We may have experienced anxiety or felt anxious at some points in our lives. We may have been anxious about certain big events that are about to happen in our lives like waiting for college entrance exam results, waiting for a job interview result, or for first-time fathers, waiting outside the delivery room. There are also significant and sudden events that can trigger anxiety within us. Anxiety is one of our body’s natural reaction and defense mechanisms to relieve itself from stress and tension caused by external or internal factors. Events and situations are external factors, while bodily chemical reactions and hormonal imbalance are considered internal ones. Hormonal imbalance is one of the least suspected causes of anxiety, but could very well be one of the leading causes of anxiety, especially in women.
We need to be familiar with the terms associated with hormonal imbalance by breaking them down and defining the important keywords. What is hormonal imbalance? Simply put, it is a malfunction or deregulation of one or more hormones in the body. What is anxiety? Wikipedia concisely defines anxiety as an emotion characterized by an unpleasant state of inner turmoil, often accompanied by nervous behavior, such as pacing back and forth, somatic complaints, and rumination.
Are hormones and emotions connected? Yes, they are, though not in a direct way. They say our body is our temple, the home of our soul. With this thought in mind, we can say that our physical ability is interconnected with our mental ability. If our body is not functioning well, it will affect our mental performance. Our body is made up cells. These cells are interconnected with each other. As per the well-rounded definition of Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a cell is a small usually microscopic mass of protoplasm bounded externally by a semipermeable membrane, usually including one or more nuclei and various other organelles with their products, capable alone or interacting with other cells performing all the fundamental functions of life, and forming the smallest structural unit of living matter capable of functioning independently.
In connection with this, and according to Medicine-Net, a hormone is a substance produced in the body that controls and regulates the activity of certain cells or organs. Thus, a malfunction in one area of our body, even the tiniest part, can cause turmoil in the other parts. When our hormones are not functioning well, every part of our body will be affected. There can be physical symptoms, mental symptoms or even both at the same time. A concrete example for this is the Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. This is a very good example of how hormonal imbalance can cause anxiety. When a hormonal imbalance occurs, the cells and hormones within our body will be disturbed and will no longer function properly. This malfunction can cause anxiety because our mind will also be affected by said imbalance. Once a hormonal imbalance occurs, the mental state of a person (especially women) will become tangled because the glands cease to function properly.
The important thing to understand about your hormones is that they are responsible for nearly every process in your body, and your body gets to properly function with a very specific amount of each hormone. Any changes in your hormones may create anxiety. Hormonal imbalance not only affects women, but also men as well. Sometimes, hormonal imbalance can exacerbate our otherwise normal or minimal anxiety or stress levels into the less manageable levels. In other words, hormonal imbalance can also make anxiety worse. Since this is an internal and bodily cause of anxiety, our effective remedy for it lies in our lifestyle and bodily interventions — nutrition, exercise and sleep. If we manage these three remedies the right way, we keep our hormones regulated to healthy levels.