Hormones control many different functions in our body, so it can be quite noticeable if there is too much or too little of any of them in our bloodstream.
The good news is that there are treatment options for hormone therapy that certified endocrinologists and functional medicine physicians can offer you to alleviate your symptoms and have you feeling balanced again.
Before you can get that help, however, you need to know what to look for that may indicate a need for hormone therapy in the first place.
Here are five conditions that could point to hormone imbalances and should be addressed with your doctor!
Weight Gain/Weight Loss
Though both weight gain and weight loss can result from a variety of understandable causes like diet, exercise or pregnancy, sudden or inexplicable changes in weight could point towards hormonal imbalances.
Hormones like estrogen and insulin play a big part in how your body holds onto weight, so something like an increase in estrogen or a decrease in insulin (whether caused by natural occurrences like menopause or otherwise) could be responsible for mysterious weight gain. Cortisol is a fat storing hormone and may also affect your ability to lose weight.
This is also important to pay close attention to because weight-related symptoms could also point to even bigger concerns like diabetes, hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism that many require more intensive treatment and lifestyle adjustment.
Reduced Sex Drive
Hormones play an enormous role in reproductive health, and that includes sex drive for both men and women.
After the age of 30, most men start to experience a gradual yet noticeable decline in testosterone levels – and women are actually right there with them! Since testosterone is such a key sex hormone, the levels will drastically impact libido.
Additionally, hormones more prevalent in women like estrogen and progesterone can also impact sex drive, so imbalances caused by things like PCOS, menopause or other hormonal concerns can be the cause as well.
A particularly frustrating symptom of hormonal imbalance is difficulty with sleeping and maintaining a regular sleep cycle.
Many hormones have an impact on sleep, including estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, cortisol and melatonin. Having an imbalance that keeps you awake at night can impact your energy throughout the day and your overall health, so it’s important to address.
You will be much more capable of leading a fulfilling life when you are able to get a good night’s rest, so keeping your hormones balanced even just for sleep can make a massive difference in every area of your life.
Unusual Periods (Women)
Heavier, longer or otherwise unusual periods could be a sign of hormonal imbalances for women since estrogen and progesterone are responsible for regulating the menstrual cycle.
This is an issue that’s important to recognize and pay attention to because it could indicate more serious conditions like PCOS or endometriosis. That said, if you are at a typical age for menopause, that could also be a root cause.
Regardless, this is absolutely something to bring up with your doctor so that you can determine the cause and solution of the hormonal imbalance.
Erectile Dysfunction (Men)
As mentioned earlier, a decrease in testosterone levels (a key cause for many cases of erectile dysfunction) is a normal part of aging.
Of course, there can also be specific causes of erectile dysfunction that can be determined by your doctor, but there is a fair chance that it is linked to testosterone levels and can be addressed through hormone treatments.
One of the bright sides with this condition is that since it is recognizable, you can seek help and receive effective treatment quickly before the imbalances lead to worse potential situations and consequences since testosterone is also important for muscle mass, bone development and other areas.
Hormones play a role in everything from sleep cycles to reproduction, so making sure we listen to our bodies when they are telling us that something is wrong is vital.
Even if you are experiencing hormonal imbalances as a natural result of aging, you can still seek help to avoid problems like weight changes, reduced sex drive, sleep problems, irregular periods, erectile dysfunction and more.
Make sure you’re living your best, most fulfilling life by keeping your hormones at the right levels and talking to a functional medicine physician about what you can do when they aren’t.