Hormones are chemicals that help the body perform different functions together. They carry messages through our blood to the organs, skin, muscles, and other tissues that work as signals telling the body what to do and when to do it. Hormonal balance is essential for a healthy life.
Research proves that there are 50 hormones in our body and different glands that produce and release the hormones that make up the endocrine system. Hormonal imbalance can affect different processes inside the body:
Homeostasis (constant internal balance).
Growth and development.
A hormonal imbalance occurs due to too much or too little of one or more hormones and even a slight change can cause major changes to your body resulting in certain conditions that require treatment. Hormonal imbalance may be chronic or temporary. Let's know the symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment below.
Hormonal Imbalance: Symptoms
According to doctors of the Mayo Clinic, there are different symptoms in males and females that are the result of hormonal imbalance, and few common ones that affect the metabolism are:
Slow heartbeat or rapid heartbeat
Sudden weight gain or weight loss
Numbness and tingling in your hands
Higher cholesterol levels
Depression or anxiety
Inability to tolerate cold temperatures or warm temperatures.
Dry skin and hair
Irregular body fat distribution
Darkened skin near the armpit or the back and sides of your neck
Extreme thirst and frequent urination
Loss of body hair
Erectile dysfunction (ED) in males
Gynecomastia (enlarged breast tissue)
Infertility in males or females
Loss of interest in sex in any gender
Loss of muscle mass in males
Hormonal Imbalance: Causes
A hormonal imbalance has various possible causes and they can differ depending on which hormones or glands are affected. Here are the few common causes (Healthline)
Cancer treatments like Chemotherapy
Injury or trauma
While hormonal imbalances may be the cause for some of the conditions but at times having these conditions can also lead to further hormonal imbalances:
type 1 and type 2 diabetes
hyperfunctioning thyroid nodules
congenital adrenal hyperplasia
Hormonal Imbalance: Diagnosis
Doctors may ask you to give blood tests to check hormone levels since the endocrine glands release hormones directly into the bloodstream.
Certain hormone levels change throughout the day, so health professionals may take other tests like a glucose tolerance test, or insulin tolerance test.
Your doctor may ask you questions related to your medical history and symptoms and perform a physical exam.
Hormonal Imbalance: Treatment
Treatment for a hormonal imbalance may depend on the condition that causes the imbalance.
If your hormone levels are lower-than-normal, the main treatment is hormone replacement therapy but this treatment depends on hormone deficiency. You may have to take oral medication (pills) or injection medication.
If you have higher-than-normal hormone levels, there are treatment options depending on the cause. The treatment includes medication, surgery, radiation therapy, or a combination of of these.
According to Healthline, there are a few tips to follow in case you wish to prevent the onset of hormonal imbalance:
Maintain a healthy weight
Eat a balanced diet
Manage your stress
Get enough quality sleep
Manage your chronic health conditions
Quit smoking or use of tobacco products