A Link Between Hormonal Imbalance and Depression?

It’s no secret: throughout a woman’s life, her hormones will change; especially surrounding her reproductive years. A woman’s hormonal balance goes through a great fluctuation process during these internally turbulent years. During these years, moments such as giving birth, period cycles, pregnancy, and menopausal symptoms can throw a woman’s hormonal balance completely out of whack; especially the hormone known as progesterone.

To begin, progesterone plays an integral part in one’s mood swings. In cases of hormonal imbalance, a woman’s levels of progesterone are too high or low, depression symptoms can creep in and range greatly in severity. Signs of depression can vary person to person, but there are some distinct signals to keep an eye out for:

  • feelings of anxiety
  • unexplained sadness
  • feelings of loneliness or isolation
  • fatigue
  • quick to anger

As noted, it’s imperative for woman to be cognizant of these tell-tale signs of depression; especially during the child bearing years. A woman’s body creates high levels of this hormone during pregnancy, as it enhances the glands which produce milk. This sudden increase can often cause anything from simple mood shifts to full blown depression. Additionally, after the birth of the child, progesterone levels drop greatly, which can also have dangerous consequences. It is this significant hormonal drop, which is thought to be a key contributor to postpartum depression.

Another point in a woman’s life in which a hormonal balance can place her into the throes of depression is menopause. When a woman’s body stops producing eggs, the hormone levels of estrogen and progesterone drop significantly. As a result of such a decline in hormonal levels, a woman can experience signs and symptoms of depression.

While an individual can experience the symptoms of depression at many points during life, it’s important to know when to take action and ask for help. One good rule of thumb is if the symptoms (i.e. anxiety, sadness, etc.) affect one’s daily routine or responsibilities. That can be an important sign that it’s time to get some help. For example, being nervous or anxious on any particular day isn’t necessarily a problem. However, if those feelings of anxiety keep you from going about your daily life, you need medical help.

Consequently, if a woman does seek medical assistance for depression, there are different routes a physician may take, depending on the severity of the symptoms. Some treatments may include:

  • hormone replacement therapy
  • medication
  • change in diet
  • change in activity levels (i.e. exercise routines)
  • alter sleep routines
  • counseling

Overall, education and awareness are key for woman to not only understand how their body works; but also how it reacts and changes during pivotal points in their development.

By supporting her body, seeking assistance if needed, and adhering to medical advice (i.e. diet, medication, exercise, etc.), a woman should have no problem weathering the storm of hormonal changes that stirs up as we age. If you suspect you are suffering from the uncomfortable symptoms of menopause, such as depression, trouble sleeping, low libido or a lack of energy, take our online Hormone Asessment Test and our specialists can help determine if bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is a fit for you.

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