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Understanding the Link Between Hormones and Post-Traumatic Stress

Understanding the Link Between Hormones and Post-Traumatic Stress

Hormone issues typically don’t arise out of the blue. Serious hormone imbalances can indicate issues beyond those of regular aging. One condition that often impacts hormone levels is post-traumatic stress. Trauma has been shown to cause physiological changes in the brain, including the enlargement of the amygdala — the part of the brain that creates the fight or flight response. These changes also impact hormone levels, and vice versa.

How PTSD Affects Hormone Levels

If a person with PTSD develops a larger than normal amygdala, their brain can feel like they are constantly in fight or flight. This leads to overproduction of stress hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline. Symptoms like anxiety, depression and hypervigilance often follow. These changes in brain chemistry can cause abnormalities in thyroid function, as well as the function of other hormones

Along with an enlarged amygdala, people with PTSD often have a smaller hippocampus, which makes memory and concentration more difficult. All of these factors can lead to sleep disturbances, which compound in knocking hormones off balance and impact overall wellbeing. 

The Role of Hormones in PTSD symptoms

People with post-traumatic stress continue to overproduce stress hormones long after the event happens. They unconsciously find danger where there is none, which sends these hormones into overdrive. When this happens, anxiety and mood swings become part of daily life. With a brain that is constantly running this way and a body impacted by factors like lack of sleep, it’s no wonder people with post-traumatic stress often experience hormone imbalance. 

Treatment Options

Lifestyle changes can be a great first step in balancing hormones, and they may be essential for people who struggle with post-traumatic stress. While a healthy diet and regular exercise won’t cure the cause, they can help regulate stress hormones. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help people with PTSD observe and, over time, change the responses that lead to the constant state of fight or flight. However, in many cases, medical intervention becomes a necessary step. 

How BHRT Can Help

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) can offer relief for the hormone imbalances caused by post-traumatic stress. After a professional consultation with a doctor, you will receive a recommended course of treatment. Alongside therapy and lifestyle changes, BHRT can offer relief from common PTSD symptoms like disturbed sleep, fatigue and excess weight. 

At Hormonify, we believe in the power of BHRT to relieve many of the symptoms caused by post-traumatic stress. If you’re feeling off balance in your daily life, contact us today for a pre-consultation.

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