Monday, August 15, 2022

How To Tell If Your Hormones Are Out Of Whack

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Diagnosis Of Womens Hormonal Imbalance

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

Since the symptoms of female hormone imbalance are also common signs of a number of other diseases and health conditions, women experiencing them should see a physician for a thorough physical examination. If other underlying medical conditions are ruled out, hormone level testing is the next step. Hormone levels can be measured through saliva testing and/or blood tests. Establishing an accurate diagnosis of hormone imbalance may require several tests, done at intervals, as hormone levels fluctuate throughout a woman’s menstrual cycle and may change greatly from one day to another.

Reasons Your Doctor Cant Give You A Hormone Imbalance Test

You may wonder why your doctor cant give you a quick test to determine if all your hormones are in balance. Testing hormones is very different from testing cholesterol or iron in your blood because your hormone levels are always changing, day by day, even hour by hour. They change based on where you are in your menstrual cycle, when you last ate, what your other hormones are doing, how stressed you are, and many other factors. Thats why a single hormone check cant really tell you if all your hormones are balanced.

Secondly, asking your doctor to check your hormones is a huge request. The human body produces more than 50 hormones! Hormones include melatonin adrenaline , oxytocin , cortisol , and progesterone , just to name a few.

The best way to discover if specific hormones are out of balance is by telling your doctor which symptoms you are experiencing so they can narrow down what should be checked and when. Your symptoms are your doctors first clues about what could be wrong.

You Need The Pill To Have A Normal Period

Birth control does notI repeat, does notfix your problematic period. The medication delivers a little bit of estrogen and progesterone, tricking the brain to think it is ovulating and therefore prevents conception. However, this blocks your body’s natural rhythms and covers up your natural hormonal imbalance.

Try:Weaning off the pill. The transition may not be easy, so it’s extra important to build a strong foundation of healthy eating and lifestyle habits and find an alternative birth control method for contraception before you quit completely.

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Trouble With Sleep Digestion Or Focus

These types of symptoms could be a sign that you have higher-than-normal levels of cortisol the stress hormone running through your body. If youve been stressed out lately, you might have noticed stomach issues, difficulty sleeping or muscle weakness. It can also affect your ability to focus, as well as your mood and energy levels.

How To Keep Hormones Balanced Before Things Go Awry

Six Ways to Tell if Your Hormones are Out

What’s easier than figuring out how to balance hormones? Keeping them at healthy levels to begin with. To keep your hormones from getting out of whack, eat right, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep. And take time to relax and unwind. Women with a lot of job stress are 38 percent more likely to suffer from heart disease, in part because of chronically high cortisol levels, a study in the journal PLOS One found. Luckily, healthy lifestyle habits can offset the effect that stress has on your ticker, other new research revealed.

What’s more, your gut microbiome does way more than aid digestion. It affects your brain, stress, sex, metabolism, immune system, and hormones, according to a report in the journal FEMS Microbiology Reviews. The bacteria in our guts release chemicals and hormones that influence our health and how we think and feel, says Marc Tetel, Ph.D., a neuroscience professor at Wellesley College. The key is to keep your bugs healthy and balanced so they perform at their optimum level. Get started with this three-point plan.

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You Have Flaky Itchy Skin

Dry patches are one of the first signs that your thyroid hormone level is low. “These hormones help set your metabolic rate when you don’t have enough, all systems become sluggish,” says John Randolph, M.D., an ob-gyn and a reproductive endocrinologist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The rate at which your skin cells turn over slows, resulting in dryness, redness, and rashes.

Get back on track: See your doc if your skin is still desert-dry after a month of slathering it with moisturizer, especially if you notice any other signs of an underactive thyroid, such as unexplained weight gain, brittle nails and hair, or if your periods become irregular or MIA, says Dr. Isaacs. He or she will give you a simple blood test to diagnose the disorder, which is usually treated with a synthetic hormone medication that you will need to take long-term. “Skin symptoms should clear up within two to three months,” says Dr. Isaacs.

