Anxiety affects 40 million adults in the U.S.
Women are twice as likely to have an anxiety disorder as men.
Do these sound familiar?
Are you anxious?
Are you nervous and irritable?
Do you often feel scared for no reason?
Do you feel impending doom?
Do you have feelings of panic?
Are you often ill at ease or worried?
We have all felt anxiety at certain times, but what about when it starts to happen more frequently and take over your life? These feelings are very uncomfortable and can interfere with your daily activities. Things that you never used to worry about can almost paralyze you with fear now. Some women have such extreme anxiety that they don’t want to leave their home. Why is this happening? What has changed to make us feel so anxious? Could it be as simple as a hormonal deficiency? Let’s address five common causes of anxiety in women.
First of all, what is anxiety?
Anxiety is defined as a state of uneasiness and apprehension. People with anxiety can have excessive, persistent worry and fear about things that one wouldn’t normally worry about. Often this extreme anxiety can lead to a panic attack, or sudden surges of overwhelming fear that that comes without warning, accompanied by physical symptoms such as a pounding heart, sweating, and rapid breathing. When anxiety becomes an excessive, irrational dread of everyday situations, it becomes disabling.
5 Common Causes of Anxiety in Women
1. Adrenal Fatigue
Your adrenal glands are responsible for managing stress. Chronic stress, whether physical or psychological or both, cause the adrenal glands to be overworked and eventually leads to adrenal fatigue. The adrenal glands simply cannot produce enough cortisol, your body’s stress hormone, to meet the demands of your body. As a result you feel stressed out and anxious. Supplementing with bioidentical cortisol helps you to withstand stress and escape the most unpleasant effect of stress, anxiety.
Hypothyroidism results in a slowdown of cellular metabolism, which causes a drop in levels of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutric acid (GABA). GABA has a calming effect, which prevents the brain from being overwhelmed by stimulation. Moderately low levels of GABA are linked to anxiety, panic attacks and mood swings. At the other end of the spectrum, too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) can also bring on anxiety and panic attacks.
3. Estrogen Dominance
Chronically elevated levels of estrogen can actually induce depression and anxiety by causing functional hypothyroidism. Also, a woman with estrogen dominance (progesterone deficiency) may have the adequate levels of total cortisol in her bloodstream, but her free, available cortisol level may be very low. Only free cortisol can actually be used by the cells. Estrogen impairs adrenal function in another way: it interferes with the release of cortisol from the adrenal cortex. This can be an indication of declining ovarian function and the resulting imbalance of estrogen and progesterone. Balancing the estrogen with bioidentical progesterone can help eliminate estrogen dominance and curb anxiety.
4. Estrogen Deficiency
Estrogen deficiency that occurs with menopause can cause anxiety. If anxiety is associated with your hot flashes, then low estrogen could be the culprit. Symptoms can be relieved with bioidentical estrogen. (Keep in mind that you can be estrogen dominant and estrogen deficient at the same time. That simply means that you are low in both estrogen and progesterone.)
5. Low Testosterone
Depression and anxiety are symptoms of low testosterone in women. Men aren’t the only ones that need testosterone. Women also make it in smaller amounts, and it provides lifelong benefits, including reduced anxiety. Bioidentical testosterone supplementation can help relieve your symptoms.
Natural Solution for Anxiety
Anxiety and panic attacks are often treated with antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications, however these medications only attempt to mask your symptoms without solving the reason you have them. We have had great results in relieving anxiety caused by hormonal imbalance by replenishing with bioidentical hormones. Certain vitamins can also help relieve anxiety, as well: magnesium, 5-HTP, inositol, rhodiola and vitamin B6.
Feel like anxiety is taking over in your life? Download Dr. Hotze’s hormone guide to help get you back on track. Click here to get your guide.