Hormonal imbalance occurs when the hormones in the blood stream are not within the normal range. They are either too much or too less. Since they play a vital role in the body, even the slightest of imbalance can cause side effects throughout the body.
Hormones are chemicals, which are produced by glands in the endocrine system. They travel from the bloodstream to the tissues, organs, sending messages to the organs about what should be done and when.
Hormones are very important for the regulation of major functions of the body. Hence, any imbalance can affect various bodily functions.
Hormones help in the regulation of heart rate, sleep cycles, appetite, metabolism, mood and stress levels, sexual functions and reproductive cycles, and body temperature.
Both men and women can be affected by insulin, adrenaline, growth hormones and steroid imbalances.
However, women also experience, estrogen and progesterone level imbalances, while men are more prone to imbalance in the levels of testosterone.
Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance
It is normal to experience a hormonal imbalance at some point in your life, but this can also occur when the functions of the endocrine glands are not proper.
The symptoms depend widely on the glands that are affected. Symptoms that are associated with more common causes of hormonal imbalances are, unexplained loss or gain in weight; excessive sweating; sleep difficulties; rashes with very dry skin; changes in blood pressure, heart rate, sugar levels; weak bones, depression, increased thirst, headaches, bloating, change in appetite and many more of similar problems.
Causes of Hormonal Imbalance
Everybody experiences a natural period of hormonal imbalance and fluctuations at some point in their lives. However, as mentioned earlier, these occur due to improper functions of the endocrine glands.
What are endocrine glands?
Endocrine glands are specialized cells, which produce, store and release hormones in the blood. The endocrine glands located in the body are, adrenal glands, gonads, pineal gland, pituitary gland, hypothalamus gland, pancreatic islets, thyroid and parathyroid glands.
There are various medical conditions that impact some or most of the endocrine glands. Changes in lifestyle, habits, and environmental factors play a role in hormonal imbalance.
Hormonal Imbalance in Women
The most common hormonal imbalance in women is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, PCOS. Your normal cycle also changes during puberty, pregnancy, menopause and breastfeeding, which is normal.
The symptoms of hormonal imbalance in women include irregular periods, excessive hair on the face, chin and various parts of the body, acne, hair loss, weight gain, weight loss, skin tags, darkening of the skin, pain during sex, vaginal atrophy and night sweats. It isn’t usually all of these symptoms together though.
Hormonal Imbalances in Men
Testosterone plays a vital role in male development. Lack of production of testosterone can cause multiple symptoms.
Male symptoms include, development of breast tissue, tenderness, erectile dysfunction, muscle mass loss, diminished sex drive, infertility, face and bodily hair loss, osteoporosis, hot flashes and difficulty in concentration.
Hormones are responsible for many functions of the body and when they get out of balance, various symptoms occur.
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