Wednesday, February 1, 2023

How To Tell If Your Hormone Levels Are Off

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Can You Test Hormone Levels

Are Your Hormones Out of Whack? Try This Hormone Test at Home

Yes, you can. Hormone testing is routinely done these days and is available for all types of hormones that commonly become unbalanced, including women hormones, men hormones, thyroid hormones, cortisol and much more. Most hormone imbalance tests are blood tests that measure the level of certain hormones circulating in the blood stream, and in some cases, whether complimentary hormones estrogen and progesterone, for instance are present in the proper ratios to work together effectively.

  • Hormone tests are commonly done for the following purposes:
  • To diagnose hormonal imbalances
  • To help identify the underlying causes of hormonal problems.
  • To aid in formulating effective treatment plans.
  • To monitor progress in bring hormone levels back into balance.

If you have concerns about your hormonal balance, your doctor can order hormone testing for you, or you can use an online lab testing service, like Health Testing Centers, to order your tests yourself. The advantages of ordering your lab tests directly include the ability to choose your own tests, ensuring that all of your concerns about your health are addressed, and lower costs, since you wont have to pay for office visits to have your tests ordered or to receive your results which will be delivered directly to you.

What Is A Hormonal Imbalance In Men

Hormonal imbalances occur when there is too much or too little of a hormone present in the body. Hormones, which are chemicals produced by glands in the endocrine system, play an essential role in the body. These chemicals travel through the bloodstream to deliver messages to tissues and organs. They regulate major body processes like metabolism and reproduction.

A hormonal imbalance can affect a number of bodily functions, including:

  • Body temperature

Hormone levels may fluctuate over time, but symptoms of a hormone imbalance can also occur due to stress, injury, illness, poor nutrition, or a lack of exercise. This can occur at any time, but its more likely to occur as a person grows older.

Both men and women can experience imbalances in hormones such as growth hormones, insulin, and adrenaline. Men are more likely to experience hormonal imbalances in testosterone levels.

A drop in testosterone is also known as hypogonadism, or male menopause.Low testosterone can result in decreased strength, energy, stamina, and sexual function. Studies have found that low testosterone in men may increase their risk of developing coronary artery disease, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes.

Female Hormone Imbalance: What Is It

Hormonal imbalance occurs when the amount of estrogen, progesterone or both is altered, disturbing the delicate balance between these powerful hormones. Imbalances in these vital female hormones can stem from a number of underlying causes. The most common cause is perimenopause, the transitional phase leading up to menopause, during which the production of estrogens and progesterone begin to decline. Other common causes of hormonal imbalance include pregnancy, endocrine disorders, certain drugs, especially oral contraceptives, drugs used in hormone replacement therapy and cancer medications, and lifestyle factors that include stress, overweight or obesity, poor diet, sleep deprivation and lack of exercise.

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What Happens When These Hormones Become Imbalanced

When there is an excess of estrogen in your system, this can lead to heavy and painful periods, sore breasts, PMS, and weight retention around thighs and hips. The causes of estrogen excess include higher production from ovaries and poor metabolism and detoxification.

Low estrogen can also have negative effects on your health, which include low libido, missing periods, or very long cycles. The causes for low estrogen include under-eating, over-exercising, stress, and smoking.

The consequences of low progesterone include PMS, spotting before period begins, anxiety, and prolonged bleeding. The causes of low progesterone include stress and not ovulating.

Having high testosterone can cause acne, male pattern hair growth, hair loss, and irregular cycles. It is associated with polycystic ovary syndrome , which is associated with irregular cycles and excess androgens .

Incorporate Healthy Fats Into Your Diet

How Can You Tell If Your Hormone Levels Are Off

Adding healthy polyunsaturated fats to your diet, such as omega-3 and omega-6 may help reduce your appetite and. Fatty acids signal the production of leptin, a hormone that reduces appetite by suppressing the area of the brain that controls our appetite and signals to us its time to eat. Without adequate healthy fats in your diet, youre more likely to have low leptin levels, which can induce overeating and an inability to feel satiated. That may be one reason women have been experimenting with seed cycling for hormone balance.

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Progesterone Helps You Sleep Better

Symptoms that may suggest hormonal imbalance include bloating, fatigue, irritability, hair loss, palpitations, mood swings, problems with blood sugar, trouble concentrating, and infertility. These are just a few symptoms of hormone imbalance. Hormones are compounds that affect every cell and system in the body, and hormone imbalance can be debilitating. 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.

What Are Symptoms Of High Insulin

If the body secretes too much insulin, or if someone with diabetes injects more insulin than needed, they may develop hypoglycemia, or abnormally low blood sugar levels. The symptoms of hypoglycemia may include anxiety, dizziness, heart palpitations, hunger, loss of facial color, sweating and/or tremors. To increase blood sugar levels, you can eat carbohydrate-rich foods or drink sugary beverages.

