HORMONAL IMBALANCE

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Emobileclinic Specialist

There are different types of hormones in the body, which all have different functions, but they are all influenced by each other. You have hormones made by the adrenals that control the stress response, inflammation, blood sugar and blood pressure e.t.c, when these hormones are out of balance they can have a negative influence on many other hormones.

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A hormonal imbalance is a malfunction of one or more hormones in the body. Each hormone has an effect on the body, hormonal imbalances are all different, depending on the hormone involved. A hormonal imbalance may be asymptomatic or inconsequential. However, it can be the cause of many diseases, mild or severe, such as thyroid disorders, diabetes, acne, obesity, or infertility. The treatment is to restore the normal regulation of these hormones.

From puberty to menopause your hormones are constantly fluctuating . Once a woman gets past 40 years of age, hormone levels start to decline, this will eventually lead to menopause at around 50-52 years of age. While hormones are naturally fluctuating, problems start to occur when the fluctuations go out of balance and this can cause a lot of symptoms in both your body and your mind.

Signs and Symptoms of hormonal imbalance

The most common imbalance is an excess of estrogen compared to progesterone which is known as estrogen dominance, this can obviously be caused by the body making too much estrogen or you may have normal estrogen but not enough progesterone. This may cause similar symptoms but the treatment to correct the problem will be different.

Signs and Symptoms Include; weight gain, fluid retention, PMS mood changes like anger, irritable and anxiety which can last from a day or so to two weeks, migraines and headaches, breast tenderness, heavy periods, or very light periods if you have low estrogen/ progesterone, breast lumps and cysts, infertility, cramping pains, back pains. Sometimes women have more than one of these symptoms or you could have them all, and while they are common they are not “normal” and are a sign of imbalance. Some months symptoms are really bad, while other times things are “ok”.

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What causes your hormones to go out of balance?

Stress: This is one of the biggest causes of hormonal imbalance. Stress can be emotional stress or physical stress like pain, injury or lack of sleep which is a major cause of stress, and finally it can be caused by dietary stress from a processed food  or eating foods which are causing an inflammatory reaction in your body like gluten. Stress leads to an increased production of cortisol which will lead to a depletion of progesterone, it can also create an inflammatory response which will block the progesterone receptors, so even if you have enough progesterone the high cortisol will stop it from working. High cortisol will affect the messages coming from your hypothalamus and pituitary gland in the brain which are the master controllers of the hormones. Stress is the number one thing to address and getting a saliva adrenal test will help guide the best way to address your stress levels.

Digestion: Digestion function problems like constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating and reflux are all signs of inflammation and dysbiosis (imbalance of your good and bad bacteria) in the gut. This inflammation suppresses the hypothalamus and pituitary which tell the body to produce the sex hormones, adrenal hormones and thyroid hormones, this is why poor gut function can have a negative impact on many aspects of your health. The liver is where estrogen and progesterone get metabolized, if you are having issues with phase 1 or phase 2 detoxification this can lead to excess estrogen also. Poor liver metabolism of estrogen can also lead to the unhealthy forms of estrogen being produced which are associated with breast cancer. The liver has to deal with the increasing xenoestrogens which are in the environment, these are found in food containers, cosmetics, personal care products and even out food due to herbicides and pesticides that are being used.

Thyroid function

Thyroid function can also depress the production of progesterone, so it is really important to assess thyroid function when assessing a sex hormone balance.

Testosterone

Testosterone is often associated with men but it is very important for women too, in the right amount. Too little can lead to low libido and low energy while too much will deplete progesterone, lead to increased weight, acne or facial hair, this is often associated with Poly cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). This is another reason why testing your hormones is beneficial because it is important to know exactly what is causing the problem before you can effectively start treating.

Testing hormone function

Testing your hormones can be done with a blood test. Usually, estrogen, progesterone, prolactin, leuteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating Hormone (FSH) levels are checked, sometimes thyroid function tests may be included depending on the signs and symptoms. Extensive thyroid testing measures all aspects of thyroid health, including TSH, T3, T4, reverse T3, thyroid antibodies and thyroid receptor antibodies.

 



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