04 Oct Anxiety and Hormones
Anxiety And Hormones; The Missing Link
Here we look closely into the condition of anxiety. Like depression, anxiety is a very common mental health condition in the UK.
Many of the symptoms patients with anxiety typically present with can be hormone related. However, due to a lack of awareness, HRT and hormone balance have not been considered as a course of treatment.
What is Anxiety?
Psychiatrists use the ICD 10 Classification of mental and Behavioural Disorders to diagnose anxiety disorders. It is defined as a period of at least six months with prominent tension, worry, and feelings of apprehension, about everyday events and problems.
Anxiety symptoms are very common in the general population of the UK. They can affect any individual at any time. Symptoms can range from those of mild tension and apprehension to the more severe where they may begin to interfere with the day to day lives of the individual. In these more severe cases, an anxiety disorder may be diagnosed by a healthcare practitioner.
Anxiety can be experienced in many different ways and there are many types of anxiety disorders. Some of the most well known include Generalised anxiety disorders (GAD), Panic disorders, Social anxiety and Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, they can take many forms.
Anxiety and Hormones
Women are far more likely than men to suffer from anxiety disorders particularly at times of hormonal change.. This suggests there may be a link between anxiety and hormones.
At the Hormone Clinic, we closely monitor anxiety as women move through key life stages. These include in the premenstrual, post-natal, perimenopause and menopause. During these times, hormones including estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and DHEA are in a state of flux. For male patients, we monitor levels of anxiety with age as testosterone declines steadily and progressively. Symptoms tend to become noticeable from the age of 40.
What are the Symptoms of an Anxiety Disorder?
There are many common symptoms that a patient experiences with anxiety. These include feeling nervous, restless or tense, sweating, trembling and having an increased heart rate. They may also include shortness of breath, palpitations, poor concentration and ruminationg about the present worry.
Reaching a diagnosis of an Anxiety Disorder
As with depression, we take a thorough history and mental state examination during the initial consultation. This consultation provides the opportunity to discuss the patient’s medical and mental health history. We also explore in detail their symptoms of anxiety.
Treatment of Anxiety and hormones
At The Hormone Clinic, treatment for anxiety disorders starts with balancing a patient’s hormones if necessary.
We take a thorough history and mental state as already described, We also recommend relevant blood tests to measure levels of progesterone, oestrogen, testosterone and DHEA.
We then prescribe bioidentical hormones (BHRT) if necessary in the first follow-up appointment. This typically takes place about 10 days after the initial consultation once the blood test results are available.
We also discuss supplements required to support the patient’s hormones as well other lifestyle factors. These may include diet, exercise and modifying alcohol and caffeine use.
Aftercare and Anxiety
During the first year at the Hormone Clinic, the patient will have frequent opportunities to meet the doctor and discuss their progress. A second follow-up appointment will usually take place about 6 weeks after the first and provides the doctor the opportunity to discuss their symptoms, general health and adjust the doses of hormones if required.
Typically, the patient can expect a significant improvement in their health after a period of approximately 3 months.
Book an Appointment
If you are concerned about your mental health and think you might be experiencing an anxiety disorder, The Hormone Clinic is here to help. Book an Appointment or Contact Us and we can start you on the road to restoring your health and quality of life.