Understanding How Hormone Levels Affect Your Health
Understanding How Hormone Levels Affect Your Health
Once upon a time, hormones were cast in a single starring role—the ringleaders of puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. Today we understand that, in actuality, hormones take center stage in influencing nearly every aspect of our health—from metabolism and sleep, hunger and thirst, growth and fertility, blood pressure and libido.
The Role of Hormones
While estrogen and testosterone often steal the spotlight, scientists have identified more than 50 hormones in the human body. Your hormones are indispensable chemical messengers that control and manage hundreds of essential functions in your body—with many bodily processes involving a chain
reaction of several different hormones. Produced by endocrine system glands, hormones regulate everything from your blood pressure and metabolism, your growth and development, y
our fertility and sexual function, your emotions and mood, and even your sleep cycle. Hormones flow through your entire body, but only deliver messages to cells designed to receive and respond to their messages. Hormones and cell receptors work together—with hormones “locking” into the targeted cells to deliver their messages.
Your hormones engage in two main types of communication: endocrine gland to endocrine gland, and endocrine gland to target organs. In the first type of communication, one of your endocrine glands releases a hormone, which then stimulates another endocrine gland to change the level of hormones it’s releasing. In the second type of communication, one of your endocrine glands releases hormones that act on a target organ.
Impact of Hormone Imbalances
Your body carefully monitors its hormone levels, but sometimes your glands may produce too much or too little of a hormone—resulting in a hormone imbalance. Most people will experience at least one or two periods of hormonal imbalance during their lifetime. Some hormone levels will naturally fluctuate with age, but other hormonal imbalances may be the result of lifestyle changes (stress, nutrition, medication, illness) or a serious health condition such as certain cancers, diabetes, and thyroid disease.
Contrary to popular belief, hormone imbalances affect women and men—with imbalances in adrenaline, insulin, growth hormones, and steroids impacting men and women alike. Another myth about hormone imbalance is that it only affects women and men above the age of 50. Women and men can begin to experience hormonal changes as early as their mid to late 20’s. While men are most likely to experience imbalances in the male sex hormone, testosterone, women may experience imbalances in estrogen and progesterone.
Hormone imbalances can cause significant changes in how your body functions—triggering a range of health problems and symptoms such as changes in weight, blood pressure, skin conditions, sleep patterns, sex drive, anxiety, and mood. Which hormonal imbalance symptoms you experience often depends upon your gender and which endocrine gland is affected. In women, common symptoms include skin rashes, low sex drive, mood swings, insomnia, weight fluctuations, infertility, constipation or diarrhea, irregular menstrual cycles, excessive hair growth, brittle bones, and abdominal and back pain during menstruation. In men, imbalances in testosterone often present as thinning hair or reduced hair growth, loss of muscle mass, erectile dysfunction, low sex drive, and chest tenderness.
Treating Hormone Imbalances
Treatments for hormonal imbalances vary greatly depending upon the root cause of the hormone fluctuations. At Anodyne Pain & Wellness Solutions, our wellness specialists provide you with testing to detect unbalanced hormone levels, and partner with you to examine lifestyle factors (such as nutrition, sleep, exercise, stress) that may be contributing to changes in hormone levels.
If needed, our specialists may recommend hormone replacement therapy treatments—including Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT). BHRT uses hormones that are structurally similar to those naturally found in your body and is used to treat men and women when hormone levels decrease or become unbalanced. While it’s often used to ease perimenopause and menopause symptoms, BHRT is also beneficial if you suffer from insulin resistance, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, weight issues, and adrenal and thyroid disorders among other chronic conditions. To learn more about hormone imbalances and treatments offered, visit https://anodynepain.com/ today.
Whether you’re struggling to diagnose a chronic pain condition or you’re pursuing wellness treatments to stay healthy and feel great, we’re here to support you at every step of your health care journey.
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