Anxiety Due To A Hormone Imbalance
If you are a woman chances are you have experienced severe PMS at some point. If you have anxiety, your PMS may certainly be exacerbated due to a hormone imbalance. I am fortunate in that I have never had severe PMS, although my husband may disagree with me.
Today I had a lady email me and ask if a hormone imbalance can cause anxiety, so I decided to research documented information, so I could write it all down here to share with all of you…this is what she shared with me first.
Hi Jennifer, I am a new sufferer of anxiety and I have chosen to go the natural route. My doctor tried to get me on an antidepressant but I refused to go that route. I noticed that my anxiety is more heightened the week before my “cycle”. I mean it gets bad. I get very irritable, I usually have what seems to be a panic attack or maybe its an anxiety attack, my body get sore and stiff, my thoughts are way out there, and I’m extremely exhausted.
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The vitamins have helped a lot and of course my faith, but I was wondering if this has happened to you as well. I know there’s different types of anxiety but I’m wondering if hormone imbalance plays a role.
As I said, I have never had my anxiety heighten before my period, but I do know it certainly could and would be possible!
A hormonal imbalance plays a big part in our moods.
Recent studies have shown a connection between PMDD and low levels of serotonin, a chemical in the brain that helps transmit nerve signals. Certain brain cells that use serotonin as a messenger are involved in controlling mood, attention, sleep, and pain.
Therefore, chronic changes in serotonin levels can lead to PMDD symptoms. Source
Now I am not saying that this lady or anyone else with severe PMS has PMDD, (I hadn’t even heard of it until a few hours ago)…but I was curious as to what it was, so let me explain what I found.
What Is PMDD or Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder?
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder is a condition that refers to a more severe form of PMS or Premenstrual Syndrome. Statistics show that Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder affects approximately 2-10% of women who are still in their childbearing age. A woman who has PMDD will most likely experience premenstrual mood disturbances and these symptoms usually occur a week or two before their menstruation period.
PMDD affects women in many ways and it is more than just having a ‘bad’ day. It is like having severe PMS and I have listed just a few of the symptoms associated with PMDD.
- Anxiety, stress, panic attacks and mood swings
- Intense levels of irritability and bouts of anger
- Sleeping difficulties
- Lack of motivation and energy
- Binge eating or carbohydrate cravings – (Serotonin-rich foods boost moods)
- Having difficulty controlling your feelings
- Feeling overwhelmed and depressed
- Severe forms of breast tenderness, muscle pain, abdominal bloating and cramping
I feel as though the symptoms are definitely PMS, hormone related, it’s just that they are experienced more severely.
Since PMDD is a condition that is specific only to women who are in their reproductive age, apparently there is a huge possibility that the female gonadal hormones (e.g. peptide and steroid hormones) could also play a causative role.
Some symptoms of PMDD may overlap with the symptoms of a-typical depression such as hypersensitivity, depressed mood, hypersomnia and carbohydrate cravings. Although there is a significant co-morbidity between PMDD and depression, there are still a lot of women diagnosed with PMDD who are not experiencing depression. This is why PMDD should not be viewed as another form of depressive disorder.
As I wrote down the symptoms I felt as though I was describing a serotonin deficiency. If your serotonin levels are low, you will feel depressed, suffer with anxiety or panic attacks, be worried or irritable…exactly what I have been describing. So does a hormone imbalance cause heightened levels of anxiety? In my ‘anxiety-experience’ most definitely yes.
I would love to hear from all of you too! Can anyone share their own PMS and anxiety symptoms and problems? Please share in the comments below…