How This Helps

Hormones are the chemical messengers of the human body that acts as a bridge of communication between two cells. Hormones are biologically synthesized chemical entities. They are secreted from specific glands and cells and are either protein or steroid in nature. The hallmark of these signal molecules is their potency. They transmit the message from one cell to another by binding with the cellular constituents called receptors.[1]  

Hormonal imbalance symptoms

What are the symptoms of hormonal imbalance?

The normal functioning of the body is impaired when the hormones are either secreted in excess or are secreted in less amount. The common pathological changes or diseases that are experienced by patients of both sexes are as follows:

●       Elevated levels of cortisol: When there is an imbalance in hormones secreted by the hypothalamus of the brain that functions on the adrenal gland, the level of cortisol increases in the body. High levels of cortisol are associated with several complications. Increased cortisol in the body affects the immune system by lowering the DHEA hormone. It leads to weak muscles and impaired immunity. The body develops resistance towards insulin as insulin sensitivity decreases. The levels of serotonin drop down, and the mental state of the patient becomes vulnerable to depression. Hypothyroidism sets in due to the change in thyroid metabolism and the craving for carbohydrate increases that leads to obesity


●       Increased levels of insulin: High levels of insulin urge people to snack more, and they gain weight and becoming obese. The extra insulin in the body triggers the insulin receptors to become resistant to insulin. Due to the loss of insulin sensitivity, the metabolism of the body decreases, and obesity increases. Obesity restricts flexible physical movements and causes joint pains. Women with high insulin levels suffer from vaginal yeast infection. The body tries to compensate for the increased insulin levels that cause adverse effects. It increases cortisol levels and decreases the thyroid hormones level.


●       Reduced levels of thyroid hormones: Thyroid is a very vital hormone that regulates the metabolism of the human body. When the level of thyroid hormone drops down below average, the body faces oxidative stress. The patient suffers episodes of memory loss, followed by depression. The gut motility slows down, leading to bowel disturbances. The energy level of the body remains depleted as the mitochondria functions less productively. The cardiac functions are also reduced with low thyroid levels. [2 ]

See: How To Lower High Cortisol Levels Naturally

Causes of hormonal imbalance:

What causes the hormonal imbalance?

There can be several reasons that can cause hormonal imbalance. Some of the common causes instances are:

●       An improper diet lacking vital nutrients required for the proper functioning of glands

●       Lifestyle conditions like stress and depression

●       Environmental factors like pollution, toxins or poison in food, air, water, etc

●       Use of certain drugs


See: Apple Cider Vinegar Detox Health Benefits

Hormonal imbalance in women

What are the symptoms of hormonal imbalance in females?

Hormones are known to play a vital role in regulating and maintaining the normal well being of a female. The fluctuation in the levels of Progesterone and Estrogen, the female hormones have a negative impact on women’s health. The common symptoms of hormonal imbalance in women are:

●       Irregular menstruation

●       Early or delayed menopause

●       Hot flashes

●       Feeling of stiffness in neck and shoulder

●       Fatigue and headache

●       Skin problems like acne, excess oil secretion, allergy, etc

●       Decreased sexual desire or libido

●       Weight gain or obesity

●       Water retention

●       Anxiety

●       Dizziness

●       Endometriosis

●       Infection in the urinary tract

●       Mood swings and premenstrual syndromes [3]


Hormonal imbalance in women and infertility: Hormones are responsible for the sound reproductive health. Imbalance in the levels of hormones, especially the follicular stimulating hormones, prolactin, and thyroid-stimulating hormones, are the underlying factors for infertility. Apart from this, hormonal derangement leads to obesity. Obesity is the most common factor that has been known to cause infertility or menstruation-related complications in females.4

See: Ayurvedic Treatment Plan for Menopause

Hormonal imbalance in men

Hormonal imbalance in males

The imbalance of hormones in males can cause certain complications like gynecomastia, erectile dysfunction, decreased libido, and other conditions.

Gynecomastia: This is a medical condition that occurs when the glandular tissues of the male breast show enhanced growth. The common signs are dilation of the mammary ducts, hyalinization of stroma or basement layer of the cancer cells, and increased deposition of subareolar fat. The main reason for the gynecomastia is the hormonal imbalance and the action of excess androgen on the male breasts.[5] 


Erectile dysfunction: Hormonal imbalance in males leads to obesity. Obesity contributes mainly to the advent of erectile dysfunction. Hormonal induced obesity has been known to cause erectile dysfunction in about 8 million men.[6]  


Decreased sexual desire or libido in men: The male gonadal hormones or androgens play a significant role in regulating sexual desire or desire to copulate in males. It has been observed that copulation or intercourse does not take place in the absence of testosterone in males. Thus, hormonal imbalance in the levels of androgen can lower the sexual desire in males. [7]

See: How to increase libido naturally

Natural treatments for balancing hormones

How to balance hormones

One of the best natural ways to keep hormone secretion regulated is physical exercise. Exercise is known to increase hormonal sensitivity and facilitate lipolytic activity to reduce obesity. As the primary effect of hormonal imbalance in most cases is obesity, exercise helps to keep it in check.[8] Other methods include good sleep, reduced stress, hormonal supplements, a proper diet, and other lifestyle changes.

 

Natural ways to balance the hormones

One can seek the help of following methods to balance hormones naturally

●       Drink fresh juice, coconut water, and kombucha instead of caffeinated drinks

●       Take vitamin D rich foods like flaxseeds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, fish

●       Increase the intake of good fats or the foods containing polyunsaturated fatty acids. They are found in abundance in cold-water fish, avocado, hemp seeds, salmon, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds

●       Incorporate estrogen and progesterone rich food in your diet like green vegetables (sprouts, leafy vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower), sprouts, lemon, kiwi, sweet potatoes, lentils, seafood, almonds, seeds, and eggs. [9] 

See: Natural Treatment for Hormonal Acne in Ayurveda

Summary

Hormones are chemical messengers that are needed for the coordination and proper functioning of the body. An imbalance in their levels causes various complications in the human body. The common symptoms observed in both sexes are obesity, insulin resistance, low thyroid levels, infertility, etc. The imbalance can be regulated by exercise, dietary modifications, and other natural ways.

See: Hormonal Imbalance Resolved with Functional Medicine and Nutrition Therapy

References


1. Norman, A. W., & Litwack, G. (1997). Hormones. Academic Press.

2. Schilling, R. (2017). How Stress Affects Our Hormone System.

3. Naveed, S., Ghayas, S., & Hameed, A. (2015). Hormonal imbalance and its causes in young females. J Innov Pharm Biol Sci, 2(1), 12-16.

4. Seth, B., Arora, S., & Singh, R. (2013). Association of obesity with hormonal imbalance in infertility: a cross-sectional study in north Indian women. Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry, 28(4), 342-347.

5. Braunstein, G. D. (2007). Gynecomastia. New England Journal of Medicine, 357(12), 1229-1237.

6. Skrypnik, D., Bogdański, P., & Musialik, K. (2014). Obesity-- a significant risk factor for erectile dysfunction in men. Polski Mercurius Piekarski: organ Polskiego Towarzystwa Lekarskiego, 36(212), 137-141.

7. Wilson, J. D. (1999). The role of androgens in male gender role behavior. Endocrine Reviews, 20(5), 726-737.

8. McMurray, R. G., & Hackney, A. C. (2005). Interactions of metabolic hormones, adipose tissue, and exercise. Sports medicine, 35(5), 393-412.

9. Dunn, N. 9 Ways to Balance Your Hormones Naturally–Part 3.

See: Hot Flashes & High Appetite with Bisoma Acupuncture & Sasang Diet

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