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Molly Maloof, MD

Director of Clinical Content

Could there be a hormonal basis to my chronic anxiety/muscle tension?

I'm a 39 year old male I've been suffering from a sense of fear and anxiety since my young childhood. Besides trying virtually every anti-depressant and and anti anxiety medication on the market, I also had many sessions of shiatsu, reflexology, CBT, ACT, accupuncture, neurofeedback, ces device, chiropractic,group therapy physical therapy, health kinisiology ,chinese herbs etc with very little long term effect. could my hpa axis be causing my agitated state?
  • Male | 39 years old
  • Complaint duration: 89 days
  • Medications: currently none
  • Conditions: no

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Featured Answer

2 UpVoted this answer Rosanna Zavarella, PhD Psychotherapist, Beachwood
I believe you require an complete laboratory evaluation including hormone levels, an omega-3 index and a 25-OH vitamin D level, complete thyroid profile, complete blood count. Neurochemical transmitters requires nutrition building blocks such as B vitamins and a diet high in omega-3 in order to have adequate levels. I would suggest a physician that has an area of interest in anti-aging medicine. One that can integrate the whole organism into the equation.
2 UpVoted this answer Rosanna Zavarella, PhD Psychotherapist, Beachwood
Fear and anxiety since childhood is most likely related to major depressive disorder , which is inherited. I am sure you have not tried every antidepressant. There are conditions which mimic the anxiety of depression and they are related to hormonal imbalances. One is related to adrenal problems and is called adrenal insufficiency due to cortisol deficiency . Cortisol excess or Cushings can also cause anxiety and depression . Another hormone that can cause anxiety is the thyroid and this is hyperthyroidism. A tumor of the adrenal cortex can cause a condition known as Pheochromocytomas. These are adrenal gland tumors that produce excess adrenaline. You really should have a total hormonal workup including testosterone levels since low T or hypogonadism can also cause irritability and depression.
1 UpVoted this answer
there could be, but I recommend binaural beats and isochronic tones - there are plenty on itunes - check them out - they change your brain waves - you need to use head phones with the binaurals.
1 UpVoted this answer
There are a number of metabolic conditions that could be related to your experience. Methylation disorders, Pyrrole disorders or zinc/copper ratios are common suspects. You can learn more about these conditions at If you wish to follow-up, look for a provider knowledgeable and experienced in diagnosing and treating these disorders.
Richard Wyckoff
1 UpVoted this answer
All the answers below are good. Thoroughness in exploring the causes is important. There are internal and external causes for anxiety and depression. Internal can be biological or emotional. Those that have had emotional anxieties since childhood may have had an unresolved childhood trauma. See a physician and a psychologist and start ruling pout causes.

Good luck

Dr. Kathy
1 UpVoted this answer
I think the key to resolving your long term anxiety and muscle tension (which may or may not be related to the anxiety ) is to find the root cause(s). Otherwise, any and all interventions would be a shot in the dark. First, pysical illnesses/conditions must be ruled out. If and when physicians say there is no underlying medical cause for your symptoms it is time to have a psychotherapist assess your mental-emotional-relational state. In my experience very often trauma is behind such chronic conditions, i.e any discreet event or condition that was both inbearably painful and unavoidable. Most often childhood abuse (physical, sexual, emotionak, bullying, etc.), and neglect (physical and/or emotional) qualify as traumas. Effective treatment must address the body mory of such traumas, which can be accomplished by using EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), or BSOTR (Brief, Solution Oriented Trauma Resolution)
Yudit Maros
1 UpVoted this answer
The HPA axis is involved in panic attacks but it is unlikely that your problem is hormonal. I recommend genetic testing to help understand your relations to medications and an MMPI-II with raw data sent to Caldwell for actuarial report to determine the psychological contribution.
Robert Hoffman
1 UpVoted this answer
You could have excess thyroid hormones or deficiencies of various amino-acids, both of which require sophisticated blood tests to determine. If no cause can be found, at least make sure that no habit-forming tranquillizers are prescribed for, or taken by, you. This would only add addiction to what was once just your own anxiety.
You have done many physical things. I do not read you have had a complete set of blood tests. I would ask your M.D., to run a complete Thyroid profile including DHEA. Neurofeedback is NOT a "magic bullet." It often takes several months to "tune up the brain." Look for someone who has credentials in doing Loreta Neurofeedback. This advanced form of neurotherapy is very effective with anxiety when it is not endocrine system based.
Grant T. Bright
I suggest checking the testosterone levels along with urine for Vanilmandelic acid .