What You Should Know About Hormone Imbalances

Hormone Imbalances Image

You’ve probably heard about hormones but do you really know what they are? Hormones are the body’s chemical messengers. They are located throughout the blood to relay messages to the body. You may be asking yourself, “What kind of messages?” The simple answer is all different kinds of messages. Hormones affect lots of different functions throughout the body such as growth, development, metabolism, sexual function, sleep, fertility, vital signs, mood, appetite, and reproduction.

There are over 50 hormones in the body. Some common hormones that you may recognize include cortisol, testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, insulin, and adrenaline. These hormones are produced by the endocrine glands. Our bodies have an endocrine system that consists of glands and organs that use hormones to help us function every day. Some parts of the endocrine system that you may be familiar with include the pituitary gland, thyroid, pancreas, and more.

Hormones play a very important role in our health. If your body has too much or too little of a hormone it can cause medical conditions or complications. Hormones are very strong and even a mild imbalance could cause issues. If you think you may have a hormone imbalance you should see your healthcare provider. They can order blood and / or urine tests to see what your hormone levels are.

There are numerous hormone disorders including:

  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Diabetes
  • Cushing’s Syndrome
  • Adrenal Insufficiency
  • Graves’s Disease
  • Addison’s Disease
  • Acromegaly
  • And More!

Diagnosing a hormone condition can be difficult because the symptoms can be vague and testing is needed. Common hormonal conditions could cause any of the following signs or symptoms:

  • Weight gain
  • Hump of fat between the shoulders
  • Unexplained and sometimes sudden weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle aches, tenderness, and stiffness
  • Pain, stiffness, or swelling in your joints
  • Increased or decreased heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Increased sensitivity to cold or heat
  • Constipation or more frequent bowel movements
  • Frequent urination
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased hunger
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Depression
  • Nervousness, anxiety, or irritability
  • Blurred vision
  • Infertility
  • Thinning hair or fine, brittle hair
  • Dry skin
  • Puffy face
  • Rounded face
  • Purple or pink stretch marks

Most hormone imbalances can be checked by a blood test. If you think you may have a hormone disorder then you should see a healthcare provider. They will be able to do testing, identify any hormonal imbalances, and provide treatment. In some cases, you may have to see a doctor who specializes in the endocrine system. These doctors are referred to as endocrinologists. If you just haven’t been feeling well and believe it could be hormonal don’t hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with one of our physicians, contact us here today!

Posted in: Women's Health

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