Problems With The Master Gland

The pituitary gland is a small structure located at the base of the brain. It is known as the “master gland” because it produces several hormones that affect many bodily processes and other endocrine glands. Hormones produced by the pituitary gland include prolactin, growth hormone , thyroid-stimulating hormone , luteinizing hormone , adenocorticotropin , and follicle-stimulating hormone . The pituitary gland also releases antidiuretic hormone and oxytocin. A pituitary gland tumor is the most common kind of pituitary disorder. They are usually benign . Sometimes these tumors secrete more or less of hormones made by the pituitary gland. Other tumors don’t secrete anything. Some pituitary tumors produce symptoms because they grow large enough to affect the functioning of the pituitary gland or surrounding brain structures.

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Hormone Imbalance: What Are The Symptoms And Treatments

When youre browsing social media or watching TV, you may have come across ads telling you to ask your doctor to check your hormones as the first step toward diagnosing and relieving a troublesome set of symptoms. Its true that hormone imbalances can be associated with many problems, such as period problems, unwanted hair growth, fertility struggles, weight gain, and even difficulty sleeping. You should absolutely talk to your doctor about these things. But you may be surprised when your doctor tells you that they cant just give you a hormone check.

A hormone check sounds simpleafter all, we check cholesterol to get a handle on our heart health. However, your doctor cant just give you a hormone test because a single test to check all your hormones doesnt exist.

So if there isnt a simple hormone test, how does your doctor discover hormone imbalances? And how can you learn what could be causing your symptoms?

Lets look at problems caused by hormone imbalances and how your doctor could potentially determine which hormones may be responsible for your symptoms.

What Are Female Hormones

Are your hormones out of whack?

Estrogen and progesterone are the primary sex hormones in females. Most of the body’s supply of these hormones is produced by the ovaries, although small amounts are supplied by other tissues in the body. While best known for their primary function of regulating the reproductive system, female hormones also play a role in other aspects of women’s health, including cardiac function, metabolism, bone health, skin thickness and elasticity, urinary tract health, emotional health and brain function, among others.

Cortisol and the thyroid hormone can become imbalanced for various reasons and affect both men and women. Ensuring a healthy profile means keeping abreast of your body’s levels. A comprehensive hormone test can provide much needed insight.

The three primary sex hormones in women are estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.

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Your Hormones Your Health

Feeling bloated, irritable, or just not your best? Shifts in your hormones could be to blame. Hormones are chemical âmessengersâ that impact the way your cells and organs function. Itâs normal for your levels of them to shift at different times of your life, such as before and during your period or a pregnancy, or during menopause. But some medications and health issues can cause your levels to go up or down, too.

Can You Test Hormone Levels

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

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What Are The Signs Of Hormone Imbalance In Men

Many concerns surrounding a man’s bodily changes can be answered by fluctuations in the male hormonal makeup. If changes are being identified, it may be a good idea to see whether there are any deficiencies or overabundance in the body’s chemistry.

1- Low Testosterone: This is also known as Low-T and is defined by the American Urology Association as testosterone in the blood accounting for less than 300ng/dL .

Signs of Low-T include:

  • Hot Flashes
  • Trouble Concentrating

2- Increased Estrogen: An increase in estrogen production in a mans body can cause a condition called gynecomastia. This is where you begin to develop breasts. Increased estrogen levels can also cause problems with your prostate organ that is in charge of producing one of the fluids that make up semen. Obesity can increase the production of estrogen in a mans body.

3- Low Cortisol/Adrenal Fatigue: Men suffering adrenal fatigue often have difficulty focusing mentally and are excessively tired.

4- Hyperthyroidism/Overactive Thyroid: Signs of high levels of thyroid hormone in your body include:

  • Rapid Heart Rate
  • Increased Sensitivity to cold

How Does The Male Reproductive System Work

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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.

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What Causes Brain Fog

“Brain fog” is a common complaint even though this is not a true medical term. It is a commonly reported symptom with many potential underlying causes. Women in perimenopause and after menopause report more memory complaints and difficulty concentrating than premenopausal women. Declining estrogen levels may be to blame, but other factors may play a role. Perimenopausal and post-menopausal women often have trouble sleeping and experience hot flashes and increased depression. These, in turn, may contribute to brain fog. Thyroid disease is another common cause of brain fog. See your doctor if you are experiencing brain fog so you can find out and treat the root cause. If declining estrogen levels are to blame, hormone therapy may offer some relief and restore hormonal balance.

