Dealing with mental health concerns like anxiety and depression can be difficult. Especially, when you have simply been prescribed a medication to "alleviate" your symptoms without getting to the root cause of the issue. A lot of the time, these mental health issues are directly linked to a hormonal imbalance. This can be due to too much or too little of a hormone in your system, causing many different symptoms.
Women in particular deal with hormonal fluctuations throughout their life which can be very complex. More specifically the hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone all have a powerful effect on a woman's brain chemistry, mental health, and mood. This explains why when any of these are out of balance, mental health issues arise.
When a young woman enters puberty her ovaries begin releasing estrogen in correlation with each monthly menstrual cycle. At mid-cycle, estrogen levels begin to spike, which triggers the release of an egg, and this process is called ovulation. Then, all of sudden these levels drop quickly. During the rest of the month, estrogen levels rise and fall gradually.
Drops in estrogen and progesterone are known to make one irritable and anxious. Interestingly, estrogen is also considered a "protective" agent in the brain. This is why some women feel like they are on a emotional rollercoaster in the low-estrogen phase of their menstrual cycle. This may also be considered PMS (premenstrual syndrome), which causes many different symptoms like food cravings, fatigue, irritability, depression, and mood swings.
Estrogen has been shown to have a direct impact on dopamine and serotonin, which are also known as the "happy" hormones. Conversely, when these "happy" hormones are low, it can increase the risk of one developing depression and anxiety.
The cause of mental health concerns that come from hormonal imbalances are mostly due to lifestyle factors. Habits like a lack of quality sleep, poor eating choices, and lack of physical activity can all directly affect how your hormones function and in turn contribute to mental health issues.
Now, there are treatment options that may include hormone replacement therapy or medications. However, this will only put a band-aid on the issue versus getting to the source and addressing it with long-lasting lifestyle changes. Here are a few tips to improve your hormonal levels that you can actually start today!
Clean out your kitchen! Get rid of all processed foods and dairy products. Start focusing more on whole foods like vegetables, fruits, and a quality source of protein.
Move your body! Whether it is going for a long, brisk walk or lifting some weights, get your body moving today!
RELAX... Adopting stress management techniques can make it easier to refocus and stay calm when stressful situations arise. Over time doing so can improve your overall health and keep your hormones balanced.
Personalized supplement list! While taking supplements is great and has many benefits. In order to see true results, you need to be taking supplements that are addressed to your specific health concerns and needs. Doing so can truly improve your condition long-term and keep you healthy. If this is something you need, click here.