Hormones play a major role in ensuring the proper functioning of our bodies. Unfortunately, nowadays the number of people diagnosed with hormonal imbalance is on the rise. From mood swings and fatigue to low sex drive and weight gain, hormonal imbalances are responsible for a wide range of problematic symptoms that can significantly affect your wellbeing. That’s why it’s important to find out what’s behind this common health issue in order to find adequate solutions and restore balance.
It’s also necessary to note that hormonal imbalances can affect both men and women. But since there are various physiological differences between the two genders, men and women can experience hormonal imbalances differently. So, if you want to gain a better understanding of how hormonal imbalances impact physical and mental health, it’s worth taking this aspect into consideration.
What are hormonal imbalances?
Before getting into the most common causes and symptoms of hormonal imbalance, we must first explain what hormones are and what their role is. Hormones are molecules produced by the endocrine system that act like little messengers throughout the body to regulate different processes. Some of the functions they help regulate include:
- Development and growth
- Reproduction and sexual health
- Cognitive function and mood
There are different endocrine glands in the body responsible for producing hormones, such as the pituitary gland, the pineal gland, thymus, thyroid, adrenal glands, the pancreas or the ovaries.
Hormonal imbalances happen when there’s a slight excess of hormones or, on the contrary, when the number of hormones is a bit lower than normal. All the endocrine glands secrete very small amounts of hormones, so even the slightest change in the number of hormones produced can have a serious impact on the body.
What are the causes of hormonal imbalances?
Now that we know what hormonal imbalances are, it’s time to discuss what causes them to happen in the first place. There are various explanations to why hormonal imbalances occur in both men and women.
One instance is when hormonal imbalances occur as a result of the natural growth process. Men and women both go through puberty, a period when they naturally experience hormonal imbalances. For women, things can be a bit more complicated as they go through various physical changes in the course of their life like menstruation, pregnancy and menopause.
Another major cause of hormonal imbalances is represented by different medical conditions. Stress, diabetes, obesity and poor diet can all be responsible for hormonal issues. In women, polycystic ovary syndrome, different types of cancer or early menopause can throw hormones off balance. In some cases, taking birth control pills can also have an unwanted impact on hormone levels.
When it comes to men, the most prevalent medical conditions that cause hormonal imbalances are prostate cancer and low testosterone levels.
All of the factors mentioned above can affect the proper functioning of the endocrine system, thus leading to hormonal imbalances. Regardless of the cause, hormonal imbalances should be addressed immediately to prevent further health issues from happening. Seeking professional help from reputable healthcare providers like Balance My Hormones is of the utmost importance in order to find the root cause of the problem and receive the adequate treatment.
Hormonal imbalances in women
When a woman experiences a hormonal imbalance, there are many red flags that signal the problem. Frequent mood swings are probably at the top of the list when it comes to common hormonal imbalance symptoms.
A lot of women deal with digestive problems like constipation or diarrhea that affect their quality of life. That’s because hormones influence the gut function, so when there’s a hormone imbalance, the bacteria in the gut is also affected, leading to the previously mentioned symptoms.
Menstruation problems are quite common when hormonal imbalances come into play. Women can have heavy or irregular periods accompanied by abdominal pain or lower back pain in some cases.
Low sex drive or libido can signal a hormonal imbalance issue. These symptoms are more common for women going through perimenopause or menopause, considering this is when estrogen and testosterone levels usually drop.
Insomnia and poor-quality sleep can happen when estrogen and progesterone levels decrease, during the perimenopause and menopause phase. This can lead to low energy levels and intense fatigue.
These are not the only symptoms women struggle with due to hormonal imbalances. There are other warning signs such as unexplained weight gain, weak bones, skin issues (acne, rashes etc.), infertility or excessive hair growth.
Hormonal imbalances in men
The list of symptoms that men experience when suffering from hormonal imbalances is shorter compared to the list of symptoms reported by women.
For men, the most common symptom that can indicate a hormonal imbalance issue is an unexplained decrease in sex drive. Erectile dysfunctions, loss of muscle mass and body hair growth are also frequent red flags. Some less common symptoms include breast tenderness or tissue growth in the breast area.
As you can see, both men and women can have a variety of symptoms caused by hormonal imbalances. The good news is no one has to resign to leading a life where hormonal imbalances are the norm. Thanks to medical advances, there are various treatments that can help people restore hormonal balance and get their life back on track.
Finding the right treatment
So, what’s there to do if you suspect you’re suffering from a hormonal imbalance, but you don’t have an official diagnosis? Trying to fix the problem on your own is certainly not the right course of action.
The first step you have to take if you want to find a solution to your problem is make an appointment with a health practitioner that specializes in hormone therapy. Talking to your GP can also be of help, but in some cases, symptoms can be overlooked by doctors who don’t have special training in the field.
That’s why talking to a specialist is your safest bet. They can perform all the necessary tests and investigations to get to the root of the problem and recommend a proper treatment that can help bring your hormones back into balance.