What Causes A Hormonal Imbalance
The causes of hormonal imbalances vary according to the specific hormone involved. However, in general, they are due to changes or dysfunctions of a hormone-producing gland. For instance, a thyroid gland that isn’t functioning correctly may produce too much thyroid hormone, accelerating your bodys metabolism or could produce too little. Thyroid dysfunction can be caused by autoimmune diseases, thyroid nodules, medications or, rarely, thyroid cancer, among other potential causes. Imbalances in male or female sex hormones, such as estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, can be caused by age-related changes, such as menopause and andropause, as well as genetic disorders, stress, nutritional issues, or medications. Excessive stress, poor diet, aging and certain medications can contribute to imbalances in cortisol and other adrenal hormones.
There are many different underlying causes that can result in a hormonal imbalance. Each cause relates to different glands and hormones and, does impact your body differently. Many diseases and other conditions can result in a hormonal imbalance.
Diabetes is characterized by an inability to properly use the insulin hormone. An insulin imbalance can lead to other related hormonal imbalances as well such as disrupting estrogen, testosterone, thyroid, progesterone, and cortisol.
Hypothyroidism or Hyperthyroidism
Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia
Here Are Our Tips On How To Get What You Want And Need Out Of Hormone Testing
Your visit to the OBGYN:
- Get the test taken during the first few days of your cycle , if possible.
- Ask your OBGYN for a hormone panel test that includes estrogen, progesterone, FSH and LH .
- Ask additionally for a thyroid test, blood sugar test and Vitamin D3 test. These are also important indicators for hormonal health.
- Ask that they also run a general blood test you want to be checked for iron saturation, anemia, and C-reactive proteins particularly.
- Ask for a print out of your results to take home if they are not made available online for you to access.
Assessing the results:
When To Test For Hormone Imbalance
So when do we want to test your estrogen and progesterone to best understand what the relative balance or imbalance is? Most of the time when there’s hormone imbalance going on, the women is premenopausal or perimenopausal. This would be from age 17-18 all the way up to say 50 or even 55. If you are still menstruating you are susceptible to the relative balance of estrogen and progesterone. Imbalance is more common closer to menopause though. When we check your estrogen and progesterone typically, we want to do this at the peak of the progesterone. We do that because low progesterone is often times part of the problem and causing the imbalance and other times it is high estrogen. To verify this you want to check the levels at a specific time of the month when the progesterone is peaking. For any female that is menstruating, we want to tested for estrogen and progesterone on cycle day 21 or close to it. If you have a shorter cycle that peak of progesterone may come a little bit earlier. If that is the case, you may want to do it on cycle day 19 or something close to day 21.
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How Are Hormone Levels Tested
Several different tests can be used to assess the balance of a persons hormones and which one the doctor uses will be based on the patients symptoms. Some of the tests administered can include:
- Saliva Testing- this is typically the most accurate test used to assess if a hormonal imbalance is present.
- Serum or Blood Testing- this test uses a range of normal levels compared to the actual results. If a person is at either the low-normal or high-normal portion of the spectrum further testing can be necessary.
- Follicle-Stimulating Hormone Testing- this type of testing is used to determine if a woman is entering menopause. This is done when the woman is experiencing mood swings, hot flashes, and additional symptoms of menopause.
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How Is A Hormone Imbalance Treated
Several doctors will evaluate and address a patients hormone imbalance using methods which are tailored to the exact nature of the individuals imbalance. In some instances, hormone replacement therapy can be recommended and in other instances lifestyle changes and increased or decreased activity levels will be all that is required. If you are undergoing any premenopausal symptoms or symptoms related to weight gain, insomnia, or increased acne, the practice can assist you to identify what is causing the imbalance and prescribe a regimen or therapy to restore hormonal balance.
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More Information About Hormone Testing
Hormone levels change as you agesome change throughout the day. We use hormone testing to detect and evaluate hormone imbalances that may be making you sick. We often conduct hormone testing using a blood sample, but some tests require urine or saliva samples.
We frequently test levels of:
- Estrogen and testosterone
- Adrenal gland hormones, such as cortisol
- Growth hormone, prolactin and other pituitary gland hormones
- Thyroid hormones, such as thyroxine
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Pms And Low Sex Drive
Low testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone are all associated with a decreased sex drive in both men and women. This is especially common after age 50 when estrogen and testosterone production declines. Since estrogen is one of the main hormones regulating a womans menstrual cycle a decrease in production can also lead to irregular periods that are too long, too short, unpredictable, heavy, or painful, infertility, hot flashes, mood swings, or painful intercourse.
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.
Treatment For Hormonal Imbalance
Treatment for hormonal imbalance depends upon the cause and also the person. Furthermore, women and men have different treatments for their conditions. For instance, women who are suffering from irregular menstrual cycles can use medications containing female hormones such as estrogen and progesterone can use birth control medications. For men with hypogonadism, stunted puberty or other similar conditions, testosterone patches and gels can help with the condition.
Final Thoughts On Hormonal Imbalances
- Some of the most common symptoms of hormone imbalances include unexplained weight gain, fatigue, insomnia, and changes in hair, skin, and nails.
- Root causes of hormonal imbalances include compromised gut health, elevated inflammation, and high stress levels.
- Natural ways to balance your hormones include eating anti-inflammatory polyunsaturated fats, reducing your exposure to endocrine disruptors, getting adequate sleep, and using supplements to fill in any nutritional gaps related to gut health and vitamin D levels.
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S To Balance Hormones Naturally
Hormones such as estrogen, testosterone, adrenaline and insulin are extremely important chemical messengers that affect many aspects of your overall health.
