Anxiety and Depression Linked to Hormonal ImbalanceWednesday 09/15/2021
Men and women experience worsening symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Written by Dr. Greg Brannon | 3 min read
Anxiety and depression disorders are the most common of all psychiatric disorders, and it’s no surprise that they are linked to hormonal imbalances. Studies have shown that women are more likely to experience mood swings, anxiety, and depression during times of hormonal flux while men receive benefits from testosterone that protect against anxiety and depression.
Anxiety and Depression in Women
In women, hormonal imbalance can cause or worsen symptoms of insomnia, mood swings, anxiety, and depression. Drops in estrogen and progesterone, two hormones vital to women’s health, can cause increased irritation and anxiety. Meanwhile, a rise in cortisol, the stress hormone, can cause increased anxiety and depression when left unaddressed.
Additionally, thyroid issues are very common in women. It’s no surprise that the thyroid gland is the “master gland” of the endocrine system, which produces and secretes hormones. While an under-active thyroid tends to worsen underlying anxiety and depression, an overactive thyroid can worsen anxiety to make women feel more jittery - kind of like a caffeine rush.
As a reminder, "normal" lab ranges for female testosterone is 8-60, but we like to see female testosterone between 90-200.
Anxiety and Depression in Men
At the same time in men, depression is one of the most threatening symptoms of andropause, or low testosterone. Men with low levels of testosterone are 400% more likely to be diagnosed with depression.
Let’s not forget the other symptoms of hormonal imbalance in men: erectile dysfunction, loss of muscle mass, hair loss, weight gain, fatigue, and more. Any or all of these symptoms have the ability to push a man into depression.
Furthermore, "normal" lab ranges for male testosterone is 200-900, but at Optimal Bio, we like to see male testosterone between 900-1200. This was the average male testosterone 30 years ago!
How We Can Help
Hormonal imbalance can be caused by a variety of factors including poor sleep, poor diet, and stress. Balancing hormone levels can alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression and result in several other physical and mental health benefits. If you aren’t feeling quite like yourself, we’re here to help. Contact our office today or visit us at one of our five office locations: Cary, Southern Pines, Wilmington, Charlotte, and Charlottesville.