Hormone Imbalance – A Basic Overview
Hormone imbalance is a disruption in the endocrine system, the extraordinarily complex system of chemical messengers in the body.
What Are Hormones?
Hormones are chemical messengers the body uses to communicate from one organ to another. The endocrine system includes all hormone-secreting organs, such as the hypothalamus, liver, and sex organs. Hormones allow organs to communicate with one another to coordinate complex bodily functions like digestion and reproduction. Hormones also control growth, mood, and other body functions.
Sex Hormone Imbalance
One of the most common hormone imbalances is that of the sex hormones. Sex hormones are produced primarily in the reproductive organs and keep reproduction cycles intact. But too much or too little of any hormone can throw off the balance of the system, causing progesterone deficiency or dominance or estrogen deficiency or dominance in women and testosterone deficiency in men. Each condition has significant symptoms.
Hormone Imbalance Causes
Many things can disrupt the delicate balance of hormones in the human body.
- Nutrition: In some cases, it hormone imbalance is caused by a lack of nutrients, because nutrients are the building blocks for hormones and the catalysts for their production.
- Endocrine problems: A gland that secretes a hormone may become diseased or impaired through illness or injury.
- Cancer: Hormonal imbalance may be to blame for certain medical conditions, such as breast cancer. The body’s ability to effectively receive estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone can keep cancer from forming in breast tissue. In a recent study, women with damaged hormone receptors were more likely to have malignant breast cancer.
- Toxins: Some hormone imbalances are caused by toxins. Certain toxins can be mistaken in the body as hormones. For instance, toxins found in certain pesticides, BPA plastics, and cosmetics may cause hormonal imbalances. Avoid these toxins by using natural health and beauty products; avoid spraying your living area with pesticides; and thoroughly wash all produce before eating it—or buy organic fruits and vegetables that haven’t been sprayed with chemicals.
Hormone Imbalance Treatments
Treating hormone imbalance requires a skilled healthcare provider. Attempting to treat your own hormone imbalance can lead to severe medical complications. If you suspect a hormone imbalance, seek professional guidance for medical treatments.
- Phytoestrogens: These natural, plant-based hormones found in many fresh fruits, vegetables, and grains. The phytoestrogens in soy and wild yam are sometimes used to help women who are going through menopause reverse the hormone imbalance that comes with the change of life. But only use plant estrogens under the supervision of an experienced healthcare provider.
- Essential fatty acids: Many hormones are made of fats. Supply your body with a healthy level of usable fats by taking essential fatty acid supplements, or omega-3 fish oils.
- Hydration: Your kidneys help filter and eliminate damaged or unnecessary hormones. Keeping your kidneys healthy may help your body rid itself of an overabundance of certain hormones. Kidney health is best supported by drinking lots of water and limiting sodium intake by avoiding processed foods.
- Exercise: Movement is one of the best ways to reduce cortisol, the stress hormone, in the human body. Cortisol is released whenever the body feels stress, triggering a “fight or flight” reaction. High levels of cortisol can cause hormonal imbalances. Light aerobic exercise, such as walking, bike riding, kayaking, or playing a simple sport like badminton or shuffle board may be all that is necessary to correct this hormonal imbalance.
- Stress reduction: The adrenal glands, which sit atop your kidneys, may become overworked if you consume refined foods often. Reduce your refined sugar and refined carbohydrate intake to prevent over-taxing your adrenal glands. Sleep, meditation, massage, and yoga are all thought to be good for adrenal gland health.
- Vitamin D: Adequate Vitamin D levels are essential for endocrine health. Vitamin D is produced in the body if it has been exposed to enough sunlight. However, the color of your skin and excess fat may reduce the amount of Vitamin D you can produce from sunlight. In some cases, Vitamin D supplements must be used for hormone imbalance. Because high levels of Vitamin D can be toxic to your liver, be sure to supplement Vitamin D under the supervision of a healthcare provider, and have your Vitamin D blood levels tested regularly.
The information on this site it intended for general inquiry and informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you think you, or those under your care, are ill or in need of health care, please seek immediate medical attention. Always consult a doctor or other competent licensed clinical for specific advice about medical treatments for yourself or those under your care. Any use of, or reliance in any way upon, the information contained in the AlternativZ site and/or accessed through this site is solely at your own risk.
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