So You Think You Have a Hormone Imbalance? Common Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance

Hormone imbalance is a topic that many do not imagine they would ever have to deal with in their lifetime. The truth is that many will have to deal with this health issue and knowing how to identify it will greatly prevent years of the stress and frustration that it can bring.

Identifying the symptoms of hormone imbalance can help place you on the correct path to improving your health and overall quality of life. Symptoms will vary from individual to individual.

Hormones act as chemical messengers that influence the way that the cells and organs in our bodies function. Hormone levels will not stay constant all your life. Levels fluctuate as you get older and change, but they can severely affect your body when you have a health issue going on or are taking medications, which can affect hormone levels in the body.

A very common symptom of hormone imbalance is irregularity of your period, if you’re a woman. A lack of period each month or an inconsistent cycle is deemed as irregular.

Another common symptom of hormone imbalance is weight gain. Those with a hormone imbalance have a hard time maintaining a healthy weight. A hormone imbalance affects cortisol production, a stress hormone that is responsible for the storing of belly fat.

Low sex drive or libido is another common symptom.

According to the Surrey Park Clinic:

“The pelvic floor tissues are very sensitive to oestrogen and testosterone, and low libido can be very closely related to times of low hormone production such as after childbirth and in the pre and postmenopause.”

Contact us to receive a consultation if you may suspect hormone imbalance.

Topics: Hormones, hormonal imbalance, weight gain, estrogen, Health, women

Why Women Should Take the Natural Route with Hormone Therapy

During the chaos of menopause, it may feel like any relief in hormone fluctuations is a godsend. You may have read about hormone replacement therapy and be ready to jump on the train to a more manageable, day-to-day life. However, not all HRT’s are created equally. There are naturally synthesized and artificially synthesized types of HRT’s. Artificial or conventional hormone replacement therapy has been around for decades, but it was not until recently that this type of treatment had an opponent on the HRT market.

What are the differences?

Natural hormone replacement therapies, or bioidentical hormones, are exact replicas of naturally occurring hormones. These hormones have the exact shape and structure of what your ovaries produce naturally. According to Harvard Medical School, these natural hormones are synthesized from chemical extracts found in yams and soy.

Artificially synthesized hormone replacement, usually come in pill form with a “prem” prefix. The most common form of this HRT is a drug called Premarin. What many women do not know is that this family of drugs are synthesized from pregnant mare’s urine. The estrogen found in a horse’s urine is substantially more potent than of that found naturally occurring in  women. Therefore, it can wreak havoc on a menopausal woman’s body.

 

 

The side effects

According to Body Logic MD,  natural hormone replacement therapy does come with some minor side effects, including:

  • Increased aggressiveness or irritability when beginning the drug.
  • Breast tenderness, spotting and cramping.
  • Itching or redness at injection site.

On the other hand, conventional, artificial HRT’s come with a slew of possible, potentially serious, and even life-threatening side effects. These side effects have been documented by the reputable John R. Lee, M.D.:

  • Blot clots
  • Breast cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Strokes

While bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is relatively new, due to it being identical to naturally occurring hormones, it is definitely a safer option for the menopausal woman.

 

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Understanding the Six Primary Hormones in Women

Hot flashes, low libido, weight gain, and mood swings are all common symptoms of perimenopause and menopause, but they could also indicate a general hormonal imbalance. As women age, their bodies naturally slow down the production of certain hormones. This causes an imbalance that can lead to the above symptoms as well as dozens of other ones. Understanding hormones in women is essential so you can start to feel better.

Beyond Estrogen: Hormones That Make a Woman Tick

Most women are aware of estrogen, the primary hormone in the female body. Common symptoms of low estrogen include breast tenderness, vaginal dryness, lack of desire for sex, insomnia, difficulty concentrating, and decreased bone density. The following hormones are also essential for long-term good health:

  • Progesterone: Balanced levels of progesterone are necessary to prevent symptoms associated with estrogen dominance. In addition to age-related hormone decline, stress, poor nutrition, insulin resistance, and a sedentary lifestyle can cause low levels of progesterone. Typical symptoms of unbalance include anxiety, depression, weight gain, and sleep disturbances.
  • Pregnenolone: This hormone controls the function of several others, most notably estrogen and progesterone. You will notice a marked drop in energy when pregnenolone declines since it produces up to 60 percent of the body’s energy.
  • Cortisol: Both men and women possess cortisol, which is also known as the stress hormone. That is because cortisol produces chemicals in your body that help you respond appropriately to stress. Fatigue, lack of focus, and mood disturbances are common with cortisol imbalances.
  • Testosterone: While this is the primary hormone of men, women also have it in smaller amounts. Testosterone in women is necessary for muscle definition, energy, bone strength, and experiencing pleasure from sex.
  • Thyroid: People can experience either too little of this hormone (hypothyroidism) or too much (hyperthyroidism), although the first type is more common. Hot flashes, cold sensations, weight gain, and dozens of other symptoms can be traced to thyroid deficiencies.

Now that you have a better understanding of the role of women’s hormones, we at Nova Health Therapy would be happy to discuss your treatment options in more detail.

What if Your Lack of Sex Drive isn’t a Normal Part of Aging?

As we age, there are certain changes that we all put up with.  No one likes the idea of getting older, but we also know that we can’t expect to be quite as energetic, youthful looking or strong in our old age as we were in our twenties.  While, certain aspects of aging should be accepted with grace, you may be excusing certain diminishments in your quality of life as “normal” parts of the aging process, when actually they are anything but.

For instance, how is your romantic life?  Have you noticed a dwindling interest in sexual activity? Perhaps you’ve just been telling yourself that this part of getting older and that there’s nothing you can do about it. IF so, you should know that lack of sex drive can actually be an indicator that you have a hormone imbalance.

You don’t have to give up on your love life, instead you can simply have your hormones tested.  If a hormone imbalance is detected it can be treated very effectively with bioidentical-hormone replacement.  You don’t need to take artificial hormones, you can replace the hormones that you are in need of, and get back to feeling more like yourself.

Before you chalk up your fatigue and diminished sex drive to your age, come in and see if it is something we can help you with. We love improving the quality of lives of our patients. Nothing gives us more satisfaction than teaching someone how important it is to have balanced hormones.

Hormones in Women: 3 Facts Every Woman Should Know But Probably Doesn’t

Every woman alive, no matter what age, is familiar with the experiences hormones can create for them. However, many women aren’t completely aware of the vastness and complexity of their human hormones. Whether a woman is trying to correct a hormonal imbalance or become more educated on how hormones work, this post will discuss a few interesting facts about hormones in women.

Hormones And Breastfeeding: For women looking for a reason to breastfeed their newborn instead of opting for formula, this may be it! When a woman breastfeeds, the hormone oxytocin is released throughout the body. This hormone not only reduces the risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer, but aids the uterus in returning to its regular size after giving birth.
Stress Can Cause Imbalances: Women who are prone to more stress often experience menstrual cycle infrequencies. Those stress hormones can make periods either shorter or longer than normal and create a whole new batch of other problems. Consider remedies to thwart stress hormones that could ultimately lead to an unwanted hormonal imbalance.
Testosterone is Your Friend: When people hear the word “testosterone” they usually think of men. But the reality is that both men and women have this useful hormone. Women who do not produce enough testosterone often suffer from a lack of sex drive, low sense of well-being, and very little motivation. While too much testosterone (or too much of any hormone) will only do more harm than good, checking to see if testosterone levels are correct might be exactly what is needed to boost energy.

Estrogen And Hair Loss: What Is The Connection?

hair loss, estrogen

Estrogen аnd hair loss аrе connected thrоugh thе natural hair growth cycle. Thinning hair іs а common complaint оf women durіng menopause аnd іs а result оf low estrogen levels. Likewise, pregnant women оftеn hаvе longer, fast-growing, thicker hair bесаusе оf elevated estrogen levels. Hormones, medicines аnd disease саn alter thе length оf thе natural hair growth cycle.

 

Achieving hormonal balance іs difficult fоr mаnу reasons, еsресіаllу fоr women bеtwееn thе ages оf 35 аnd 50. Маnу women іn thеіr mid- tо late 30s аrе overloaded wіth estrogen. Ву age 50, estrogen levels can decrease bу 35 percent, аnd progesterone levels decrease bу as much 75%. Decreased estrogen аnd hair loss оr thinning hair аrе common symptoms оf menopause. Estrogen therapy іs а common solution fоr decreased estrogen аnd hair loss іn menopausal women.

