I’m Really Anxious Today and I Don’t Know Why: Could a hormone imbalance be the cause of your anxiety?
Don’t you hate that feeling? When you wake up your anxiety is through the roof but for the life of you, you can’t figure out why.
I know I do.
I can spend hours racking my brain trying to figure out why my body is feeling so anxious.
Did I miss a deadline at work?
Am I forgetting our anniversary?
Do I have to spend the weekend with my in laws?
I can’t promise that the answer isn’t one of those…
But I can promise that there is likely link between the stress you are experiencing and your hormonal balance, especially if you are someone who spends a lot of time feeling anxious and stressed out.
Stress requires a response from your adrenal glands, and it doesn’t discriminate. Your body doesn’t care if you are facing a bear in the woods or late for your work meeting, when you feel stress, cortisol production gets higher.
What does cortisol do? Cortisol tells your brain to get ready. A threat is here and we are going to deal with it.
The problem is, in today’s society stress is everywhere. Full time jobs, kids, constant access to your work email. It never ends, and neither does your body’s stress response.
This builds over time when the body is in a constant state of stress and anxiety. Leading to the production of more cortisol…leading to higher anxiety…leading to more cortisol…
Ugh, I’m anxious just thinking about it.
When your body goes into overdrive producing cortisol, it stops producing progesterone, because survival is more important than fertility.
And what does progesterone do? You might be familiar with progesterone as an important hormone for pregnancy and fertility. That’s true. But it is also simulates other calming and anti-anxiety substances in the brain (like GABA). This causes what you may have heard of as estrogen dominance, more estrogen than progesterone.
You might be thinking “so anxiety causes our bodies to produce the hormone cortisol, the hormone that tells our bodies to get MORE stressed and anxious, AND tells our bodies to stop producing progesterone, the hormone that tells me to calm the heck down?”
And on top of all of that, did you know that anxiety can be a symptom associated with thyroid dysfunction too? We usually associate weight gain/loss, fatigue, and being cold all the time with thyroid dysfunction. But anxiety is too.
Even if you have been told your thyroid is normal, proper testing can be done to reveal a thyroid imbalance. Many of my patients report anxiety as their most pressing concern and the biggest improvement they notice when their thyroid disease is treated properly.
So maybe your anxiety is not because you don’t get enough fresh air, maybe it’s because you suffer from estrogen dominance, thyroid dysfunction or a cortisol imbalance.
No wonder you are so anxious.
The good news is, this is not permanent. You can take simple steps towards reducing stress levels and managing those hormones that aren’t doing your anxiety any favours.
There is hormone testing that can be done and lifestyle changes you can make.
Click here to book your appointment with a with me. I am going to address these underlying concerns and treat your anxiety with more than a pill so you can live stress free…and maybe even get outside and enjoy the sun because you WANT to 😉
– Dr. Jordin Wiggins, ND