Hormones are chemical messengers that the body produces to regulate several necessary body functions, including our mood. The hypothalamus in our brain controls hormone levels, and it is natural for these levels to fluctuate due to internal and external factors. However, if we experience too much of a hormone imbalance, it can severely impact our emotional state.
How Hormones Affect a Woman’s Mood
In women, hormones levels are constantly shifting, depending on the stage of life they are in, including:
- Reproductive years
However, there are other factors that also may contribute to hormonal changes in women, including:
- Chronic stress
- Low body weight
- Poor nutrition
- Thyroid problems
Which Hormones Affect Mood?
The two hormones that significantly impact mood in women are estrogen and progesterone. Around the onset of puberty, the ovaries begin releasing estrogen and progesterone in coordination with each menstrual cycle, causing hormone levels to rise, fall, and spike throughout the month.
Estrogen and progesterone are prevalent in the ovaries to promote fertility, but they may be present in different areas of the body as well, including the brain to control emotion.
Estrogen plays a vital role in controlling mood disorders because it influences neurotransmitter production, which helps regulate mood stability. If estrogen and progesterone levels are not adequately balanced in the body, it can affect:
- The production and effects of endorphins
- Serotonin levels and the number of serotonin receptors in the brain
- Nerve vulnerability and nerve growth
- Dopamine levels
How Hormones Affect a Man’s Mood
Testosterone, the primary male sex hormone, plays a considerable role in a man’s emotional wellbeing, as well as:
- Sex drive
- Fat distribution
- Muscle mass and strength
- Production of red blood cells
- Bone mass
In men, testosterone levels boost around puberty and remain at their highest in adolescence and early adulthood. However, once men hit the age of 30, their testosterone levels begin to naturally decline, and by 50, testosterone levels fall dramatically. Signs of low testosterone can look like:
- Reduced sexual desire
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Difficulty concentrating
- Lack of motivation
- Mood swings
Without proper testosterone levels to keep the body functioning at peak performance, a man’s emotional wellbeing can take a significant toll.
Cortisol’s Effect on Mood
Although estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone are talked about more, cortisol is a hormone with an equal impact on both men and women. Cortisol is a glucocorticoid hormone that is released by the adrenal glands in response to stress and low blood glucose levels. Elevated cortisol levels usually indicate high levels of stress, which is our body’s survival method of putting our energy towards a potential threat.
However, if cortisol levels are elevated for a prolonged period of time, it can lead to a number of emotional and physical health problems, such as:
- Weakened immune system
- Impaired memory
- Weight gain
- Sleeping problems
- Diminished cognitive performance
- Heart disease
Do You Have a Hormonal Imbalance?
Since hormones play such a critical role in the body, a hormonal imbalance can largely impact your mood and other natural processes. But how do you know if your mood is due to a hormonal imbalance?
That’s where Outset Health’s partnering providers come in.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) aims to provide a goal-based healthy aging solution, one that uses personalized lab testing to identify if your fluctuating mood is due to low hormone levels.
Outset Health’s BHRT
At Outset Health, we offer customized, healthy aging membership programs to medical practices to optimize their efficiency and provide innovative solutions for your patients. With our physician training and BHRT program, we can help maximize health outcomes for your patients. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to learn more about how our services can benefit your practice and your patients.