Can hormones cause anxiety? This is what the experts say about the year 2023 (2023)

Many of us experience changes in our lifetime that go unnoticed or under the radar. We often need to recognize these changes as a phase or the severity of their effects on our overall health. These changes may take the form of weight gain, constipation or excessive thirst and all may be due to internal changes related tohormonal imbalance.[1]

As we explore the causes and symptoms associated with hormone imbalance, we might also consider how hormones affect our mental health. For example, can hormones cause anxiety? To better understand the relationship between hormones and stress, we need to look beyond physical symptoms and consider possible emotional and mental manifestations such as hormonal stress.

Here we will discusstreatments for anxietyThis can support the nervous system and benefit the brain and body. Effective tools include meditation and mindfulness activities, spending time outdoors, and consuming herbs.

Can hormonal imbalance cause anxiety?

A hormonal imbalance can cause anxiety and often goes unnoticed for a long time. Symptoms that can help you identify a hormonal imbalance include mood swings, fatigue and weight fluctuations. Hormone replacement therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy are common treatments. The results definitely depend on the person!

Symptoms of hormonal stress

restlessness and loss of concentration

A hallmark of hormonal stress is uncontrollable feelings of worry and panic. When a threat is registered, whether real or perceived, you may become overwhelmed with fear and engage with the threat.

Consider thatHormones affect stress[2]through chemical interactions acting on the gut-brain axis. A key hormone, adrenaline, triggers itfight or flight responseif you feel danger, which leads to increased anxiety. Constant activation of this stress response can lead to persistent feelings of anxiety and worry, leading to a lack of focus and disruption in your daily activities.

mood swings

When hormone levels fluctuate, it can affect the effectiveness of various biological processes such as mood and stress regulation. Unfortunately, a poor response to external stressors can lead to significant mood swings, such as extreme highs and lows. Poor stress management and reduced focus on what's going on around you can lead to feelings of despair and irritability.


It is also important to consider the connection betweenmental and physical health.[3]Difficulty concentrating and mood swings can lead to sleep disturbances and fatigue. Obsessive compulsive anxiety can prevent you from thinking clearly, relaxing, and getting enough sleep.

Disturbed sleep and mood swings can weaken your desire to complete your daily tasks. If this happens more often and you lose the will to engage, it can lead to a deterioration in your physical health.

weight fluctuations

Unexplained weight loss or gain[4]often occurs with hormonal imbalances. This usually occurs in conditions characterized by hormonal imbalances, such as diabetes, menopause or thyroid dysfunction. Hormones regulate blood sugar and growth, so chemical changes in metabolic reactions such as fat storage can lead to excessive weight gain or sudden weight loss.

Abouthormones and stress,[5]Dopamine is an important neurohormone that needs to be closely monitored. It is associated with reward and motivation and is often dysregulated when presentAnxiety Disorder[6]in place.

What hormones cause stress?

stress hormones

changes tostress hormones[7]can cause anxiety due to changes in the brain. As mentioned earlier, stress hormones are part of the fight-or-flight cascade when the body recognizes threats. However, chronic stress and hormone imbalance can cause the body to overreact.

Abnormal levels of cortisol, a primary stress hormone, are often highlightedhormonal stress.[8]With constant exposure to cortisol, the efficiency of various bodily functions is disrupted, increasing the risk of anxiety, mood disorders, weight gain and difficulty sleeping.

sex hormones

The ebbs and flows of sex hormones like testosterone and estradiol throughout your life can also affect stress. Elevated levels promote brain plasticity and may alter intracellular signaling in the brain. Unfortunately, this neural plasticity also affects what your body learns in high-stress situations, and therefore stressful events can increase the likelihood of developing anxiety disorders.

Men tend to experience increased or decreased testosterone levels, leading to hormone-related stress, especially erectile dysfunction or fertility problems. However, there is hormonal stressit is more common in women[9]due to changes throughout the life cycle such as menstruation, pregnancy and menopause.

