Hormones are important chemicals in the body that help coordinate and regulate many functions including metabolism, mood, growth, and sexuality. These chemicals are secreted from glands and organs in your endocrine system, so when your body creates too much or too little of a hormone it can create a hormonal imbalance.
Around 80% of women live with hormonal imbalances, and some don’t even realize it. Dr. Staci Mchale and the experienced medical team at New Beginnings OB-GYN support women in the Las Vegas, Nevada area looking to manage hormonal problems. We offer individualized care for women of all ages with diligence, compassion, and empathy.
Hormonal imbalances can create a wide range of problems in your body, but there are some things you can do to help restore balance. Let’s look at how hormones work, what causes imbalances, and ways to prevent and treat the problem.
Your endocrine system works by secreting hormones throughout your bloodstream with various glands in the system regulating how much of each hormone to produce. These glands work together to control and maintain a wide range of functions from your digestion to your blood pressure.
Your main hormone glands include your:
Additionally, your ovaries create estrogen and progesterone, which are vital for your growth and sexual maturity. For many women, certain health problems you encounter may be due to having too little or too much of these hormones.
A number of underlying conditions that affect both sexes can cause hormone imbalances such as stress, eating disorders, injuries, gland problems, diabetes, Cushing syndrome, chemotherapy, and some medications.
In addition to the above, women may also have the following risk factors that can cause hormonal imbalances.
Birth control pills normally contain certain hormones such as estrogen and progesterone. While many women tolerate these additional hormones well, some people can experience hormonal changes as a side effect.
Many of the changes you experience during pregnancy are due to a marked increase of estrogen and progesterone. While some of these changes are normal, pregnancy itself can sometimes cause a hormone imbalance.
Similarly, your body produces the hormone prolactin while breastfeeding your baby. Because this hormone can affect the levels of other hormones in your body, it can lead to imbalances in rare circumstances.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common disorder affecting women of reproductive age where your ovaries produce abnormal amounts of androgens (male sex hormones).
Primary ovarian insufficiency, also called premature menopause, refers to experiencing a radical reduction in reproductive hormones before you turn 40.
Menopause is the natural process of your reproductive cycle ending when your body slows down hormone production from your ovaries. However, even this normal phase of life can leave you facing a hormone imbalance.
If you are experiencing a hormone imbalance, you may have symptoms such as:
Luckily, there are many treatment options for managing hormonal changes, such as hormone replacement medications, anti-androgen medications, and vaginal estrogen.
Additionally, there are some simple lifestyle changes you can make to manage this condition. If you have a hormonal imbalance, we recommend:
Temporary hormonal imbalances during puberty, pregnancy and menopause are normal, but it’s important to know when to seek help if things start to get out of control. If you need help managing hormone imbalances, make an appointment with Dr. McHale and New Beginnings OB-GYN today.