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What Are The Core Symptoms

When hormones are healthy, you tend to feel vibrant and energetic. When the hormones that affect your brain neurohormones are off, you are off. You may experience symptoms that change the way you think, feel, and act in negative ways. It also makes you more vulnerable to conditions like anxiety, depression, and even psychosis. If nobody checks your hormone levels, you will never know the root cause of your issues. And if your hormones are the problem, no amount of psychiatric medications will get you right.

Hormonal Imbalance In Women

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Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance

Symptoms that may suggest hormonal imbalance include bloating, fatigue, irritability, hair loss, palpitations, mood swings, problems with blood sugar, trouble concentrating, and infertility. These are just a few symptoms of hormone imbalance. Hormones are compounds that affect every cell and system in the body, and hormone imbalance can be debilitating. 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.

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Signs And Symptoms Of A Hormonal Imbalance

Your hormones play an integral role in your overall health. As a result, theres a broad range of signs and symptoms that could signal a hormonal imbalance. Your signs or symptoms will depend on which hormones or glands are not working properly.

Common hormonal conditions affecting people of all genders could cause any of the following signs or symptoms:

  • purple or pink stretch marks

Keep in mind that these symptoms are nonspecific. Having one or a few of them doesnt necessarily mean that you have a hormonal imbalance.

Some of these symptoms may also reflect other chronic conditions. So, if you find yourself dealing with any notable changes in your body or energy levels, its a good idea to talk with your doctor.

Thyroid: The Mood & Energy Regulator

The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in your lower neck that plays a powerful role in keeping your brain and body healthy. This gland regulates how your body uses energy, and it also has a strong impact on the brain because it controls the production of many neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, serotonin, and GABA. Problems occur when thyroid dysfunction causes the gland to produce too little hormone or too much hormone .

Hypothyroidism: Brain SPECT scans of people with hypothyroidism show overall decreased brain activity, which often leads to depression, cognitive impairment, anxiety, and brain fog.

Hyperthyroidism: An overactive thyroid produces too much hormone, making everything in your body work too fast. It can feel like youre in hyper-driveyou feel jittery and edgy, as though youve had way too much caffeine.

Common Symptoms of Thyroid Dysfunction

Hypothyroidism

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Hot Flashes And Night Sweats

One of the most common symptoms of perimenopause is hot flashes, which often coexists with night sweats. Almost 80 percent of people who are in perimenopause or transitioning into menopause have hot flashes. Also, most women who receive chemotherapy or undergo surgery to remove their ovaries will experience hot flashes.

Scientists know that hot flashes occur as a result of low estrogen levels. Each hot flash involves a sensation of heat that starts in the chest area and travels to the neck and the head. It can last for a few minutes and may cause sweating. Some women also develop a faster heart rate during hot flashes.

If a hot flash happens during sleep, they are called night sweats. Women who have night sweats often wake up in the morning feeling tired.

Some people experience redness along their neck and face during a hot flash. This is called a hot flush.

On average, each hot flash lasts for about three to four minutes. Hot flashes can occur for a few months to several years. In a few rare cases, some people had hot flashes for 10 years.

Other signs of hormonal imbalance include:

  • Heavy or irregular periods, missed periods, frequent periods, or stopped periods
  • Vaginal dryness and itching
  • Weakened muscles
  • Pain in the muscles, tenderness, and stiffness
  • Pain and swelling in the joints
  • Cancer treatments

Natural Ways To Support Healthy Hormones

Are Your Estrogen Levels Off? Here

While you should always speak to your doctor if you have hormonal imbalance, he might not have to give you any kind of medication to restore the balance. This is particularly true if the imbalance is caused by something like diet or stress. In general, people who have the following criteria are at higher risks of developing hormonal imbalances:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Consuming an excessive amount of alcohol
  • Being exposed to pesticides and toxins
  • Experiencing high stress levels
  • Not sleeping enough

Many of these risk factors are easily controlled when youre mindful of your diet, exercise routine, and daily habits. If you quit smoking, moderate your drinking, or avoid exposure to pesticides, you can help reduce your risk factor for hormonal imbalances and naturally keep them moderated.

Changing the way you eat can go a long way towards improving your hormonal balance. For example, when you exchange carbohydrates for healthy fats, like coconut oil and avocado, you can lower your bodys inflammation and help maintain your hormone at the right levels. Consuming enough proteins will help control the ghrelin hormone that makes you feel hungry. This gives you the feeling of fullness and then, you will stop eating at the appropriate time and maintain a healthy weight.

