Most people experience isolated incidents of anxiety at some point in their lives. These episodes are usually nothing to worry about, but if they happen frequently, there might be something else going on. Many underlying causes could cause concerning levels of anxiety, but can elevated levels of progesterone be one of the reasons?
Progesterone is the female sex hormone that regulates certain functions in the body. Abnormal levels of this hormone may cause your body to react strangely. These symptoms vary from infertility to mood changes.
Both low and elevated levels of progesterone have the potential to cause anxiety and other conditions. If you have concerns regarding hormonal levels and anxiety, it can help to talk to your doctor. They will know how the next step to take for you to feel better.
Several different disorders fall under the category of 'anxiety disorders.' They all share similar symptoms, but usually have separate causes and ways of presenting themselves. If you plan on speaking to your doctor about anxiety symptoms, they will ask you questions and may even take some tests.
Symptoms of Anxiety
● Fear or panic that is irrational
● Heart palpitations
● Dry mouth
● Cramps, nausea, or diarrhea
● Wakefulness or agitation
● Numb or sweaty feet or palms
● Chest tightness and shortness of breath
● Tension or pain in muscles
Depending on what disorder you are suffering from and the cause of it, your treatment will vary. Each condition has unique traits that will help your doctor differentiate what you are experiencing. The following are just a few possible anxiety disorders that you could have:
● Generalized Anxiety Disorder
o Any chronic and overwhelming worry that stems from seemingly nothing. It is not usually episodic or sudden and is more like perpetual discomfort in a general sense.
● Social Anxiety Disorder
o Feeling uncomfortable, embarrassed, insecure, or self-conscious in a social setting may cause significant avoidance. This fear of ridicule, ostracism, or judgment is the main characteristic of social phobia.
● Panic Disorder
o Frequent panic attacks with physical symptoms such as heart palpitations and a sense of impending death are the main symptoms of this anxiety disorder.
● Specific Phobias
o The irrational fear of almost anything is known as a phobia. This fear has the potential to cause debilitating anxiety, depending on personal circumstances.
Regardless of what type of anxiety you may have, your doctor will work with you to find a successful treatment. After checking for underlying causes, they will have recommendations for you on what to do about it. Treatment can vary from cognitive behavioral therapy to medications.
What is Progesterone?
The female sex hormone, progesterone, has significant benefits not only for the reproductive system but also for the cardiovascular and nervous systems. Classified as a 'neurosteroid,' this hormone is essential because of how it works with the nervous system. Protection from any brain injury is just one of these vital functions.
There are many reasons you may need to increase progesterone levels in your body. The hormone is present in some hormone replacement therapy, as well as birth control. Many other benefits exist, making progesterone incredibly significant to overall health.
- Memory loss
- Tender breasts
- Hot flashes
- Weight gain
- Thyroid disorders
Even though progesterone can treat these conditions, if the levels are not right, it can cause side effects. It may also interact adversely with other medications you may take. Make sure to talk to your doctor if you decide to start any supplements, even if they are natural.
Side Effects of Progesterone
- Vision changes
- Changes in heart rate
- Allergic reactions
- Itchy skin or rash
- Hands and face swelling
- Tingling in the throat or mouth
- Chest tightness
- Trouble breathing
- Changes in the menstrual cycle
- Low blood pressure
- Difficulty breathing
- Gastrointestinal issues
Abnormal levels of progesterone may cause long-term problems if left untreated. Adversely, this hormone can also cause issues if misused. That is why speaking with a professional is always a good idea before starting anything new.
Risks of Progesterone Usage
- Ovarian cancer
- Uterine fibroids
- Heart problems
- Breast cancer
- Blood clotting
Relationship between Progesterone and the Nervous System
The brain is a sensitive organ that reacts to changes in almost every part of the body. Ensuring that your brain is functioning to its best ability is vital for your overall health. Some issues can cause even more problems, starting a domino effect that will never end unless treated.
Progesterone works closely with estrogen to transport serotonin throughout the body. When there is not enough of it, your body will slow down and get all out of whack. Low progesterone, in particular, can be especially problematic.
Symptoms of Low Progesterone
- Irregular menstrual cycle
- Hot flashes
- Repeated miscarriages
- Abnormal bleeding
- Abdominal pain and spotting while pregnant
- Mood changes
- Migraines or headaches
- Weight gain
- High estrogen levels
- Decreased sex drive
- Gallbladder issues
- Weight gain
- Endometriosis or fibroids
There are ways to raise your progesterone levels. Medication and even some supplements can provide relief from any symptoms. However, before adding anything to your regimen, you need to check with your doctor. They will help you find the right dose and make sure that you do not make yourself sicker.
While there is no cure for anxiety, there are coping strategies that will alleviate symptoms. The anxiety can go away if it has anything to do with an underlying condition. It is essential to get tested for these conditions before moving forward with other forms of treatment.
So can too much progesterone cause anxiety? Yes, too much of this hormone may result in a variety of issues, including anxiety and depression. If you are suffering from anxiety symptoms, you will want to talk to your doctor about it.
If left untreated, progesterone-related disorders can get worse. Abnormal levels can cause anything from dizziness to some cancers. Because of these risks, keeping your progesterone in check is essential.