Treatments For Hormonal Imbalance
Hormone replacement therapy is used commonly to balance hormones in women after menopause. It is used for a certain period of time before being discontinued.
Bioidentical hormones are another way to balance out hormones. They are man made hormones similar to those in our bodies like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. They are advertised as being safer and more natural than conventional HRT.
At this time, medical societies and researchers state that the risks and benefits of conventional and bioidentical hormones should be considered equal. Talk with Mid-City OB-GYN about their use if you are having symptoms.
Contact Mid-City OB-GYN at for treatment and other options if you think you are suffering from a hormonal imbalance.
Common Symptoms Of A Hormonal Imbalance
Hormonal imbalances can cause many different symptoms. Some common issues to look out for include:
- A bulge in the neck
- Puffy face
Many symptoms of a hormonal imbalance can be misleading. For example, both weight gain and weight loss can be symptomatic of a hormonal imbalance. So, it’s really difficult to just rely on symptoms to understand which specific hormone is the root of the problem. This is when getting tested becomes handy.
If you’re having trouble falling asleep, you may have low progesterone levels that are usually in charge of helping you fall asleep. On the other hand, high progesterone levels could be problematic as well, as these will make you feel sleepy even if you’re getting enough rest.
Low melatonin gives your body a signal that it’s time to rest. Low estrogen can give you night sweats that can be unbearable for many.
If you’re struggling with any symptom of a possible hormone imbalance, you need to get tested. Your hormone levels will depict the root cause of the symptoms you are experiencing and, you will be able to target them properly.
What Is The Most Accurate Way To Test Cortisol Levels
Serum is not found to be a very helpful measure for cortisol levels, and this is because cortisol follows a diurnal pattern.
It rises when you get out of bed, hitting its peak about 30 minutes after waking, and then slowly falls as the day goes on. We arent able to see this pattern by performing a snapshot in time serum cortisol test. This is where salivary testing is thought to be the best option when testing free cortisol, especially when considering the cortisol awakening response .
Hormonal Imbalance In Women
Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance
Bloating, fatigue, irritability, hair loss, palpitations, mood swings, problems with blood sugar, trouble concentrating, infertility — these are just a few symptoms of hormone imbalance. These compounds affect every cell and system in the body. Hormone imbalance can debilitate you. Some hormonal shifts are normal, like monthly fluctuations of sex hormones responsible for menstruation and ovulation or the changes that occur during pregnancy. Menopause is another time for a normal hormonal shift in a woman’s life. Many women may experience weight gain, mood swings, night sweats, and diminished sex drive during this time. Other times these fluctuations may be due to a medication or a medical condition.
Balance Your Cortisol
Cortisol is an important hormone that may become imbalanced with stress or illness. Cortisol is secreted by the adrenal glands that lie on top of the kidneys. Low intensity exercise can help lower elevated cortisol levels. Stress impacts adrenal function and hormone levels. Get acquainted with hormone imbalance symptoms and signs so you can notice when things in your body and mind don’t seem right.
What Types Of Hormonal Imbalance Are Most Common In Women
Women most commonly experience imbalances in their thyroid, testosterone, and estrogen hormone levels. In fact…
- 1 in 8 women will have issues related to thyroid imbalance â like hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism â at some point in their lives.
- 1 in 10 women have polycystic ovary syndrome , which is often linked to higher testosterone levels.
Though hormonal imbalance is pretty common, there are many treatment options out there .
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Hormone Problems That Start In The Brain
The hypothalamus is the portion of the brain that lies near the pituitary gland. It helps regulate hormone secretion in various parts of the body, controlling functions like body temperature, mood, hunger, thirst, sleep, fatigue, sex drive, and circadian rhythms. Dysfunction of the hypothalamus may produce many symptoms depending on which hormone systems are affected. Supplementing hormone levels that are low may help relieve symptoms. If the hypothalamus is malfunctioning due to the presence of a tumor, treating the tumor may provide relief.
Hormonal Imbalance And Weight Gain
People with Cushing syndrome have high levels of cortisol in their blood. This leads to an increase in appetite and fat storage.
Hypothyroidism, if the condition is severe, can also lead to weight gain.
During menopause, many women gain weight because the metabolism slows down. You may find that even though youre eating and exercising like normal, you still gain weight.
The only way to treat weight gain from a hormone disorder is to treat the underlying condition.
During a normal, healthy pregnancy, your body goes through major hormonal changes. This is different than a hormonal imbalance.
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Functional Hormone Imbalance Tests
Hormone levels are continuously changing throughout the day thus blood may not always be the perfect reflection of whats going on.
You may be able to relate to this by being told everything is normal and youre good to go from your doctor, yet you still feel like junk!
Its no fun leaving the doctors office confused, discouraged, and unheard because youve been told your lab work is all normal despite feeling the complete opposite.
This is where specialized functional lab testing can be useful.
Men And Estrogen: What You Need To Know
Estrogen is known primarily as a female hormone that helps regulate menstrual cycles, yet the hormone plays a bigger role in mens health than most people realize. Men produce small amounts of estrogen as part of their normal functioning male reproductive system, along with the male hormone testosterone. As they age, less testosterone is produced.
