Out-of-Sorts & Off-Kilter: Why Hormonal Imbalance May Be The Cause
- Posted on: May 9 2019
Hormonal Imbalance is something that everyone will face at some point in their lives. For some it will happen at a time that they expect it to, such as menopause or much later in life. However, more and more people are beginning to experience the symptoms of hormonal imbalance at younger and younger ages. There are many possible causes for this that largely have to do with our modern lives and environment.
Hormonal imbalance can cause many undesirable symptoms that can have a dramatic impact on our quality of life, such as:
- Unexplained Weight Gain
- Chronic Fatigue
- Insomnia / Trouble Staying Asleep
- Loss of Libido / Sexual Performance
- Mood Swings / Anxiety / Depression
- Headaches & Migraines
- Loss of Muscle Mass & Strength
- Lack of Drive & Initiative
- Poor Memory / Foggy Thinking
- Muscle & Joint Pain
If you are experiencing many of these symptoms you may be suffering from hormonal imbalance. If you suspect you may have hormonal imbalance, you can take our Free Hormone Quiz to see how likely it is you would benefit from treatment.
Knowing how a normal menstrual cycle works helps to understand the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), perimenopause and menopause. Symptoms are often the result of too much or too little hormone(s).
During perimenopause hormone levels fluctuate as a result of fewer ovulations, so less progesterone is produced in the second half of the menstrual cycle. Periods can be erratic, skipped or have heavy bleeding /clots. Symptoms result from the change in ratio of estrogen to progesterone ¬ so the imbalance creates the symptoms.
During menopause, estrogen is no longer produced by the ovaries and is made in smaller amounts by the adrenal glands and in fat tissue. Estrogen is still produced in the body, but in lower amounts than younger cycling women. The most significant hormone change of menopause is the lack of progesterone, so a time of estrogen dominance and low progesterone.
Important Menstrual Cycle Hormones
Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) – released from the pituitary gland in the brain, and stimulates the ovarian follicles (fluid-filled sacs on the ovary containing an egg or ovum) to mature.
Luteinizing Hormone (LH) – also released from the pituitary gland in the brain at ovulation, and causes the rupture of the mature ovarian follicle, releasing the egg.
Estrogen – One of the female sex hormones and often referred to as the “growing hormone” because of its role in the body. Estrogen is responsible for growing and maturing the uterine lining (lining that is shed during menstruation) and also matures the egg prior to ovulation. Estrogen is produced mostly by the ovaries but also in smaller amounts by the adrenal glands and in fat tissue. It is most abundant in the first half of the menstrual cycle (follicular phase). Learn more about how you may be effected by Estrogen dominance.
Progesterone – Another of the female sex hormones. It works in the body to balance the effects of estrogen and is often referred to as the relaxing hormone. Progesterone is produced after ovulation by the corpus luteum (sack that the egg comes from) and dominates the second half of the cycle (luteal phase). Progesterone¹s main job is to control the build-up of the uterine lining and help mature and maintain the uterine lining if there is a pregnancy. If there is no pregnancy, our progesterone levels fall and the lining of the uterus is shed, beginning the menstrual cycle.
Testosterone – An important sex hormone for both women and men, although women have much lower levels. Is produced by the ovaries and adrenal glands (right on top of the kidneys), and has a surge at time of ovulation and slight rise just before the menses. Testosterone helps women maintain muscle mass and bone strength, enhances sex drive and helps with overall sense of well-being and zest for life.
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