- Hormonal imbalances occur when there is too much or too little hormone present in the bloodstream.
- Hormones have an essential role in the body, even small hormonal imbalances can cause side effects throughout the body.
- These hormones are produced by glands present in the endocrine system.
- Hormones travel through the bloodstream to the tissues and organs, pass the messages that tell the organs what to do and when to do it.
- These are important to regulating bodily processes, so little imbalance in hormones can affect a wide range of bodily functions.
Hormones help to regulate:
- Metabolism and appetite
- Heart rate
- Sleep cycles
- Reproductive cycles and sexual function
- General growth and development
- Mood and stress levels
- Body temperature
- Men and women can be affected by the imbalances of insulin, growth hormones, steroids and adrenaline.
- Women experience imbalances in estrogen and progesterone levels, while men experience imbalances in testosterone levels.
Signs or symptoms of a hormonal imbalance
- Common hormonal conditions that affecting both men and women could cause any of the following signs or symptoms:
- Weight gain
- A hump of fat between the shoulders
- Unexplained, and sudden weight loss,
- Muscle weakness,
- Muscle aches, tenderness, and stiffness,
- Pain, stiffness, or swelling in your joints,
- Increased or decreased heart rate
- Increased sensitivity to cold or heat,
- Constipation or more frequents bowel movements,
- Frequent urination,
- Increased hunger,
- Decreased sex drive,
- Nervousness, anxiety, or irritability,
- Blurred vision,
- Thinning of hairs, brittle hair,
- Dry skin,
- Puffy face,
- Rounded face,
- Purple or pink stretch marks
- Keep in mind that these symptoms are nonspecific, and having them doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a hormonal imbalance.
Signs and symptoms in females
- For females of reproductive age, the most common hormonal imbalance seen is polycystic ovarian disorder.
- The normal hormonal cycle also changes during puberty, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause.
Symptoms of a hormonal imbalance include:
- Heavy or irregular periods, including missed periods, stop periods, or frequent periods.
- Hirsutism or excessive hair on the face, chin, or other parts of the body
- Acne on the face, chest, or upper back
- Hair loss
- Darkening of the skin along neck creases, groin, and underneath of breasts
- Skin tags
- Vaginal dryness
- Vaginal atrophy
- Pain during sex
- Night sweats
Signs or symptoms in males
- Testosterone plays an important role in male development. If not producing enough testosterone, it can cause a variety of symptoms.
- Breast tenderness
- Erectile dysfunction
- Decrease in beard growth and body hair growth
- Loss of muscle mass
- Loss of bone mass, otherwise known as osteoporosis
- Difficulty concentrating
- Hot flashes
Signs or symptoms in children
- Both girls and boys producing sex hormones during puberty.
- Many children with delayed puberty will go on to experience normal puberty, but some man’s and women’s production of testosterone and estrogen are inhibited such a condition is known as hypogonadism.
Boys with hypogonadism may experience:
- Lack of muscle mass development
- A voice that doesn’t deepen
- Body hair that grows sparsely
- Impaired penis and testicular growth
For girls with hypogonadism:
- Menstruation doesn’t begin
- Breast tissue doesn’t develop
- The growth rate doesn’t increase
Causes of a hormonal imbalance
- There are many causes for hormonal imbalance. Causes are different depending on which hormones or glands are affected. Common causes of hormonal imbalance include:
- Hormone therapy
- Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy
- Tumors, whether cancerous or benign
- Pituitary tumors
- Eating disorders
- Injury or trauma
- The conditions can also lead to further hormonal imbalances:
- Diabetes type 1 or type 2
- Diabetes insipidus
- Hyper functioning thyroid nodules
- Cushion syndrome or high levels of cortisol
- Congenital adrenal hyperplasia causes low levels of cortisol and aldosterone
- Addison’s disease
HOW CAN BALANCE THESE HORMONES NATURALLY
Get enough sleep
- Sleep is the most important factor for hormonal balance. Some hormone levels may rise and fall throughout the day in response to issues such as the quality of sleep.
- The adverse effects of sleep disturbance on hormones may contribute to:
- Problems with appetite
- Regularly getting a full 6- 8 sleep, undisturbed sleep, and night rest may help the body to regulate hormone levels.
Avoid too much light at night
- Exposure to blue light, such as from cell phones or computer screens, can interrupt the sleep cycle.
- Study shows that exposure to any bright artificial lighting at night may confuse the body, causing it to suppress the hormone melatonin, which can negatively affect many functions.
- Avoiding artificial lights may help to regulate hormones and restore a natural body’s clock.
- There is a link between stress, the endocrine system, and hormone levels.
- Stress leads to an increase in adrenaline and cortisol hormones.
- If levels of these hormones are too high, it can impair the overall balance and contribute to factors such as obesity, changes in mood, and cardiovascular issues.
- It is important to find ways to reduce stress simply by listening to music reduces stress, especially if the person is intending to relax.
- Regular exercise may prevent overeating and hormonal imbalance. A study shows that short exercise sessions regulate hormones that control appetite.
- Sugar plays a role in issues such as metabolic disease and insulin resistance. Avoid sugar from the diet helps to keeps the hormone in level including insulin.
Eat lots of fiber
- Fiber plays an important role in gut health and regulates hormones such as insulin.