Injury To The Endocrine Glands
Any form of injury to the hormone-secreting endocrine glands can cause hormonal imbalance. A few examples of injury to endocrine glands are:
- Accidental injury during surgery: Parathyroid glands can commonly be injured during thyroid surgery
- Excessive blood loss: Excess loss of blood due to any cause may compromise blood flow to the endocrine glands causing its damage. For example, Sheehan syndrome is a condition in which excess blood loss during childbirth can damage the pituitary gland.
- Bacterial or viral infections: WaterhouseFriederichsen syndrome is defined as adrenal gland failure due to bleeding into the adrenal glands, commonly caused by severe bacterial infection.
- Radiation therapy: Excess radiation exposure particularly affects the thyroid gland and its functioning.
- Traumatic brain injury can injure the pituitary gland or hypothalamus.
Period Problems And Period
A common complaint of women who visit Madison Womens Health is irregular periods or unexpected changes to their periods. A period is considered irregular when it occurs more often than before or less often than before, or if the amount and duration of bleeding has changed significantly for repeated months. Is your period suddenly much heavier than it has been? Or are you not having a period at all?
Keep track of your cycles, when you begin to bleed, and for how long. A popular app among our patients for tracking cycles is Period Tracker Period Calendar , although there are many options. Let your doctor know how many days there are between your periods and what your typical flow is like. Discuss what is different and why you are concerned. Let them know if youre under more stress than before, if youve changed your diet or exercise recently, or if you have a family history of irregular periods.
These changes could have a structural cause having to do with your cervix or uterus or a hormonal cause. Your doctor will likely want to perform a physical exam and may also check specific hormones on a specific day of your menstrual cycle.
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.
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Supplements For Hormonal Imbalance
Table 1 below outlines specific vitamins for hormonal imbalance, as well as other specific dietary and lifestyle choices that might help. Appropriate intake of calcium, zinc, iodine, vitamin D, and of omega-3 fatty acids, whilst also maintaining good exercise and sleep patterns, allows the body to subdue the symptoms of hormonal imbalances. On top of this, avoiding high-calorie diets and smoking could also decrease the risk of symptoms of hormonal imbalances occurring.
Table 1: Factors involved in hormonal imbalances
|Dietary or Lifestyle Component|
When Should You Get Tested For Hormonal Imbalance
Once you start noticing symptoms, the next step is to get a hormone test for women. This could be for hormonal changes at 40 with symptoms like painful periods, or for any of the other issues weve seen.
Its important to know the best time of the month to test hormone levels.
For estrogen, take a hormone level test on day three of your cycle to know more about your fertility and for diagnosing PCOS.
Test for progesterone on days 19-22. This test can confirm ovulation and whether your body is preparing for pregnancy.
For testosterone, you can test on any day, but it should be between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. when your levels peak.
For parathyroid hormone level with high readings and for symptoms such as digestive problems or hair loss, test first thing in the morning before eating.
To get female hormone blood test results explained fully, its best to talk to your doctor.
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Is It Hard To Overcome A Hormone Imbalance
Because hormones affect so many different processes of the body, managing hormone-related symptoms and pinpointing the exact cause of these symptoms can take some time. For that reason, some individuals may find it difficult to overcome a hormonal imbalance. This is especially true for couples trying to get pregnant.If you or a loved one is experiencing a hormone imbalance, its important to remember that there are science-backed solutions and treatments available. The best place to start is by examining any lifestyle factors that may be influencing your hormones. If you are still struggling even after making any necessary lifestyle changes, its a good idea to make an appointment with your doctor for further advice and support.
What Is The Meaning Of Hormonal Imbalance In Females
Hormones are essential for the growth and development of the body. The hormones help in the regulation of the various functions of the body, maintenance of the balance within the body, reproduction, metabolism, and maintenance of the energy level in the body. It is important to have a hormonal balance in the body regardless of the sex of the person. An increase or decrease in the level of a particular hormone results in hormonal imbalance in the body.
Hormonal imbalance may lead to various conditions and disorders of the body. This increases the chances of developing serious diseases. Hormonal imbalance may even impact the fertility of a woman.
There are several questions about hormonal imbalance in females. In this article, we will be discussing in detail hormonal imbalance and ways of treating hormone level fluctuations in females.
- What are Hormones?
