of the Lavender and sleeps like a baby.
Yes, lavender oil is very helpful for anxiety. Thank you!
I drink magnesium, I was going to start 5htp but I’m3 months ppregnant and have read that I can not take while pregnant. I stopped going out. I don’t drive anymore, if I go anywhere I must go with another adult. Anxiety has taken over my life. I hate it!!!!! Now my 11 year old has anxiety it got so bad I had tipull him out of school and start homeschooling.
We are so sorry that you are struggling with anxiety. Please know that you are not alone. Magnesium is very helpful for anxiety. You are correct that you should not take 5HTP while pregnant. However, our vitamin consultants advised that you can take 2,000 mg of inositol per day and no more than 4,000 mg of magnesium. Magnesium and inositol can help your 11 year old with anxiety, too. If you have further questions about vitamins and dosages, please contact a vitamin consultant at 800-579-6545 and they will be happy to help.Thank you!
I didn’t realize there were so many different causes of anxiety in women, many of which deal with chemical imbalances, based off of what you’ve said here. I think it’s important that we all understand how there are these underlying causes of anxiety so that we can be more compassionate to those who struggle with anxiety. It also may be wise for those women who have anxiety to consider having therapy to help them mentally and emotionally cope with the struggle.
Thank you for acknowledging it for us women.
I am trying to figure out what is going on with my hormones which I think is causing anxiety and other physical issues. I seem to feel my most normal during my period, but as soon as my period is over I start to feel anxious. Sometimes I get heart pvcs or I wake up feeling like a ball of nerves. Then when I ovulated it seems to get worse adding in headache and a but of depression. But as soon as I get my period again if feel normal for a few days. Any ideas what is going on?
Michelle – you just pretty much summed up exactly what’s been happening to me too. Around ovulation, I have a hard time getting to sleep, feel anxious for no reason, wake up out of the blue with anxiety, also have more stomach issues, and then it subsides for a few days and then right before my period, starts again and then once I get my period, symptoms subside for awhile and then it starts all over again. I am 41, had a baby a few years ago and in Feb started back on my birth control pill that I was on before I was pregnant. I thought that birth control controlled hormones?! I would love to hear from people that are having these same issues. My dr hasn’t suggested doing any tests or anything just wants me to see a therapist for anxiety. Someone recommended I try fish oil …
Thank you for your question. Our doctors find that symptoms related to the menstrual cycle are most often caused by low progesterone. PMS is not always limited to days 15-28. We would still recommend considering all your symptoms, and not one main symptom, when getting evaluated. Every symptom can be of help to your doctor to figure out what the underlying cause is.
If we may be of service to you, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our wellness consultants at 281-698-8698.
Mary Alice Baldwin
Hi! You are describing my life! How have you dealt with it? I can’t go through this every month.
I went thru premenopausal symptoms back in my 30s. Had a hysterectomy in 2010. Never really had much issue with anxiety until the last few weeks after the increased my estrogen replacement due to uncomfortably dry intercourse. Was wondering could this be the cause of my anxiety?
Thank you for your question. Yes, elevated levels of estrogen can cause anxiety. Balancing the estrogen with bioidentical progesterone can help eliminate estrogen dominance and curb anxiety. Also, elevated estrogen can affect thyroid function so it is important to have a thorough thyroid evaluation, as well.
If we may be of service to you, please contact our wellness consultants for a complimentary wellness consultation at 281-698-8698.
To your health,
I’ve current been dealing with high anxiety and panic attacks. At one time I was on estrogen replacement. I ended up having a tubal to see if my ovaries would produce healthy on their own. For almost a year I finally felt normal again. Life was simple and stress free again. But just recently started having panic and anxiety again. It’s so dibilitating and hard to work and try to be the best mom and wife I can be. I just want a normal life again without anxiousness and worry and panic. I get physically ill when having panic attacks. I need advice on how to fix all of this.
We’re so sorry to hear that you are having anxiety and panic attacks. They can make your life miserable.
A tubal ligation can affect the blood supply to your ovaries so they may not work as well. Watch as Dr. Sheridan explains the effects of a tubal ligation: http://makeshift-worm.flywheelsites.com/2016/08/hormonal-after-effects-of-a-tubal-ligation/
Please take our symptom checker quiz to see what other symptoms of hormone imbalance you may have: http://makeshift-worm.flywheelsites.com/symptom-checker/
Please don’t lose hope. If we may be of service to you, please contact our wellness consultants for a complimentary consultation at 281-698-8698.
To your health,
I was fine until I took a steroid injection for my hip pain due to torn labrum. It’s been two weeks insomnia anxiety hyper, talkative etc. what should I try? What do
You charge for a consultation? I guess you don’t take insurance. I’m a 63 year old have BCBSTX ppo work for a Christian non profit doing free ultrasounds on women in Crisis Pregnancy’s.
We will be happy to schedule a complimentary wellness consultation with a wellness consultant who can tell you all about our program. Please call 281-698-8698. No, we do not contract with insurance companies, because they would not allow us to treat naturally.
Please take our symptom checker quiz to find out what symptoms of hormone imbalance you have: http://makeshift-worm.flywheelsites.com/symptom-checker/
To your health,
I am on Prog and T Hrt..and still have anxiety..ia it be one of these is not right amt and levels not right? What’s a good range for women to feel best for Prog and T?
People nowadays have been experiencing depression and anxiety because of a tragic reason. Studies show that one of the most illnesses that a patient have is depression. It’s not easy to understand but for the people who have this, they suffered a lot. I came across this article https://www.worldwide-marijuana-seeds.com/blogs/marijuana-news/cannabis-as-medicine that marijuana can be used as a medicine for depression. Because as of now it has many purposes in the medicinal field.