Are Your Hormones Causing Severe PMS and Anxiety?

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.

Severe PMS and Anxiety

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.

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…

Affiliate Disclosure

My website contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase any products mentioned in my articles, I may receive a commission. If you do, thank you!

About Jennifer Johnson

I suffered with social anxiety and stress for years. I discovered what my triggers were and learned to control them. Hopefully some of the natural anxiety relief techniques I have tried, will also be your solution.


  1. Kari hicks says

    I’m going through this with my 26 year old married daughter.. I would like to actually speak with you.. Is that possible ?

    • Jennifer Johnson says

      Hi Kari,

      Unfortunately I can’t do that as I am not qualified and it could get me into legal trouble. However, I can write my thoughts down if you would like to talk to me right here. I would be happy to answer any questions to the best of my ability or research some answers for you, if I don’t know.

Speak Your Mind