Hormones are your body’s chemical messengers.Created in the endocrine glands, these amazing chemicals travel around your circulatory system guiding tissues and organs. They help control large numbers of your body’s significant cycles, including digestion and reproduction.
When you have a hormonal imbalance, you have too much or too little of a certain hormone. Even tiny changes can have serious effects throughout your whole body.
Think of hormones like a cake recipe. Too much or too little of any one ingredient affects the final product.
While some hormone levels fluctuate throughout your lifetime and may just be the result of natural aging, other changes occur when your endocrine glands get the recipe wrong.
Hormonal imbalances characteristics happen when there is too much or too little of a hormone in the circulation system. As a result of their fundamental job in the body, even small hormonal imbalances can cause results all through the body.
Hormones are important for regulating most major bodily processes, so a hormonal imbalance can affect a wide range of bodily functions.
Hormones help to regulate:
- reproductive cycles and sexual function
- general growth and development
- mood and stress levels
- body temperature
- metabolism and appetite
- heart rate
- sleep cycles
Men and women alike can be affected by imbalances in insulin, steroids, growth hormones, and adrenaline.
Women may also experience imbalances in estrogen and progesterone levels, while men are more likely to experience imbalances in testosterone levels.
Symptoms of a hormonal imbalanceYour hormones assume an indispensable part of your general health. Accordingly, there’s an expansive scope of signs or manifestations that could flag hormonal imbalance. Your signs or symptoms will rely upon which hormones or organs aren’t working as expected.
- weight gain
- a hump of fat between the shoulders
- unexplained, and sometimes 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 frequent bowel movements
- frequent urination
- increased thirst increased hunger
- decreased sex drive
- nervousness, anxiety, or irritability
- blurred vision
- thinning hair or fine, brittle hair
- dry skin
- puffy face
- rounded face
- purple or pink stretch marks
In FemalesIn females of reproductive age, the most common hormonal imbalance is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Your normal hormonal cycle also changes naturally during these stages:
Symptoms of a hormonal imbalance specific to females include:
- darkening of the skin, especially along neck creases, in the groin, and underneath the breasts
- skin tags
- vaginal dryness
- vaginal atrophy
- pain during sex
- night sweats
- heavy or irregular periods, including missed periods, a stopped period, or a frequent period
- hirsutism, or excessive hair on the face, chin, or other parts of the body
- acne on the face, chest, or upper back
- hair loss
Causes of a hormonal imbalance
There are numerous potential reasons for a hormonal imbalance. Causes vary contingent upon which hormones or organs are affected.
Common causes of hormonal imbalance include:
- tumors, whether cancerous or benign
- pituitary tumors
- eating disorders
- injury or trauma
- hormone therapy
- cancer treatments such as chemotherapy
While the conditions below may be initially caused by hormonal imbalances, having the conditions can also lead to further hormonal imbalances:
- Cushing syndrome, or high levels of cortisol
- congenital adrenal hyperplasia, which causes low levels of cortisol and aldosterone
- Addison’s disease
- diabetes (type 1 and type 2)
- diabetes insipidus
- hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid
- hyperthyroidism, or an overactive thyroid
- hyperfunctioning thyroid nodules
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TreatmentTreatment for hormonal imbalances may vary depending on the cause. Every person may require different types of treatment for hormonal imbalances.
Treatment options for women with hormone imbalances include:
Hormone control or birth control.For the individuals who are making an effort not to get pregnant, drugs containing types of estrogen and progesterone can help manage irregular menstrual cycles and symptoms. Individuals can take conception prevention prescriptions as a pill, ring, fix, shot, or an intrauterine gadget (IUD).
Individuals encountering vaginal dryness related to changes in estrogen levels can apply creams containing estrogen straightforwardly to vaginal tissues to decrease symptoms. They can likewise utilize estrogen tablets and rings to decrease vaginal dryness.
Hormone replacement medications.Medications are available to temporarily reduce severe symptoms associated with menopause, such as hot flashes or night sweats.
Eflornithine (Vaniqa).This prescription cream may slow excessive facial hair growth in women.
Medications that block the predominately male-sex hormone androgen can help limit severe acne and excessive hair growth or loss.
Clomiphene (Clomid) and letrozole (Femara).These medications help stimulate ovulation in people with PCOS who are trying to become pregnant. Those with PCOS and infertility may also be given injections of gonadotropins to help increase the chances of pregnancy.
Assisted reproductive technology.In vitro fertilization (IVF) may be used to help those with PCOS complications get pregnant.
People have used natural supplements to treat hormonal imbalances for thousands of years.
However, there are no normal remedies that have been reliably demonstrated in clinical investigations to treat hormonal imbalances characteristics and their causes, besides the way of life changes.
Natural supplements commonly used for the reduction of symptoms associated with hormonal imbalances include:
- black cohosh, dong quai, red clover, and evening primrose oil for hot flashes caused by menopause
- ginseng for irritability, anxiousness, and sleep disturbances caused by menopause
- ginseng, and maca for ED
Lifestyle changes that may help reduce the likelihood and symptoms of hormonal imbalances include:
- limiting sugary foods and refined carbohydrates
- avoiding packaged foods
- replacing older non-stick pans with ceramic pans
- using glass containers to store and heat foods and drinks
- restricting the use of cleaning products that contain toxic chemicals, such as bleach
- buying fruits and vegetables that have not been sprayed with pesticides or ripening chemicals
- not microwaving foods and drinks in plastics
- maintaining a healthy body weight
- eating a nutritious and balanced diet
- Exercising regularly
- practicing good personal hygiene, focusing on washing areas with a lot of natural oils, such as the face, neck, back, and chest
- using over-the-counter acne washes, rinses, and medicated creams or gels for minor to moderate acne
- avoiding triggers that cause hot flashes, such as warm weather and spicy, rich, or hot foods and drinks
- reducing and managing stress
- practicing yoga, meditation, or guided visualization
Hormonal imbalances are more common during puberty, menstruation, and pregnancy. But some people experience continual, irregular hormonal imbalances.
Many hormonal imbalances are caused by external factors, such as stress or hormone medications. However, hormonal imbalances can also be caused by any medical condition that impacts or involves the endocrine system or glands.