You may be wondering which hormones cause pre-period anxiety and the answer is progesterone and estradiol. These hormones are elevated in the luteal phase of a cycle 14 days before the onset of menstruation. Intense emotions, mood swings and feelings of anxiety often mark the luteal phase. Additionally, insulin use changes during pregnancy and oxytocin is released, which can lead to increased anxiety and irritability.

Estrogen levels, on the other hand, can be tricky, as the pendulum between menstruation, pregnancy and menopause can make it difficult to achieve optimal balance. But can too much estrogen cause anxiety? The answer depends on the reproductive stage of the individual and how dominant estrogen is compared to progesterone.

High estrogen levels may protect against emotional disorders. However, when estrogen levels far exceed progesterone levels, it can lead to low mood and anxiety. However, when a person is in menopause,Low estrogen levels can cause anxiety,[10]Mood swings, hot flashes and trouble sleeping.

thyroid hormones

problems withthyroid hormones[11]can lead to anxiety, fatigue and irritability. Hyperthyroidism, in which the thyroid is overactive, can contribute to anxiety and nervousness. Alternatively, hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid can be associated with depression and fatigue.

Thyroid disorders can be characterized by common signs of hormonal imbalance, such as weight gain and changes in menstruation.

How can I stop hormonal stress?

Recommended partner

Can hormones cause anxiety? This is what the experts say about the year 2023 (1)
Can hormones cause anxiety? This is what the experts say about the year 2023 (2)

Over 30,000 licensed therapists

Change therapists at any time

Over 3 million users

Professional treatment, done online!

BetterHelp makes starting treatment easy.

Complete a short questionnaire and be assigned to a licensed therapist within 48 hours. Get started today and get a special 20% discount on your first month.

Getting started

Enjoy 20% off with exclusive code "healthcanal"

One way to relieve hormone-related stress is hormone replacement therapy. This is most often effective for thyroid dysfunction, as medication can replace the missing hormones, thereby reducing anxiety and mood disorders.Some research studies[12]have shown that taking synthetic or natural hormones to restore sex hormones during menopause can help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Additionally, cognitive behavioral therapy may be another effective option.Some may consider online therapybecause it offers practical resources in a safe, private environment. Some platforms allow you to find a therapist based on faith and specialty that best suits your individual healing needs.

Tips to support balanced hormones and reduce stress

consulting and networking

Can hormones cause anxiety? This is what the experts say about the year 2023 (3)

In some cases, people diagnosed with hormonal anxiety may have already shown signs of generalized anxiety disorder even before hormonal imbalances contributed to their condition. Therefore, it can be helpful to record your thoughts and feelings in a journal. And when you're ready, you might consider meeting with a counselor, seeking online therapy, or joining a support group.


Can hormones cause anxiety? This is what the experts say about the year 2023 (4)

Additionally, talking about your feelings and journaling can be a smooth transition into meditation and mindfulness activities. Facing your fears and improving your focus can help you overcome the obstacleno thoughtor irrational thoughts. Being more engaged in your daily tasks can also help you reduce your preoccupation with stress and worry.

A practice

Can hormones cause anxiety? This is what the experts say about the year 2023 (5)

Yoga can be an effective and practical activity to incorporate into your mindfulness efforts. Take time to meditate and stretch your body as this can adequately regenerate your body and mind.

You can also increase the intensity of your workout by going for walks or doing cardio. Maintaining weight helps protect against obesity, which is often associated with anxiety and low mood. According toPhysical Activity Guidelines for Americans,[13]The average healthy adult should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week.


Can hormones cause anxiety? This is what the experts say about the year 2023 (6)

Meeting our nutritional needs is vital, as many nutrients provide neurotransmitters with the necessary ingredients to function properly. Incorporating herbs, spices, and various fruits and vegetables into your healthy diet can provide anti-inflammatory nutrients and antioxidants that support hormonal balance.

For example, you can increase intakenutrientGet vitamin D from sources like salmon to control your dopamine levels. Additionally, you can increase your magnesium intake from sources like chia seeds and spinach to calm the nervous system and induce relaxation.


