Hormonal imbalance in women has several adverse effects and causes changes in the normal body system. Hormones in the body are chemical messengers and are produced in the endocrine glands – adrenals, thyroid, female and male reproductive system, and pancreas. They are distributed via blood to various organs and tissues in the body. Their function is to control body processes such as metabolism, appetite, sleep patterns, heart rate, mood, and reproduction. They tell the body what to do and when to do it and therefore it is easy to realize when there is an issue in their levels since some signs start to show such as insomnia.
Hormonal imbalance is having too much or too little of a certain hormone and these small fluctuations result in serious effects. Some hormonal imbalances can be a result of natural ageing while others can be due to the failure of endocrine glands to function well. Tiny changes in hormone levels may lead to infertility, heavy periods, and endometriosis. Causes of hormonal imbalance in women include pregnancy, menopause, unhealthy diet, high stress, diabetes, cancer treatment, injury or trauma, tumours, unhealthy diet, thyroid problems, PCOS, hormone drugs such as birth control pills among other conditions.
There are various types of treatments that can be administered to treat hormonal imbalance in women such as natural therapies, hormone replacement therapy, and medication, and lifestyle changes. Examples of specific hormone imbalance symptoms in women and men include.
- Heavy or irregular periods
- Weight gain and weight loss
- Increased thirst and hunger
- Muscles weakness, aches, tenderness, and stiffness
- Pain during sex
- Night sweats
- Vaginal dryness
- Hair loss
- Excess hair growth on the chin, face, and other body parts.
- Skin darkening on the neck, groin, and under breasts
Hormone replacement therapy includes the prescription of either bioidentical hormones or synthetic hormones. Bioidentical hormones are derived from natural substances. Examples are progesterone, testosterone, estrogen, and DHEA. Synthetic hormones are designed in a way that they imitate the effects of natural hormones. Hormone replacement therapy using any of the two types of hormones works by restoring the hormonal imbalance and treating the symptoms that resulted from the imbalance. Hormone replacement therapy varies depending on the type of hormone. An example of HRT is Estrogen therapy which is used to treat hot flashes and uncomfortable symptoms that result from menopause. A low dose of estrogen is administered to the patient.
Symptoms of hormone imbalance can be treated using different hormones. For example, lack of sleep is controlled using progesterone hormone. Low levels of progesterone cause a lack of sleep. Estrogen hormone is used to treat hot flashes and night sweats. Excessive amounts of androgen can lead to overworking of oil glands and also affect skin cells around hair follicles. The overworking of oil glands and interruption of hair follicles result in clogging of pores hence acne breakouts. Estrogen levels dip lead to excess weight gain since it is required to regulate food intake in the body, vaginal dryness, and tightness.
Hormonal imbalance diagnosis and tests do not require just a single test. First, an appointment for a physical exam is required to determine the symptoms and their reoccurrence. The patient also gives the list of medications and drugs they are currently using. The symptoms are analysed and the next recommendation on tests is made as per the results of the physical test. Blood testing follows. This involves the laboratory blood test that gives results on the hormones present. Blood tests give data on estrogen, testosterone, and cortisol levels in the thyroid. A pap smear pelvic exam is also done to determine if there are any lumps and abnormalities. Lastly, an ultrasound machine is used to get images of the uterus, ovaries, and thyroid.
Hormone imbalance is treated depending on the cause of the imbalance. Every person requires a different type of treatment with many factors put into consideration such as their age, health conditions, and type of hormone required. Some of the treatments administered to women include hormone control also called birth control that contains both estrogen and progesterone help maintain menstruation cycles and symptoms that result from irregularity in periods. Vaginal estrogen is prescribed for women with any vaginal problems such as dryness. Most vaginal issues are due to estrogen levels and the drugs can be in the form of creams, tablets, or rings used directly on the vagina.
Hormone replacement medication is also available for control of severe symptoms due to imbalance. Anti-androgen medication is prescribed for women with predominant male characteristics to help restore and block the production of male sex hormones i.e. androgen. Assisted reproductive technology may also be used to treat PCOS and help in getting pregnant. Other medications such as Eflornithine are used to control facial hair growth and clomiphene used to induce ovulation. However, it is important to note that mental, physical, and emotional health has a great impact on hormone optimization. Body nourishment with quality food, stress management, good sleep, and workout make a great contribution to imbalances control. Physicians provide health-related advice including diet changes and exercise suggestions.
Hormonal imbalance in women has several side effects and symptoms. The imbalances are most common during puberty, pregnancy, and menstruation. It leads to changes in normal body functions and affects different processes. Hormonal replacement therapy uses both synthetic and natural hormones to help restore the hormone levels and treat any symptoms resulting from the imbalance. The team of naturopaths at Liv Natural provides solutions that help address the hormone imbalance and treat any symptoms resulting from hormone imbalance such as hair loss using PRP injections to ensure optimal results. PRP hair loss treatment can be a non-surgical option for men who are experiencing hair loss and thinning according to a PRP Clinic in Brisbane.
Different types of hormones are administered to different hormone issues and help to cure specific symptoms. Dealing with the root causes of hormone imbalance such as stress levels, high inflammation, and gut health is essential in hormone control. Several natural ways help maintain and restore hormone balance such as getting enough sleep, using supplements, and eating anti-inflammatory polyunsaturated fats. Such activities work by increasing the body’s hormone production rate and reducing the impact of chronic diseases that emerge due to imbalances in hormone levels.
Tommy Williamson did his degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. He is interested in mental health and well-being.