Hormones are an essential part of your body, as they help to regulate many of your bodily functions. Even the slightest change in your hormones can start a cascade of problems in your body, along with uncomfortable symptoms. Understanding your hormones helps you to spot a problem early on.
At Shine Health and Wellness, located in Pasadena, California, our team are experts in a number of issues that affect your hormones. Dr. Kimberley Shine is a family medicine specialist, who also has experience with functional medicine. She offers bioidentical hormone replacement therapy when your hormones are out of balance.
What causes a hormonal imbalance?
Menopause is one of the leading causes of hormone imbalances in women. During this stage in your life, your body slows its production of estrogen because you’re no longer able to get pregnant. However, you may experience hormonal imbalances for other reasons, including:
- Eating disorders
- Thyroid problems
In men, testosterone is the main sex hormone, which gradually declines with age. When your testosterone declines, your body ultimately goes through changes, just like a woman does in menopause. Although it’s an expected change as you age, it doesn’t make dealing with the symptoms any easier.
A poor diet or improper nutrition also impact your hormones. Your body needs certain nutrients on a regular basis to keep all of your systems functioning normally. When your body is short on these nutrients, your hormones are adversely affected.
Symptoms of a hormonal imbalance
The symptoms you experience with a hormonal imbalance vary, depending on what’s causing the problem. Your symptoms may come and go, or they could be pretty steady. Some of the signs and symptoms of a hormonal imbalance include:
- Decreased sex drive
- Weight gain
- Dry skin
- Hair loss
- Vaginal dryness
- Night sweats
As a woman, hormonal imbalances also affect your menstrual cycles. You may notice that your periods become heavier than normal. They can also become quite irregular or sometimes stop completely.
Men experience different symptoms when their testosterone is low. If you’re a male with a hormone issue, you may notice growth of breast tissue or problems getting or maintaining an erection.
How an imbalance affects your health
Your hormones are used for just about every vital function in your body. For this reason, an imbalance can lead to a number of different health problems, including:
Risk of osteoporosis
Lower levels of testosterone in aging men and estrogen deficiency in women can lead to weak and brittle bones. Osteoporosis is a condition that leads to increased bone loss, which ultimately can lead to easily broken bones. Without proper hormone balance in your body, osteoporosis is likely to occur.
Bloating is a common complaint among women before and during their menstrual cycles. Estrogen and progesterone can lead to fluid shifts, causing digestive issues. Constipation and diarrhea are other issues you may experience from other hormonal imbalances.
Depression and anxiety
Even the smallest changes in your hormone levels can trigger a change in your mental health. This includes anxiety and depression. Both can result from menopause, changes after giving birth, or thyroid problems.
Blood pressure issues
High blood pressure can be caused by hormone issues in your body. Too much cortisol, for instance, can lead to problems with regulating your blood pressure. Thyroid problems also have the potential to cause high blood pressure.
When your progesterone or estrogen aren’t in normal range, it can lead to fertility problems as a woman. However, men can also suffer fertility issues because of a lack of testosterone as well.
Dr. Shine can help you get your hormones under control by offering bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. This type of therapy uses hormones that mimic your own body’s hormones, giving you a much more natural way to replace them.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of a hormonal imbalance, don’t hesitate to book an appointment online or over the phone with our expert team at Shine Health and Wellness today.