Does Hormone Replacement Therapy Help With Anxiety?
In this blog, we’ll try to understand the link between menopause and anxiety and answer the question Does Hormone Replacement Therapy Help With Anxiety?
Women are a force to be reckoned with. All over the world, we hear stories of extraordinary feats that women, young and old, have achieved. Their biology and physical abilities never came in the way.
But there is a time, during the later stage of their life, when they need a little extra support to accomplish all the amazing things they have in their plans. This is the time when menopause hits.
Menopause transitions a woman’s body in a monumental way. One of her vital organs, the ovaries, starts functioning a little differently, producing much less estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. This change brings an onslaught of issues like hot flashes, vaginal dryness, mood swings, low sex drive, and night sweats, amongst others.
While these are the more talked about symptoms, menopause also causes anxiety in many women. Anxiety can start as early as perimenopause when you are still getting your period. At this point, anxiety correlation with menopause is often overlooked.
Why is anxiety a menopausal symptom?
Perimenopause and menopause come with a whole lot of symptoms, and identifying which one leads to anxiety becomes difficult. However, some explanations justify a plausible link between the two.
Menopause affects serotonin levels.
One of them is estrogen related. It is common knowledge that during menopause, estrogen levels drop in the body but what is not commonly known is that estrogen is a hormone that can change the functioning of the brain. Estrogen is linked with the levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is the happiness hormone, the absence of which can lead to us feeling anxious and depressed.
Cortisol levels increase.
There is also a relationship between estrogen and cortisol. Cortisol is our stress hormone. When estrogen levels drop, cortisol levels increase, and female hormone imbalance symptoms such as night sweats, sleep problems, and mood swings worsen. This increases the chances of women experiencing anxiety.
Past and existing disorders play a role too.
Women who have suffered from postnatal depression or premenstrual syndrome become more susceptible to menopausal symptoms, and the likelihood of them developing an anxiety disorder becomes high. If you have an existing anxiety disorder, menopause can make it worse, and seeking additional support will be the right choice for you during this time.
You have to remember that you are not alone in this journey. As many as 23% of women go through anxiety during menopause. The good part is that given the right help, it is easily manageable; this is where HRT comes in.
How can HRT help with depression and anxiety?
The root cause of all menopausal symptoms, including anxiety, is the change in hormone levels. HRT helps reverse them by substituting the lowering levels of hormones. The explanation is that simple.
Estrogen is more than just a sex hormone, as we have already established in the previous section. A study from the Harvard Gazette stated that estrogen had a calming effect on the fear response, including on women suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. An increase in the levels of this hormone also alleviated anxiety symptoms.
HRT focuses on increasing the lowered estrogen levels, thus providing significant relief from anxiety before, during, and post-menopause.
Apart from estrogen, HRT also considers progesterone and testosterone levels. However, that would depend on the level of these hormones in your body. If you’ve had a hysterectomy, progesterone will not be necessary. If not, you might need it during your therapy.
To learn more about HRT, you can read our blog, ‘What is Hormone Replacement Therapy? Why Do You Need It?.’
HRT with Integrative Therapeutics.
We start the Hormone Replacement Therapy by conducting a complete blood work test to examine your hormonal status. With bio-identical hormones and peptides, we begin the hormonal anxiety treatment to replace the lowered levels of estrogen.
You don't have to wait for your symptoms to worsen or become unbearable before seeking help. Once started, our hormonal specialists will help you with your anxiety by prescribing a lower dose and slowly increasing the dosage over time, ensuring that your body is well acclimated to it. Doses are given either by injection or a gel applied to the skin.
Our goal is to minimize or eliminate the symptoms of menopause to improve the overall quality of your life and help increase your energy levels and vitality. If you need to more information on HRT and how it works, contact us or call us at (813) 337-7535, and we will share some of our clients’ hormone replacement therapy stories to help you understand how successful the treatment actually is.