Why Being A Woman Puts You At Greater Risk For Having Anxiety

August 5, 2017
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“You Are A Strong And Beautiful Woman, Always Remember That.”

Let’s face it; women have it much tougher than men. That isn’t a sweeping generalization, it’s a fact. Women of course have to endure the pain of child birth, they have menstruation cycles to deal with, later in life they have the menopause, they genetically find it much harder to lose fat, and much more besides this.

Yes, women have it tough, and unfortunately the hardships don’t stop there. Recent studies have found that genetically speaking, women are far more likely to suffer from anxiety than men. In fact, they are more than twice as likely to, but why is this? Well, allow me to fill you in, as we look at women and anxiety and at why being a woman will put you at a much greater risk of having anxiety.

Women often suffer from hypothyroidism – Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland functions far less efficiently than it should. This, results in a slow metabolism, which makes weight gain more likely and it much harder to lose weight. Already this is not ideal for women because their anxiety could be triggered by concerns over their weight.

However, as cellular metabolism is suppressed, the body produces far less of a neurotransmitter known as GABA, or Gamma-AminoButric Acid. GABA provides calming qualities and effects on the brain, helping it to relax in potentially overwhelming and stressful situations. The less GABA the body can produce, the far likely a woman will be to suffer from the symptoms associated with an anxiety attack.

Serotonin deficiencies are more common in women than men – When talking about women and anxiety, we can’t ignore serotonin. Serotonin is yet another neurotransmitter that is responsible for feelings of calmness, relaxation, and happiness. Low serotonin levels have been heavily linked with anxiety, depression, insomnia, and more conditions which negatively affect a person’s mental health.

In yet another one of life’s cruel twists, women also often suffer from serotonin deficiencies. In women, serotonin deficiencies are far more likely to result in anxiety, stress, or depression, than in men.

Women can experience Estrogen dominance – In women, the dominant sexual hormone is Estrogen. Estrogen, when elevated, has been found to enhance depression and anxiety-like symptoms by enhancing hypothyroidism. It also causes impaired adrenal function. The adrenal glands help produce stress-managing hormones to help alleviate the symptoms we experience when we feel stressed. Too much Estrogen means that the adrenal glands cannot cope and so we often feel overly stressed and anxious when Estrogen levels are too high.

Women are often more ruminative than men – Finally, when it comes to women and anxiety, another reason why anxiety is more than twice as common in women than men is because women are generally more ruminative than men. This basically means that they often think of things a great deal more than men. This can often be a good thing, but sometimes it can be detrimental and can result in them over thinking things, or worrying about problems that are not actually there.

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