Maintaining balanced hormone levels is one of the most important keys to a woman’s overall health. This becomes increasingly important as we age, since hormone imbalance can contribute to a wide variety of unpleasant symptoms, as well as an increased risk of chronic disease, particularly at and around the onset of menopause.
What are hormones?
Hormones are compounds produced in the body which control and regulate the activity of various cells and organs. In women, they are secreted from 8 different endocrine glands including the ovaries, adrenals, thyroid, parathyroid, pineal gland and hypothalamus. They are an essential component of our body’s key functions, responsible for the way we digest, metabolize, grow and reproduce, as well as our mood.
Signs and symptoms of hormone imbalance
In general, the following symptoms may indicate a hormone imbalance:
- Irregular periods
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Vaginal dryness
- Bladder incontinence
- Urinary tract infections
- Frozen shoulder syndrome
- Joint pain
- Mood swings
- Anxiety and depression
- Poor libido
- Decline in concentration and memory
- Weight gain
- Burning mouth
- Blood sugar fluctuations
- Voice impairment (weak and/or hoarse)
Types of hormone imbalance
Two of the most typical types of hormone imbalance in women are estrogen dominance and hypothyroidism (low thyroid function).
As women age, estrogen and progesterone levels decline, while androgen levels (testosterone and DHEA) can increase. Often, particularly during peri-menopause, progesterone levels decline more sharply than estrogen, which is referred to as estrogen dominance.
Estrogen dominance may contribute to:
- Breast pain and tenderness, lumps, fibrocystic breasts and breast cancer
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- Unwanted hair growth
- Weight gain
- Thinning skin
- Mood changes and depression
- Bone loss
Thyroid imbalance occurs when the thyroid produces either too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) or, much more commonly, too little thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism).
Symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
- Unexplained weight gain
- Dry skin
- Hair loss
- Headaches (typically mild but continuous)
- Feeling weak during a workout
- Arthritis and muscle cramps
- Feeling chilled when others are comfortable or warm
- Irregular periods
By contrast, those with hyperthyroidism typically experience sudden weight loss, diarrhea, rapid heartbeat, insomnia, and a feeling of being wired or shaky most of the time.
Diagnosing hormone imbalance
The best way to know for sure if you have a hormone imbalance, is to get a laboratory hormone assessment. This assessments can be done via blood, urine or saliva.
In addition to the laboratory hormone assessment, our naturopath takes a complete medical history, including gynaecological and obstetrical history.
Our NEX Wellness naturopaths in Burlington and Naturopaths in Binbrook offer naturopathic care to help prevent, reduce and manage seasonal allergies; as well as laboratory assessment of food sensitivities and allergies. Call or email us to book your appointment today. For a consultation with a Naturopath in Burlington call 905-634-5000. For a Naturopath in Binbrook please call 905-692-9300. Otherwise email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.Leave a reply →