Can Stress and Anxiety Cause Hormonal Imbalance & Vice Versa?

You might have heard of hormonal imbalances causing health problems before, but you aren’t quite sure what it is or what causes it. Or, you might be experiencing symptoms of hormonal imbalance and don’t know why.

Could stress be the culprit? Actually, it can. Anxiety and stress can mess with our hormones, leaving us with unwanted physical and mental symptoms.

As someone who has personal experience with this issue, that even led me down the path of becoming a wellness counselor (certified from Cornell University), I thought it was important to share how hormonal imbalance and stress and anxiety can be related.

Can Stress & Anxiety Cause Hormonal Imbalance?

Stress and anxiety definitely play a role in causing hormonal imbalance. We have stress hormones that came in handy back when we were running away from lions. Yes, stress hormones could stop big cats from eating us for dinner.

Unfortunately, now many people experience chronic stress rather than acute stress. This means rather than stress occurring only as a result of a particularly difficult moment or experience, our modern lifestyles are causing us to be in a permanent state of stress.

Think about an average day. Your loud, shrill alarm wakes you up – stress. Traffic makes you late for work – stress. Your boss calls you into a meeting and says they’re unhappy with your work – more stress. You can see where this is going.

Feeling this constant stress and anxiety peaks our stress hormones. When activated over and over, this can lead to a hormonal imbalance. It works both ways too. Hormonal imbalance can actually make stress and anxiety worse, as we’ll explore below.

Does Hormonal Imbalance Cause Anxiety?

Yes, hormonal imbalance can cause anxiety, both from a physical standpoint and an emotional one. Hormonal imbalance leads to feelings of anxiety because certain stress hormones are heightened.

Plus, experiencing unwanted symptoms associated with hormonal imbalance can leave you feeling anxious. That means you end up with a double whammy of mental and physical symptoms.

It can lead to a spiral where anxiety gives you hormonal imbalance, but then the anxiety of that hormonal imbalance makes it worse! If you are in this situation, it’s key to make the appropriate lifestyle changes to rebalance those all-important hormones.

Can Too Much Estrogen Cause Anxiety?

When estrogen either drops or is too high, this can lead to anxiety. This is particularly noticeable in women who are going through menopause.

During menopause the body’s estrogen levels are depleted, which leaves many women feeling depressed and anxious. Rebalancing levels of estrogen is the best way to bring your mental health back to where it should be.

List of Hormonal Anxiety Symptoms

How do you know if you are having anxiety related to a hormonal imbalance? Here are some of the things to look for.

  • Feelings of sadness and anxiousness. Feeling down in the dumps without a clear reason can point to anxiety as a result of hormonal imbalance.
  • Irritability. If you find yourself getting irritated more easily than usual or snapping at loved ones, this can be a sign of hormonal anxiety.
  • Difficulty sleeping. A hormonal imbalance might make it more difficult to sleep, which can be compounded by anxious thoughts that keep you awake.
  • Difficulty concentrating. Another symptom of hormonal anxiety is struggling to concentrate on your work or studies. You might also experience brain fog or problems remembering things.
  • Physical symptoms. Physical symptoms are common with hormonal imbalances and also a clue that your feelings of anxiety or depression might have an unforeseen root cause. Physical symptoms that suggest a hormonal imbalance include acne, weight gain (especially around the stomach), and fatigue even when sleeping well.

How To Treat & Reduce Anxiety Caused By Hormonal Imbalance

Luckily, experiencing stress and anxiety as a result of hormonal imbalance can be fixed with long-term dedication to lifestyle changes. These changes don’t have to be anything complicated, but you should stay consistent in order to see results. Let’s dive into the steps you can take to start feeling better and healthier.

1 – Change Diet

Your diet and food choices play a huge role in the balancing of your hormones. Eating processed food that’s low in nutrients is detrimental to your hormone balance. These foods can leave you feeling stressed and anxious, as well as physical symptoms like fatigue and weight gain.

Processed foods are significant culprits in feeling like you’re not at your best. Prioritizing whole foods is a must. Ditch the ready meals, donuts, and potato chips, and reach for lean proteins, legumes, fruits, and veggies.

I am a huge believer in following a hormone balancing diet to get your hormones back to where they should be with just a few easy diet changes. You don’t have to cut out entire food groups or count calories. Just follow the do’s and don’ts and you’ll see results in no time. To learn more, get my FREE 3-day hormone balancing diet plan by filling in the form below.

2 – Reduce Stressors

Some stresses in life are inevitable. We have to work, deal with difficult family and friends, and live in a frustrating modern world and all the stressors that come with it. But when these things build up all it once, it can feel overwhelming.

Perform a stress audit on your life, identifying places where you’re experiencing stress to a harmful degree and seeing how you can change it. This could mean cutting down your work hours or turning down stressful projects, cutting out toxic friends, or avoiding committing to too many plans at one time.

3 – Practice Yoga

One of the things I have done to reduce my hormonal anxiety is practice yoga. I love yoga and I am a certified RYT-200 instructor. One of the reasons I became an instructor was because I strongly believe in practicing yoga to help balance hormones and reduce anxiety.

Yoga is good for the body and the mind in so many ways. To start, yoga can help you become more flexible, improve your balance, and make you stronger. A healthy, fit body is a balanced one. By taking care of your physical health, your brain will benefit.

As well as boosting your physical health, yoga is great for reducing stress. Yoga is not only meant to be practiced in a calm, relaxing environment, but it involves plenty of breathwork, which has been shown to calm the body and mind.

The best part? You don’t need an expensive subscription to a class to practice yoga. You can teach yourself yoga at home. One option is to sign up for lifetime access to my bundle of online yoga classes for a super affordable price!

Do hormones affect mental health? How to reduce stress and anxiety.

If you think you have a hormonal imbalance that is causing anxiety, there are things you can do to help.

If you believe your hormonal imbalance is negatively impacting your mental health, don’t lose hope. Simple lifestyle changes can make a huge difference, leaving you back to feeling like your old self in no time. You can start by adjusting your diet to make it more centered around whole foods.

Next, tackle or remove the things in your life that are causing you stress. Finally, beginner-friendly yoga can also help you get your mental health back in check and reduce the symptoms of hormonal imbalance. With just these simple changes, you’ll notice start to notice a reduction in your stress and anxiety, along with the physical manifestations of hormonal imbalance. Good luck and if you have any questions, please share them in the comments below.