How to identify and Correct Your Hormonal Imbalance
Regardless of age, a woman's hormones all work together like a symphony; if one part of the orchestra is not functioning properly, then the melody you produce is out of tune. Signs of hormonal imbalance in women are a very real quality of life issue. All women need to be aware of these signs of hormone imbalance.
Over the last 100 years as we have doubled our life expectancy, the soft tissue glands which create our hormones are being forced to produce them longer than ever. Our increasingly stressful lives, worsening nutrition and lack of proper fitness combine to result in declining levels of hormones in our bodies.
Signs and Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance
Even when only one unbalanced hormone is present, it may result in the following hormonal imbalance symptoms in women:
- Hot Flashes & Night Sweats
- Weight Gain
- Mood Swings
- Low Libido
- Vaginal Dryness
- Foggy Memory
If you are not sure if you have a hormonal imbalance, start with the hormonal imbalance quiz.
If your body is experiencing the symptoms of hormone imbalance, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can bring relief: these natural, plant-based hormones are chemically identical to the ones produced in the body, and a variety of treatment options are available.
Causes of Hormonal Imbalance
Hormone levels are a delicate balance, and that balance can be easily disrupted. Hormonal imbalances can be caused by stress, by hormonal disorders like diabetes and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), by birth control medications, or by natural changes in the body like pregnancy and menopause.
Stress triggers the production of cortisol, a hormone produced in the adrenal gland that increases your heart rate, blood pressure and muscle tension. High cortisol levels can be linked to changes in a woman's libido and menstrual cycle, and may cause anxiety and depression. High levels of cortisol are linked to low levels of progesterone, estrogen and testosterone.
Pregnancy Hormonal Imbalance
Estrogen and progesterone are often called the "pregnancy hormones," because of the crucial role they play in fertility and fetal development. Production of these hormones increases dramatically during pregnancy and is essential for healthy development of a fetus. Low estrogen or progesterone can cause infertility.
Imbalance in the thyroid hormone can also have adverse effects on pregnancy. Thyroid imbalances are common during pregnancy, and left untreated can negatively affect both mother and fetus.
Signs of low progesterone in women include: abnormal, missed or late periods; spotting or cramping during pregnancy; and infertility. Low levels of progesterone may even produce symptoms of estrogen dominance, mimicking a high estrogen state, which can increase the likelihood of breast and ovarian cancers or lead to endometriosis. On the other end of the spectrum, signs of low estrogen include: irregular periods, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, infertility, weak bones, and urinary tract infections.
Estrogen Reduction and Menopause
Many of the symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, mood swings, sleep disorders and anxiety, are caused by a decline in estrogen production as a woman ages. A combination of herbal remedies, diet and bioidentical hormone therapy can ease these symptoms and balance estrogen levels. Ginseng may ease anxiety and mood swings, while black cohosh, dong quai and evening primrose can provide relief from hot flashes. According to a study by the Linus Pauling Institute, foods rich in phytoestrogens include: flaxseeds and sesame seeds; carrots, spinach, broccoli and cauliflower; alfalfa and clover sprouts; split peas, pinto beans and chickpeas; and tofu and other soybean products. It's also important to choose organic, hormone-free meats, dairy and eggs instead of their hormone-supplemented counterparts.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) occurs when the ovaries do not develop eggs properly or are not released during ovulation. While the cause of PCOS is unknown, PCOS can cause hormones to become imbalanced. The symptoms of this condition can include irregular menstrual cycle, hirsutism, acne, thinning hair, and skin darkening. A doctor can diagnose PCOS with a physical exam, pelvic exam, and blood tests. Ultrasounds to find ovarian cysts can also be helpful in determining PCOS-related hormone imbalance.
PCOS does not have an exact cause, though medical experts suspect genetics may play a part. Generally, women with PCOS have unusually high levels of androgens, also known as the "male hormone." Such women also typically have higher than normal levels of insulin, hormone that controls the conversion of food into energy. This imbalance leads to insulin resistance, where the body becomes "numb," in essence, prompting the body to create more and more insulin, which over time does affect ovary function.
There is Relief
The symptoms of hormonal imbalance in women can indicate any one of the conditions of menopause and her ugly sisters (perimenopause and postmenopause), surgical menopause, thyroid health and adrenal fatigue. But regardless of condition, these conditions could mean that you have a hormone imbalance.
If you are experiencing these symptoms, getting tested by a highly trained bioidentical hormone doctor in order to discover the current levels of your hormones could be the beginning of a solution you have been seeking. Once we know your results, we can help you find that beautiful melody that is your optimal health. You do not have to live with perimenopause symptoms and menopausal symptoms! You can be be healthier, happier, and free to enjoy your life by addressing the inconvenience and frustration of symptoms resulting from perimenopause, menopause, or any of the others. Women with balanced hormones integrated with proper nutrition and fitness can have a better quality of life as they age.
BodyLogicMD Can Help Your Hormonal Imbalance
The practitioners of the BodyLogicMD network are experts in hormone health. Each practitioner understands that achieving balance is a combination of advanced therapies, like bioidentical hormone therapy, and dynamic strategies for nutrition, stress management, and sleep that work synergistically to promote optimal health. Every practitioner is specially-trained and certified in bioidentical hormone therapy and functional medicine practices to ensure every patient receives elite care and maximizes their health potential.
Contact the BodyLogicMD- affiliated bioidentical hormone therapy physician nearest you to schedule an appointment and learn more about how hormone therapy, as well as customized diet and lifestyle plans, can relieve the menopausal symptoms and perimenopause symptoms associated with natural hormonal imbalance for women.