 

In The Case of Oral Contraceptives: Oral contraceptives аnd birth control pills соntаіn estrogen. Аn initial increase іn hair growth — оr reduction іn hair loss — іs usuаllу noticed sооn аftеr а woman bеgіns tаkіng birth control pills оr estrogen replacement pills. Оvеr time, аs estrogen levels stabilize, thе natural hair growth cycle іs restored. Discontinuing birth control can, as you might expect, result іn additional hair loss rаthеr thаn а restoration оf hormonal balance. Тhе loss оf hair fоllоwіng hormone stimulation іs called telogen effluvium (TE).

 

Classic short-term TE occurs аftеr women gіvеn birth. Аlsо called postpartum alopecia, thе sudden change іn hormone levels sends а shock tо thе hair follicles, causing thеm tо shut dоwn temporarily. А sіmіlаr reaction occurs wіth аnу estrogen imbalance. Hair loss іmmеdіаtеlу fоllоwіng pregnancy іs аnоthеr example оf thе connection bеtwееn estrogen аnd hair loss.

 

Connection Between Hair Growth and Estrogen: Estrogen аnd hair loss аrе connected bесаusе thе natural hair growth cycle іs regulated bу hormones. Аlthоugh thіs іs nоt thе primary role оf estrogen, іt аffесts bone growth, skin, fat аnd protein deposition аnd electrolyte balance. Іf thе effects оf estrogen аnd hair loss аrе severe, changes іn diet аnd lifestyle саn аlsо offer relief. Chemical аnd food sources оf estrogen shоuld bе eliminated, stress shоuld bе minimized, аnd exercise іs аlwауs encouraged. Іn mоst cases, normal hair growth саn bе jumpstarted wіth hormone therapy.

 

 

If you suspect your hormones may be out of balance, we have a simple online hormone test you can take. Our hormone specialists will review your answers and can help determine if natural hormone replacement therapy is a good choice for you!

Is Bioidentical Hormone Therapy a Safe Treatment for Menopause?

As women reaches a certain age, her natural hormone levels begin to drop off as she enters menopause. For some women, the symptoms of menopause are annoying, but bearable, while others have symptoms so bad that they prevent them from living their daily lives to the fullest. For women that suffer from intense symptoms of menopause, hormone therapy can help.

Conventional hormone therapy uses synthetic hormones or animal-based hormones to help treat the symptoms, but in recent years bioidentical hormone therapy has become a viable alternative. Instead of synthetic hormones, bioidentical hormones are created to be biochemically the same to natural hormones produced by a woman’s own ovaries during her reproductive years.

What can Bioidentical Hormones do for Menopause Symptoms?

Hormones treatments are used to quell the symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness. However, the treatments are not meant to completely replace hormones, but rather the treatments use less and less hormones to gently ease a woman off her natural hormones instead of suffering through the sudden drop off during menopause.

Traditional hormone therapy will vary depending on what the women is suffering from the most. For example, hot flashes require more estrogen and in turn more progestogen to prevent uterine cancer from the increased estrogen. However, the major benefit of choosing bioidentical hormones means that a woman doesn’t need to treat just one symptom, but instead gets treatment for all of them. The hormones designed to match your body’s natural hormones stops much of the normal symptoms of menopause as the therapy gently weans your body off them.

Are Bioidentical Hormones Safe?

There is a misconception that bioidentical hormones are not approved by the FDA and thus, not safe. However, this is not the case. The means to created bioidentical hormones are approved by the FDA, but the methods of delivery are not. As each woman requires different treatment with bioidentical hormones to match their natural hormone levels, there is no way for the FDA to regulate and approve the means of hormone delivery.

While FDA approved, there are some side effects that come with bioidentical hormone therapy. Due to the new influx of hormones, patients have reported aggressiveness, acne, and irritability. Women in particular may also have breast tenderness, cramping, spotting, and bloating.

Topics: Menopause, Natural hormone therapy, hormone imbalance, women