Can hormones cause anxiety? This is what the experts say about the year 2023 (7)

When it comes to sleep and hormonal fluctuations, the main goal is to reset your circadian rhythm to balance cortisol during the day and melatonin at night. Establishing a consistent bedtime and sleeping in a dark room can help. Try to avoid screen time a few hours before bed. Instead, consider relaxation exercises to reduce nervousness before bed.

last thought

Proper sleep, eating habits and exercise can support the brain and help regulate hormones such as insulin or dopamine. This can reduce stress and reduce common co-morbidities such as weight problems and fatigue. Creating healthy connections between your brain chemistry and your body can help you find balance in your life and deal with stress!

+ 13 sources

Health Canal avoids the use of tertiary reports. We have strict sourcing policies and rely on peer-reviewed studies and academic research from medical societies and institutions. To ensure the accuracy of Health Canal articles, you can read more about the editorial processHere

  1. Cleveland Clinic. (2022). Hormonal imbalance: causes, symptoms and treatment. [online] Available at:
  2. Mittal R, Debs LH, Patel AR, Nguyen D, Patel KS, O'Connor G, M'hamed Grati, Mittal J, Yan D, Eshraghi AA, Deo, S.K., Daunert, S. and Liu, X. (2017) . Neurotransmitters: The key regulators that regulate the gut-brain axis. [online] 232(9), pp. 2359-2372. doi:
  3. Mayo Clinic. (2017). Generalized Anxiety Disorder - Symptoms and Causes. [online] Available at:
  4. Roop, J. (2018). Hormonal imbalance – a cause of concern for women. [online] doi:
  5. Cleveland Clinic. (2022). Dopamine: what it is, function and symptoms. [online] Available at:
  6. Calipari, E.S. (2020). The release of dopamine in the midbrain promotes anxiety. [online] doi:
  7. Merz, C.J. and Wolf, O.T. (2022). How stress hormones shape fear and anxiety memories in humans. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 142, pp. 104901. doi:
  8. Mayo Clinic. (2021). Chronic stress puts your health at risk. [online] Available at:
  9. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). (2017). Generalized Anxiety Disorder. [online] Available at:
  10. Brain (2019). Can menopause cause anxiety, depression or panic attacks? [online] Cleveland Clinic. Available at:
  11. Mayo Clinic. (2022). Thyroid Disease: How Does It Affect Your Mood? [online] Available at:
  12. Gordon, J., Rubinow, D.R., Eisenlohr-Moul, T.A., Xia, K., Schmidt, P., and Girdler, S.S. (2018). Efficacy of transdermal estradiol and micronized progesterone in preventing depressive symptoms during the menopausal transition. [online] 75(2), pp. 149-149. doi:
  13. US Department of Health and Human Services (2018). Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, Second Edition. [online] Available at:


Can hormones cause sudden anxiety? ›

Fluctuating levels of estrogen and testosterone, which are considered sex hormones, may play a role in how much anxiety you experience. Changing levels of these hormones can affect your mood. This is why anxiety sometimes peaks during times of hormonal change such as puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause.

How can I stop hormonal anxiety? ›

Using relaxation techniques to reduce stress may help control your premenstrual anxiety. Common techniques include yoga, meditation, and massage therapy. Sleep. If your busy life is messing with your sleep habits, it may be time to prioritize consistency.

Does hormonal anxiety go away? ›

So, the answer is yes. The anxiety can disappear as your hormones start to balance out, as you get towards the end of the menopause. But you need to be aware that, very often, if you had anxiety during the menopause, you need to take better care of your nervous system forever afterwards.

What is the number one coping strategy for anxiety? ›

Strategies to cope with anxiety

Relax your body and muscles, and control your breathing. You can do this through exercises such as yoga, guided meditation, mindful meditation, and breathing exercises. Use visualizations, music, and meditation to relax and ease your mind.

What hormone causes severe anxiety? ›

Stress Hormone (Cortisol) – mental and physical stress releases cortisol. Cortisol is released in response to fear or stress by the adrenal glands as part of the fight or flight mechanism.

Which hormones contribute most to anxiety? ›

The primary hormone related to anxiety is cortisol. You might have heard people mention cortisol before, referring to it as the “stress” hormone. This is because cortisol levels are elevated during prolonged periods of stress.

