When someone is described as “hormonal”, what does this mean exactly? The Merriam- Webster definition of the term states, exhibiting behavior characteristic of increasing or fluctuating hormone levels. Hormones are chemical messengers that send signals throughout the body and impact various bodily processes and functions, including mood regulation. When people experience mood swings (intense, often abrupt changes in their emotional state), imbalanced and/or fluctuating hormones often play a role in this occurrence.
Mental health issues, mood disorders, and hormones are interconnected. Hormone imbalance can lead to a number of symptoms that affect an individual’s mental health. Read on to learn about how different hormones affect the brain.
Cortisol is known as the stress hormone. While cortisol levels naturally fluctuate throughout the day, there are times when an imbalance of cortisol can impact the brain and body response. Acute stress, better known as fight or flight, is signaled by cortisol. This process is meant to be short-lived, where the body and mind return to a normal state after a perceived threat. However, acute stress becomes chronic stress when the fight or flight response is activated often and for extended periods of time. Frequent mental stressors can lead to concerns such as depression and anxiety.
Estrogen is closely linked to emotional well-being, especially in women. A slight imbalance of estrogen can impact emotional changes that result in irritability, mood swings, depression, and anxiety. Estrogen is also connected to the regulation of serotonin and dopamine, two neurotransmitters that impact mood, happiness, and pleasure. Low levels of serotonin and dopamine can result in sleepiness and a lack of motivation.
A decline in testosterone levels is a common side effect of aging. Low testosterone levels cause physical symptoms that can be emotionally distressing. Some physical symptoms of low testosterone include low energy, low libido, erectile dysfunction, and obesity. These symptoms can impact an individual’s mental state, causing irritability, mood swings, and depression.
Regenerative Medical Institute offers complete hormone care to treat symptoms of hormonal imbalance. Visit our website to schedule a free consultation.