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how do hormones affect emotions and behavior

How Can Hormones Affect A Woman’s Moods?

Men and Women have comparatively different hormonal systems The hormone system of men is relatively static with stable concentrations of pituitary and gonadal hormones all through their daily lives. They suffer from falling levels of testosterone after they cross the age of 30-40. But, this generally does not greatly affect their mood.

Women, on the other hand, are unique in their hormonal systems. They have the reproductive phase that is based on a cyclical pattern of hormones that fluctuate daily. And, these fluctuations result in changes in their mood every day.

At the beginning of the menstrual cycle, the LH and FSH levels are usually low. Slowly the FSH level rises to stimulate the growth of the egg in the ovaries. An LH surge occurs during ovulation, and the egg gets released, and then the ovary secretes lots of estrogen and progesterone in the latter half of the cycle.

This occurs when most women undergo hormonal changes consistent with premenstrual syndrome. It is common in all women to experience mood changes during the last half of the menstrual cycle, but some women’s hormonal systems act differently and interfere with daily life. Such conditions may be called Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder or PMDD.

What are the symptoms of PMDD?

Women suffering from PMDD usually experience mood swings and some physical symptoms that make it difficult to get through routine life. When the period occurs, the symptoms tend to decrease for maybe another couple of weeks until ovulation takes place again and PMDD symptoms arrive.

Some symptoms of PMDD include the following conditions:

  • Changes in mood keep changing every hour or by the day.
  • Having depressed thoughts and low feelings like sadness, loneliness, and fruitlessness.
  • More anger can lead to interpersonal relationship issues
  • Increase in anxiety and mental tension
  • Less interest in hobbies and other fun activities
  • More irritability
  • Lack of concentration
  • Feeling tired, drowsy, or fatigued during the day
  • Changes in appetite
  • Lack of Sleep or Insomnia
  • Feeling overwhelmed by facing challenges of life
  • Uncomfortable physical signs, like breast tenderness, bloating, headaches, joint pain, muscle pain, or swelling.

These symptoms can indicate that women may face difficulty in their daily life for every two weeks each month. This can disturb her household life, her professional life, and relationships as well. If the symptoms are relatively insignificant, she may have oral vitamins, and eat healthy food along with doing exercise to ease her problem and enhance the mood swings.

But, if the symptoms are severe and a woman does not want to have a baby, then oral contraceptive pills can solve the problems. Else, they can see their doctor and get prescribed medicines like serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs like Prozac, Lexapro, or Celexa. These may decrease much of the emotional symptoms in PMDD or even milder premenstrual symptoms.

Hyperthyroid Conditions

You need to know that women have greater chances of having hypothyroid or hyperthyroid conditions as compared to men. This otherwise means that women are at a higher risk of these hormonally related abnormalities that affect their mood swings. Hypothyroidism is relatively more common than hyperthyroidism, but both conditions lead to mood disorders and mental problems.

In hypothyroidism, the main mood symptoms include the following:

  • Symptoms of depression
  • Feeling of tiredness or fatigue even after getting enough sleep at night.
  • Insomnia

There are chances that if a woman has hyperthyroidism, she may have Grave’s disease as well, which again has mood and mental symptoms of its own. These include:

  • Anxiety
  • Moodiness
  • Lethargy
  • Psychological and emotional weakness
  • Tremulousness

Though these symptoms may be overlooked many a time, yet you should know that they are due to problems in the thyroid gland. This can seriously affect the lives and relationships of women.

Only a careful study of the woman’s history, physical examination, and lab examinations can let a doctor identify which symptoms are mental and which ones are related to the thyroid abnormalities.