What vitamins are good for anxiety? ›

Supplements for anxiety
  • Vitamin D3: Vitamin D3 can improve mood and energy, and it has been a must for many of my patients throughout the pandemic, says Dr. ...
  • Magnesium: ...
  • Melatonin: ...
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: ...
  • Chamomile: ...
  • Valerian root: ...
  • Ashwagandha: ...
  • Kava:
May 1, 2023

How long does hormonal anxiety last? ›

Typically, it lasts around three to four years.

How to take magnesium for anxiety? ›

If you take magnesium as a supplement, studies that showed that magnesium can have anti-anxiety effects generally used dosages of between 75 and 360 mg a day, according to the 2017 review. It's best to consult a healthcare practitioner before taking any supplement so you know the correct dose for you.

When does hormonal anxiety peak? ›

Anxiety for women can be hormonal, and it often follows a distinct pattern within your 28-day menstrual cycle. If you notice that your anxiety gets worse the week before your period (luteal phase) or the week after period finishes (follicular phase), that means one thing: your hormones are a factor in your anxiety.

What does a hormone imbalance feel like? ›

Hormonal imbalances may be to blame for a range of unwanted symptoms from fatigue or weight gain to itchy skin or low mood. Hormones are chemicals produced by glands in the endocrine system and released into the bloodstream. An imbalance occurs when there is too much or too little of a hormone.

How I healed my anxiety without drugs? ›

Anxiety Treatment Without Medication: 7 Holistic Ways to Cope
  1. Keep Your Blood Sugar in Check. ...
  2. Avoid Stimulants. ...
  3. Get Enough Sleep. ...
  4. Just Breathe. ...
  5. Practice Mindfulness. ...
  6. Exercise. ...
  7. Do What You Enjoy. ...
  8. Where to Get Help.
Dec 6, 2017

What is the most common intervention for anxiety? ›

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most effective form of psychotherapy for anxiety disorders. Generally a short-term treatment, CBT focuses on teaching you specific skills to improve your symptoms and gradually return to the activities you've avoided because of anxiety.

What are the 5 C's of anxiety? ›

The 5Cs are competence, confidence, character, caring, and connection. The anxiety dimensions are Social anxiety, Physical symptoms, Separation anxiety, and Harm avoidance.

Which hormone is responsible for fear and anxiety? ›

The adrenal gland is an endocrine gland that produces two fear hormones—adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones are carried in the bloodstream to all parts of your body.

What hormone lowers stress and anxiety? ›

Oxytocin can induce anti-stress-like effects such as reduction of blood pressure and cortisol levels.

What are the 3 stress hormones? ›

When we experience stress, our bodies release hormones like epinephrine (adrenaline), cortisol, and norepinephrine. These hormones are designed to help us deal with stressful situations by increasing our heart rate, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels.

What is the most common stress hormone? ›

Though widely known as the body's stress hormone, Cortisol has a variety of effects on different functions throughout the body. It is the main glucocorticoid released from the zona fasciculata layer of the adrenal cortex. The hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis regulates both production and secretion of cortisol.

How do I check my hormone levels? ›

A blood test is one of the most common ways to test hormone levels. This test can detect testosterone, estrogen, cortisol, and thyroid levels. You should order a test that's specific to your gender, as a women's hormone test will look for different levels of sex hormones than a men's test.

What is the happy hormone? ›

Dopamine: Often called the "happy hormone," dopamine results in feelings of well-being. A primary driver of the brain's reward system, it spikes when we experience something pleasurable. Praised on the job? You'll get a dopamine hit.

What deficiency causes anxiety? ›

Vitamin B deficiency (B1, B6, B7, B12, B complex) can contribute to depression, anxiety, and mood swings. It is associated with a disruption in the nervous system as well as the circulatory system. B12/B9, or folate, is at the forefront of mood management.