Conventional treatments for hormonal imbalances typically include synthetic hormone replacement therapies, birth control pills, insulin injections, thyroid medications and more. Unfortunately, for the majority of people suffering from hormonal disorders, relying on these types of synthetic treatments often does three things:
Is it possible to balance hormones naturally? The good news is: yes, in many cases it is. Below youll learn about some root causes of hormonal problems, as well as about treatment options to help you balance your hormones naturally.
Testing Your Balance With A Hormone Imbalance Test
If you feel as though your mood is topsy-turvy and unpredictable or your energy is in a slump, you might be experiencing one of the signs of hormone imbalance and a hormone imbalance test may be in your best interest. Testing for a hormone imbalance is one of the most effective ways of properly diagnosing both hormone imbalances in women as well as hormone imbalances in men so that you can get your life, your mood, and your way of functioning back in balance.
The most common hormone imbalances include:
- Estrogen deficiency or excess
- DHEA deficiency or excess
- Hydrocortisone excess or deficiency
Your symptoms will actually help determine the type of hormone imbalance test that will be most effective and accurate. Believe it or not, there are several methods of conducting a hormone imbalance test. Some test the saliva, while others require urine or blood samples. Age, gender, race, symptoms, and even the state of your general health factor into which type of testing may be right for you, so its important to get professional guidance before you make the call on your own.
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How Do You Check Hormone Levels
A blood test is the most common method of checking hormone levels.
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Select the correct answer and click on the Finish buttonCheck your score and answers at the end of the quiz
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.
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Which Hormone Test Is The Easiest To Get
It depends. As mentioned, serum blood testing by your doctor is the standard of practice and typically easiest for most people to get if they have easy access to the doctor. You, as the patient, dont have to do any work except drive yourself to the lab.
Finding a qualified nutrition expert or physician that is functionally trained who will order saliva and urine testing and properly interpret the results may be less accessible, but it just takes a little research to see who is in your area.
Youll have to read directions and complete the testing on your own with saliva and urine testing. There are benefits to having a combination of serum, saliva, and urine for a full picture of whats going on with your hormones.
We did it! Thanks for sticking through until the end!
As you can now see, the options for hormone imbalance tests are quite advanced these days. There are strengths and limitations to serum, saliva, and urine testing, and when used together, can provide important information about your hormones when you expect that things just feel off. You are more in touch with your body than anyone else. You know what does and does not feel right. So, if clear answers to your problems dont show up on a standard lab test, investigate further!
Sometimes the root of your symptoms is a result of food sensitivities or not following an anti-inflammatory diet. Embarking on an elimination diet could be instrumental in managing your hormonal imbalance symptoms.
Treatment For A Hormonal Imbalance
There are many different treatment options for hormonal imbalances. The treatment you ultimately be given will depend on which hormone exactly is unbalance as well as the underlying cause of the imbalance. Sometimes, a life event might cause such a fluctuation in your hormones, such as menopause. In that case, your treatment would be short term one. However, if you have a genetic disorder that causes a lifelong hormonal imbalance, you will need to pursue a more prolonged course of medications.
Hormone therapy is a common treatment for hormonal imbalances. Women who are witnessing uncomfortable menopausal symptoms may choose estrogen therapy. Testosterone therapy is a common choice for men with low testosterone levels or adolescents facing delayed puberty. Taking thyroid hormones can help individuals with hypothyroidism. Such hormone replacement therapies may come in the form of pills, patches, or even injections. Your doctor will help you choose the appropriate dosage by checking your hormone levels test results. This is how he will determine the right amount of supplemented hormone you will need to recreate the balance.
Bioidentical hormones can be produced by pharmaceutical companies using different doses. Examples include bi-estrogen which is 50 to 80 percent estriol combined with estradiol, or tri-estrogen which is 10 percent estrone, 10 percent estradiol, and 80 percent estriol.
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Blood Hormone Test Results
A blood test for hormones will produce exact levels of tested hormones in a woman’s blood as well as the normal reference range for those specific hormones, both of which will be analyzed by a licensed medical doctor to confirm or rule out a hormonal imbalance.
Because hormone levels fluctuate on a regular basis, each of the 200 identified hormones and hormone-like substances has its own normal accepted range as well as the best time of the month to test for it.
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.
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Hormonal Imbalance In Women: Symptoms And Treatment
There are natural fluctuations in hormone levels throughout our lives and our menstrual cycles. But when levels become too low or too high, that can lead to issues that make getting pregnant more difficult. Below, weâre breaking down the types and symptoms of hormonal imbalance â and walking you through testing your levels on your own.
The Hormonal Imbalance Quiz
Heres how to take the quiz: As you read through the eight categories, mark down the symptoms that apply to you currently. Total up your symptoms in each category, note how many apply to you and jot down the number in the box next to TOTAL. Once youve gone through each of the categories, take a look at Dr. Brightens results at the end.
I experience bloating or puffiness.
I feel irritable or experience mood swings.
I experience heavy, painful periods.
I have gained weight or have difficulty losing weight, especially around my hips, butt, and thighs.
Ive been told I have fibroids.
My life is crazy stressful.
I feel overwhelmed by stress.
I have extra weight around my midsection.
I have difficulty falling or staying asleep.
My body is tired at night, but my mind is going a mile a minutewired and tired.
I have brain fog or feel like my memory isnt quite what it used to be.
Im losing hair .
Im tired no matter how much I sleep.
Im constipated often and need a stimulant to get a bowel movement.
Im cold and/or have cold hands and feet.