There comes a time in a woman’s life when, at a particular age, there’s a forgone conclusion that symptoms such as night sweats, low moods, poor sleep, and weight gain are signs of early menopause or imminent menopause (also known as perimenopause). While this may be true in some cases, it isn’t the rule, and women may tolerate discomfort when they really don’t have to.
Hormonal imbalances unrelated to menopause can cause many of the same symptoms as menopause. This causes quite a bit of chaos in the body since hormones govern most of the key internal functions, so when they are out of balance, it can result in various symptoms throughout the body.
When your hormones are appropriately balanced, many of the body’s major systems function in a much healthier way! The team at Happy Hormone Cottage specializes in Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT). This helps people with hormone imbalances or deficiencies achieve more natural and sustainable hormone levels.
What Do Hormones Do in the Body?
Hormones regulate many processes in your body by conveying messages through your blood to your organs, skin, muscles, and other tissues. These chemical messengers instruct your body on what to do and when. Hormones are necessary for life and wellbeing.
So far, researchers have discovered approximately 50 hormones in the human body.
Your endocrine system primarily consists of hormones and tissues (mostly glands) that produce and release them. Hormones regulate a massive range of body functions, including:
- Appetite and metabolism
- Development and growth
- Sexual function and reproduction
- Sleep-wake cycle
- Mood and stress
- Heart Rate
How Do Hormonal Imbalance Symptoms Differ From Menopause?
The ovaries produce estrogen and progesterone. This production decreases during menopause, leading to hormone shifts or a decline in estrogen, which causes menopausal symptoms. It can, therefore, be easy to mistake the signs of a hormonal imbalance for the typical signs of menopause.
Hormonal imbalances are commonly associated with the following symptoms:
- Appetite changes
- Decreased sex desire
- Brittle, thinning hair
- Rapid weight gain or loss
- Excessive perspiration
- Changes in cold and heat sensitivity
- Dry skin or rashes on the skin
- Blood pressure fluctuations
- Variations in heart rate
- Brittle or brittle bones
- Blood sugar fluctuations
- Anxiety and irritability
- Long-term fatigue
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
- Breast sensitivity
- Puffy face
- Blurred vision
Menopause features the above symptoms as well as:
- Mood swings
- Vaginal dryness
- Decreased libido
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Weight and body fat gain
- Slower metabolism
- Waking insomnia
- Brain fog
What Causes Hormonal Imbalance?
Since hormones are generated in glands situated throughout the body, there are several possibilities for production and distribution to be interrupted, resulting in a hormonal imbalance. Some imbalances are caused by physical issues, such as a tumor or cancer, while others are caused by poor nutrition, lack of sleep, stress, and other lifestyle factors.
Natural factors cause some hormonal imbalances in women. During your menstrual cycle, your hormones change, which can cause symptoms like insomnia or bloating. Hormones are also affected during breastfeeding and pregnancy. Menopause gives rise to hormonal changes as well.
However, specific hormonal imbalances are caused by other factors, such as:
An overactive or underactive thyroid throws off thyroid hormone levels in your body. These problems might arise due to an autoimmune disorder, drugs, tumors, and other factors.
Your body produces cortisol as a response to stress. Long-term stress subjects your body to high amounts of cortisol for extended periods of time, which can impact the levels of other hormones in the body. An oversupply of cortisol can result in Cushing syndrome.
Eating disorders like anorexia nervosa can disrupt hormone levels, resulting in insufficient estrogen, inadequate bone density, and other consequences.
Some forms of birth control contain hormones, which impact the hormones in your body. They can cause difficulties such as irregular periods, severe bleeding, weight gain, digestive issues, and more. Coming off of hormonal birth control can temporarily impact your natural hormone levels while they reset.
The Estrogen and Progesterone Balance
Estrogen helps your body prepare for pregnancy and delivery, preserves bone health, reduces cholesterol, and regulates insulin. Progesterone and testosterone work together to keep estrogen under control. While a decline in estrogen levels promotes menopause, an excess of estrogen can cause weight gain, depression, headaches, irregular menstruation, blood clots, insulin difficulties, gallbladder illness, and other symptoms. All three hormonal players must work together and remain in balance, whether that means boosting estrogen or increasing progesterone or testosterone levels.
What Can I Do If I Have a Hormonal Imbalance?
Your medical history, age, physical exam, and saliva hormone test can help identify whether you are in menopause or perimenopause or have another form of hormonal imbalance. Several hormone replacement treatments are available, and your provider will assist you in determining the optimal program for your specific health needs and lifestyle.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy Available In Centerville, Ohio
If you feel that a hormone imbalance is interfering with your life, contact the Happy Hormone Cottage. We’re here to listen, and we appreciate that you know your own body and can identify issues. We are always happy to answer any questions and provide you with all the information regarding hormone therapy! We want to share your success and will be with you on every step of your hormone-balancing journey!
Call our office to speak with a member of our team or schedule a consultation online today!