What is a good natural anti anxiety medication? ›

What are the best natural remedies for anxiety?
  • 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) This may not look familiar to you, but you have lots of 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) floating around in your body. ...
  • Magnesium. ...
  • Cannabidiol (CBD) ...
  • Kava kava. ...
  • Valerian root. ...
  • Holy basil. ...
  • Ashwagandha. ...
  • Prescription medications.
Oct 20, 2022

Does B12 help with anxiety? ›

Vitamin B12 is considered an important brain and nervous system micronutrient and is often used for anxiety. It helps to ensure normal function for your nerves, which can help combat physical symptoms of anxiety.

Why wont my anxiety go away? ›

An anxiety disorder can be caused by multiple factors, such as genetics, environmental stressors and medical conditions. New research also indicates that chronic anxiety symptoms that will not go away can be due to an autoimmune response, triggered by common infections.

What stops menopause anxiety? ›

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy which can help with: low mood and anxiety caused by menopause and perimenopause.

Why does my anxiety come and go? ›

Anxiety can be caused by a variety of things: stress, genetics, brain chemistry, traumatic events, or environmental factors. Symptoms can be reduced with anti-anxiety medication. But even with medication, people may still experience some anxiety or even panic attacks.

What is the best magnesium for severe anxiety? ›

Based on current data, magnesium taurate and glycinate have the most research supporting their effects on anxiety and other mental health disorders. Magnesium malate and threonine have also demonstrated therapeutic effects and may be useful in many psychiatric cases.

When is the best time to take magnesium for anxiety? ›

Therefore, magnesium supplements can be taken at any time of the day, as long as you're able to take them consistently. For some, taking supplements first thing in the morning may be easiest, while others may find that taking them with dinner or just before bed works well for them.

How quickly does magnesium calm you? ›

How long does it take for magnesium to reduce anxiety? In most cases, magnesium starts working within a week, since it's a fast-acting nutrient. You need to take it consistently to reduce anxiety and help you relax.

What ages is anxiety the worst? ›

Adults 60 years of age and older are more likely to experience physical symptoms of anxiety than their younger counterparts. This age group also has a higher risk of other medical issues, which can increase the risk of developing an anxiety disorder.

What is the highest stage of anxiety? ›

Anxiety is a feeling that can take the form of nervousness, tension, and/or unease regarding past, present, or future events. The severity of an individual's anxiety can generally be classified as either mild, moderate, severe, or panic-level, the last of which usually qualifies as panic disorder.

What vitamins balance hormones? ›

Vitamin D3

Vitamin D is actually a hormone that communicates with your other hormones, making it especially essential to help balance hormones. So, ensure you're getting enough vitamin D2 and D3 to ease and prevent hormonal fluctuations.

How do you reset your hormones? ›

The following strategies may help:
  1. Getting enough sleep. Sleep may be among the most important factors for hormonal balance. ...
  2. Avoiding too much light at night. ...
  3. Managing stress. ...
  4. Exercising. ...
  5. Avoiding sugars. ...
  6. Eating healthy fats. ...
  7. Eating lots of fiber. ...
  8. Eating plenty of fatty fish.

Can a doctor tell if you have a hormone imbalance? ›

Your doctor will send a sample of your blood to a lab for testing. Most hormones can be detected in the blood. A doctor can request a blood test to check your thyroid and your levels of estrogen, testosterone, and cortisol.

What is the best anxiety medication with less side effects? ›

Buspirone (BuSpar) works much more slowly than benzodiazepines and may not treat all types of anxiety disorder, but it causes fewer side effects and has a lower risk of dependency.

What is the first line of treatment for most anxiety disorders? ›

Antidepressants are the first-line medications in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Anxiolytics may be used for a brief duration, but only if needed while an antidepressant is being initiated and titrated up.

What is the new intervention for anxiety? ›

The FDA has approved a phase 2b study of an optimized form of LSD for the treatment of anxiety. The drug, called MM-120, is being developed by MindMed and is intended to treat generalized anxiety disorders and other mental conditions. MindMed is expected to begin clinical trials in 2022.

What is false anxiety? ›

False anxiety is avoidable anxiety. True anxiety, on the other hand, is purposeful anxiety. False anxiety occurs when a stress response is precipitated by a seemingly benign aspect of modern life, like a blood sugar crash or strong coffee. At these times, our minds are all too happy to swoop in with an explanation.

