balance hormones

Hormonal imbalances can affect how you feel, your appetite, your mental health, and your overall viewpoint about life. Changes in your mood and behavior may be your first indication that you are experiencing hormone imbalance. If you’re feeling under the weather, it might be hard for you to recognize the symptoms of hormone imbalances. But if you start to experience unexplained symptoms such as fatigue, sleeplessness, anger, irritability, rapid weight gain, yeast infections, and breast tenderness – you need to get checked out by a doctor immediately.

A hormonal imbalance can affect the body in many ways, most of which are negative and difficult to deal with.

Hormonal imbalances are serious

Hormonal imbalances indicate different things for women and men. For women, a hormonal imbalance could indicate early onset of menopause, polycystic ovary syndrome, primary ovarian insufficiency and ovarian cancer. In men, hormone imbalance could indicate diabetes, thyroid malfunction and prostate cancer.

Symptoms of hormonal imbalance

Hormone imbalance symptoms can be subtle, and often go unnoticed. When left untreated, they can lead to a host of problems.

The most common symptoms are:

  • Overall fatigue
  • Unexplained body odor
    • Hormonal imbalance is a common cause of unexplained body odor. However, liver disease, kidney disease and hyperthyroidism, which causes excessive sweating also causes body odor.
  • Difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
    • imbalances of thyroid, testosterone, cortisol, progesterone, melatonin and/or growth hormone can  cause insomnia
  • Severe headaches
  • Depression
  • Hair loss or growth
  • Weight gain
  • Acne

Treatment options

There are treatment options available for women suffering from hormone imbalances.  A wide variety of treatment options include:

  • Medication
  • Natural herbs
  • Change in diet
  • Exercise
  • Stress relief

The first step in treating a hormonal imbalance is to assess your hormone levels.  A blood and urine test can detect levels of cortisol, progesterone and testosterone.  Saliva tests may also be administered.  Doctors may pinpoint which hormone is imbalanced and determine treatment from the results.

Prescription medication may be given to treat hormonal imbalances.  When lacking particular levels of hormones, a hormone supplement or replacement pill may be prescribed.  Hormonal injections may also be given in the most severe cases of imbalance.

For those not willing to use synthetic drugs to correct a hormonal imbalance, natural alternatives are available.  Herbal treatments may include the use of dong quai or black cohosh.  A nutritionist or physician may be able to initiate an herbal treatment plan for those suffering from imbalanced hormones.

Eating a diet rich in vitamins helps to maintain balanced hormones in the body.  Lessening the consumption of fatty and high sugar foods and increasing fresh and natural foods into a diet helps regulate hormones.

Exercise plays an important role in balancing hormone levels in the body.  Researchers have shown that getting at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise three times a week or more regulates the body’s hormones and keeps levels stable.  It is important to always check with your doctor before initiating a new exercise program or treatment plan.

Exposure to stress and worry can lead to imbalanced hormones and exacerbate symptoms.  Stress can be eliminated or decreased through routine exercise, daily meditation or activities such as yoga, swimming, acupuncture or massage.  Eliminating stress and anxiety from your life keeps hormones in check and balanced.