Your hormones impact many different aspects of your health, and the brain is no exception. Many studies have shown that individual hormones and overall hormonal imbalance can have significant impacts on your mental health. Keep reading to find out how these hormones are connected to mental health and what it can mean for your overall mood!
The thyroid hormones
The thyroid gland is an extremely important hormonal regulator that manages the production of not only thyroid hormones, but regulates the production of several key neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. Therefore, thyroid imbalances can have major effects on your brain as well.
Hypothyroidism, a condition in which fewer than normal thyroid hormones are produced, is a common precursor to depression, anxiety, and memory problems. On the other hand, hyperthyroidism is another type of thyroid dysfunction where too much thyroid hormones are released and can lead to sleeplessness, anxiety, and irritability.
The more severe your thyroid condition, the more severe your symptoms and subsequent mental health effects may be. The brain has a high number of thyroid hormone receptors and is particularly sensitive to its hormonal changes.
Along with your reproductive health, estrogen is also a major regulator of mental health. Healthy estrogen levels can boost your mood and happiness, but if the hormones are imbalanced, which inevitably occurs during your menstrual cycle, you may experience more damaging effects.
Estrogen dominance can increase the prevalence of mood swings, fatigue, and sleep problems. Low levels of estrogen are more likely to lead to depression as well.
Sometimes known as the anti-anxiety hormone, healthy progesterone levels can promote calmness and relaxation. This is often due to the way progesterone protects neurons and supports the GABA neurotransmitter.
Low progesterone levels, which are expected before the onset of your period, can result in higher anxiety and lead to PMS or PMDD symptoms such as mood swings and headaches. Some experts also believe that after ovulation, the rise of progesterone levels can lead to further imbalance and increase symptoms of depression.
If your body is more sensitive to these hormonal changes, it is likely that you will experience greater PMS or PMDD symptoms. There are many natural recommendations to ease these symptoms, but if your symptoms are especially severe and more characteristic of PMDD, it is recommended that you consult a doctor.
Women are more likely than men to experience mental health issues, and part of this can be due to the cyclical nature of hormonal changes during your menstrual cycle. However, male hormones such as testosterone still have major impacts on both men and women.
Healthy and balanced testosterone levels reduce the risk of Alzheimers and depression and help protect the nervous system. As men grow older, the decline in testosterone can actually increase the risk of depression, anxiety, irritability, and memory loss.
Along with regulating blood sugar and metabolism, insulin imbalances can lead to mood changes as well. If blood sugar levels are not balanced and are prone to spikes, you are more likely to experience mood swings, irritability, and anxiety.
Low blood sugar levels will often leave you feeling more tired and increase risk of depression. If you suffer from Diabetes, ensure that you have consulted your doctor to determine what treatment plan is best for you, as regulating blood sugar levels can significantly improve your mental health!