Yet questions are beginning to emerge as to what specific part estrogen plays in male development, especially as a man ages. Once largely ignored, estrogen levels in men are now under the microscope as researchers are trying to determine this hormone’s role in men and how it affects the body’s different hormone levels.
A decrease in estrogen, for example, may be a factor in fat accumulation in men as well as women. One endocrinologist at Harvard Medical School reported in a 2013 study that some of the symptoms of testosterone deficiency in males, including a decline in libido, were at least partially caused by lower estrogen production.
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How Is Low Testosterone Diagnosed What Treatments Are Available
Most healthcare providers will measure their testosterone levels by having a blood test, doing a physical exam and having the patient describe his symptoms. Finally, they may order additional tests to rule out other possible diagnoses.
Testosterone is sometimes prescribed for men with low testosterone. Almost all hormone supplements and testosterone treatments are available in different forms, including lozenges, patches, gels and creams.
Because of the limited knowledge regarding this condition, challenges in having a proper diagnosis, as well as the possible side effects of treatments, HRT should not administer for men without proper testing, retesting and consultation with a healthcare provider to discuss the pros and cons. One may want to consider an endocrinologist who specializes in hormones.
Where Should I Get A Hormone Balance Test
Hormone balance tests can be performed in a variety of settings. Many people first get their hormones tested by their primary care doctor or gynecologist. Others prefer to go straight to a lab facility. While both of these methods can garner accurate results, we recommend getting your hormones tested by a hormone health specialist. These practitioners will have the training and experience necessary to determine which tests are right for you and are experts at both interpreting your results and providing treatment.
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Hormone Imbalance And Hormone Level Testing
Last Reviewed Date: Nov 18, 2021 Nov 18, 2021 Dec 05, 2018
Chapter 1: Hormone Imbalance Introduction Chapter 2: Causes and Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance Chapter 3: Hormonal Imbalance and Men Chapter 4: Hormonal Imbalance and Women Chapter 5: More about Cortisol
Your entire endocrine system is composed of glands and hormones. It is one of two systems that help coordinate all the functions of your body.
This managerial role, of maintaining hormone levels over time and in various situations, is important for both your survival and well being. Hormone testing has shown that hormone levels decrease with age and that hormone replacement therapies may be helpful in maintaining youthful vigor.
The other critical system that regulates the functions of your body is the nervous system. Both the endocrine and nervous system work closely together to control a number of important functions:
- Your bodys growth and development
- Your metabolism
- Your mood and sleeping patterns
What Are The Causes Of Hormonal Imbalance
Almost everyone experiences periods of hormonal imbalance at specific phases in their lives. However, most cases of hormonal imbalance occur when one or more endocrine glands do not perform their function properly.
The human body has several endocrine glands, each producing its own specific hormones. These endocrine glands are:
Some of the causes of hormonal imbalances include:
- Abuse/ Overdosing On Steroid Medications
- Addisons Disease
- Benign tumours on endocrine glands
- Cysts which affects endocrine glands
- Cancers of the endocrine glands
- Chemotherapy And Radiation Therapy
- Injury to the endocrine glands
- Exposure to toxins, pollutants, and endocrine-disrupting chemicals
- Specific hereditary conditions such as pancreatitis
- Hormonal replacement therapy
- Consumption of birth control medications
- Overproduction of the parathyroid hormone
- The underproduction of parathyroid hormone
- Extreme allergic reactions or infections
- Turner syndrome
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How Can You Diagnose And Treat Hormonal Imbalance
If you experience any of the symptoms we listed earlier, your healthcare provider can run tests to help you figure out the cause. The Modern Fertility Hormone Test can give you a leg up on the conversation by measuring up to seven important reproductive hormones, including estradiol and TSH .
If your results suggest any hormone levels are too high or too low, you can use those levels to start a conversation with your healthcare provider about treatment options. In many cases, your healthcare provider will treat the underlying cause before addressing hormone levels.
If treatment for symptoms from “abnormal” hormone levels is needed, your healthcare provider may suggest or prescribe:
- Evaluating your current medications to see if they may be contributing
- Lifestyle changes
- Making sure any chronic medical conditions are controlled
- Hormonal birth control or hormone replacement therapy
- Hyperprolactinemia medications or thyroid medications
- Radioactive iodine, thyroid medications, beta-blockers, and surgery
As for lifestyle changes beyond stress management, nutrition, and exercise? Dr. Zore explains that other modifications have very little science to back them up.
What Is A Hormonal Imbalance
Hormones are chemicals produced by different glands and tissues, forming a part of the endocrine system.
Hormones travel to all of the bodys tissues and organs through the bloodstream. They give messages to these organs, letting them know what function to perform and when to do it.
Hormones help regulate a lot of processes in the body. Hormones manage appetite and metabolism, sleep cycles, heart rate, sexual function, general mood and stress levels, and body temperature. Because they affect so many functions, imbalances in certain hormones can lead to uncomfortable symptoms.
A hormonal imbalance occurs when a person has too much or too little of a certain hormone, such as insulin, cortisol, thyroxine, androgens, estrogen, or progesterone. Even slight changes can have a significant effect on your body.
