Can Hormonal Imbalance Affect the Brain?

August 10, 2023

Can Hormonal Imbalance Affect the Brain?

Have you been experiencing brain fog, poor cognition, or difficulty remembering things? You may have a hormonal imbalance. Hormones are silent messengers produced in various glands throughout the body and play a role in all bodily functions, including brain health. If you have any changes in hormones, whether an increase or decrease, this change can significantly affect brain function.  

The Connection Between Hormones and the Brain

The body produces different kinds of hormones for various reasons, and each can profoundly affect the brain. 


Often called the 'stress hormone,' cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands. As a steroid hormone, cortisol is secreted in response to stress. If there is too much cortisol over an extended period, it can lead to anxiety, depression, mood disorders, and difficulties with memory and concentration. 

Thyroid Hormones

The thyroid gland (butterfly-shaped gland in the neck) produces thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones help regulate your metabolism and growth in early childhood, and the release of thyroid hormones comes from the pituitary gland in the brain. The pituitary gland produces the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), which controls the release of thyroid hormones.

If you have hyperthyroidism, you have too much thyroid hormone. If you have too little thyroid hormone, you have hypothyroidism. Both conditions cause problems with mood regulation and may result in anxiety and depression.

Sex Hormones

Your body produces three types of sex hormones—progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone. Progesterone and estrogen are female sex hormones, and testosterone is a male sex hormone. However, men and women produce all three in different amounts, with testosterone being more vital in men and estrogen and progesterone stronger in women.

Sex hormones play a role in reproduction, growth and development, bone density, immune function, and brain cognition. All hormones decrease once a man or woman reaches maturity and, by middle age, are half the amount they were during adolescence. 


While it's a part of growing old, it has some side effects. For instance, changes in estrogen result in mood changes like premenstrual syndrome. Or reduced estrogen during menopause can cause depression, anxiety, and insomnia. For men, less testosterone can result in fatigue, depression, and brain impairment. 


Insulin helps regulate blood sugar, and insulin resistance can result in diabetes. Diabetes is a severe condition that can disrupt brain function. There are different types of diabetes, and one class is called type 3, which is associated with a higher risk of Alzheimer's disease. 


Melatonin is the sleep hormone. As the sun goes down, your body produces more melatonin in preparation for a long sleep. If you have an imbalance of melatonin, it can lead to sleep disruptions. Poor sleep results in poor concentration, mood, and memory problems. 

Serotonin and Dopamine

Serotonin and dopamine aren't hormones exactly but neurotransmitters. Still, they are worth discussing because they substantially affect brain health, and low amounts can result in moodiness, anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions.

Causes of Hormonal Imbalances that Affect the Brain

Hormonal imbalances affecting the brain vary but can be distilled into four main areas. 

Endocrine Disorders

Endocrine disorders are medical conditions, including diabetes, hyperthyroidism and hyperthyroidism, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and others. These disorders affect the endocrine system, which includes a group of glands (thyroid gland, pituitary gland, adrenal glands, pancreas, ovaries, and testicles) that produce and release hormones. The hormones regulate various bodily functions, including mood and brain function. 

Aging and Menopause

Hormonal imbalances also come with aging and menopause. Menopause signifies a significant change in a woman's life when she becomes unable to bear children. Estrogen regulates fertility, and menopause causes a profound drop in estrogen levels, resulting in many side effects, including brain fog.

Menopause is also connected to aging since it typically happens in the early 50s. However, symptoms of menopause can start much earlier and even continue post-menopause for many women. Men also experience a drop in testosterone and DHEA due to aging, resulting in poor effects on the brain. 

Lifestyle Factors

It may come as no surprise that how you live your life can significantly impact your hormones. If you have high stress, a poor diet, and lack exercise or a combination of all three, it can affect hormone production even more than aging. 

Environmental Factors

Your surroundings can impact hormone production. You could live in a polluted area or work a stressful job, which can decrease your hormone production.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Hormonal Imbalance

Hormonal imbalances are more common than you think, but effective treatments exist. If you suspect a hormonal imbalance, you can undergo medical tests to determine levels and types of deficient hormones. There are at-home tests like the Dutch test or ones your doctor orders.  

Hormone Replacement Therapy

The most common treatment for hormonal imbalances is hormone replacement therapy (HRT). HRT has many types of hormones, but the most common is estrogen hormone therapy for women experiencing menopausal symptoms. Natural hormone therapy from BIOLabs Pro includes hormones derived from plants. It mimics the exact missing hormones in your body and replaces them. Conventional hormone therapy can have animal-based ingredients like horse urine and other unnatural fillers. 

Lifestyle Changes

Making lifestyle changes such as improving your diet and regular exercise can help with hormonal imbalances affecting the brain. The exact dietary changes will depend on your type of hormonal imbalance and medical condition, but in general, moving towards whole food, whole grain approach with your nutritional choices is the answer.

As far as exercise is concerned, this will also depend on your specific issue and physical fitness. However, for women experiencing menopause, strength training and HIIT exercise that improves speed and resistance can spur hormone production. 


The effects of hormonal imbalance on the brain include everything from mood changes to depression. It can result in cognitive difficulties with memory and concentration, sleep disorders, and neurological disorders.

Finding a solution that works for you and your brain is essential. Hormone therapy provides an affordable and effective solution, and making lifestyle changes in conjunction with therapy can provide the relief you need. Speak with your healthcare practitioner about what is suitable for you.