- What are the causes of Hormonal Imbalance in Females?
- What are the symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance in Females?
- How to diagnose Hormonal Imbalance in Females?
- What are the ways of increasing the Hormone levels in females?
- What is the treatment for Hormonal Imbalance in Females?
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Natural Remedies And Supplements
Many nutritional supplements on the market claim to treat menopause and hormonal imbalance. However, few of them are backed up by scientific evidence.
Many of these supplements contain plant-derived hormones. These are sometimes called bioidentical hormones, because they chemically resemble the bodys natural hormones. Theres no evidence to suggest that they work better than regular hormone therapy, however.
Some people find that yoga helps ease symptoms of hormonal imbalance. Yoga is excellent for your strength, flexibility, and balance. It may also aid in weight loss, which can help regulate your hormones.
You can also make the following lifestyle changes:
- Lose weight. If your doctor has recommended it, a reduction in body weight may help regulate menstrual cycles and increase the chances of getting pregnant. Weight loss may also help improve erectile function.
- Eat well. A balanced diet is an important part of overall health.
- Use lubes or moisturizers free of parabens, glycerin, and petroleum.
- Avoid hot flash triggers when possible. Try to identify things that commonly trigger your hot flashes, such as warm temperatures, spicy foods, or hot beverages.
- Remove unwanted hair. If you have excess facial or body hair, you can use hair removal cream, laser hair removal, or electrolysis.
The primary cause of acne is excess oil production, which leads to clogged pores. Acne is most common in areas with many oil glands, including the:
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.
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Obesity Increases Breast Cancer Risk
Cancer-causing toxins accumulate in body fatthe more body fat the more room for stored toxins. We can excrete these by losing weight and eating fiber that binds up toxins and escorts them out of the body. Fat cells also contain the enzyme aromatase, which converts testosterone to estrogens. This is why overweight and obese women have more estrogen. The more estrogen produced in the breast tissue, the more chance of stimulating the growth of breast cancer cells. Fat also produces substances called cytokines that are inflammatory in nature. A whole host of diseases including cancers of the breast and prostate are aided and abetted by silent inflammation.
Leptin, another hormone with multiple actions is produced by fat tissue and has been shown to directly stimulate the growth of cancer cells. Its levels rise in people with increased body fat and indirectly trigger more aromatase activity.
Obesity leads to the reduction of SHBG a protein that binds estrogen levels and keeps them out of circulation. When these levels go down, estrogen levels go up, become active, and thus stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells. Over one hundred studies have investigated the links between obesity and breast cancer. Taken as a whole, their findings strongly indicate that overweight or obese women have a 30 to 50% great risk of postmenopausal breast cancer than leaner women. It is known that women who continuously gain weight throughout life have a higher risk of breast cancer.
Warning Signs You May Have A Hormonal Imbalance
No-one wants to be a slave to their hormones but how do you know if they are out of sync and what can you do to restore the balance?
Hormonal imbalances may be to blame for a range of unwanted symptoms from fatigue or weight gain to itchy skin or low mood.
Hormones are chemicals produced by glands in the endocrine system and released into the bloodstream. An imbalance occurs when there is too much or too little of a hormone.
Your hormones are important for regulating many different processes in the body including appetite and metabolism, sleep cycles, reproductive cycles and sexual function, body temperature and mood.
No surprise then that even the slightest imbalance may have a noticeable effect on your overall health and wellbeing.
Levels of hormones naturally fluctuate at various life stages, most noticeably during puberty and in women during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy and the menopause. They can also be affected by lifestyle and certain medical conditions.
What is important is to notice any symptoms and get them checked out by a qualified health professional so that you receive appropriate treatment, whether that involves using medication or complementary therapies, or making lifestyle changes, to restore the balance and your good health.
Here are 10 signs of hormonal imbalance to look out for and what you can do about them:
8. Headaches: Many women suffer headaches due to hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy or menopause.
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Eat Enough Protein At Every Meal
Consuming an adequate amount of protein is extremely important.
Dietary protein provides essential amino acids that your body cant make on its own and must be consumed every day in order to maintain muscle, bone and skin health.
In addition, protein influences the release of hormones that control appetite and food intake.
Research has shown that eating protein decreases levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin and stimulates the production of hormones that help you feel full, including PYY and GLP-1 .
