The endocrine system in our body regulates all biological processes and hormone secretion are part of it. Hormones are the chemical that helps cells communicate with each other. There are different hormones and each of the hormone have a specific role to play.
A body with balanced hormones is a healthy body but imbalance of hormones causes various physical and mental health problems. Let us understand the link between hormones and mental health, this will give us a better understanding of how hormones impact mental health.
Endocrine system comprises of glands that secretes hormones. Hormones are the chemicals that travels through the blood stream and directs the body to perform or not to perform certain things. There is more than one hormone receptor in each body cells to receive the message from more hormones. Each hormone needs specific receptor to make a cell perform its function.
There are number of hormones produced in a body. The following given hormones are known to have direct impact on the mental health of a person –
What Causes Imbalance of Hormones
Hormonal imbalance is defined as a condition when the hormonal secretion is not enough to maintain the body functions. Any abnormal change in hormones has a negative effect on physical and mental health.
There are various reasons for hormonal imbalance in men and women. Diet, stress, lifestyle, age factor, are some of the common reasons for hormonal imbalance. Women mostly experience imbalance of progesterone, estrogen and thyroid hormones. In men, low level of testosterone is common. Imbalance of cortisol, DHEA and insulin is common in both men and women.
Common Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance on Mental Health
The common mental health problems due to imbalance of hormones are –
Effect of Various Hormones on Mental Health
Hormonal imbalance is often overlooked when it comes to mental health. Given below are the hormones that directly affects the mental health of a person.
A normal thyroid level regulates mood and energy. Low level of thyroid hormones retards the brain activity, causes depression, anxiety and affects the thinking ability of a person. High level of hormones affects memory, anxiety, depression and a person may have difficulty in concentration.
Estrogen is a female hormone that is linked to menstrual cycle. Healthy level of estrogen hormone supports brain function and makes a person feel good. Imbalance of estrogen hormones causes mood swings, depression, memory loss, confusion, brain fog, etc. There is a major estrogen imbalance during perimenopause and menopausal phase.
Progesterone supports the brain function by helping it relax, protecting the nerves and supports the covering that protect neurons. Abnormal level of progesterone causes depression, anxiety, sleep problem, postpartum depression, etc.
Testosterone hormone is also known as male reproductive hormone. With advancing age there is decrease in testosterone level and this causes mood swings, anxiety, depression, difficulty in concentration, feeling dull, sleeping problems, male sexual problems, etc.
Cortisol and DHEA hormones
They are also known as stress hormones. High level of cortisol causes various mental health problems.
Insulin problem causes depression, anxiety, irritation, trouble in concentration, anger, etc.
What to do to cope up with mental health problems due to hormonal imbalance