Candidate for Medical Sciences, Professor at the Faculty of Fitness and Bodybuilding. Ben Vader, Associate Professor, Department of Endocrinology
Hormones are the chemical regulators of the human body, and they work to support a wide range of different bodily processes: growth, emotions, cognition, and more. I will tell you about endocrine disorders that can be accompanied by mental health problems.
The thyroid gland is an important gland involved in the regulation of metabolism, which is necessary for optimal development and function of the nervous and cardiovascular systems.
Thyroid hormones affect its work throughout life. Among them: thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Normally, they have a positive effect on cognitive functions, which cannot be said about their decrease or increase.
Cognitive function is the brain’s ability to process information and includes thinking, memory, mental flexibility, problem solving, and learning. When it is violated, there are difficulties remembering, learning new things, concentrating attention and making decisions that affect their daily lives. This condition can be caused by numerous factors, including genetics, aging, certain diseases, lifestyle, and the environment.
This is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones. With it, it is difficult for the body to maintain energy metabolism in organs and tissues, including the brain.
Hypothyroidism disrupts the process of neurotransmission (transmission of a nerve impulse from one neuron to another), which can be accompanied by impaired memory and other higher brain functions, up to dementia and personality disorders. The disease also causes biochemical and biophysical changes in the hippocampus that are important for cognition.
For years, doctors have discovered that patients with depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders often have abnormal levels of thyroid hormone in their blood.
Low thyroid function is a common cause of brain fog, depression, difficulty concentrating, and short-term memory loss.
This is a condition caused by an excess of thyroid hormones in the blood. In fact, as the name suggests, “poisoning” by thyroid hormones occurs.
Unlike hypothyroidism, with thyrotoxicosis, an excess of thyroid hormones leads to excessive excitability of the nervous system. Such people are often anxious, irritable, notice sleep disturbances, often feel “internal tremors in the body.” Women at the same time are prone to crying, and men become aggressive.
Contrary to a common misconception, sex hormones aren’t just “for intimacy and reproduction.” These are the most powerful substances that affect the growth, development and behavior of a person.
Traditionally in endocrinology there has been a gender division between testosterone, estrogens and progestogens. Now experts believe that this is not entirely correct.
They affect the serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine, and acetylcholine systems in our brains in both women and men. All of these affect mood, cognition, anxiety, and stress.
These hormones act directly on nerve cells in the brain, facilitating neurotransmission by protecting these cells from exposure to toxins and harmful substances. Estrogens also increase cerebral blood flow, which protects against memory loss, affects cognition, and reduces the risk of dementia.
Estrogen receptors are found in many areas of the brain: in the hippocampus, the amygdala, and the cerebral cortex. These three areas are responsible for the functioning of critical emotions, memory consolidation and retrieval, and cognitive processes such as memory, cognition, and spatial tasks.
Any stress or illness in one way or another is accompanied by a decrease in the level of this hormone. With its deficiency, cognitive abilities may decrease, and the frequency of depressive disorders and dissatisfaction with life may increase.
Spatial abilities, which help a person navigate their environment, are also related to testosterone. These skills are used to solve problems in engineering, design, physics, and mathematics.
What foods reduce testosterone production in men. prohibited list
Does testosterone affect cognition in women? Although men produce seven to eight times as much, women also need it for healthy menstruation, sexual desire, red blood cell production, bone mass, and other tissue functions.
It has a calming and protective effect on the brain, reducing swelling and inflammatory cytokines. It also prevents neural loss and mitochondrial dysfunction, improves healing and mental clarity after traumatic brain injury, stroke, and nervous disorders.
In men, for a long time, progesterone was not considered a substance that could significantly affect a man’s behavior, including mental health. However, more and more papers show that the hormone plays an important role in the cognitive functions of men.
The stress response is a vital part of our body’s function, regardless of gender. Prolonged nervous tension has a negative impact on the body, including mental health. In this case, the adrenal glands will certainly not work properly.
One of the main hormones responsible for how we experience and deal with negativity is cortisol. If a person is under constant stress, he compromises the ability to produce and use this hormone. These people often get tired, gain weight, have problems with the immune system. It can also lead to mood disorders like depression, apathy, and anxiety.
Excess cortisol can actually reduce the activity of the hypothalamus, leading to an imbalance of chemical messengers that affect sleep, nutrition, sex, cognition, and more, all of which can mimic or contribute to a disorder like the Depression.
Check your hormone levels regularly
If you already have a diagnosed endocrine disorder, you can prevent psychological problems by taking your medications as prescribed.
You should watch for new and worsening changes in mood, sleep, pleasure, energy, concentration, and appetite, as these may be signs of negative changes and the need for further treatment adjustments.
Create a symptom diary for yourself
Some notes to take may include:
if there were mental health problems when they started; Qualify any external or life triggers, such as a new job, job loss, or move; try to link mental health problems to the diagnosis of an endocrine disorder; if you are taking any new medications and how long you have been taking them; Describe any physical symptoms you may be experiencing, such as fatigue, skin problems, weight gain, or thinning hair; consider whether there are any relatives in your family with a history of endocrine problems.
Endocrinologist named 7 hormones whose imbalance prevents you from losing weight
Hormones in good health throughout life are essential to support the cognitive abilities of men and women. Its optimal level helps the brain to function in the best way.
Want more tips and tricks for a healthy lifestyle?
Sign up for the weekly lifestyle newsletter.