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Hormonal Imbalance and Its Effects on Women's Moods

Hormonal Imbalance and Its Effects on Women's Moods

Many things can influence our current mood. For instance, our mood can change depending on what’s happening to us: losing someone can make us sad, while being unable to achieve our goals can make us frustrated. Factors such as hunger, stress, fatigue, and hormones can also make us moodier than usual. What are some of the hormonal imbalance effects on mood that women should be aware of?

Moodiness: Should You Be Worried?

That women are moody when it’s “that time of the month again” is a running joke among family and close friends. But, the “joke” actually has a scientific explanation.

According to reports, the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which fluctuate in levels depending on your menstrual cycle phase, affect your mood. This is the reason why some women experience symptoms of the premenstrual syndrome, including mood swings.

Hence, it’s essential to ask: should women be worried about “being moody?” Chances are if your moodiness is due to your menstruation, is transient, and is manageable, there’s no need to worry.

However, if your mood swings come with other symptoms, it’s probably time to talk to your doctor. That’s because mood swings can be one of the effects of a hormonal imbalance issue.

How Hormones Affect Moods

Below are some of the hormonal imbalance issues and their effects on a woman’s moods:

Imbalance in Estrogen

Women who have low levels of estrogen may experience mood swings, anxiety, and even depression. One of the reasons this happens is that this hormone can increase endorphins and serotonin, two of the “happy hormones” that boost your moods.

Please take note that mood swings can also occur when you have high estrogen levels in the body; that’s why a balance in this hormone is important.

Imbalance in Progesterone

High or low progesterone levels can also affect your mood because it “counterbalances” the influence of estrogen. Studies further show that progesterone has an axiolytic (anti-anxiety) effect, so an increase or decline in its level can influence how you feel.

Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism

The thyroid hormone, produced by the thyroid gland at the lower front of the neck, regulates how our body uses energy. Surprisingly, it can also affect our mood. For instance, when you have too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism), it may result in “decreased brain activity” and symptoms like depression and fatigue.

On the other hand, decreased thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism) may result in symptoms such as:

  • Feeling edgy or jittery
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Depression

Low Testosterone

Even though testosterone is a “male hormone,” women produce it in small amounts. According to reports, a significant decrease in this hormone can lead to:

  • Moodiness
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue

However, please note that high testosterone levels may indicate polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which also triggers fatigue, anxiety, and emotional stress.

Low Cortisol

We cannot talk about the common hormonal imbalance effects on mood without mentioning cortisol.

High levels of cortisol, the stress hormone that the adrenal glands produce, can lead to anxiety, irritability, and depression. Please note that moodiness is also a symptom of having too little cortisol.

hormonal imbalance effects on mood

Imbalance in Insulin

Finally, hormones such as insulin also affect our mood.

Insulin, the hormone produced by the pancreas, helps our cells use sugar for energy. Besides problems in glucose absorption, an imbalance in insulin may also cause:

  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Depression

Key Takeaways

Moodiness is often temporary. Women commonly experience it before or during their menstruation. However, you can also count mood changes, anxiety, anger, and depression as hormonal imbalance effects.

Because there are no definite parameters for measuring moodiness, you are advised to talk to your doctor if you experience mood swings or other issues that interfere with your relationships and daily tasks.

Learn more about the Women’s Health here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


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Medical reviewed by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N.
Updated Dec 23, 2020