In one study, men produced 20% more GLP-1 and 14% more PYY after eating a high-protein meal than after eating a meal that contained a normal amount of protein.
Whats more, participants hunger ratings decreased by 25% more after the high-protein meal compared to the normal-protein meal .
In another study, women who consumed a diet containing 30% protein experienced an increase in GLP-1 and greater feelings of fullness than when they ate a diet containing 10% protein.
Whats more, they experienced an increase in metabolism and fat burning .
To optimize hormone health, experts recommend consuming a minimum of 2030 grams of protein per meal (
This is easy to do by including a serving of these high-protein foods at each meal.
Consuming adequate protein triggers the production of hormones that suppress appetite and help you feel full. Aim for a minimum of 2030 grams of protein per meal.
What Are The Causes Of Hormonal Imbalance
Some of the common causes of hormonal imbalance in women include:
1. Menopause: Most women attain menopause in the age group of 45 to 55 years. Menopause occurs when the ovaries stop releasing eggs and the body stops producing sex hormones, resulting in a hormonal imbalance.
2. Stress:Research shows that excessive stress can prevent the release of eggs from the ovaries , ultimately resulting in absence of periods .
3. Pregnancy: Women experience a dramatic rise in estrogen and progesterone levels after getting pregnant. These hormones help in sustaining the pregnancy and nourish the baby. This is a temporary change as the levels of hormones get back to normal after the baby is delivered.
4. Thyroid disorders: Studies show that hypothyroidism lowers the levels of estradiol, a type of estrogen that helps women conceive. It has also been found that abnormally high or low levels of thyroid hormone can cause irregular, heavy or absence of periods.
5. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome : PCOS is a condition in which the ovaries start producing excessive male sex hormones , thus resulting in an imbalance.
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Diagnosis Of Hormonal Imbalance
If you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, you might be having a hormonal imbalance, and you should see your health care provider for a diagnosis.
You can expect your doctor to ask questions about your symptoms, general health, and medications. You should provide them with all the information, including information about any vitamins, supplements, or herbal medicines that you are taking.
Then the doctor might examine you based on your symptoms. Some specific examinations include thyroid examinations and pelvic examinations.
Based on the history and examination findings, certain tests might be ordered. There might be the involvement of more than one test.
Some of the tests that might be ordered are:
Treatments For Hormonal Imbalance In Women
Thankfully, there are some treatments available that can help to alleviate the symptoms and restore balance. Here are three of the most effective:
- Hormone Replacement Therapy One popular treatment for hormonal imbalance is hormone replacement therapy . HRT involves taking supplemental hormones to bring levels back into balance. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is often recommended for women with hormonal imbalances. BHRT uses hormones that are structurally identical to the ones our bodies produce naturally. This makes them more easily metabolized and less likely to cause side effects.
- Diet and Lifestyle Changes Certain dietary and lifestyle changes can also help alleviate hormonal imbalance symptoms. For example, avoiding sugar, processed foods, and alcohol can help to regulate blood sugar levels and reduce inflammation. Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and healthy fats like avocados and olive oil can also be beneficial. In addition, getting regular exercise and adequate sleep is important for overall health and well-being.
- Natural Supplements Many natural supplements can be helpful for women with hormonal imbalances. One example is hair supplements. Hair supplements are a natural solution that contains nutrients like biotin, zinc, and vitamins A, C, and D, which are all essential for healthy hair growth. Taking a supplement like this can help to address one of the common symptoms of hormonal imbalance hair loss.
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Natural Ways To Balance Your Hormones
Most natural remedies for hormonal imbalance in females can be found in widely available supplements. Many people also experience relief from certain lifestyle changes, including:
- Managing weight
- Getting enough sleep
Hormones have a great role in many processes in our bodies. As weve seen, disruptions of these hormones can cause a variety of symptoms. Sometimes, a hormonal imbalance can have several serious effects. If you seek treatment as soon as possible, youll have the best chance of managing any complications.
Treatment For Women With Hormone Imbalance
Treatment for hormonal imbalances may vary depending on the cause. Every person may require different types of treatment for hormonal imbalances.
Treatment options for women with hormone imbalances include:
Pharmaceutical – prescribed medications and topical remedies,
Lifestyle – eg: weight loss,
Physical – eg: IUDs vs birth control pills
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