Often, we think of hormones when referring to adolescence and the transition into adulthood. But the function of hormones covers a wide range of systems throughout the body, including appetite, sleep, body fat distribution, hair growth, and bone growth.
In women, estrogen, progesterone, and trace amounts of testosterone play a role from puberty onward, and imbalances in these chemical messengers can lead to numerous complications. Treating imbalances is most effective when caught as early as possible. Let’s look at what causes hormone imbalances, signs you have them, and how to treat them.
If you experience signs of hormone imbalances and live in the Las Vegas, Nevada area, Dr. Staci Mchale and the staff at the award-winning women’s clinic New Beginnings OB-GYN can help.
Causes of hormone imbalances
Hormone levels change constantly. People commonly experience changes in their hormone levels during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause.
Abnormal hormone levels at other times are often due to other conditions. These include stress, hormonal birth control, hormone replacement therapy, being overweight, primary ovarian insufficiency, ovarian cancer, and polycystic ovary syndrome.
Signs of hormone imbalances
Here are some early signs of abnormal hormone levels:
Fatigue and weakness
Hormone changes can happen in the form of muscle weakness and fatigue, making you unusually tired and having no energy to perform basic tasks.
Mood changes are common in hormone imbalances, including nervousness, irritability, anxiety, and depression. It can also change your sex drive, reducing your libido, which can also affect your mood.
Hormone imbalances can cause blurred vision, weight changes, dry skin, thinning or brittle hair, constipation, frequent bowel movements, sweating, changes in heart rate, and puffy skin. You may also experience pain, stiffness, swelling in the joints, infertility, greater sensitivity to cold and heat, and frequent hunger and thirst.
Methods of treatment
Managing abnormal hormone levels can be achieved with lifestyle changes, such as maintaining a consistent sleep routine, drinking water early in the day, and getting regular sunlight while still wearing sun protection.
Dietary changes can also help. Many foods can raise hormone levels, like healthy proteins, eggs, greens, and fatty fish. These can increase insulin, glucagon, and eicosanoids in your body.
Depending on the specific hormone problems, estrogen therapy, vaginal estrogen, hormonal birth control, hormone replacement therapy, and anti-androgen medications can help. We tailor our treatment to your particular needs and may recommend a combination of treatments.
Some fluctuation in hormone levels is natural, but hormone imbalances can wreak havoc on your body. If you’re worried your hormones are out of balance, make an appointment with Dr. McHale and New Beginnings OB-GYN today to get the help you need.