I Recently Spoke With Someone Who Is Having Issues With Their Hormones And Her Doctor Wants To Put Her On Birth Control But She Does Not Want Or Need Birth Control She Asked What She Could Do Naturally To Help Correct The Problem She Is Having With Her Monthly Cycle Ive Had This Question Asked Numerous Times Over The Years From Women Who Are Frustrated And Looking For An Answer To Their Problem That Doesnt Have The Potential Harmful Side Effects That Birth Control Can Have

I think most people think of birth control pills, as the name implies, for birth control, but they are also prescribed for hormone imbalances, especially for younger women who are having irregular menstrual cycles and or premenstrual syndrome. Sometimes birth control pills can help, but there are many women who dont want to take these pills because of the side effects and there are some women who dont want to take them for religious or other reasons. However, I think that most women are unaware of the potential harmful side effects that birth control pills can cause. Like hormone replacement drugs, these birth control pills contain synthetic hormones. These synthetic hormones can increase a persons risk of cancer and heart disease, including high blood pressure and strokes. They can also increase the potential for headaches, depression, weakness, insomnia, and weight gain, just to name a few. It makes complete sense to me why some women, who are not trying to prevent pregnancy, do not want to take these synthetic hormones. One of the reasons for some of these side effects is nutrient depletion. So if you do choose to take birth control, you need to be replacing these nutrients that you are losing and I highly recommend you consult with your health care provider for advice on what nutrients you should be taking. Here are the three things that I tell women whose hormones may be out of whack

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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:

  • Constipation
  • 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
  • Depression

What Are The Treatment Options

Why changing macros doesn’t work when your hormones are out of whack!

Hormone replacement therapy is one of the most common treatments of low hormone levels.

For people experiencing menopause, premature menopause, or primary ovarian insufficiency as well as after oophorectomy or chemotherapy estrogen therapy can offer some relief. Estrogen therapy alone is recommended for those who have had a hysterectomy. You can take estrogen in different forms, generally estrogen pills and estrogen patches.

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Thyroid Disorders That Cause Hyperthyroid

Your thyroid can work overtime for various reasons.

Graves disease. Graves disease is an autoimmune condition where your immune system attacks the thyroid. Instead of destroying the tissue, it binds to thyroid receptors which activates hormone production. Then, it floods your body with too much hormone.

Subacute thyroiditis. When your thyroid gland is inflamed, thyroid hormone can seep out. This form of hypothyroidism is temporary usually, it lasts only a few weeks.

Hypothalamus and pituitary miscommunications. When the hypothalamus detects low thyroid hormone levels, it releases thyrotropin-releasing hormone , which tells the pituitary gland to release thyroid stimulating hormone . TSH then tells the thyroid to ramp up thyroid hormone production. When one of these misfires, you dont make the right amount of thyroid hormone.

Adenomas, or nodules. When bumps develop on the thyroid, they can become active and secrete thyroid hormone. Nodules can be benign or cancerous, so if you have them, get them checked out by your functional medicine doctor.

Thyroid cancer. Thyroid cancer can cause hyperthyroidism, or it can decrease thyroid function and cause hypothyroid symptoms.

Signs Of Hormone Imbalance In Women

So often we attribute our body’s changes incorrectly. As women progress through life, the body responds differently, and it plays out in a number of ways.

1- Estrogen Imbalance

Estrogen is made by your ovaries, your adrenal glands, and to a much lesser extent, by your fat cells. It has many functions, including:

  • Maintaining Bone Calcium
  • Regulating HDL and LDL Cholesterol in Blood
  • Helping Maintain Blood Sugar Levels
  • Helping with Memory
  • Balancing Emotions

Estrogen imbalance can cause numerous symptoms which will depend on whether you are experiencing an overabundance of the hormone or less of it. The causes and signs can be discerned, but they take a watchful eye. Too little estrogen is often caused by:

  • Hypogonadism
  • Hypopituitarism
  • Failed Pregnancy
  • Hot Flashes

3- Testosterone Imbalance

Testosterone is not just a male sex hormone. Women also have lesser amounts of this hormone. It is produced by your ovaries and adrenal glands. Testosterone has the important function of aiding you by protecting you against developing osteoporosis. It has many other effects on your health, including sex drive, mood, energy levels and body fat percentage.

If you have too much testosterone in your body, such as when you have a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome, you could experience:

  • Irregular Periods
  • Increased Body or Facial Hair
  • Hair Loss
  • Acne

Too little testosterone often occurs during menopause and can lower your sex drive, cause depression, weakness of your muscles and fatigue.

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