September 11 2021
Hormones are the chemical messengers that travel in the bloodstream, to the target site (tissues or organs). They are produced by endocrine glands and tend to work slowly over time, and affect various important processes in the body, like metabolism and appetite, sleep cycles, heart rate, reproduction, growth, and development of the body, stress levels, etc.
Hormonal imbalance can be referred to as the condition in which there is either too much or too little production of hormones in the body. Even if there are tiny changes in the production, it can cause serious effects. Both men and women can get affected by the imbalance of insulin, steroids, adrenaline, estrogen, and progesterone (women), testosterone (men), and growth hormones.
Symptoms of a hormonal imbalance
The symptoms of a hormonal imbalance directly depend on the organ or gland which has been affected. The most commonly observed symptoms are: insomnia, changes in heart rate, excessive weight gain or weight loss, weakening of bones, fatigue, changes in the levels of blood sugar, depression, anxiety, changes in the levels of blood pressure, bloating, appetite changes, headache, excessive urge to urinate, irritability, sensitivity to cold as well as heat, infertility, puffiness on the face, problems with vision, tender or swollen breasts, hair thinning, appetite changes, etc.
Causes of hormonal imbalance
Many possible factors cause a hormonal imbalance in the human body, such as hormone therapy, eating disorders, trauma, injuries, stress, certain medications, chemotherapy, pituitary tumors, etc.
Endocrine glands are responsible for the production of hormones, levels of which may get disrupted when they don’t function properly. The endocrine glands in the human body are the pineal gland, pituitary gland, pancreas, hypothalamus gland, gonads (testis and ovaries), and adrenal glands. Many health conditions, lifestyle habits, and environmental factors affect the functioning of these endocrine glands that may lead to hormonal imbalance. Some other factors that are involved in hormonal imbalances are chronic stress, hyperglycemia, underactive or overactive thyroid, poor diet and nutrition, obesity, injuries in the endocrine gland, Cushing’s syndrome (elevated levels of cortisol in the body), Addison’s syndrome (low levels of cortisol in the body), cysts and benign tumors, deficiency of Iodine, environmental exposure to toxic substances, herbicides, certain chemicals, pollutants, etc.
Hormonal imbalances in women
Women may experience hormonal imbalances naturally during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, post and perimenopause, and breastfeeding. Women are at a higher risk of developing hormonal imbalances as compared to men due to the presence of different endocrine organs. Some medical conditions like PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), early menopause, hormone therapy, and birth control medicines are also involved in the development of hormonal imbalance. Some of the commonly observed symptoms of this condition in women include:
- Osteoporosis: The bones in our body have small spaces within them, as a part of their structure. However, sometimes, these spaces become enlarged; such a condition is known as osteoporosis. Although bones constantly break down and replace themselves, during osteoporosis, the creation of new bones stops.
- Menstruation: hormonal imbalance may cause heavy, extremely painful, and irregular cycles of periods. Other symptoms like acne and breast tenderness may also be observed.
- Vaginal problems: dryness in the vaginal area along with blood (uterine) that is not associated with the menstrual cycle.
- Increased hair growth on the face, neck, chest, and back area can also occur as a response to changes in the levels of hormones.
- Other symptoms: infertility, weight gain, hair loss, deepening of the voice, abnormal growth, and skin tags are some of the other symptoms associated with hormonal imbalance in women.
Hormonal imbalance in men
Natural causes of hormonal imbalances in men include puberty and aging. Some medical conditions like prostate cancer and low levels of testosterone may also lead to this misbalancing. Commonly noticed symptoms of hormonal imbalance in men are:
- Low count of sperms
- Reduced libido
- Reduced muscular mass
- The low growth rate of body hair
- Erectile dysfunction
- Overdeveloped breast tissues
- Osteoporosis or weak and brittle bones
Treatment of hormonal imbalance
Treatment of hormonal imbalance highly depends upon its cause and is different for every person. Women have been prescribed hormone control or birth control medications, or vaginal estrogen, hormone replacement medications, or some other treatment methods depending on the cause. Similarly, men have also been prescribed medications depending on the cause of hormonal imbalance. Some natural methods to prevent hormonal imbalance include:
Natural supplements: certain natural supplements have been in use for centuries to balance the levels of hormones:
- For hormonal imbalance during menopause: evening primrose oil, dong Quai, red clover, and black cohosh are some of the popularly used supplements to treat hot flashes during the menopausal period.
Alvizia’s evening primrose oil, or aleneve, an active source of gamma- linoleic acid, is a dietary supplement used in various skin diseases, hair loss, and menopausal health issues. Cold-pressed and available in a pack consisting of 60 soft gel capsules, it is ideal for women’s health as it may treat hormonal or cystic acne, scleroderma, menopausal symptoms, hot flashes, osteoporosis, etc.
- For erectile dysfunction: ginseng, ashwagandha are some of the commonly used natural supplements to treat erectile dysfunction in men.
Alvizia’s triple ginseng consists of- Korean ginseng, Siberian and American ginseng. It helps reduce inflammation, enhancing brain function, immune function, energy levels, and fights against fatigue. It is used in the prevention of erectile dysfunction and reduced libido in men.
Lifestyle changes: many habits may lead to hormonal imbalance in the human body. Making some changes in the regular lifestyle can be beneficial in treating hormonal imbalance, which includes:
- Maintaining a healthy body weight
- Stress management techniques- yoga, meditation, etc.
- Practicing good personal hygiene and washing the body parts that are prone to dirt and infections.
- Limiting the consumption of sugars and refined carbohydrates.
- Avoiding microwaving foods, especially in plastic containers.
- Avoiding factors that may trigger hot flashes, for example, extremely spicy and hot food or drinks.
- Avoiding processed or packaged food.