General health can be greatly affected by hormones, and an imbalance can alter our mood and emotions. Hormone fluctuation can cause embarrassing acne outbreaks, and can make a person feel sad, mad, or just irritable. Sexual desire can be impacted and for women, the ability to become pregnant can be jeopardized. The bottom line is that hormones control most of our bodily functions. From hunger, to sleep, to puberty, even the smallest changes in hormones can cause life changing side effects.
The body’s hormones must work as a team to make the body thrive. The endocrine glands produce these chemicals that travel through the blood in the body. They tell the tissues and organs what to do. Together, the recipe for good health is created. However, just like when baking a cake, too much or too little of any one item can affect the final product. Lack of exercise, poor eating, and irregular sleep patterns are bad habits that some can get away for a while. However, for some, these choices can quickly derail a person’s overall health, especially when hormones are not in sync.
Symptoms that an imbalance is occurring might include:
2. Weight gain
3. Weight loss
5. Thinning hair
6. Anxiety or irritability
7. Muscle weakness
8. Frequent urination
9. Decreased sex drive
There are 3 ways to measure a hormone imbalance.
It is important to determine what the normal hormone level for your body is. Hormone levels vary based on gender and age and the exact hormone being tested. Blood tests can be performed to measure estrogen, testosterone, cortisol, DHEA, thyroid, and progesterone. Urine tests are mainly used for ovulation and pregnancy. Saliva testing helps determine the concentration of the specific hormone being tested.
Imbalances are not uncommon. Some of the most common imbalances result in the following:
1. Irregular periods
2. Chronic fatigue
4. Weight gain
5. Tender breasts
6. Increased facial hair
7. Cysts in the ovaries or breasts
9. Hot flashes/ night sweats
11. Memory loss
13. Difficulty concentrating
The study of endocrinology involves the endocrine system and the associated hormones. An endocrinologist can diagnose and treat hormone related problems and diseases. Growth and development, metabolism, and tissue function are all part of this branch of biology and medicine. Finding the root of the problem and addressing the imbalance can help a person start to feel more like themselves again. Hormones are a complex medical phenomenon that are part of nearly all that our body does for us. Keeping them in check and in line is necessary for optimal health.