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Can hormonal imbalance cause anxiety?

There is a strong correlation between hormones and anxiety.

Keith Alderson

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Overly increased or diminished systemic levels of hormones can impact brain cells known as neurotransmitters. Such events could precipitate a host of untoward and potentially disabling mental issues.

Which hormones can increase social anxiety?

Hormones capable of exacerbating the preceding condition are divided into three specific categories, sexual, stress, and thyroid.

Sex Hormones

The two most commonly known and, arguably, the most important sexual hormones are testosterone and estrogen. Studies have shown that male and female reproductive hormones could exercise a significant impact on social anxiety issues.

Investigations have concluded that decreased concentrations of testosterone and estrogen possess the capacity to elicit physical, mental, and emotional manifestations of such disorders. 

Researchers further maintain that such facts might explain why anxiety tends to fluctuate during notable life stages like puberty and menopause.

Stress Hormones

When the body is exposed to heightened levels of stress or tension, the body responds by producing and releasing additional quantities of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. If introduced into the body only when needed, these substances help stressed subjects render rational choices and appropriately respond to threatening or difficult circumstances.

However, the bodies of those experiencing chronic or heavy stress become inundated with stress hormones. Over time, said events place tremendous strain on many bodily systems and greatly increase the tension levels the impacted individual is exposed to.

Thyroid Hormones

A small gland inside the neck called the thyroid releases an important chemical known as thyroxine. This substance exercises an appreciable influence over numerous critical systemic functions, such as the pulse rate, perspiration, and nervous system function. Ergo, those with overactive thyroids often experience heart palpitations, increased sweating, tremors, and a general feeling of nervousness.

Read also: IU School of Medicine researchers develop blood test for depression, bipolar disorder

Which hormones can help with social anxiety?

Certain hormones may actually reduce social anxiety-related manifestations including:

Testosterone

Elevated testosterone levels have been linked to reduced social phobia. In fact, specific scientific examinations have shown that testosterone has been linked to increased bodily production of relaxation-inducing substances like gamma-aminobutyric acid, commonly abbreviated as GABA, and serotonin.

Oxytocin

Known as the love hormone, oxytocin is released by the brain when one enjoys encounters with loved ones or other close associations. Scientists have discovered that this substance encourages positive feelings like trust and calmness. Such emotions often enable people to feel more comfortable during social interactions.

Estrogen

Normal to slightly higher blood concentrations of estrogen typically prove beneficial to overcoming social disorders. Researchers have concluded that women experiencing their menstrual cycles are often less fearful and feel calmer than on other occasions.

 

How to balance hormones naturally

Currently, medical and scientific communities believe that the administration of hormone therapy, for men testosterone therapy, could be prescribed as a treatment for social anxiety disorders. Fortunately, however, impacted subjects might either eliminate or lessen the symptoms associated with specific conditions by partaking in therapeutic activities such as:

Make simple lifestyle alterations

Scientists have found that one might boost their testosterone levels through remedial actions, like consuming a balanced and nutritious diet, limiting vices such as cigarette smoking and alcohol intake, exercising routinely, reducing stress, and obtaining sufficient amounts of sleep.

These same medical professionals have concluded that oxytocin concentrations may be elevated by doing good deeds, listening intently to others, cuddling, interacting with a pet, and visiting favored social media sites.

Treat thyroid imbalances

An overactive thyroid is a discernible medical condition. Obtaining a proper diagnosis and receiving treatment could correct hormonal imbalances and related anxiety symptoms.

Use diet supplements

Sometimes, using various dietary supplements could prove beneficial in reducing the impacts of social anxiety disorders. For example, the product ashwagandha has proven effective in lowering systemic cortisol levels. That said, it is important to note that the preceding remedial effort has not been given official approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Employing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Also known as CBT, this form of treatment teaches the brain to respond to anxiety in different ways. As therapy progresses, the recipient should eventually respond more favorably to tense circumstances.

Final Thoughts

Periodic episodes of fear, stress, and social anxiety are normal. However, if the issues persist or interfere with one's personal, social, or professional endeavors, they are strongly urged to consult with a medical or mental health professional. The culprit could be hormonal imbalances. Fortunately, in many instances, such issues can successfully be resolved.