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Hormonal Imbalance, Symptoms, Causes and Treatments.


Hormones are chemical messengers in the body, that are produced in the endocrine glands, these powerful chemicals travel around your bloodstream, telling tissues and organs what to do. They help control many of your body’s major processes, including; 

  • Metabolism
  • Reproduction
  • Homeostasis (constant internal balance)
  • Blood pressure
  • Growth and development
  • Sexual function
  • Blood sugar
  • Sleep-wake cycle
  • Mood
  • Stress level
  • Heart rate
  • Body temperature

Hormonal imbalance occurs when one has too much or too little of a certain hormone. and this condition may limit the process or functions the hormone carry out in the body. Even tiny changes can have serious effects throughout your whole body. Normal, some hormone levels fluctuate throughout your lifetime and may just be the result of natural aging. But other changes occur when your endocrine glands get the recipe wrong.

Though hormonal check sounds simple, but your doctor can’t just give you a hormone test because a single test to check all your hormones doesn’t exist. You doctor can only determine based on the problems or symptoms that occurs with hormonal imbalance. 

Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance

Both male and females may be affected alike when the following hormones gets altered; insulin, steroids, growth hormones, and adrenaline. 

Females may also experience imbalances in estrogen and progesterone levels, while males are more likely to experience imbalances in testosterone levels, since the normal hormonal distribution vary with gender.

Symptoms in Males

The following symptoms are seen in men;

  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Lack of sex drive
  • Tenderness in the area of the chest
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Thinning hair and reduced hair growth
  • Memory loss
  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Loss of sperm count
  • Confusion (Cognitive decline)

Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance in women

The following are symptoms seen in women having hormonal imbalance;

  • Mood swings
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Irregular menstrual cycle
  • Infertility
  • Pain in the abdomen or the back during menstruation
  • Low sex drive
  • Insomnia
  • Soreness in breasts
  • Swollen face
  • Enlarged clitoris
  • Unexplained weight gainTrusted Source or weight loss
  • Brittle bones
  • Hirsutism, or excessive hair growth
  • Rashes on the skin
  • Constant Vagina dryness
  • Bloating
  • Problems with blood sugar
  • Lack of concentration
  • Stomach ache 

Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance in Children

For children, both male and female. The following are seen;

  • Lack of development of muscle mass
  • Lack of voice deepening
  • Body hair that grows sparsely
  • Impaired penis and testicular growth
  • Excessive growth of the arms and legs in relation to the trunk of the body
  • Gynecomastia
  • Late menstruation or that doesn’t begin
  • Breast tissue that isn’t developing
  • Impaired growth rate 

Causes of Hormonal Imbalance

Hormonal imbalance has so many cause, and can differ depending on which hormones or glands are affected. Some of the Notable causes of hormonal imbalance are listed below;

  • Hormone therapy
  • Medications
  • Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy
  • Tumors, whether cancerous or benign
  • Pituitary tumors
  • Eating disorders
  • Stress
  • Injury or trauma
  • Menopause
  • Pregnancy

Health Conditions Caused as a Result of Hormonal Imbalance

So many health conditions are caused as a result of hormonal imbalance in the body. For most hormones, having too much or too little of them causes symptoms and issues with your health. Though few of them will be corrected on its own with time, some would require treatment. Some of the most common hormone-related conditions include;

Acne: Acne is caused by clogged pores. Hormonal acne develops when hormonal changes increase the amount of oil your skin produces. Oil glands, including those in the skin on your face, get stimulated when hormones become active during puberty leading to acnes.

Acne also develops during pregnancy, menopause and for people who are taking testosterone therapy. This is because of hormonal changes that increases the amount of oil in the skin. 

Diabetes: This is the most common hormone-related conditions. In diabetes, your pancreas doesn’t make any or enough of the hormone insulin or your body doesn’t use it properly. Type 2 diabetes is the commonly caused by hormonal imbalance. 

Fertility: Hormonal imbalance tends to be the leading cause of infertility in females. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and anovulation are common fertility issues caused by hormonal imbalance. Low testosterone levels (hypogonadism) can also occur in males.

Irregular Menstrual Cycle: Several hormones are involved in menstrual cycle. Therefore, an imbalance in any one or several of those hormones can cause irregular periods. Specific hormone-related conditions that cause irregular periods include polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and amenorrhea. 

Obesity: Obesity is a medical condition involving an excessive amount of body fat. It can be associated with several endocrine alterations arising as a result of changes in the hypothalamic-pituitary hormones axes. Many hormones can affect how your body signals that you need food and how your body uses energy, so an imbalance of certain hormones can result in weight gain in the form of fat storage. 

Diagnosis of Hormonal Imbalance

Doctors will order for blood tests to check hormone levels since your endocrine glands release hormones directly into your bloodstream.

Sometimes, additional advanced tests may also be required which includes;

  • Biopsy
  • MRI
  • Ultrasound
  • X-ray
  • Thyroid scan
  • Sperm count test

Treatment for Hormonal Imbalance

The choice of treatment for a hormonal imbalance will depend on what’s causing it. For instance, If you have lower-than-normal hormone levels, the main treatment is hormone replacement therapy. Depending on which hormone is deficient, you may take oral medication (pills) or injection medication.

For example, if you have low thyroid hormone levels (hypothyroidism), your provider can prescribe synthetic thyroid hormone pills. If you have growth hormone deficiency, you’ll likely have to take injections (shots) of synthetic growth hormone.

Then if you have higher-than-normal hormone levels, there are many treatment options depending on the cause. Options include medication, surgery, radiation therapy or a combination of any of these.

For example, if you have a prolactinoma, a benign (noncancerous) tumor that causes excess prolactin (a hormone), your provider may prescribe a medication to shrink the tumor or you may need surgery to remove it. 

Supplements

Some nutritional supplements contains plant-derived hormones called “bioidentical” hormones because they chemically resemble the body’s natural hormones. There are no evidences that the supplements works better than the usual chemotherapy. 

Also yoga is excellent exercise for your strength, flexibility, and balance. It may also aid in weight loss, which can help regulate your hormones.

In summary, some people will experience at least one or two periods of hormonal imbalance during their lifetime which is normal. Normal hormonal imbalances occur during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, menopause, and aging. But in case you experience continual, irregular hormonal imbalances, do not hesitate to contact your doctor for check ups.

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