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How Does The Male Reproductive System Work

While there are hundreds of hormones that control the bodys chemistry, testosterone is a versatile and critical part of the balance that specifically controls male characteristics and sex drive. When the levels dip, the result can cause a male to experience low sex drive and depression, among other complaints. Low T as it is commonly referred to in the media, can cause a number of symptoms, including:

  • Fatigue or generalized weakness
  • Memory problems or lack of concentration
  • Changes in mood or irritability
  • Erectile dysfunction

Some diseases, like diabetes, can cause similar symptoms, so it can be hard to diagnose. To further complicate matters, testosterone decline in men is a slow process and, some healthy men can produce sperm well into their 80s.

In addition, there are variables that affect hormonal decline and speed up the process. These include weight gain, drug use, tobacco or alcohol abuse, mental illness or severe depression, as well as stress and chronic illness. One may need to keep in mind that medical experts still disagree about the link between declining hormone levels in men and their need for HRT.

Risks Of Not Treating Hormone Imbalances

Hormone imbalances, when left untreated, are more than just annoying mood swings and bad PMS. They can be indicators that something more serious rarely, even cancerous is happening in your body.

Not getting your hormones back in balance could lead to other problems, like elevated cholesterol, osteoporosis, obesity, lack of sleep, and more.

Although truly identified hormonal imbalances often need medical or even surgical intervention, a healthy lifestyle can improve low-level symptoms.

Do your best to get:

  • 6-8 hours of sleep each day
  • 30+ minutes of vigorous exercise daily
  • And a high-quality diet with enough protein and healthy fats and less sugar.

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Causes And Symptoms Of Hormonal Imbalance

When the endocrine system is functioning smoothly, its precise and timely release of hormones works to promote optimal health and function. The glands in this system assist in nearly every critical bodily function. So, if there is a problem with one or more glands, hormonal imbalance can occur, causing a variety of problems, some more serious than others. These changes can be detected by undergoing a hormone imbalance test, which is an opening door towards getting the right kind of treatment to address your hormonal imbalance symptoms.

Signs You Have A Hormone Imbalance

Dr. Sara – Take the Hormone Cure Quiz!

Achieving balance in life is probably not a new concept to you. Just like balancing your diet and your schedule, your hormones also need to find a balance in order for you to feel your best. Women who are approaching perimenopause or menopause are commonly faced with hormone imbalance. Fortunately, your gynecologist can help, but it may be up to you to recognize the symptoms of hormone imbalance so that you can make the appointment.

Remember that there are many types of hormones in the body, ranging from estrogen, testosterone and progesterone that come from the ovaries as well as thyroid hormones, cortisol, prolactin and more.

Here are some common signs and symptoms of hormone imbalance in women:

  • Irregular or absent periods
  • Thinning hair or facial hair
  • Heart palpitations

At North Pointe OB/GYN Associates, we dont want your health or quality of life to diminish due to out of whack hormones. We can conduct the necessary evaluations and testing to determine which hormones need adjustment. In many cases, we can prescribe hormone replacement therapy , to restore optimal balance. However, some women benefit from a change in lifestyle, including better eating habits, increased activity level and more sleep. If you can identify with the above symptoms, please call us today to schedule your consult. We treat women through all stages of life.

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Tests For Hormonal Imbalance

A variety of tests are often used to help diagnose a hormonal imbalance. There are even some at-home tests that you can take in the privacy of your home to see if you are suffering from a hormonal imbalance. In this section, you can learn more about the different tests that you can take to see if you have an imbalance of hormones in the body.

Hormones What Are They

Hormones are your bodys chemical messengers that help control many different processes, like reproduction and metabolism. Hormones are produced in the endocrine glands and travel through the bloodstream to tell the bodys muscles, tissues, and organs what to do.

When hormones are out of balance, even just a little, it can severely affect the whole body. Although some hormones fluctuate naturally as we age, some fluctuations can result from the endocrine glands not producing the right amounts. Youll often know when this happens as a broad range of symptoms accompany hormone imbalances.

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Hormonal Imbalanced Brains Work Differently

Hormonal imbalances can affect brain function in numerous ways. For example, hypothyroidism decreases brain activity, chronic stress produces more white matter and fewer neurons , estrogen imbalances negatively impact activity in the hippocampus , and progesterone issues can affect production of the neurotransmitter GABA.

All You Can Think About Are Snacks Snacks Snacks

The Hormone Test Every Woman Should Get

Think of those few food-crazy days leading up to your period. You know, the ones where everything looks like pizza and donuts and chocolate? Its totally normal to feel extra hungry during PMS, but cravings that never go away may be a sign of a bigger problem.

As Dr. Sara Gottfried said on MindBodyGreen.com, If you find yourself ravenous on a consistent basis, your hormones could be to blame. High cortisol or insulin, for instance, can cause those intense urges for sugar or wine, while adrenal dysregulation can lead to electrolyte imbalances that make you reach for salty snacks. While theres nothing wrong with snacking, its definitely something worth keeping an eye on if it feels out of control.

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