Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance
We use a lab test using saliva rather than blood as most accurate way of determining hormone levels. Saliva tests intracelluar levels (insides the cells) rather than blood that test extracelluar (outside of the cells).
Although present in only tiny amounts, hormones act on every cell of your body. Hormones have individual affects, but also interact with each other to produce dramatic effects in the body.
Because of these interactions, they are able to trigger multiple body systems.
There are a number of common symptoms associated with hormone imbalance(s):
Female hormone imbalance
The ovaries produce many hormones. Chief among them are estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. The ovarian hormones estrogen and progesterone interact to coordinate a woman's menstrual cycle during her reproductive years.
The brain produces the hormones follicle stimulating hormones (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) which trigger hormone production from the ovaries. When any of the hormones coming from the brain or the ovaries are imbalanced, symptoms may occur. Imbalances are most common in puberty and menopause, but imbalances can happen at any age.
Several conditions are well known to be associated with hormonal imbalance including: polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, breast disease, and menstrual irregularities.
Symptoms of female hormone imbalance
Acne or oily skin
Excess facial and body hair
Heavy or painful periods
Loss of muscle mass
Loss of scalp hair
Tender or fibrocystic breasts
Male hormone imbalance
The testes produce nearly 95% of all male testosterone. The balance is supplied by the adrenal glands. They also produce small amounts of estrogen. The brain produces the pituitary hormones follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) which trigger hormone production from the testes.
As a man gets older, testosterone levels fall and estrogen levels tend to rise. Lower testosterone levels may affect bone density, muscle strength, body composition and sex drive.
The imbalance that occurs when testosterone is low in relation to estrogen may also contribute to prostate problems.
Symptoms of male hormone imbalance
Decreased mental clarity
Decreased muscle strength
Decreased urine flow
Increased abdominal fat
Increased urge to urinate
Low sex drive
The adrenal glands produce three types of steroid hormones: glucocorticoids (cortisol), mineralocorticoids (aldosterone), and androgens (DHEA/DHEAS).
Cortisol enables the body to respond and adapt to the stresses of daily life.
It also helps to maintain blood sugar levels and promote a healthy immune system. Aldosterone works to balance salt and water in the body.
Androgens secreted by the adrenals provide the majority of DHEA for both men
and women. For women, the adrenal glands are the major source of testosterone.
Imbalances in the adrenal system can contribute to problems with the nervous and immune systems, body composition difficulties, blood sugar irregularities, and high androgen levels.
Symptoms of adrenal imbalance
Allergies / asthma
High blood sugar
Increased abdominal fat
Thyroid Function Imbalance
Thyroid hormones control the body's metabolism. The brain produces thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) which triggers the thyroid gland to produce two types of hormones - T4 and T3.
In hypothyroidism, the body has inadequate levels of the thyroid hormones.
This often leads to imbalances in relation to other hormones.
Hyperthyroidism is a less common condition that exists when excess thyroid hormones are present. Because every cell of the body is affected by thyroid hormones, symptoms of imbalances are often varied and affect multiple body systems.
Symptoms of low thyroid function
Brittle hair and nails
Cold temperature intolerance
Cold hands and feet
Inability to lose weight
Shortness of breath
Symptoms of high thyroid function
Rapid heart beat
Insulin is secreted by the pancreas. Insulin "unlocks" the cells to allow glucose (sugar) from food to enter and be converted into energy. When too much glucose is present in the body, the pancreas increases the amount of insulin being produced.
High insulin as well as high glucose may contribute to multiple symptoms.
A number of conditions are associated with insulin and glucose imbalances and regulation problems.
These include chronic stress, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes.
Symptoms of insulin imbalance
Abnormal blood cholesterol
High blood triglycerides
Increased abdominal fat
Increased hunger / sugar cravings
Low/high blood sugar
Poor circulation to extremities