When we talk about health, there’s one thing that most people rarely mention, yet it’s so vital to the proper function of your entire system. We’re talking about hormones, those little chemical messengers like estrogen, testosterone, adrenaline and insulin that together dictate so much of your overall health.
Hormones are secreted by our glands and organs all over our body, including the thyroid, adrenals, pituitary, ovaries, testicles, and pancreas. The endocrine system functions to regulate and control the level of hormones being secreted throughout your body but even a minor imbalance in hormone levels can lead to system breakdown and major health problems.
Studies point to the fact that almost 80 percent of women suffer from some kind of hormonal imbalance. Alarmingly, it’s estimated that nearly 40 million women in the U.S. over the age of fifty will suffer from hormonal imbalance by 2025 – a condition of epidemic proportions.
The problem with hormone imbalances is that they’re often hard to detect by symptoms alone, despite having a significant and direct impact on a person’s health and wellbeing.
The most common warning signs and symptoms of hormone imbalances include:
- Infertility and irregular periods
- Losing or gaining weight unexplainably
- Depression and anxiety
- Low libido
- Changes in appetite
- Digestive issues
- Hair loss and hair thinning
So what causes hormonal imbalance? There are a variety or risk factors and causes that lead to hormonal imbalance. As multi-factorial disorders, it’s commonly a combination of factors working (or not working!) together that cause these hormonal issues, such as a combination of factors such as your diet, medical history, genetics, stress levels and exposure to toxins from your environment.
Some of the most common factors that lead to hormonal imbalance include:
- High stress levels
- Lack of sleep and proper rest
- Food allergies
- Gut diseases like leaky gut syndrome or a lack of probiotic bacteria lining your intestinal wall
- Being overweight or obese
- Birth control like the Pill
- Non-organic and estrogen pumped animal products
- Chronic and acute inflammation caused by a poor diet
- A sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise
- Genetic inclination
- Exposure to environmental toxins like pesticides, toxins, viruses, cigarettes, excessive alcohol and harmful chemicals
Unfortunately, treatment with conventional medicine often includes synthetic hormone replacement therapies, birth control pills, insulin injections, and thyroid medications, leading to a case of the cure being as potentially harmful as the disease. These types of synthetic treatments can adversely affect Hair Loss people in these three ways:
- These treatments only mask the patient’s symptoms but don’t really solve the root issue. That’s extremely dangerous when you consider that the patient may have some relief from the effects of the hormonal imbalance, but the underlying health problem remains, continuing to impact the body and progressing unchecked.
- They can manifest heightened risk of serious side effects such as stroke, osteoporosis, anxiety, reproductive problems, or even cancer.
- People become dependent on these prescription drugs, often urged to take them long term or even for the rest of their lives. Again, this may diminish the symptoms but not treat the fundamental problem, and some prescriptions cause harmful side effects or even addiction.
The first part of the process of repairing your hormonal system is to diagnose what is out of balance. That can be tricky since symptoms of hormonal imbalance can range drastically, resulting in various conditions and illnesses. But we can track groupings of typical symptoms to give us clues. Here are some symptom groupings based on specific hormonal imbalances:
- High estrogen: Irregular and difficulty sleeping, changes in weight and appetite, higher perceived stress, slowed metabolism
- Low estrogen: Reduced sex drive, reproductive problems, menstrual irregularity, changes in mood
- Adrenal fatigue: Fatigue, muscle aches and pains, anxiety and depression, trouble sleeping, brain fog, reproductive problems
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS): Infertility, weight gain, higher risk for diabetes, acne, abnormal hair growth
- Hypothyroidism: Weight gain, slowed metabolism, fatigue, anxiety, irritability, digestive issues, and irregular periods
- Low testosterone: Muscle loss, weight gain, fatigue, mood-related problems, lack of motivation, low sex drive
- Hyperthyroidism & Grave’s Disease: Anxiety, thinning hair, weight loss, IBS, trouble sleeping, irregular heartbeats
- Diabetes: Weight increase, nerve damage (neuropathy), higher risk for vision loss, fatigue, trouble breathing, dry mouth, skin problems
If you read that list and find it a little scary – and familiar – then you’re not alone. But take solace in the fact that there are ways to repair and balance your hormones, naturally without invasive prescription drugs and treatments that only mask the symptoms. By tracking your specific symptoms and going through a process of manipulating your diet, environment, sleep, vitamin, mineral and supplement intake, and other health factors, we can find the root cause of your imbalance and cure it naturally and safely.
CLICK HERE to read Part 2 of this article Top 10 ways to naturally promote hormonal balance!