How Trauma Impacts Hormones + How to Use Mind-Management to Treat Hormonal Imbalances

In this podcast (episode #329) and blog, I talk to leading hormone expert and N.Y. Times best-selling author Dr. Sara Gottfried about hormone balancing and education, how our hormones can impact our mental and physical health, and more!

For a long time, Sara battled with her own health, and found that her hormonal balance was off. Through changing her lifestyle and other interventions, Sara was able to heal herself, but her story is not unique. As she notes, we are failing so many people when it comes to hormonal issues! 

Yet there is hope. When it comes to our hormonal balance, there is so much we can do. We can change the way we eat, how we think, our lifestyles, and so on.  

Hormones drive what we are interested in; they drive our mood, our metabolism (the biochemical pathways in the body) and so much more. Hormones play a key role in both our mental and physical health.

When it comes to hormonal imbalances and how they can affect our wellbeing, we need to get the root causes, not just treat the symptoms. A holistic approach, like what Sara uses in her own practice, is vital. 

Indeed, as Sara points out, it takes time to balance hormones and improve health. There is no “quick fix”. Our hormones are part of a complex feedback system, which means we need to take a step back and see how they all work together as a symphony. Our hormones do not work in isolation! 

There are also more gender specific hormonal periods that need to be examined separately. Changes in female hormones like estrogen and progesterone during puberty can increase a young person’s anxiety levels, for example. On the other hand, postpartum can be a preview of perimenopause, which can lead to more mood disturbances and other health issues.  

It is important to understand that estrogen is the primary regulator of the female body, including the brain. This is why perimenopause often has an effect on female cognition. After the age of 40, many women experience forgetfulness and other issues as their hormonal levels change. And, if we wait too long to intervene, it may be too late to manage these changes, especially when it comes to our brain and heart health.  

Trauma is also a major disruptor of the hormone system, yet there is not enough awareness about this. As Sara notes, we need more information on how trauma impacts the control system of our hormones. 

We need to broaden our definition of trauma, which can be any overwhelming experience that can impact our development and health. Trauma is an ongoing experience in the body, which we can see in our ability to self-regulate, our inflammation markers, our hormonal pathways, and more.  

Yes, it can take time and hard work to deal with the root causes of a hormonal imbalance, but it is worth it! As Sara notes, living with your hormones out of balance is so much harder than the work it takes to get your hormones back into balance.  

For more on hormones and mental health, listen to my podcast with Sara (episode #329) and check out her website and books. If you enjoy listening to my podcast, please consider leaving a 5-star review and subscribing. And keep sharing episodes with friends and family and on social media. (Don’t forget to tag me so I can see your posts!).      

To learn more about how to manage your mental health and help others, join me at our 7th Annual Mental Health Solutions Retreat, December 2-4, 2021! The core focus of this conference is to give you simple, practical, applicable, scalable, and scientific solutions to help you take back control of your mental health, help others, and make impactful changes in your community. You will also learn how to manage the day-to-day stressors of life as well as those acute stressors that blindside us. Our goal is to address your most pressing mental health concerns, help you find answers, and equip you with the knowledge and resources you need to make the change from a life of barely surviving to one where you are thriving. Register today at!    

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Podcast Highlights 

1:30 Why Sara chose to specialize in hormones  

4:40 How hormones impact our mental & physical wellbeing  

7:50 Cortisol as a mental health marker  

12:00 Inflammation & mental health  

15:00 Hormones & wellbeing  

20:50 Female hormones & health 

27:40 Bio-identical hormones  

32:50 How our environment can impact our hormones 

34:00 Testosterone & the female body  

35:30 How trauma can impact our hormones  

40:00 The importance of mind management for hormonal health  

45:10 Social media, diet culture & hormones  

This podcast and blog is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. We always encourage each person to make the decision that seems best for their situation with the guidance of a medical professional.      

Switch On Your Brain LLC. is providing this podcast as a public service. Reference to any specific viewpoint or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by our organization. The views expressed by guests are their own and their appearance on the program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. If you have any questions about this disclaimer, please contact 

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