What is the core root of anxiety? ›

It describes the arrival of a “core fear” — one's overriding interpretation of life as dangerous, and a “chief defense” — one's primary strategy for protecting oneself from that danger. The core fear and chief defense create a singular dynamic that, according to the model, is the true wellspring of basic anxiety.

What are the three P's of anxiety? ›

The 3 P's stand for Pervasiveness, Permanence and Personalisation. Pervasiveness looks at how much of your life a concern impacts – How big? Permanence looks at how long an issue is going to be of concern – How long? Personalisation looks at how much you feel you are to blame – How much?

What are the 4 Rs to overcome anxiety? ›

In a series of graphics, Earnshaw breaks down the 4 Rs: relabeling, reattributing, refocusing, and revaluing—a therapy technique developed by psychology Jeffrey Schwartz that's often used in treatment for OCD.

Why are my hormones suddenly going crazy? ›

There are many potential causes of hormonal imbalance, including pregnancy, perimenopause, menopause, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), thyroid disorders or being under or overweight. Side effects of medications, such as fertility and cancer treatments, can also affect hormone levels.

Can female hormones cause panic attacks? ›

A: The fluctuation of estrogen and another key hormone, progesterone, in your body can cause feelings of anxiety or depression. But frequent, troubling high anxiety or panic attacks are not a normal part of menopause. Some women develop a panic disorder during menopause.

Can hormonal changes affect anxiety? ›

Hormones affect everything from blood sugar to blood pressure, growth and fertility, sex drive, metabolism, and even sleep. Their influence goes as far as changing the way we think and act day to day.

Is there a supplement for anxiety? ›

Research suggests that certain dietary supplements may help reduce anxiety symptoms, including magnesium, vitamin D, saffron, omega-3s, chamomile, L-theanine, vitamin C, curcumin, CBD, and multivitamins.

How do I know if my hormones are out of whack? ›

Symptoms of hormonal imbalances that affect your metabolism include: Slow heartbeat or rapid heartbeat (tachycardia). Unexplained weight gain or weight loss. Fatigue.

Can hormones make you mentally unstable? ›

When the hormones that affect your brain neurohormones are off, you are off. You may experience symptoms that change the way you think, feel, and act in negative ways. It also makes you more vulnerable to conditions like anxiety, depression, and even psychosis.

How do you calm raging hormones? ›

Steps you can take to support hormone health
  1. Drink water. ...
  2. Breathe. ...
  3. Get good quality sleep or rest. ...
  4. Exercise. ...
  5. Eat lean protein, healthy fats, fiber and veggies. ...
  6. Avoid sugary and processed foods. ...
  7. Eat when you're hungry and try to avoid overeating.
Dec 12, 2018

What hormone deficiency causes panic attacks? ›

If you're having frequent panic attacks or feel like your anxiety is particularly high, talk to your doctor about your thyroid. Thyroid hormones play a significant role in anxiety: your thyroid-stimulating hormone (often called TSH) levels directly correlate with the severity of panic attacks.

What does menopause anxiety feel like? ›

Changes in your hormones during menopause can impact your mental health as well as your physical health. You may experience feelings of anxiety, stress or even depression. Menopausal symptoms may include: anger and irritability.

When should a woman see an endocrinologist? ›

If your primary healthcare provider suspects your body may be having issues with certain hormones, they may have you see an endocrinologist for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. An endocrinologist could also be part of a team of healthcare providers to treat certain conditions such as cancers and fertility issues.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Jamar Nader

Last Updated: 06/12/2023

Views: 5255

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (55 voted)

Reviews: 94% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Jamar Nader

Birthday: 1995-02-28

Address: Apt. 536 6162 Reichel Greens, Port Zackaryside, CT 22682-9804

Phone: +9958384818317

Job: IT Representative

Hobby: Scrapbooking, Hiking, Hunting, Kite flying, Blacksmithing, Video gaming, Foraging

Introduction: My name is Jamar Nader, I am a fine, shiny, colorful, bright, nice, perfect, curious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.