Did You Know Stress & Anxiety Can Cause A Hormonal Imbalance?
September 23rd, 2021 at 1:01 pm
The pandemic has been an anxiety-inducing time, so you may have experienced more stress than usual. Many people have reported their highest levels of stress while facing fear, uncertainty, job insecurity, and grief. The prolonged stress has taken an unprecedented toll on our mental health, which can also affect our physical health.
When we are feeling stressed, our bodies produce stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, that trigger our “fight or flight” response. This causes our heart rates and blood pressure to increase as our body prepares to protect us in an emergency. Long-term activation of the stress system overexposes us to stress hormones and disrupts our body’s processes.
The excessive hormones remain in our bloodstream for extended durations, even when we don’t require them anymore. You may have felt the effects of stress as a headache, heartburn, rapid breathing, pounding heart, and / or stomachache. These physical symptoms are our bodies response to the changes, which in turn, causes other internal changes and an imbalance in our hormones.
What is a hormonal imbalance?
A hormonal imbalance occurs when our bodies produce either too little or too much of a particular hormone. Hormone levels naturally fluctuate as we grow and pass different life stages; however, an imbalance in our hormones, especially for a prolonged time, can have negative effects on our overall health.
Symptoms of a hormonal imbalance include:
- Unexplained weight gain / weight loss
- Constant mood swings
- Skin problems (chronic acne / dry skin)
- Thinning hair / Widespread hair loss
- Irregular periods
- Decreased sex drive
- Erectile dysfunction
Experiencing one or more of these symptoms can be an indication, but it does not guarantee that you have a hormonal imbalance. Please make an appointment with a doctor for a diagnostic test.
Other than stress and anxiety, there are numerous other causes of a hormonal imbalance, such as:
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Medical treatments
- Excessive exercise
- Underlying health conditions (diabetes, thyroid problems, etc.)
To reduce stress and anxiety, try:
- Seeking professional help to manage stress and anxiety.
- Setting boundaries to achieve a better work-life balance.
- Improving your sleep hygiene and getting enough sleep.
- Maintaining a healthy balanced diet.
- Meditating and moving your body regularly to help with endocrine health.
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