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Check Your Hormone Levels From The Convenience Of Home
If youâre concerned about your hormone levels, you can use the information here on how to know if you have a hormonal imbalanceâplus speaking with a healthcare providerâto help inform your next steps.If youâre interested in hormone testing at home, consider the following tests :
- Womenâs Hormone Test – Lets you learn your levels for 10 key hormones, including estrogen, progesterone, cortisol, and thyroid hormones.
- Thyroid Test – Check the 3 main thyroid hormones , plus thyroid antibodies.
- Womenâs Fertility Test – Test your levels for 5 hormones that help support ovarian function and pregnancy.
- Men’s Health Test – Check your cortisol, DHEA-S, estradiol, and testosterone.
Treatment Of Womens Hormonal Imbalance
In most cases, female hormones balance can be improved or corrected with treatment. Often, changes in diet and lifestyle are sufficient to improve female hormonal imbalance and offer some protection against its potential health complications. Among the common changes recommended are:
- Weight control
- 30 minutes of exercise daily, including resistance and aerobic exercise.
- Dietary changes that include replacing processed, fatty and sugary foods with lean proteins, low-fat dairy and a wide range of fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Eliminate tobacco consumption
Female hormonal imbalance that cannot be resolved with lifestyle changes is most commonly treated with hormone replacement therapy. Conventional HRT uses hormone drugs to normalize levels of estrogens or progesterone in the system, while bioidentical hormone replacement therapy enhances hormone levels as needed with plant-derived supplements. HRT has been associated with health risks with long-term use, so women considering this treatment should discuss risks and benefits carefully with their doctors.
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How Does A Hormone Balance Test Work
Hormone levels are typically measured through small samples of blood, urine, and/or saliva. Depending on what symptoms you experience, these samples will be evaluated by a lab to measure a variety of hormones, including:
The lab results will show a snapshot of your current hormone levels at the time the samples were taken. Many of these hormones fluctuate over the course of a day, or throughout the month, so you may need to fast prior to testing, get tested at certain points in your menstrual cycle, and/or get multiple tests to get an accurate picture of your hormonal health.
The Bottom Line: The More Info You Have The Better
Whether or not you’re experiencing symptoms that might be related to excess or deficient hormone levels, learning more about your body and how hormone regulation works are great first steps. Paying attention to what you’re feeling and discussing any concerns you might have with your healthcare provider is always important. At the end of the day, the more information you have, the better.
This article was reviewed by Dr. Temeka Zore, a Modern Fertility medical advisor and reproductive endocrinologist at Spring Fertility in San Francisco.
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Stimulation And Suppression Hormone Testing
We use tests called stimulation and suppression tests to evaluate a hormone imbalance. We give you hormones and other substances that either start or stop your production of certain hormones. We then evaluate how your body responds.
Common types of stimulation and suppression testing include:
- Growth hormone response to glucagon: We inject a hormone, glucagon, into muscle tissue and measure growth hormone levels over four hours. This test helps us confirm or rule out adult growth hormone deficiency.
- Cortisol response to cosyntropin: We give you cosyntropin, which acts like ACTH . ACTH is a hormone produced in the pituitary gland that stimulates the adrenal glands to produce cortisol. We measure cortisol levels every 30 minutes for one hour. This test helps us confirm adrenal insufficiency.
- Glucose tolerance test: We give you a sweet drink, which should lower levels of growth hormone. We measure levels of growth hormone in the blood every two hours. This test helps us confirm acromegaly.
- Cortisol response to dexamethasone: You take a pill at night that should block cortisol production. The next day we take a blood sample to measure cortisol levels. This test helps us confirm or rule out Cushing’s syndrome.
- Metyrapone suppression test: You take a pill at night that should block cortisol production. The next day we take a blood sample to measure cortisol and ACTH levels. This test helps us confirm or rule out adrenal insufficiency.
Hormonal Imbalance And Men
You may think that women are the ones facing hormonal imbalances. But this is not the case. Men, as well as womens bodies, produce several hormones that are essential for wellbeing. One very well-known male hormone is testosterone. But, did you know that men, also, produce estrogen? Testosterone is mainly produced in the testicles and, a small amount is produced in the adrenal glands. It is responsible for ones manly characteristics, such as:
- Facial and Body Hair
- Muscle and Bone Density
- Deeper Voice
It also stimulates the production of sperm and affects your desire for sex. It also plays a major role in the way one gains weight and, how and where the body will end up accumulating these fat cells. Finally, red blood cells production is linked to testosterone levels.
Estrogen is made from testosterone with the help of an enzyme known as aromatase. As you age, not only do your testosterone levels naturally drop, but your estrogen levels go up simultaneously. The loss of testosterone with age is referred to by some professionals as andropause male menopause.
However, testosterone levels can drop, even in young men, from several causes, such as:
- Injuries to Scrotum or Testicles
- Testicular Cancer
- Liver Disease
But, testosterone and estrogen arent the only hormones that can get out of balance in men. You can suffer a decrease in cortisol levels if you are under a lot of stress, or even an imbalance in the thyroid hormones.
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