Depression is no joke. It’s not just a case of the blues you can exercise or work your way out of. There’s nowhere that depression won’t find you if you suffer from it.
Sometimes it can manifest as chronic low energy, endless negative obsessive thinking, the inability to focus, or even suicidal thoughts. Most of the time, primary care providers and psychiatrists will send you home with a prescription for antidepressants. But what if that’s not the real problem?
You may have had that experience- no matter what drugs they gave you, nothing worked. The reason for that is because is depression is also a symptom of hormonal imbalance.
Hormones and Depression, What? Why?
You may not have thought that hormones and depression are connected. However, hormonal imbalance is the cause of many symptoms, including depression and anxiety.
Hormones are chemical messengers that control all the processes and functions of our bodies. So why wouldn’t an imbalance of hormones influence your parts of the brain and mental wellbeing?
Balanced hormones look like this:
- Stable moods
- Consistent energy
- Feeling motivated
- Mentally sharp
The Impact of Hormones on Mental Health
Whacked out hormones look like this:
- Brain fog
- Panic attacks
- Mood swings
- Sleep disturbances
- Hot flashes
- Lack of motivation
- Low libido
- Trouble concentrating
- Night sweats
- Sexual disfunction
Which Hormones Are Screwing with You?
Your body produces hundreds of hormones. Research has found that four stress hormones are known to lead to symptoms of major depressive disorders when they aren’t kept in check.
- Thyroid: Thyroid dysfunction is directly linked to 30% of all depressions. The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland that keeps your brain and body healthy by producing neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and GABA. All of these are involved in mood regulation. If the gland produces too little hormone (hypothyroidism) or too much hormone (hyperthyroidism), you’ve got problems.
- Estrogen: Estrogen is also a key player in the production of serotonin, dopamine, and GABA. Too much or too little levels of estrogen can mess with your neurotransmitter levels and lead to feelings of depression.
- Progesterone: Known as the “relaxation hormone,” progesterone has a calming effect when it’s flowing through your body at optimal levels. When progesterone is in short supply, it can lead to depression, irritability, anxiety, sleepless nights, and brain fog.
- Testosterone: Low testosterone levels can increase anxiety and depression in women and men and cause trouble with concentration and motivation. Not to mention the overall fatigue that comes with testosterone deficiencies.
How Did Your Hormones Get Out of Whack?
There are a number of reasons that hormones fall out of balance. And, unfortunately, when one of them goes out of balance, the rest follow. It’s like they play on a team that relies heavily on each player to hold up their end of the deal, and when somebody overcompensates or underplays, the whole team falls out of rhythm.
Some of the reasons your hormones may have shifted are:
- Too much refined sugar in your diet
- Chronic stress
- Exposure to environmental toxins
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Medications, procedures
- And just plain aging: puberty, perimenopause, menopause, andropause
- Pregnancy, FIV treatments, postpartum
Let’s Take a Breather and Talk About Depression
So how do you know if you are depressed or just having a bad day or week? Depression is a mental illness. It goes beyond feeling sad because feeling sad is caused by outside influences and the things around you. After enough time goes by or circumstances change, the sadness should go away.
This is not the case with depression as depression lingers. And it often has nothing to do with what’s happening to or around you. It goes beyond just being sad or anxious mood disorders. It can also involve feeling helpless or hopeless, guilt, pessimism, and feelings of worthlessness.
Symptoms of depression include:
- Decreased energy
- Low or no motivation
- Disinterest in the activities you usually enjoy
- Thoughts of suicide
Physically it might show up as inexplicable aches and pains, headaches, or digestive problems.
Want the Good News?
If you are suffering from any or all of these symptoms, it’s not your fault. You didn’t do anything to bring this on yourself. If you are suffering from depression that a hormonal imbalance has caused, you didn’t cause that. So, if you feel like a failure or like you are powerless, stop now, and let’s get to some new solutions and treat depression.
Hormones and Depression: What You Can Do
It’s easy to get your hormones tested. Talk to your healthcare provider about hormones and depression. Be honest about what is going on as mental health is important.
If they don’t bring up hormone imbalance being a possible cause for your condition, bring it up yourself. You have the right to bring it up-it’s your body. They can order the tests that you need to have to get those hormone levels checked out. Then you can work with your provider to set up a treatment plan for hormone optimization.
What’s Hormone Optimization?
If something gets out of balance, you do what you can to get it back into balance. That’s where hormone optimization comes in.
So, let’s say your tests show that your testosterone levels are low. The obvious solution is to add testosterone to your system. It may take a few tries to get the dosage right, but with a little bit of patience and a good doctor, you can get your testosterone levels back to their optimal levels.
Our Easy and Convenient Approach to Hormone Optimization
To be truly at the top of your game, you’ve got to feel good from the inside out. That’s exactly what our custom health & wellness protocols are designed to do!
You can either select your stacks and then attend a full consultation with one of our experts (after which we will ship your hormone stacks directly to your door). Or, if you have important questions and need answers or would like to know more about our process and protocols to make sure we’ve got the right options for you, you can schedule your complimentary phone consultation with one of our Hormone Optimization Specialists before you book your full appointment.